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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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013



For Lola Dora (Sra. Dona Teodora Flores Casuga+)
All, all of those shadows that people
my stories, abuela, have their home
in your sundown tales. My poetry sings
still with the rhythm of your voice, images
have been shaped before in the pictures
you etched with your face and fingers.
They will not be blurred by old minds
fumbling with remembrances, recuerdos,
abuela, of all that you left to sprout
in the moist and porous soil of our hearts
and the wild moss peats of our minds,
and every word from my pen is your word.

For Inang (Sra. Dona Sotera Martinez-Buenaventura+)
If you were here, I would know where you
are: you would be by the gaping window
where the statue of the Sagrada Familia
would be, lighting candle stubs, striking
matchsticks endlessly until all are lit,
and only the sound of struck flint remained.
Soon, you would be wandering among empty
rooms, calling out for me to put on my church
clothes for a walk to the Iglesia and pray.
However hollow those vaults were, or inert
those icons looked, the walls would vibrate
with your intoned oracion, and I’d feel safe.


*Culled from "Poesias Para Los Muertos", 10-01-11. If a writer thrives on a spiritual life, these two women, my patertnal and maternal grandmothers, were the wellsprings of that large portion of my life.

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