My photo
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, September 30, 2015


MY POEM TODAY is for a friend who goes back to old haunts and finds there are memories that need to be purged of their pain. Where, what place do these come from? Where do they belong?


“Ring the bells that can still ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in” ~ Leonard Cohen

How far have you gone from all that you were,
little chipped stone from a hidden tributary,
little pebble that has yet to reach the bottom
of the well to hear its thump and come to rest?

How far, indeed, that you must finally beg
to be taken home? Where, what place, what
troubled spaces have you been all these years?
Bitter years, you say almost in descant candor.

Take you home? But where do you belong?
If I knew, if I could follow that map long
faded in your doleful heart that has dogged
every fickle chord from every pied piper—

If I could find every pied-a-terre you’ve been
that I might collect the shattered life pieces
left of your gypsy heart so I could remould
them to our heart’s desire, I would. I will.

Take you home. Prop you up, start you up
once again whence you came, where
your heart is not merely a sieve for sorrow
or pain, but where it is a fortress of care.

Monday, August 31, 2015


Why must one believe? How can one believe? Why believe in Life, Love, and Letting Go? Why and when must one make his leap of faith, or not at all?


When the torch of desire burns clean
you would have learned all there is to learn:

To give, Datta. To feel and care, Dayadhvam.
To own and control, Damyata.Therefore,

To love beyond all loving because it is pure
like the mother suckles her infant. Give.

To know when caring will make things grow
like the raindrops nourish but will not sting.

To have and to hold even when that lashes
irreducible hurts to weary hearts that care.

It is for this that, naked, we halloo in the rain,
Let it come! Let all desires fill our dry vessels.

Then we wake to the warm caress of the Sun
for the day is always new, the flower lovely.

Is not the rose lovelier when its thorns sharpen?
Does not the potter’s knife need its razor edge

to pare the lips of the wine jar and smoothen
its mouth that lovers may drink to full desire?

Bare your body then to its wild abandon, salve
it with the cool spring water now welled

from the earth, and open your mouth to kiss
the sunlight, defy the anguish. Never say, not yet.

Let it come! Let the leaves fall on this Upanishad,
because the leap of faith is never to say Not yet.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


MY POEM TODAY goes back to the sea for those old sounds, the old sights, so familiar with my growing up. I was an only son, and had sisters to protect. Like this young lad who has his sisters covered.


(For the Wee Ones at the Beach)

There is where here is:
Do you hear the murmur
Of the seawaves laving this shore?

It is the whispered caress of a mother
Come upon her little ones’ romping
Among the sundown shadows.

Where the flushed horizon
Meets the sea, a father’s
Face gleams ruddy 

With laughter’s heat
Still on his crinkled brow.

O, that this cacophony of sounds
Becomes the noise of a lifetime
This heart (from a distance)
Could hearken to, leap up to,
Velvety notes of a joie de vivre

That this place was built for,
Made of, remembered by:

Is this not, after all, the paradise
He thought was lost in time past
Visited now upon his dotage

When he hankers for joy,
A little life left while there is time?

The little shadows taunt the sea
To reach their limbs. Gleeful,
Their now surprised screams,
When touched at last, are drowned
By whimper of the ebbtide waves
That has turned to gentle laughter.


Saturday, August 15, 2015


MY POEM TODAY IS ABOUT WHEN LOVE IS MOST NEARLY ITSELF. These poems were prompted by the post of Thich Nhat Hanh on How to Love, Love and what it is, and what it does. (See my post in comment section below for photo of his book "How to Love")


"For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business/ ...Love is most nearly itself/ Where here and now cease to matter./ Old men ought to be explorers/ Here and there does not matter/ We must b...e still and still moving/ Into another intensity...From “East Coker, The Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot

Because we could not hold on to love
As it must be held, given pure and free,
We can only try to find what is most
Nearly itself, until we get to a still point.

Time does not define where that may be,
But it must linger in the mother’s breasts,
When she suckles her infant into a life
Where there is nothing but uncertainty.

