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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, March 13, 2015

UNTIL MEMORY FADES



IN MEMORIAM: Former Chief Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Philippines. God speed, Choy. Your job is done here. In pace requiescat.


UNTIL MEMORY FADES


(For Justice Conrado "Choy: Vasquez, Jr. + March 12, 2015)


You have gone before another sunrise,
Choy, but you have chosen to take its place.
You will not need hills or seas or horizons
to rise from; by leaving us, you have risen
where you have caught His hand on time
to bear you up where He presides. Eternity.

Has anyone come back from this defiled form
and mapped out ways to get back to that eternity
we claim as heirs to, where days are as chartless
as the river stream that must flow to an endless,
ceaseless fountainhead which has no beginning?
There is no other way back except by destruction.

When every rampart has been carted away, we
do not pine for them like those we cannot lose
because we store them in vaults of our memory:
they are our milestones of an afterlife we choose
to build from achieved desires, fulfilled dreams--
these chambers of a heart that will not crumble.

What, indeed, do we know of eternity? Save this:
We are never away from it. Until memory fades.
"Habang may buhay, hindi ka namin makakalimutan."


---ALBERT B. CASUGA


2 comments:

Virginia Lagos said...

Albert, you have really captured our sentiments in your poem dedicated to Choy Vasquez. Thank you. I am Emily's (his spouse) first cousin on her mother's side.

I admired your achievements having read your profile. Keep up the good work.

Cheers
Virginia Marin Lagos
Sydney, Astralia

ALBERT B. CASUGA said...

Just saw this now. Thanks. Choy is an old and dear friend. So was Emily. Kumusta ka na?