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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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011



Overcast at sunrise, with a cool breeze. A gray catbird in the middle of the gray driveway picks pebbles for the collection in its gizzard.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 07-23-11

At sunrise, they rouse their children,
if they have not yet mercifully died,
to trek through desert mirage searching
for oases, cacti, lizards, iguanas, worms,
anything. It’s a landscape of clean bones,
or carrion abandoned by even the crows
that fell prey to the ghastly death march.

I take a guilty gulp at my now tepid tea
when I espy a catbird swallow pebbles
strewn on the sunbaked driveway.
I wonder: can a  starving  child’s  belly
hold as many rock chips to ease pangs
of hunger? Catbirds prefer these strewn

granules to desert sand, I reckon,
but promptly neglect a morning shrug.

—Albert B. Casuga

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