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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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011



Why do we return to/what we know? Do we uncover any anchors/or nets. Homeward bound, /the song goes, which means heading for home/or tied up in looking. ---From “Homeward Bound” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 07-27-11 

Cups, bric-a-brac, milestone pictures, pillows,
even rarely-washed security blankets spell it:
it is the smell of knowing that makes us run
to her stove  as soon as we drop our wee world
of toy trains, biscuit cans, disrobed barbies,
and ask if favourite cakes are cooking in the oven. 

It stays with us, this habit of pinning the tail
on memorial behinds. We know them well.
On the darkest nights, on most tempestuous times,
haven’t we gone back home quiet and blindfolded?
They know we would grow up and go away.
Folks enter into one-way contracts like these. 

Then home becomes hazy in uncharted distances.
Looking ties us down, we follow familiar scents
only to lose them along the way. Pavement arrows
do not point to where the heart lingers and stays.
Is there no clear map to this refuge? In the fog,
how can the faithless promise he is home at last? 

An undiscovered country before long, home
turns up around the bend, but we also find out
that it is the nook from which we cannot return.

---Albert B. Casuga

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