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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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



 Simeon, look at the sky, its script of rain/Is part of it somehow, the Christmas vow.--- Simeon Dumdum Jr., A Ghazal for my Friends at Christmas.

At sundown, when the sun sets, the Christmas vow
Is clear on the script of rain---a covenant of rainbow.

Après Le Deluge, it was not the vulture sent down
To mark the end of the covenant on the rainbow. 

The dove brings the rain script down from an ark
Now stuck on an Ararat of some promised rainbow. 

It will be gone before it comes, the curse of living
Without the meaning behind the façade of a rainbow. 

There will come from the wilderness of spite taking
Shape in the indigo of that covenant on the rainbow, 

Dark, murky, unclean in the cerulean pad of the sky,
An arch with warm colours as vowed by that rainbow. 

I shall be with you until the consummation of colour
Upon the stark promise of that convenant rainbow: 

I will be with you, forever and forever; I will be with you,
Mother, at the end of the covenant-coloured rainbow. 

You are with me until the dying of returning swallows,
But how much have we pledged instead on a rainbow

In this stormy weather, in the expanse of a blue sky?
To bring us all to the house of the covenant rainbow, 

The Child warmed by the donkey’s feed in Bethlehem
Will be our promise indelibly inked on that rainbow. 

He will still be there holding the hues of the covenant
with you, forever and forever, at the end of the rainbow.



Saturday, December 15, 2012



(For the Children of Newtown, Connecticut)

 Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not:
for of such is the kingdom of God. --- St. Mark ch. 10 v. 14, the Holy Bible

“No,” he screamed, there was no one at his porch
Except the empty tea cup on his littered writing table,
“This is too senseless to be silent about or to be brave
about, no face of courage can take this! I won’t!” 

He will break his promise to meet every gory mayhem
Slaughtering children with the silence and stillness
His father said was the surest manner of disarming
Even a juramentado, a deranged reaper for Allah. 

Killing for one’s god is a talisman that will not work
With silence, but this was a young boy mowing down
Frenziedly scared toddlers hardly weaned off pacifiers.
“Personality disorder,” the dumbstricken explain away. 

Exposure to a culture of violence, the one that inures
Even the brightest lads and giggling lasses to the gore
Of war and murder most foul, savants of madness say,
Their wrists limp on tall tumblers of champagne.

He stared at the  horrified faces of puling children
Beelined to a sanctum, rushing armed men skipping
To the rhythm of combat, teachers-mother-hen-like
Clucking for their wards, wailing tots, under tables. 

The idiot box manages to capture purely idiotic,
Inhumanly stupid caterwauling of pundits, governors,
And every common barber shop jerk crying for a lynch,
Begging for a posse of armed mothers and fathers. 

But the geek with a mushroom head will not give them
The pleasure of the hunt. He killed a score of innocents
Much like the disembowling of holy innocents of yore
Ordered by an insane bastard out to slay a rumored 

Messiah, one born in the cradle of wealth, an heir
To a King David whose throne will outlast all rulers
Who seat on clay or rotten stubbs, and offed himself.
Could he have guessed, instead  one born in a stable?  

A sovereign on a donkey trotting to the hisses
Of eunuched holy men when his time came to fulfill
The raves of the man yammering about a man-god
Come to restore a paradise? His head ended up on a platter. 

He, only he, will be able to sleep well tonight, all nights,
Even; he knows these abattoir of butchers in a posh,
Clean and well-lit postcard village, these cold slicing
Of throats in all the war zones of a beleaguered planet,

The quartering of children in Goma, Congo, genocides
In Syria, Palestine, Maguindanao, Virginia,  Oregon,
Aurora, Jerusalem, Egypt, Norway, the pogroms
Of a larger-than-life midget revered still as Comrade Stalin, 

The ovens of syphillitic Hitler, the daily dose of infanticide,
Mothers strangling their listless children in bathtubs,
Fathers killing all their trailer-sheltered encumbrances
To spite the hell out of cuckolding wives, Adam Lanza, 21, 

Blasting his mother’s head off---a rehearsal as a prelude
To the slaughter of the Connecticut innocents, suicides
Of love-starved ingénues clutching Facebook taunts
Of naked pictures and faceless phalluses. He knows. 

And he will, after today’s silent scream, meet all disasters
With stoic silence and stillness, because they are cries
In the Wilderness, not far from the edge of these woods,
That a Second Coming is ripe. He needs to hoard all 

This anger, this unyielding hatred, this wordless suffering
As starkly honest as the whines of a copycat Job, will be
Transformed into the purest of Love, the one weapon left
To smite all who mock the descended avenger with his sword, 

His terrible swift sword, wielded with light born of the one
Love that shall tie all into unity again, body into spirit,
The essential joy of soaring with the godhead reigning
Forever with the many who have melded into One. 

E pluribus unum. His body is ours, His blood runs through us.
At last, he will recognize from the throne of his little porch
How men shall all be part of a cathedral of thought, of Love,
An unbreakable Unity full of silence and stillness brought
By Him/Her in a long-expected covenant promised on a rainbow.
Mississauga, December 15, 2012


Thursday, December 13, 2012


(Click on image to zoom in on Text)


Sometime in the gloom of this dread, a hill
of burning sand replaces the stable manger,
and Somalia’s desert becomes a new world’s
Bethlehem. In its famine zones, a limp baby
struggles to stay alive. Minhaj Gedi Farah,
starves under a mosquito net in the world’s
largest refugee camp, “even his mother
has given up hope that her baby boy, Minhaj,
would survive,” reports the Associated Press.  

But magi and shepherds alike did not need a star
to lead them back to his tent. No gold, no myrrh,
nor incense gifted, just a mix of Plumpy’Nut,
AP calls a “cute name for vitamins and minerals
saving Minhaj. Three packets a day of the peanut-
based paste help a child gain up to two pounds
in a single week. It doesn’t require cooking or
refrigeration...Today, Baby Minhaj is thriving,
growing from seven lbs. in July to 18 pounds
in October, 2011.”  

And our world will not give up, on all
that is innocent. Not this boy, not all Earth’s
boys. No massacre will cut them down again,
nor troops to slay them in brutal Kenya camps.
There will be time enough for a Calvary, but not now,
nor Minhaj need be a redeemer. Mankind in his tent
will not be taxed for the sturdiest crucifying lumber,
all they need are 21 packets of Plumpy’Nut at $10,
and a deluge of epiphany: they are this brother’s keeper.




Monday, December 10, 2012



No light shines that is not itself a road/ No other door opens except in dreams.---From “In Dreams” by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.


This fire must burn fiercely to build the road
that ends at the foundling’s darkened cavern.  

Blind eyes will discover how only hearts can
find where the flame has been lit to crackle  

through endless nights of endless dreaming
for an advent that is also the final leaving:  

How long will this journey take to open doors
that will take him in? Why are they all closed?  

A peasant woman and her bewildered lover,
huddle around a trough of dampened feed,  

and cannot hear their fears drowned by hope
that their wildest nightmare of an unborn  

child would be a prince of peace whose light
is all he could offer the wounded and the poor.  

For these afflicted, the light will all be roads,
to his kingdom where dreams are also doors  

to a bountiful garden carved from twin hills
of birth and crucifixion. Bethlehem is Calvary.