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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.

Saturday, May 3, 2014



1. A Will O'The Wisp
They are not there. Wherever you find them,
they will not stay. Let them go, but keep
their mark. Quicker than a farewell kiss,
they run ahead of you and hope to throw
you another one from the shadowy depths
of yearning, of longing, of needing really.

With sunrise, does not the claw-like
shadow of the primrose stigma recede?
It is the yellow blossom turns the path
into a sparkling trail that will not be there
when darkness shrouds the valley. Touch
and go. They will not be there, these
songs you scarcely hear from this distance.

And your vesper question? What lessons
on grasping and letting go do these things
teach you? You cannot hold them down.
But they will haunt you until you learn
how to summon them when you need
memories to touch your face caressingly.
2. An Empty Table

Our memories have no floodgates
like rampaging floodwaters. Dams
are of little use here. They must spill.
Then their end ends without regret.

The call for the final act jolts us
like the frisson of a rising trill
from an ephemera, perhaps a dream,
that you have, indeed, returned.

But the passing of clear, lake-green
tea between us is an intermission
that is just that—a passing moment.
Like a quick tremor in my throat.

So little time. And your fingers must
yet again release my unwilling hands
from its fevered clasp, its grip under
an empty table full of carrion dreams.

Revised, 05-04-14


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