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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 25, 2014




What is your magnetic north?*

A mantle of oak leaves lifts with the updraft
like an unguarded skirt billowing to reveal
gnarled and spindly trunks, brittle leftovers
of the season’s turn, not yet rid of frost marks.

Nothing to look at from where I sip my tea.
Flapping vulture wings lend the fall wheeze
a healthier sound, their cackling a strangely
dismissive sneer as they fly towards tundra

where they might yet find carrion of seals left
after the hunt. Done with the hoarfrost, done
with the hollow whistle of the woods, done
with the walling-in poplar trees. Like nomads,

they fly north now to store meals heftier than
rodents and sparrows. Will they Occupy winter?



What is your magnetic north?**

Where we positioned our beds last spring,
She would be my north. She moved my bed
To the haunted study, cobwebbed now, sleep
Not coming by easy, wall-cracking snores
From my south are driving her silently crazy.

“Now. Now. Now. North. West. Please. Now.
Give me some peace and quiet. I shall share
Your bed before you salivate into deep sleep.”

Come to bed then, come now. Come now, Love.
I swear those words were the night’s screams
Not the pleading prayer I lisp quietly, slowly now.


04-26-14, Mississauga, Ontario

*NaPoMo Day 26 prompt offered by Norfolk VA poet Luisa A. Igloria **Prompt 26 by Luisa A. Igloria


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