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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, April 13, 2012


(Click on image to Zoom in on Text)


Baby found alive after 12 hours in morgue.... “Mama, you came for me.” ---Toronto Star, 04-12-12 headline.  Associated Press report in the Star quoting a TeleNoticias interview .

And yet,/  night will not touch this cargo.---Luisa A. Igloria, “Fire Report”  Via Negativa

Bare hours between them happening,
Will it spell the rhythm of miracles?
The maw of a bay and its clean beach
Would have been a an easier grave
For a wayward plane soon jettisoned
By its airmen, but it fell on dwellings
Instead, razing homes and lifetimes,
But could not kill one baby in its crib.
No casualties, media reports around
The globe, not this child in his arms
As he chokes on his stuttered TV words:
Can anyone survive this helluva  fire?
The village folk quickly call it a miracle.
Children cut down in war need one, too.

Oceans away, where there are orchids,
Music, dancing, and wine, the gloom
Of doctors decreeing to quickly inter
What they pronounced a still-born child,
Rocked the stillness of a semana santa,
When from its wee coffin in the morgue
She cried in a tiny but jolting whimper
Only mothers can hear from their wombs.
When she fell to her knees at that vault,
Her mother said: “... as if she was saying:
“You came for me.” Te vuelva para mi.*
No, Luz Milagros, you returned to me.
Elsewhere, countless children will never
Go back to their villages. They cannot.

---Albert B. Casuga


Hannah Stephenson said...

What an incredible story. Beautiful poem.


Thank you, Hannah.