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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, July 19, 2011



It will remain silent, an abandoned artifact,
a gravestone cross for the perching raven
that would be a swoop away from its repast
before sundown, before it croaks for more,
this yard being empty except for these stones
wrapped in tumbleweed or lost in bramble. 

It has fallen on its side at the foot of the hill
looking limp like a discarded scarecrow
that has outlived its usefulness, a totem pole
piled with the debris of unclaimed markers
bereft of its stories of happy hunting grounds:
it is a forgotten memento like that on Golgotha. 

It is a mere plus sign now as equations have it,
no added trappings, simply subtracted ones,
like a dangling crucifix on the ‘hood boy’s
neck, it is just a bling now, gold hung on gem
stones eked out from scorched quarries by yet
younger boys who would not know the difference.

---Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: When a relationship dies, what happens/to the orphaned plus sign?—From “Artifactual” by Dave Bonta, Via Negativa, 07-18-11

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