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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 27, 2012



Don’t add my name yet to the names of the dead on the wall. Don’t carve their letters edged in gilt on a crypt.---Luisa A. Igloria, “That shore from which we first pushed off, how far away is it now?”, Via Negativa, 04-25-12

 When death and dying are lumped together
 as “kicking the bucket,” there seems little
 reason for a lachrymose ritual that will cost
 a lifetime’s nest egg. And yet, and yet.

 A send-off at sea is as good as any–one
 is flushed off the starboard to become part
 of whence life came, or where it ends. Debris.

 Do not send for whom the bell tolls, some
 tired man holding a ready bucket of waste,
 warned the unready, unprepared, or untidy.
 Inexorably, inevitably, the bell takes its toll.

 Like a confusing game, kicking the bucket

 is nothing but a tiresome waiting game.
 Let the jasmine bloom where they may,
 when they may; no one has yet come back
 to say if they, too, were enriched by manure
 from the overturned pail, nor say, when the day
 the game ends, they had no bucket of waste.

—Albert B. Casuga

This is Poem #28 in my poem-a-day project to mark National Poetry Month (April).

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