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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, February 14, 2016


MY POEM TODAY was prompted by a post by KATE BOWLER who has written on God and the faithful, the Prosperity Gospel, and Death. She has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer and she wonders why the God she is faithful to rewards her faith with this illness.


(For Kate Bowler and all the Faithful)

He said it first: after this death,
there is no other. It is peremptory.
But a world without a memory,
is as final as it can get without you.
Will it be a place where love is free?
Magical, except you can’t come back.
The pictures will be on the walls,
as mute as the hooks they hang on.
They will not talk to you, they can’t.
Even if they could, they would not.
Even if you have become the cobweb
wrapped tight on the broken frames,
you would not have been there. No.
You are not part of the furniture.
Like dust in abandoned houses, you
will inhabit the nooks and crannies,
and would not be disturbed until
termites take over. Too late then,
because you are not even a remnant
of temps perdu, you are lost in time
and in space; even among the stars
and black holes, you are not there.
Like the sound of a single hand
clapping, you will not be heard.
The first death is always the last.


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