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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 23, 2011


Meanwhile in America/the news anchors make a show/of indignation at the sun, righteous/& well-coiffed as fallen angels, &/never speculate why we might/really be so hot, never mention that we are blowing up mountains/& burning their black hearts to keep cool.---From “Heat Indices” by Dave Bonta, Via Negativa, 07-22-11


There’s fire in the hills that needs deep dowsing,
there’s fire in the hills that needs good licking! 

A cry for combat, if there was one:  All patriots,
stouthearted sons and lovers, all brave hearts, 

from sleepy hamlets to the hungry metropolis,
rally to these stars and stripes. Let’s finish this! 

Meanwhile, in America, its heralds blame the sun
for doing its job of fiercely shining--- not to burn 

the parched villages whence come the spunky lad
now coming home from wars in Iraq or Baghdad--- 

but to nourish those amber waves of grain,
and fill the granaries from California to Maine. 

No, no one blames the blowing up of quarries
in mountains to extract fossil fuel for lorries 

that lumber through the highways of America
bringing to every hearth and home in America 

that same camouflage of a bomb strapped
to every man, woman, or child and snapped 

ready to explode as it has now detonated lives
out of their homes in Arizona, market dives 

threatening bankruptcies that would not respect
Wall Street giants, Bronx tramps, and now expect 

even what used to be the strongest, richest country
on this wobbling planet, to fold up, quit as sentry 

to the peace and quiet of a still lovely blue planet
whose very people might have forced its sun to set 

in the deserts of starving Somalia, bleeding Sudan,
butchered Afghanistan, un-safehouses in Pakistan, 

even in every child’s crying corner labeled  American.
Ah, but the weary hand in the farm is still American: 

There’s fire in the hills, but I’ll lay down my hoe,
bear a bucket, lick that fire. God. See the job through.

---Albert  B. Casuga

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