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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.

Friday, April 18, 2014



(For my wife, Veronica, and my Mother, Nenita+, who also had only one son each, Albert Jr. and Albert Sr.)

When we lost you at that Jerusalem festival,
For three days and found you at the Temple,
I knew you would give me more impatient kicks,
This time not in my womb, this time on a cross,
This time from your most cruel embrace, my son,
A carrion of the proud lad who said: Mother,
I am not lost, nor mad, I am about my Father’s
Business. O, if he were there, your father Ioseph,
O, if he were here now, he still would not weep.
He would be mindlessly angry that you had me
Worry, and that now, now, you have me weeping.
What is left for me to worry over? What joy
Would you have brought me despite father’s
Annoyance? When you brought me to banquets,
Did you not make me smile like a worried mother
That water would not turn to wine however drunk
You were? Did you not make me beam with pride
When you saved that harlot from stones? Cast
The first stone if you were sinless, you had dared
The Pharisees who did not know how good she
Was for the rich Sadducees who lusted for her,
But you knew; you, who would not tell me much
About your disciple Mary, now hurt and crushed
That you must leave her mocked in the shadow
Of your having kept the company of even thieves
Whom your Father will keep with you in paradise.
O, my Son, my Iesu, is this death also your Father’s
Will? Is this also why he is taking you from me?
Why then did you cry in desperate despair: Abba,
Father, why have you forsaken me? Let me know
How I should understand how you could regain
A lost paradise when you would no longer be here?
O, my son, why have you also abandoned me?

04-18-14 Mississauga, Ontario


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