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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



(For Louis)

I run my hands over the rough, dry clay,/loving best those surfaces whose cracked /veins might lead divining rods to all/the parched suburbs of the heart.---From “Dowsing”  by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 07-21-11.  

Almost like a puppy, I muttered. Something
about his rushing to be wrapped with the flannel
in my hands, his quivering wag, and what looked
like a pirouette to catch his tail, invites me to rub
his narrow back: I feel cold, abuelo, he shivers.  

Would the man in Eden have protested coyly?
From the clay he was fashioned, I imagine
he would have undergone some gentle dousing
for the moulder to have pronounced: he is good.
From the rough, dry clay, he rose in splendour. 

As did this wisp of a boy rising from the water,
hallooing: Look, abuelo, I can dive, I can swim!
He wiggled his salva vida floating to the edge,
his face toward the bright blue sky: I am good!
As all grandfathers before or after,  I said: You are! 

Oh, you are, my boy. And while I wipe you dry
after this dousing frolic, I run my hands over
your body, cleaning it of any tinge of dry clay,
loathe to think that if I were shaping you
from the mud East of Eden, I’d want you pure. 

Unalloyed, a cherubic imp of a teaser, a laughter
tickled out of a dream, a pure delight,  and clean.

---Albert B. Casuga

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