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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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Ecce Homo by Alfredo Roces, 1952


This gloomy day ushers in (an embarrassment
of fronds and a donkey) an entry of a warrior
proclaiming Love, exited as a prisoner of war
into the Hill of Skulls, spread-eagled as a thief
on a ragged cross, crucified for a killing
fit only for the those mocking Caesar's due,
while invoking forgiveness for his assassins
who stripped him naked in front of his wife,
mother, and brothers, wailing in stark despair
to a darkened sky: Why have you forsaken me?

A dark cross casts its shadow over the valley,
but the blown rain breaks buds burnt like ashes...
on the forehead of the land---this is a desert
where fear and pain thrive---only these twins
will grow out of the oases of blood let out
by blades broken into each brother’s bones:
crosses have lost their balm here, where houses
are better off without porches anymore.

 —Albert B. Casuga
Revised 04-13-14 Mississauga


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