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.

Friday, October 19, 2012




Mornings wake up with a start here.
From where I find myself brushing up
on counting in Chinese, I sip my tea
as often as a leaf falls, (no abacus handy).
A bright swath of cerulean sky revs up
a quick day—the scurrying of lorries
can only mean winter’s stocking is here.

Happens everytime. Mourning at high
noon, 9/11 families roar back home
to take up where they left off: Cut wood
for fireplaces, jar jam for the fall, clean
the heater filters, deliver the ripened
fruit to the food terminal, take the train
to the bursting schools, harangue nerds
to mind the socio-political situation,
lash out at rabid pols and sleepy solons
to pass an unemployment solution,
maybe consider filing the divorce papers.

A constipatedly harassed truck driver
squeezes an impolite blare from his horn,
yells murder at school bus drivers doing
sixty, sticks his lizard-like tongue at kids
chanting back:
Up yours, up yours! Gay!
Highways shape the taxpayer’s day.
Move on. Move on. Earn an American dream.

I sip my tea with a hint of a shrug; welcome
to the littered porch a yellow leaf landing
with a soft click. The brown one awaits its
turn as the twentieth, except I can’t count
that far in Chinese yet. Aieee…ya! Ni hao.




Hannah Stephenson said...

How interesting, this poem....I'm loving how different each stanza is, and where you end up.


Thanks, Hannah. The world out there continues with its business while we idly count leaves like we do the inevitable turn of seasons and years.