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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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Umberto y Edo de Brazil

--- It rained at the Grand Anse beach in Grenada.
Writer’s Notebook on the Cruise

Hurriedly, furtively putting on her top piece,
she looked triumphantly nubile coming out
of the make-do change nook of towels held
by her Umberto to hide her from sparse beach
traffic gaze --- gauche stares from a hawker
of fun would have been de rigueur in Rio
when they were young, but she must now
twist and turn to cover a sag-here a bag-there:

El triumfo de vejez! Nuestra juventud perdida !
Aiee, que lastima ! Aiee, hermosura perdida !

She would have wept, but the Viejo beside her,
is once again her swain, coaxing her: Venga!

is all she needed to rush into the lapping waves.
Venga! Queridisima mia! A lass again, halloing
again at the water’s bite:
Come, Umberto! Come!

But the mountain cloud bringing the first rain
after a searing summer has overtaken her glee:
Lluvia! Lluvia! She cried, bewailing the sudden
leeward burst. Bolting out of the roiled sea,
no longer Venus-like, she scampered --- her
caballero in tow --- to the thatched shed,
pell-mell shelter from an abrupt summer rain.

Was it the surprise of a wayward downpour
stopped her from her frolic in the sea?
Or was it the intruding pall ruined her mark
of the sun, gone from the sky, gone from the sea?
Lluvia! Lluvia! She warned anyone who cared
to listen --- the beach frolic rolled unabated.

Under the windblown shelter, she asked him:
Por que? Dime, amor mio, por que hace llover
cuando estamos contento con poquito alegre?
Con poquito de luz del sol ? Con tiempo poquito?

He shrugged as he shook the water off his ears.
Put your clothes on, Edo. The rain won’t stop,
might have been what he wanted to say when
she asked: Why must it rain when all we need
Is a little sunshine? In such a short short while?


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