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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.

Friday, September 9, 2011



(For Jing-jing, on her Birthday)

All the piper has is a bag of music and a pack of metaphors. ---From In a Sparrow’s Time, 1990

These broken smiles,
these cracked laughter

(O dear tender, dear
gentle, dear child)

You have become my little
mermaid, restless in your lair;

and I, the Sire’s shadow staid
on  a creaking broken chair,

sprouting stems, rotting grass,
shooting blossoms dying on an ear.

Youth sprouts from sudden fear
in the bright grip of the city.

Now, almost half a century
into your life of hurts and pains,
and triumphs, too, you survive
on little drops of scarce caresses,

(torrents of struggle being now
your day’s staple) and never flinch
even when living becomes a sting
of madness---and you, no longer

the wee mermaid but a queen
of steel resolve, are now inured
to the thrust and parry of being
alive in a world not solely of your

making. But you grin and bear it,
like you have always borne
this helter-skelter world, a pioneer
daughter, who dashed from child

to woman, a lover, a handholder,
a rock upon whose shoulders we
can now cry on. But never in fear.
Not in the bright grip of the city.

---Albert B. Casuga

On September 8, 1963, Angeli Francoise Lim-Casuga graced our lives as our firstborn. At 48, she still lives with us, soltera, and our resident travel counsellor who us snagged us some of the best (a.k.a. cheapest (:--P) ] vacations this side of retirement.

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