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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.

Monday, April 22, 2013


This is Poem #23 in my poem-a-day responses to the Big Questions to celebrate National Poetry Month (NaPoMo, Apeil 2013). What price life if it were merely a wading through the gentle streams of a lotus land?


The world is charged with the grandeur of God.—Gerard Manley Hopkins, God’s Grandeur
Like silt at the bottom of creek boulders,
wading against the current must be residue
of a proclaimed apostasy, a paradise lost,
somewhere East of Eden. But it was good.

There would be toil and a struggle for love,
and upon his progeny an edict of suffering
pain at the birth of all begotten offspring.
But does this act not bring exquisite joy?

What price life if it were merely a wading
through the gentle streams of a lotus land?
Why flaunt dominion over all that grows
or dies for these where nature is never spent?*

Let me shield my heart, hearth, and home
with all the strength and defiance I can hold.




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