My photo
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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


(For Louis Martin Casuga-Lalonde at Six)
1. Wiping Him Dry
Grow like the creek, as did this wisp of a boy
rising from the water, hallooing:
Look, abuelo, I can dive, I can swim!
He wiggled his salva vida floating to the edge,
his face toward the bright blue sky: I am good!
As all grandfathers would, I said: You are!
Oh, you are, my boy. And while I wipe you dry
after this dousing frolic, I run my hands over
your body, cleaning it of any tinge of dry clay,
loathe to think that if I were shaping you
from the mud East of Eden, I’d want you pure,
unalloyed, a cherubic imp of a teaser, a laughter
tickled out of a dream, a pure delight, and clean.
2. Like the River
Under his breath, he also lisped a wistful
plea to the walls around him or whoever
could hear an old man’s prayer:

Please, let him build them strong, and not
destroy; and for my
nieto jovencito
, to never
forget that there are grander castles in the air.
Please, let him grow like the creek,
when freed of silt will turn to clearest blue.
O, let him flow like the river and find his sea.
3. Yet Another Robot at Six
He would build them with empty soda cans,
recycled wire, parts unknown until they move.
Look, abuelo, a robot! Whence come this love
for all things foreign to this dotard askance
about why little lads like him would prattle
about apps and some such instead of apples?
He blew the candles on his pumpkin cake,
I bet he wished for yet another robot kit
and another program of games on his Ipad,
head bowed before yet another gizmo lit
on a screen, a praying stance for this lad
who would grow up, I bet, with his little head
a tad forward and leading him like earlier
kin in some stone age, a neo-Neanderthal,
peering at an Iphone, an Ipad. Nowhere else.
June 20, 2013. Mississauga

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