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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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013



It has been some time since I threw a coin
into a fountain: I worry my wishes might
just come true. The last one was terrifying.

Did you ever wish for men to stop bickering
about how to achieve world peace, love,
and human dignity? The last one who did

got all his loincloths splattered with blood
gushing from gaping bullet wounds that must
have shattered his heart. Gandhi-ji fell.

Before him, another man of peace came
riding into old Jerusalem on a tired donkey,
and rode forsworn into the place of skull

where he promised a craven thief a place
in paradise before he moaned how his people
and his Father have forsaken him. Crucified.

On a good day, like this, on a Good Friday, too,
I look back to the skies, as that man on the tree did,
and see a sun glowing faintly through a penumbra

like a rusty coin at the bottom of a broken fountain,
and whisper a wish as would a perching whippoorwill:
May I find rest today, a little respite from myself,

And wish nothing for the lonely and the restless save
a quiet day humming a hymn of hope on a hammock,
and not the sour wine soaked on a hyssop branch.

—Albert B. Casuga


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