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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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011



Tiny holes riddle the leaves of a heal-all plant, turning it to orange-tinged lace. What small creature requires so much medicine? --- Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 09-28-11 

There are holes and there are holes:
these are almost delicate patterns
seen against the punctures on her
face—wellsprings of solace, bliss,
warranty, trinkets, pecking order
symbols, insignia’s of heft on Wall
street—greed, vanity of vanities.

What picayune creature needs all
this panacea, this balm for ennui?

The caterpillar crawling on the leaf,
gives back a mariposa’s glorious
colours, a leitmotif of magical dabs,
to show for those holes. Maggots
on the fallen leaves become fruit
flies, dump flies bound by ordained
duties in this woods’ give-and-take.
Green fodder from those holes
are miracles of growth and beauty.

But those holes on the side of hills,
entrails of ruptured caverns, dug
geysers offshore and spring caves,
mines-quarries-tar sands-reefs,
abandoned common graves in gold
and coal mines moistened by blood
and congealed sweat— are diadem
vaults of stones, silver, myrrh, gems,
uranium, plutonium, plosive grit—
all, all molten nosegays to crown
the smallest creature of them all,
fig-leaf-covered man and woman
still in bad need of blandishments
of comfort, power, and lust to cure
his inchoate, eternal smallness. Pity.

— Albert B. Casuga

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