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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.

Friday, January 24, 2014



“Let poems be cups of praying/ made for holding silence.” --- "Step Six and Step Seven" by Nura Yingling, from for Holding Silence. © BlazeVOX, 2013.

Do you remember those paper cups?
They were boats rather than planes.
We made those, too; made them fly.

But cups of prayer holding silence
Were the toughest to fold from scrap
Paper we found on Father’s desk.

How much noise did we make over
Their soundlessness? Enough to spoil
His hammock naps, he would growl.

That’s when we would run to Mother
And hide behind her while she sew
Clothes out of rags we made of shirts.

Quiet memories come back like these
When we crack open brittle pages
Of books where we clipped them

Like cups holding prayers of children
To feel absent caresses once again,
When silence overflows to their brim

At eventide, still twilights of our years,
When we talk to the shadows on walls
And pray: Let prayers be silent poems.

---Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, 24 January 2014


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