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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.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


The golden light glistening on a black birch
tells it all. How glorious can that summer sheen
be, seen against the mottled birch branches?
How crisply clear could a day be when cackles
of hungry fledgling crows remain unanswered?
Is it the aborted cry that restores a morning calm?
Have all the querulous puling benumbed this
valley into a lull not unlike that of a dead day’s
silence? Let them beg all they want. Let them cry.
Does anyone hear the starving orphan’s plea
cutting through these barriers of pine and poplar?
Do we hear them still erupting from Haiti’s debris?
Are there cankered mouths in Ethiopia waiting
for morsel? Can anyone locate the burnt slums
now floating with lilies and dog’s carrion in floods
all over the earth, from Manila to Missouri, from
China to India, from Brazil to temblor-struck Chile?
Do we still remember the children of New Orleans?
Their cri d’coeur have not stopped, but the crows
have ceased. I notice the bright day break through
the swaying willow trees, but my morning tea is cold.
—Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: Only when the begging cries of the crow fledglings finally cease do I notice the air’s clarity, golden light glistening on a black birch. ---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 07-06-11

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