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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, April 19, 2012


Photo by Bobby Wong Jr., Philippines


There’s the sky’s bright wound again, open, gaping. And its eyes/  are bottomless wells, staring. Too naked, too raw, too much.---Luisa Igloria, “Heartache Ghazal”, Via Negativa, 04-18-12.

How much of a pain is too much?
Is it a bottomless wound, gaping
like the sun when the dark sky
ought really to be shroud of gloom?

Must it cut through every layer
of lost time blurring remembrance?
It will not scab over, it is forever
like all sunrises and all sundowns.

Those haunting eyes that follow him
from the picture resting on a wall
now peeled off its once bright colour,
is the shape of that unending heartache.

“I will cut my heart out before I forsake
you, madre querida,” he promised her
at his father’s deathbed. Like that bright
gaping wound in a naked, blackened sky,

it is a raw sunburst that makes her smile
on the stalking picture a piercing sneer.
How much of pain is too much?
Not as much as her silence even in pain.

---Albert B. Casuga

The white sky’s bright wound slowly scabs over. A groundhog’s head emerges from the hole under the bedroom, its eyes as bottomless as wells---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch prompt.

This is Poem 19 in my poem-a-day project marking National Poetry Month (April 2012).  Thanks to triggers found in Luisa A. Igloria’s “Heartache Ghazal” (which was her response to Dave Bonta’s The Morning Porch prompt and published in his literary blog Via Negativa) , our poetic collaboration continues. Both poets have largely encouraged this writer to top his poem-a-day work by more than 400 after a year and a half of collaboration. Ohio poet Hannah Stephenson is likewise owed for inspiring this writer to create poems out of triggers in her The Storialist, her daily poem blog.

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