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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


“Canadian soldiers come home from Afghanistan. ---Today’s Toronto Star headline, 03-19-14

Photo by Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images From the LOOP, Site

”No one to meet this lad. So the giggling stranger kissed him. ---Caption of Kiss photo.

She said he looked alone and bewildered:
Wives and children kissing their husbands,
Dads crushing stiff hair on yammering boys’
Mohawk heads, a weeping mother hugs
Her plump lass back home from the Marines.
No one to meet this lad, she muttered. Why?

There was that picture when WWII ended
With an Allied victory sealed with a kiss;
That’s what will be remembered. Always;
Not the Nagasaki and Hiroshima massacre
With Enola Gay’s monster bombs. The Kiss.
The lad and lass in a tango swoon. The Kiss.

Weakly wiping his now scraggy shaved chin
After a swig off his canteen (buddy at war),
He leapt to catch her who jumped wantonly
Into his arms to give him the Afghan Kiss
That will now be a pin-up of peeping gigglers,
Each lad wanting to enlist in the next war.


“My boys ain’t comin’ home.---Iqaluit Dad

On my hammock hour, I watch shadows
jump off my porch walls, talk with them,
and watch them grow tall at sundown.

Dusk and the quick sunset swallow them
into a night I hope would not be bivouac
cold. My boys are too young to be cut down.

I don’t need medals or a flag if they come
home at all—there’s a law that says I could
not use them flags for blankets on cold days.

Nor give them medals to their dear mother
who has gone ahead to happy hunting grounds.
Medals? I’d rather have tin mess cups for mugs.




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