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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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014



The lass on my lap
Said: I won’t play with snow
Today, abuelo.

Even snowmen
Will freeze, will crack in two.
Can’t play tomorrow.

On the frozen pond,
Dead frogs and birds on icy
Snow are broken, too.

Use paper for fire,
Abuelo, the lass offered.
Nodding approval

I muttered wryly:
The snow is my newspaper,
Your eyes my fireplace.

---Albert B. Casuga


A nook without a fireplace
Remains cold, the books
Are not for reading here.
Haunting crackle of pages
Are just that: old ghosts
Grown tired of waylaying
Restless hearts into paths
And parts still unknown
To them, lovers at twilight,
Missing her---wondering,
If  she might have called
Out on the darkest hour:
“Mam-ma, Da-da, come!”

Eventides are quietly stark
When even door hinges
Are dreadfully silent, still
As the shadows slithering
Through half-cracked slats
Of  blinds that do just that---
Blinding her with a night
They could not be there,
Who are half a world away,
Missing her as much as she
Now needs to sleep on her
Abuela’s breasts like a ‘roo
In its mother’s warm pouch.
“Close your eyes, wee one, go
To slumber land, we’ll meet
You, there, by-the-by when we,
Too, are rocked into open-eyed
Calm hugging soft pillows like
You were there smiling as you
Gently droop into a sleep you
Will wake up from finding us
There where we always wait
When you call, raising blinds.”



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