My photo
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, April 17, 2012


Photo by Franco Patricio, New Jersey, USA


Cool and overcast. The soft thump of a bird side-swiping a window. An ant walks with exquisite slowness up the side of the house.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch

Abuelo had a stock warning to the family cochero*
which was also his daily mantra: "slow down, hijo,
we are rushing." That was probably his pet peeve,
because he would walk  most times to town, white
gabardine suit and Barcelona cane, ramrod clean,
chin unnervingly up, eyes alertly espying greeters
from morning porches: Hola, primo, como esta?
Estoy bien, querida. Donde esta su esposo guapo?*

Conversation stalls, she casts her eyes down, exits
to a shuttered room, and waves him hasta la vista.*

Cool and overcast mornings like these prompt me
still to consider how quickly a sweet-bird of youth
perishes hearing whispers of furtive assignations,
quite like the fractured sparrow crashing through
the windowpane trying to snatch the bulky red ant
still exquisitely inching its way beyond the shards.
An Icarus to his Daedalus, I was enchanted by him
to adore all he stood for. I did not imagine myself
plummeting, even as he walked slowly away letting
my hand go when all I wanted was to hold on fast.

---Albert B. Casuga

* Abuelo,--Grandfather; Cochero--driver; hijo, son; Hola,  primo, como esta?--Hello, cousin, how are you? Estoy bien, querida. Donde esta su esposo guapo? ---I am well, dear girl. How is your handsome husband? Hasta la vista.---Till I see you again.

This is Poem 18 of my poem-a-day project for April (National Poetry Month) which was triggered by Dave Bonta's The Morning Porch post (epigraph).

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