How precariously certain is this mock-up
Of staying alive when it is impermanence
That most resembles it? A will-o’-the-wisp
Or a cruel mirage hounds us, it is there

But not here. Why love then, or live at all?
When uncertain weather is most certain,
Why dare fritter precious lifetime on this
Uncharted clearing? It is our yoke to try.

We will perish trying, measure dying by
How true our exploring must be, we
Cannot stop, we simply move into another
Space, with flaming eagerness or anger.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015


MY POEM TODAY was prompted by this post shared with me by poet Felix Fojas who suggested I write a poem on his grief. I said I would not be rid of the pain in my heart about this victim in the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki in Japan during WWII until I let it out in a poem. I asked him to write a poem, too. Here is "SAYONARA".


(For all the Children who perished from the Bomb)

I must hurry before they set it on fire,
I must hurry to where they built the pyre.
I must lay you gently down, my brother,
I must save you, Hiro, from some more pain.

There, beyond, Otosan waits for you, to carry you
To where Mother builds a little hut with tatami
Where you will all lie down to rest at sundown,
Where you are all far from the burning cloud.

Father and Mother will no longer be lonely.
Sayonara, Hiro, my little brother. I will not weep.

August 11, 2015, 70 years after the bombing of Nagasaki

Thursday, August 6, 2015


MY POEM TODAY IS A SET OF HAIKUS YOKED TO OBJECTIFY THE HORRIFYING EXPERIENCE OF THE USE OF THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB AS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR. On August 6, 1945, The American War Plane Enola Gay dropped the Atomic Bomb that the US invented and approved by President Truman to be dropped on the Japanese City to purportedly end World War II. What an end it was. Might this happen again?

(For all the Victims of War, Lest We Forget)
It was easy to
let the Big Boy go, Enola
Gay, it simply killed.

No, not just bodies,
But a country's broken soul:
Ruptured, killed, kaput.

Slay the children,
Memories cannot perish.
They remain alive.

It is sepuku,
Harakiri, and all that
too, stemming war.

Incinerate all
children and otosans too,
stop this damn war.

It goes on to kill
more in old Nagasaki
while damn Yankees cheer.

Hiroshima, we
still mourn for human cruelty
that came as a cloud.

August 6, 2015

The story behind LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt's image of a mother and child in the wasteland of 1945 Hiroshima:


Wednesday, July 29, 2015


MY POEM TODAY was prompted by Luisa Igloria's poem, "Where We Live" in Via Negativa.


(For all my Baguio Cousins)

The lilt of a noseflute over the farthest reaches
 Of the valley is an echo of sundown orisons
You long for; it is as true as the joy of a harvest
Dance, and laughter over who finds the longest
Marrow inside the butchered offering’s bones,
Or cull the biggest bowl of buffalo’s ligaments
That could float or sink into the vats of caldo,
Keeping us all warm and raring for jars of

While we sing or even howl carousing songs
Known only to this edge of the terraces where
Endless sunsets will mark the birth and rebirth
Of the fondest and happiest remembrances
Of a time gone by that villagers thought was all
That can be, and nothing more. Thus, a sacrifice.

You grew beyond those magical full moon rituals,
And discovered your own necromancy elsewhere
Where dead worlds are decreed alive again from
Your throne of songs and words, where finally
You feel the throb of these mountains in your
Veins and wish they were plucked like strings
In your heart and make you sing as the happy
Child that must return with the sun, again and
Again, in glorious bravura over these blue hills,
Unapologetic, and never merely a background.


*Caldo - Bone Soup; Basi - Sugar Cane Wine
A Photo by Bobby Wong, Jr., Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


MY POEM TODAY. The Great Grief continues.


Sunny and cold. A nuthatch lands on the dead cherry and begins a close inspection of the limbs, dapper as an accountant in his gray suit.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch

Almost invisible, he plods quickly through carrion
piled helter-skelter on the bulldozed hillock. Dead
heads, dead eyes, dead limbs, dead legs, dead dead
form wreaths on the gaping holes in graveyards we
now know: Kampuchea, Syria, Maguindanao, Somalia,
Libya, Uganda, Nigeria, Botswana, Russian pogroms,
Mein Kampf railroads to the Herr’s crematoriums,
killing fields: he was there, “been there, done that”,
his austere and remote account of his unique job:
counter of the dead, keeper of the books, master
of the morgues, “keep them coming while we could,
death shall have no dominion.” Nor a condominium.
Like the nuthatch, he walks with a limp in his dark,
gray suit, shrugs, leaps over the dead cherry and
stifles a long, deep yawn, and fixes his ledger pages.

