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.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


An unfinished poem for Thanksgiving. An attempt to include digital language, for which I am grateful (as one of the obscured or "disguised" gifts.)
Escribo para vaciar mi mente y llenar mi corazón.--- Paulo Coelho


Vacate this tormented eye
that stares at savaged lives,
and fill all that is empty
in this arid and old heart
with what I pray is still left
of that spark that makes me
call myself a standing man
unbowed and still unafraid.

Thank you, for all these gifts,
Seignor, however obscured
they have become in disguises
I will try to understand. Merci.

That I may finally fill my heart
with the vigour of this Mind.
Salamat. Namaste. Shalom. <3 font="">

--Albert B. Casuga

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Photo by Philippine Artist Bobby Wong Jr.


So we reverberate to each other’s calling: /silence is a desert hung with midnight stars, /the thrum of quiet waking. Somewhere a wing, /rippling air that the other breathes. --- From “Charms” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 8-27-11

It is what we have absently forgotten,
that we still abide in a strange gyroscope
of happenstance of giving and taking,
of coming and going, visions and revisions.

Or there simply is nothing to remember
from the darkness whence we came except
the pain of pushing or pulling out of a hole
into a yet more fearsome cave of struggle.

Is it dread then that is left in our satchels?
This journey has neither maps nor diviners
to guard against a free fall into an abyss
of irreducible gloom and cold desert silence.

Is this dome of midnight stars also a strum
for a quiet waking into a space of loneliness?
Or are these spaces our own echo chambers
where ripples of our calls are heard by others?

Somewhere a wing roils the air that the other
breathes. Somewhere the tremulous murmur
of a prayer is answered. Somewhere an old
question is asked: Am I my brother’s keeper?

---Albert B. Casuga


Friday, November 8, 2013


A Time Online picture


1. Who has seen the Wind?

 Always the uninvited guest, the wind
pushes through the porch into the house,
and scatters leaves collected in its wake,
like a shower of crackling seeds freed
from pods that do not come from here.

Strange, how it barrels through rooms
disturbing spiders spinning webs busily
before the storm ebbs, safety nets strung
among sepia-tinted pictures on the wall.

What did it miss along the way? Winds
as interlopers are blind levellers–the rich
run for supplies as quickly as the poor do.

In New York, as in Virginia, the howler
brought in the flood, and left laughing.

2. The Strongest Typhoon on Earth

Yolanda, like the woman scorned,
Brought down wrath as wrath can:
Leap-frogged from south to north
Wrecking the City where Imelda
Rose from the sea like a Venus d’Milo
And now must weep over a mayhem
That will not spare even the loveliest
City that she swore to love but left
In favour of a city in the North
Whence a lover grew tall as hillocks,
Only to be pursued by this Yolanda
Bitch that threatens more wreckage
Before it gets to Viet Nam to flog
Unrepentant Viet Cong, Viet Minh,
“Viet-erans” of an American-exported
War that came as the Earth’s wildest
Wind that will also leave laughing---
An untamed howler that must sink
The reincarnation of the lost continent
Of Lemuria, once magical. A relic now.
A relic of the pillaged mendicants
Who have learned in turn to pray.

11-08-13, Mississauga


3. End Times? It is here. Stop It. It is late.

On its tail is another wild wind to mop
Up, where the living would rather be dead
Than build sandcastles on islands gobbled
By the hungry sea that must claim dominon
Over the Ring of Fire, and Mother Earth
Can only yell: Damn it, why puncture the sky,
To heat her armpits, with radioactive leftovers
Of Hiroshima, and the galloping horsemen
Of an unbridled Fukushima paying back
The land of Enola Gay and the hangar of a dark
Dirigible, a Negro Saviour, whose Eastern name
Will not stop the death and dying of civilisation
In Atlantis and now the rigour mortis of Mu?

4. Beware the melting of the Arctic.

A Deluge comes. Only this time, we have no Arks
Nor Ararats to salvage all who hope to find
Another Blue Planet in an extended Univese.
No one has applied to be a Noah. They are all,
All retired and tired of saving a ruthless specie,
The homo viator whose journey brings nothing
But a discovery that he has lost the Love he had
For all the meek who shall inherit the Earth.

November 9, 2013, Mississauga


Monday, November 4, 2013



Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta,
Poet (1932 – 2010+)


...I regret to inform you that our dear Ophie Dimalanta passed away shortly before dinnertime in her Navotas home due to hypertension-related illness....she got out of the house, returned promptly because she was not feeling well. She died in her sleep. --- Nov. 4, 2010 E-mail from Wendell Capili, poet and University of the Philippines professor:

To die, to sleep; / To sleep? Perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub,/ For in that sleep of death what dreams may come/ When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, /Must give us pause.
--- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, William Shakespeare

The dreams must include a salon of jesters
Belting throaty ululations announcing her coming
To the party of outpouring angst and crippling blocks.

Are you all poets here? Yarn spinners maybe? Ah,
Sparrows wounded in flight bogged down by fear
Of rejection slips and rancid rancorous reviews!

She will touch them ever so lightly, giggling a little,
Having been there, flying, dying, having done that,
All figures waylaid on her poems’ wake bleeding.

Why write at all when raucously rabid living
Is raunchy enough for the sad and unfulfilled
Who find themselves eunuched by etudes and song?

The salon erupts into muffled moans and laughter,
Crowning its homecoming poet and doyenne,
Proclaiming life and love will trump poetry this time.

Are you all poets here? What rhymes tie you down
When verse and breath and beat must go on flowing,
Or perish with them entangled in death and dying?

A gaping satyr perched on a rock, waits and wails:
Monarch of dreams, lover of lust and life, Ophelia,
You have come home where poems have no dominion.


Mississauga, Nov. 4, 2010