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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, September 24, 2011



Rusty things: the wail of a cat in heat, a squirrel’s slow scold, the cry of a jay, and the black cherry leaves fading to a coppery red.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 09-24-11 

Wailing while in heat, is it obsolescence,
or it is simply outright rejection? “Rusty”
could be the feline’s tag, a dirty brown
tomcat losing his prowess at seduction.

Scurrying to provide for winter freeze,
the dark-tailed rodent stands on its
hind legs, spits out mulch and coughs
out a wheeze sounding like a nasty scold.

Rusty at a chore at season’s turn?
Or is it simply its mute gnashing
over a tardy spring, and O so little time
between a lean fall and a dying year.

A hop and a weak chirp from a jay
that has strayed into a rusty bird-feeder,
is a clean shot at “rusty” except that its
cry betrays a failing in its warbling job.

When the black cherry leaves are coppery
red, is that not a vision of what is truly
rusty? The flaccid branches would soon
see these brittle foliage break away… 

but could not stop a quotidian plummeting
when winds rattle them into a quavering
that can only look from where I sit like
trembling hands gripping a rusty trowel.

Perhaps the yeoman in the sky has become
rusty in a doddering way, he/she/it/they
could no longer command blind obedience
from settlers who have learned to brandish

their rusty plows like rusty swords against
all that is slow in their earthly impatience.

— Albert B. Casuga

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