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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 15, 2011



Many of the asters that shut their purple lashes for the night have yet to open, frustrating a honeybee. A squat native bee pushes right in. --- Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 09-14-11 

Grab every rainbow by its tail if you find it
at some foothill, wag it before it waggles you. 

A parable for our times: Good guys finish last.
Is it a paradigm for what it takes to be here? 

But consider these slumbering aster petals,
warding the jilted honeybee, saving nectar. 

Had they laid bare what the gleaner bee
was busy about, would they not be violated? 

Spared from what flowers in the field befall
in this scheme of give-and-take, the asters 

are caught unawares by a squat native bee,
peon-like, barrels through, and pushes in.  

Their petals askew, how would they have
seen this indelicate intrusion of someone 

who has no time to spare for a flirting dance
with the windswept blossoms waiting there? 

O, but how much gentler a garden would be,
if  honeybees hovered and hummed to rouse 

shuttered asters, lending grace to a tedious
game where they must yield to bumblebees. 

--- Albert B. Casuga

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