— Albert B, Casuga

Sunday, July 12, 2015


MY POEM TODAY is still about the abomination being done on Earth---specially the killing of helpless and innocent children. Can heaven wait? Please?


Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. --- St. Mark ch. 10 v. 14, the Holy Bible

(For all the Holy Innocents)

Heaven can wait. Hell cannot. Cut them
like flotsam and weed-traps wrapping
bloated carrion beelining toward the sea.

What controls cannot contain, infanticide
could quickly provide: terminate them,
abort before a trimester germinates more
burden, stop the plague of life on a dying
planet. When echoes of children’s laughter
could no longer be heard in a muted valley,
elusive peace and quiet would be there,
no duties to rear, no grain shortages.

Wars will cease from an attrition of warriors,
old soldiers wither in unstocked barracks,
the draftees will stop coming. They have all,
all perished, in abortion camps, in famine
camps, in evacuation camps, in flood camps,
in garbage dumps and landfills, God’s Act
stamped across records: avoid insurance runs.

The boys have been massacred before
in the hills of Bethlehem, and the pillage
written about in Gospel language as the day
of the innocents, now los ninos inocentes.
Why can’t that be done again? No in vitros
will be possible, nor will it be allowed either.
No rhythm of swords. Just Syrian chemicals.

Do not copulate, depopulate, depopulate!
Pill boxes will bear this mandate. Absent
the plea for missing kids, more is better.
Children soldiers? What for? Kill. Be killed.
Hell will be heaven on earth, death is life.
Nothing will be everything. A Zero sum.
Wrath descended, Apocalypse has come.


Saturday, July 11, 2015


MY POEM TODAY CONCLUDES THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES I started to round up information on the dread of losing our world to extinction.


Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant --- Tacitus*

Either way, distance finds me
looking up or down this cliff,
an unlikely sanctuary I escape
into aching for scarce solitude.

How can one be alone among
the darting seagulls? Or silent
with lost memories jarred by
blasts of breaking waves below?

Here, gods revel in their haven
of whistling winds and clouds,
down there fishermen cackle,
chewing sargasso, guzzling gin,

while their thrown nets fill up
with flotsam floating around
moss-gowned boulders staring
at the sky like dark green eyes.

Is it this vast and empty space
between that scares me now,
when I should be murmuring
secrets to messenger winds?

I would scream unbearable
pain, holler down bitter anger;
I must share muffled grief,
loosen taut shackles of despair.

Either way, I find wailing walls
in air, water, rocks, and wind;
like Job I weep for peace, hope
to gently fall in the cup of palms

waiting to catch my carrion
now carved out of a shattered
world of faithlessness and fear,
unable to hold on to life or love.

On this piece of jutting rock,
have I not found the little place
where I could reach His Hand
quickly were I to fall, either way?



MY POEM TODAY is prompted by the series I have embarked on ----The Great Grief---to provide information on the dread of losing our world to the threat of extinction which scientists say has already started. With this poem, I re-establish an old friendship with a San Beda student, Daniel Javier Javier, an artist in his own right and a member of the popular singing group "The Apo Hiking Society."

(For Daniel Javier of The Apo Hiking Society) *

“You have your paintbrush and colors. Paint Paradise, and in you go.”---Nikos Kazantzakis

It would have to be a clear canvas, and all the walls a limitless
expanse of nothing. Yet. My easel could turn or slide in all
possible directions, my palette a saucer of rainbows.

