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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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012



How much of this is punishment?
Where is the jewel wrapped in stone?
Would my Sisyphus escape Tartarian
Tedium, rolling itself to a boulder
Of sin, of fear and endless trembling?
There was another stone rolled away,
From a cave that could not bury love
Even as it was nailed to die on a tree. 

Which rock would I now cleave to?
Which promise? How many times
Must I roll downhill with this burden?
Why should I fall with his craven cross?
Is the absence of choice a birthright?
Or is it the fearsome fate of being alive?
On sundowns like this, I will not break
My silence, nor weep to beg for light. 

Without a whimper, without regret,
I will take my rock uphill or downhill,
Pare it until it becomes the river pebble
That must one day crack downstream
Like a wounded oyster birthing a pearl
From the dirt of an abandoned quarry,
Like this place, this injured home,
This Earth, this leftover dungeon of fear.  

On the death of days like this, I kneel
Before a cliff that can only take me down.
Like the tedium of sunrises and sunsets,
I steel myself into a still point of hope.



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