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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, August 6, 2013



There will be time, there will be time,/ To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet....---T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

If we only had time on our side,
we would play hammock games.
Remember those balls of yarn
we gathered into knots while she
puttered in her little herb garden?

How she would tear at her hair
finding them strung like cobwebs
across her ornately carved chests
in the room that smelled of camphor.
A mesh of rainbow strings, abuela!

I would plead for them to remain
hanging trellis-like until sundown
when the setting sun’s rays break
through the window’s bamboo slats
and cast eerie shadows on her bed.

Was it worth all the time we rued
as lost kite-flying hours, while she
held her cane at a striking distance
and barked at every giggle spent
away from unravelling those knots?

Here I am, on my hammock hour,
untwisting those lost threads now
still knotted in my old cold heart,
where I know I can still hear her ask:
have you laid all your strings straight?

---Albert B. Casuga
08-06-13 Mississauga


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