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ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Saturday, October 19, 2013



 Is it the pell-mell debris that lingers as this dread
quietly whimpered now as end times, punishment
for the faithless and worshippers of the craven?...

Why weep then about decrepit church facades
crumbling into a heap capped by bell towers
that will no longer summon the village faithful
while they catch a little more sleep, spent and aching
from the long day’s work in fields and strange seas?

Will the gnashing of teeth stop this tired Earth
from spinning itself into this long overdue rage,
and spare these blessed poor whose sacred troth
was to inherit the earth? The gods have on cue
abandoned all who fear the wrath descending,
but now haplessly watch the statue of the Lady
(who waited on an old hill for the limp body of her son)
preside over this hill of rubble as one risen from a grave
or one who looks kindly at buried carrion strewn about,
carcasses of a temblor, yet askance in a stony gaze:

“Did not my son promise that the gates of hell shall
not prevail against this temple? Destroy this temple
and he will raise it again and again. Why weep then
over a mound of debris? They are dirt and stones.
They will not rise again. But his temple will be here.
It has risen. It will not fall again.” Temblors be damned.

10-20-13 Mississauga

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