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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, August 10, 2013



(For All Who Have Loved and Lost)

A waif on beggarline throws his blanket over
the shivering man’s back when he gets caught
in the windchill unawares. The boy catches
falling flakes, the old man manages a toothy grin.

The doddering woman past her prime lifts
the wailing child across a snowpack while
trying to wipe off mucus from its runny nose,
and steadying herself from a sidewalk fall.

The half-clad farmer pushes the masticated rice
into the mouth of his infant son after chewing
it soft like most birds drop wrigglers into the beaks
of their twittering chicks frantic in teetering nests.

Yelping pups snuggle to nudge the canine teats
hard for milk curdled in withered breasts
that no longer swing from a thin and bony ribcage,
and the bitch blinks its bleary eyes in the dark alley.

One finds it when and where no one is looking
but it becomes a circus fare when a young warrior
gets himself crucified on a tree in the hill of skulls
spread-eagled and denuded defining love as love is.


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