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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.

Monday, April 2, 2012



…We dangle/ thoughts above ourselves/ like fishing lures to draw out/ a response and end up/ feeding our feelings. We want/ to be helpless to their strength.---Hannah Stephenson, “Strong Feelings”, The Storialist, 04-02-12

Even that nutty rodent stops short
Of its kamikaze threat, twirls, jumps,
Lands on the feline foe twice its size,
Snarls for all its worth, but the fancied
Bully glides gracefully away, wagging
Its dismissive tail: she does not do nuts,
Besides, pipe down Squire, your guess
Will choke you yet.
How much thought
Is required to burn this side of the woods?

It took a rock-hard crock of a lie to kill
A 100K in the Iraq War, no weapons
Of mass destruction could kill that many
In a cranky year; it should not take this
Buck-teeth nut its fear to lay its throat
For early-spring rending. Yet, it is grand

To flex muscle where there is none
To feel towering, herculean strength
Ooze through grass-like veins awhile
And fade away into a quivering branch
With its purloined bud of cherry…

Mayhaps, guessing still how dread
Becomes a dream, becomes a reason
For quartering all those Taliban, Syrian,
Maguindanao, Kampuchean children,
Old and injured beyond their time
When strife that maims and murders
Are still a monopoly of learned men
Who play and sleep with napalm bombs,
And stridently yakking presidents
Who ask not what your country can
Do for you, but ask what you can do

To vaporize old women, old men, children
And their poultry, too, and hope mankind
Can also make a playground of the moon.

Ah, how we think we can make our hearts
Love, and suffer the wounds and tears
That come after. I think, therefore, I feel.
I feel, therefore, I may be alive. Or happy.
I think.

The rodent on the twig stares at the cat
waiting under the tree, and quakes. I think.

---Albert B. Casuga

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