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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, August 27, 2012



A condition of complete simplicity/ (Costing not less than everything)---Little Gidding, The Four Quartets, T.S.Eliot

 Cocooned in a condition of utter simplicity,
 the silkworm will not stop oozing out its tapestry
 onto the point of death which is also its beauty.

 How much beauty can be eked out of pain?
 Like the hurt bivalved flesh of the grimy oyster,
 would the papillon wings glisten like a pearl?

 But this one is spun out of patience: there
 must be radiance out of a cocoon’s dark
 confines. It can only break into mobile light.

 Colour the mariposa green, would that matter?
 Dye the silk out of its consumed gossamer nets,
 would that stop its flying out of a crude beginning?

 Arrested from its final transfiguration, the worm
 turns and it is on a table–the grub of culinary
 quintessence! Quite like an earlier challenge:

“Eat of my flesh, drink of my blood. This covenant
 shall not be broken. I will be with you again when
 the radiance of this goblet dims into a eucharist.”

 A condition of simplicity? Bear beauty and perish?
 Offer an unending dream in a kingdom, and be slain?
 The tale of the supreme sacrifice is also immolation.

 What does it matter that I die then, if I flew out
 of a trellis like the monarch butterfly, that started
 as a wormed-out silkworm then food for the hungry?

 I would be the worm, the injured mother pearl,
 the crucified madman who asked that his flesh
 be eaten, his blood quaffed, and live forever.

 Beauty is an omen. Destroy this vessel of clay,
 and it can only spill the reddest of wine, the
 stoutest of ale: a dangerous promise of eternal life.

—Albert B. Casuga


Friday, August 24, 2012



Bright sweeps of sudden light from trucks on the road; arcs of memory on a more interior windshield. From “Reversed Alphabet of Rain” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 08-23-12

 All he really must do now is mine those quarries
 of memories, like bauxite, lining the silent boulders
 inside burrowing caverns. They still glisten, these
 cracked stones. Briefly. But he was an innocent lad
 from the lowlands then, he counted them like marbles.

 He saw those stones again on a slow cruise from the city
 where on deck he could see the sea and sky conspire
 to eat the sun, a gem still there. Scouring those lime
 mountains in Les Baux, he shook his trembling finger
 at the source of metals that shaped the monster planes
 that burned his playgrounds with napalm bombs.
 When he was young.

—Albert B. Casuga


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


From that cruise to Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Cannes, Provence, Avignon, Monaco, Monte Carlo, and back, I realize a lot of citizens from the "so-called European countries gripped by austerity" (Spain, Italy, Greece) are all over the cruise ship carousing, drinking expensive reds, and not touched at all by "austere living". Proves my point. Drink and be merry, tomorrow, you either have a hangover, or a marker in some cemetery. 

I am back, am I not? 

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Yep, them ol' bones need a break. No I don't mean for them to be cracked, just a little r&r as my love goddess terms it. Hope it will really be rest and recreation. (:--P)
Hasta la vista, A la prochaine, Ciao!

Friday, August 3, 2012



None will be/ exempt from ruin and devastation— so quit behaving like/ you’ll have a golden ticket out. Heed the poet who points out/ zen in the onion’s innermost chamber: stripped clean, empty.---From “Ecology”, Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 08-02-12

There must be a way of finding out the core
Of what makes a man a human being.
Stripped of its whorls, the onion is empty.
Stripped of his words, can man survive?

Is language then a licence to his being here?
Will it save him from being forgotten there,
Like pebbles dropped along the shore,
As landmarks of how far he has walked?

When washed away by evening tide, all
Footprints cannot be retrieved by palaver,
They, too, are lost like the stone markers
On the shore, they have never been there.

Trees talk with the rustle of their leaves,
Homo sapiens with a language of sounds
That defines his world, paints his reality.
When sounds are gone, would sense also go?

Everything in its time will be nothing,
Save the language he shaped his time with,
The signs will remain, their meanings, too.
It is his only shield against his final ruin.

---Albert B. Casuga

Thursday, August 2, 2012



 with these little steps will change
 her little world. A vast expanse
 awaits her: there are fields of joy
 and beauty, the flowers there
 will want her to gather them.

 But there will be other fields she
 must not cross: her dainty feet
 will find mud, the muck and mire
 of a spoiled world, some places
 I pray she will never cross without

 this old man building clean bridges
 she would run through to get her
 to her bright and happy home---
 all that have been wished for her
 by all those who love her, who
 cherish her quiet, shining promise.

---Albert B. Casuga

*Youngest grandchild Marie Clementine Casuga-Lalonde was at a soccer field with her parents and siblings when she strode her first walking steps. This is a milestone, all right, she will be more "active" than the usual easy-to-babysit-baby, and she's only all of 10 months plus!