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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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014




(For Israel and Palestine at War on the Days of Eid)


...No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice/...Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehoods/ Teach us to care and not to care/ Teach us to sit still/...Our peace in His will/...And let my cry come unto Thee. ---T. S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday”


1. Voice, Love, Peace


That would have required a lot of fences,

a lot of denuded trunks, fallen trees even.

You would have to stare at backyards

green with revived spring grass, risking

life and limb. “Is this your graffiti? Is it?”


But the three words I stepped on, walking

on the trail, in dotard cadence: Peace, Love:

they were temple bromides. But Voice?


They were sprawled on the grime, like

drunken derelicts, one did not have to look

but be accosted by their urgent demand

on winding asphalt: Peace. Love. Voice.


Like four-letter words, they surprise one

whose habit is to look down in timorous

gait, troubled by daily lust, greed, and lies

dreading mayhem from a gaze at the sky.



2. Back to the Hill of Skulls on Glen Erin


I step on these words graffitied on the sprung

trail. I mutter: Peace, Love, Voice. I did not fall.


He did. Got lashed.  Mocked. Kicked to stand

with his burden, he insisted on loving even his

enemies, even those who cried: Crucify Him!


On my quaint walk through a new spring on

Glen Erin trail, I shrugged the lingering cold off

and whispered: Here is my empty heart. Occupy it.




*Two of the five poems featured at The World Peave Poetry Festival in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada


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