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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, May 31, 2011


(For Luisa A. Igloria)

It alights on the most unlikely places
when it is ready to unload its augury:
a herald that answers to no postmaster. 

Did it touch your face before perching
on your head preening like a silken bow?
Fear not, but beware its noblesse oblige: 

Whom the gods want to destroy, they
first caress, a beau geste for its fondest,
most innocent, most willing sacrifice. 

Like the heart that knows no rest,
the mourning papillon flits from leaf
to welcoming petals ready with nectar. 

Though it comes bearing sweetness
for its bounden message, it drops its
wings to let the doleful colour show 

and flies out of reach and rancour, out
now into the cusp of wind and fire, out
of grace, out into the world of Tiresias 

blinded but must prophesy what passes
from this life, all loves and lovers, gone
but never let loose, ever, not now, not yet. 

For any day now, the heart that bent
to the swallowtail’s random dance,
would find its elusive life full of radiance.

---Albert B. Casuga

Poetic Prompts: 
I hold my hand over my heart/ because I know it knows no rest:/ it does not want to mourn what/ passes from this life, just yet.---From  “Trauermantel” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 05-28-11

Any day now a god /might unfurl its wings to rend the canopy;/any day now, that radiant and elusive life.---From “Foretelling” by  Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 05-29-11


A papillon with the mourning cloak
bodes grief; leave it free to flit from
whence it came to where it goes.

Capture it, and you become a gaoler
of the ghost it carries from unknown
gardens, uncharted lanes, lost zones:

Mark how it circled you thrice before
alighting on your chair not your tea cup
where it is moist and comfortable.
Let it leave its yet undelivered
message: a brew of auguries and omens
from the cocoons of the netherworld.

Do I scare you with this ghoulish rant?
Or shall I leave you to scare yourself
with your own disembodied yearnings? 

Ah, but beware my morning porch friend,
beauty, wherever you find it, is an omen.

—Albert B. Casuga

Poetic Prompt:  A mourning cloak butterfly circles the porch and yard three times, going behind my chair, including me in whatever it means to outline. Dave Bonta, Morning Porch, 05-28-11

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