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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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011



Indecisive figure on the sidewalk,/  head tilted one way, body tilted the other: bird/ listening for the coming of rain the same way/ I feel the tug,…warning of weather/even as the sun pours through and through.---Luisa A. Igloria

When the final call was made
for you to board the last plane
to places unknown, unexplained,
I remained at the gate hoping
you would look back, smile, too,
and come running back for the
kerchief you left on the bench.
You would need it to blow your
nose and maybe dry your eyes.

But you wrote me years later
that I did not even look at your
direction, my head tilted away,
or I could have seen your pleading
arms gripping those of my tittering
children, wildly agog by a maiden
journey on a real plane–so much
grander than the paper ones I
made them when the last story
was simply not enough to lull them
to a slumber that I am sure would
find them flying through clouds and
the searing sun, and the sparrows,
and the cherubims that guarded
them jealously like you must have,
before the final cut that came,
and cut cleanly. I did not want to say
goodbye. I looked at the airport
clock. I wanted desperately to say
Come back, come home. Come home!

You were no longer looking, the line
was moving, and I could no longer see
anyone of you through my tears.
Airports are frightening that way.

—Albert B. Casuga

Collaborative Poem Prompt: "Bird Looking One Way, Then Another" by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 05-03-11

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