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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.

Monday, July 11, 2011


It has known the difference, known it well,
between the cold dark air and sunlit gardens,
and it will take them all in like bricks around
it, impregnable: she will mend these cuts
though they have run through. She will wince
but she will be new. These shards would not
hurt her. It has known the painful difference.
“Shall I walk you through my rose gardens?
Cup a blossom in your hands gently, beware
the guardian thorns, they are its sharp lances.”

It has known the canon of beauty and virtue:
where you are hapless, feign courage, it will
grow unto you like vines binding your broken
pieces, then sit you tall on a throne of roses.
—Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: Doesn’t it sing this way only /because it’s known the difference?…/ Remember it eats of brittle matter/long decayed; but also of pollen, nectar.---From: Heart You Want to Lead In from the Cold” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 07-10-11

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