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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, May 20, 2011


…what is it about labor/that burnishes the surfaces it works/ over or levels down?...Change me,/I begged my beloved…


That mute pebble rolled hither and thither
when the river current rushes downstream
after a thunderstorm, will it sit in the pond,
remain where it is lodged, stay unchanged?
In yet another rush, a stone crusher would
remake it into jagged edged crystal shaped
perhaps to a gem capping a band wrapped
around a fragile finger: an artisan’s manner
of altering the commonplace into a diadem.
But how will I change you? Into what shall
I change you? Would I were your Pygmalion,
maybe then, I could find my Galatea in you.

---Albert B. Casuga

Prompt Poem: “Song of Work” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa,

What is it about cleared land that turns a lilting refrain into a burden, a shrill work song?


When the gleaners return from potato patches at sundown,
they trudge back to their homes to the beat of a quiet refrain: 

“This land will be clear again, this crop will be good again.
We leave the roots to sprout at night, the leaves in the morning.
This land will be good again, this home will be fed again.
We leave the fires beneath cauldrons burning until morning.” 

What is it about cleared land that turns a lilting refrain
into a burden, a shrill work song?  What is it about the song
that lifts the load brought back into homes in the evening?
Is not the rhythm of work the rhythm of life? A song’s refrain?

---Albert B. Casuga

Poetic Prompt: “What is it about cleared cland that turns a lilting refrain into a burden, a shrill work song?” ---Morning Porch, 05-19-11, Dave Bonta,

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