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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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014



It’s 36C outside, let’s take that deferred swim at the resort’s pool.” She said. “Yup,” he said. But the water was still cold from the cold spell in Nevada. He cursed.

 “We have known them all already,
known them all”. Thus, we measure lives,
abandoned hopes, laments, even sighs.

We have heard them all already,
the prayers that remain unanswered
behind bolted doors, darkened rooms.

This anguish over being here and not
here is all too familiar, but like innocent
children, we still look toward times

when we eagerly open holiday boxes
and find surprises no longer there,
but manage to smile anyway, bottle up

a “No thank you,” and move on to other
boxes, only to find feigned familiar
joy that those are still the wanted toys.

Like a dip in the pool on a beastly hot day,
that turns out like a party-pooper’s retreat
from a douse of frozen water in a cold pool.

Thus ends a holiday in a pretend paradise,
in this defiant desert of dystopian dreams:
Not with a sigh of bliss, but with a shiver.

Like uncertain weather marked in the sky,
we move on, unchartered, with the flux,
like all things plotted must begin then end.

—Albert B. Casuga
04-09-14, Las Vegas, at the Elara

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