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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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011



Now, I have to reckon with myself/ that in a while you'll be out of my sight. ---From “Till Next Spring” by Perla Patricio


It is fleeting, but I had my fill
of their company and songs.
Sometime soon, my hummers
must fly off to other gardens,
but I would not be there.  

Strange shadows will linger,
Like rhythmic throbs haunting
my nights, heartbeats of pain
that never leave, overstaying
guests waiting for a last drink. 

When will they leave? Hurts
hold on like geckos on the wall,
they must be pried off. Cut off.
Still their curt staccato echoes
through eerily empty rooms. 

Quiet voices I have heard here
are other voices in other rooms.
I do not hear them bouncing
off these blinds darkening my
windows, hiding a wilted garden.


Will this longing for the warmth
of a gentle caress, when nights
and beds are cold, find its answer
soon---a knowing touch on my
back, before despair breaks me?  

Tomorrow, I will walk through
an abandoned garden in the rain:
I will tilt my face to some grey sky
like an agape earthen jar, catch
myself some nourishing rain. 

Must I, on my gnarled knees, beg
for these hurts to set me free?
My hummingbirds will fly off
leaving me this mansion of joy,
but oh, a finite hint of eternity. 

Sometime soon, I must frolic
in this uncertain weather, dash
through this shower of grace,
sate my parched throat in the rain,
drink myself delirious but happy. 

--- Albert B. Casuga

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