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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, August 19, 2014




(For Lourdes Veronica)

Summer simmers down, but it isn’t/ all gone. So drink slowly, drink/ everything, down to the thick,/ dark sludge at the bottom/ of the cup. Out in the fields,/find what remains when the grain/ has separated from the chaff.---From “Stay” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa 8-15-14


All I needed to hear: “Stay. Stay.” I have come home
Like that long absent hummingbird on your sill,
The one you said you would wait for on the trellises
That have fallen from a crowd of dead flower buds.

Take me back. Take me back. And we will retrace
those letters carved on some saplings grown tall
beyond our reach, and sing with carillon clangor
those old evensongs, brave songs. Old love songs.

We will outdo the bell choir master on the belfry,
ring them all, sing them all, hum them all until
sundown overtakes us and we hold our tremulous
voices like our stuttered promises of coming home.

I must turn around, will tarry at the street’s end,
wait for you. Must drink cold tea to its bottom sludge.
Will out-hoot the newfound owl on our lone oak tree.
Will drown rain staccato with my raunchiest halloo.

Hell will wait, heaven will not. I have some Zorba
dancing to do,  naked and happy again in this rain.


Mississauga, August 18, 2014


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