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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, March 1, 2014


It was a revolting site to say the least. Wee lads sleeping on the pavement. People rush by. The bakery owner leaned indifferently on his counter. In Church, I heard the young priest quote from Paul's Letter to the Corinthians today: Trust ...the Lord, He is Forever Faithful. 


They slept soundly on the pavement
right next to a bakery. Or was it an act?

Two lads lying like leaves left where they fell.
Shuffling quickly away, even mothers ignored them.

Little boys. I would not even call them beggars.
Nobody will pick them off the cold bakery cobbles.

Have they run off from home to fend for themselves?
Did they ask to be born? What loins expelled them?

Whence they spring, was there not some beastly lust
akin to that of prowling dogs? They are just boys.

What bitch abandons her pups in this penury and pain?
Where was the hand that caught them from that hole?

How would these lads grow old enough to hear the priest
intone at the mass nearby: Trust in the Lord, He is Faithful.

If I felt bad enough, why did I not pick them up?
Why could I not have called the city hall? The Church?

Or wake them up and feed them bread, clothe them,
give them shelter. They are the least of our brethren.

We were rushing to church, we were a tad late; I took time
to finish my noodles and hot soup on a cold evening like this.



by Waqt News Photo

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