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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.

Saturday, July 16, 2011



A wren’s pantomime on the brittle branch
is so much like presiding over life down here.

Shape up, toe the line, be civilized, connect,
or run the risk of being cut down to size.

Why can one not remain alone, a wood hermit
or an anarchist maybe? Why join a lumpen lot?

From its perch, the wren swipes its bill back
and forth on a dead limb sharpening for a kill.

A hog sneezes, betrays its refuge, quivers back
into its hole. Too late. It has joined the pack.

In this part of the woods, beaks are scimitars
to keep the venturous lumped in their holes.

—Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: A Carolina wren swipes its bill back and forth on the end of a dead limb, as if sharpening a knife. A groundhog sneezes in the strong sun.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 07-16-11

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