These are my terms before I end up in a heaven or hell
not of my own making: that I would be a child again,
wild again, unbridled in conjuring my own quaint realities 

where realities match quicksilver dreams that shape
and reshape themselves however I fancy them; that I
would be free of the shackles of meaning or the ghosts 

of language as their intolerable gaolers in dungeons
where there are no keys nor clanging cell doors to open;
that I would have all the sunrises and all the sunsets

under my control, and all the days of my life kept neatly
folded in drawers I could open and reopen for change
when I itch from sticky underwear and not have to curse 

the padlocked building laundromat; that I would be free
at last to work at a burgeoning poem or a canvas whenever
I start one and not be constipated to leave it unfinished 

because days would not be long enough, word processors
not fast enough for my careening thoughts that must see
their tail and catch it while running to fill all empty vases 

of lives and loves as meaning of what meanings would
have been if my life meant anything at all. But does it?
Paint your paradise, I am told, and in you go. But I can’t.

---Albert B. Casuga

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


MY POEMS TODAY continue the series of The Great Grief that we might lose our world to the extinction that has begun.


There will be time, there will be time/ To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;/…And time yet for a hundred indecisions…---T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

1. It’s Not Too Late

It is not too late, there is still time.
Time enough to start all over again?
Time enough to peel off rotten edges,
Look new as cankered limbs, hearts
Of darkness lit by flickering starlight.
There will be time, and time to save
Even this hapless piece of wriggling
Worm, this man, this shadow of life
Creeping into sunlit shelters where
Crawling is de rigueur for the tenant
Of this place, this earth, this hole
From whose depths we late emerge
From shall so soon expire to claim
An orbit among the rent remains
Of body and soul and his illusions
Of immortality, his undying atoms.

2. It Might be Late

In what world will we find happiness
Again? In what place, a fresh start?
Like that moldy sweet potato left
In a crisper, there must still be a way
To save it for an evening’s repast
When this hunger gnaws no limits
In this suspected late night diner
And one orders something sweet,
Something filling while we wait
For brighter mornings in this desert.
But if that morning will not come.
What is there to save but saving?
It will be late then. Who will require
Bright days, cloudless skies, or joy?

---Albert B. Casuga

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


POST #1 for THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES. MY EARTH POEMS TODAY were prompted by a post shared by Sylvia Morningstar and I, "The Great Grief: How to Cope with Losing Our World." As I have expressed before and now must scream again: This is my Great Grief. I cannot overcome it.

(For all who Grieve, For Our Mother Earth Who Grieves in Pain)

 IN June 2010, "Coastal Poems" and "Asia Writes" published my "Earth Poems", an unlikely Cassandra of disasters plaguing the planet. In this week's dailies, news about subsequent disasters all over the globe seemed to have validated fears of the true wrath of days descending on man.

The floods in Pakistan, the infernal temperature rise and resultant forest fires in Russia, the floods, fires, and mud slides in China, the temblors in unpredicted points, the outcrop of drug-resistant viruses, microbes, and diseases compounding these disasters were capped by news that the glaciers on Earth's poles are melting and ocean waters are threatening to reclaim terra firma.

I rewrote the Earth Poems to update on these calamities, but I am not laying claim on prophetic powers nor putting one over Nostradamus. I almost want to derive so much wicked delight over the realisation that I could say at this point, "I told you so," but I would rather not. It is not funny, you know.

I clip with this revision the week's disaster news.
(Please click on the image to zoom in on the text and pictures.)


It’s when I’m weary of considerations,/ And life is too much like a pathless wood.../ I’d like to get away from earth a while/ And then come back to it and begin over.../...Earth’s the right place for love:/ I don’t know where it’s likely to go better. --- Robert Frost, "Birches"


If you marvelled at the dance of the Northern Lights
Counterpointing the smouldering plumes of ashen smoke
Billowing out of an Eyjafjallajokull cradled by melting glacier,

Or quietly scanned the opal horizons of Banda Aceh swathed
In a glorious sunset chiaroscuro before the waves claimed
Atolls and infants back into the rip tide roar of that tsunami;

If you were ambushed by an unforgiving temblor that rocked
Haiti out of its romping in reggae regaled beaches turned
Into common graveyards of carrion crushed under rubble;

If you have walked through cherry-blossom-strewn streets
And smiled at strangers’ hallooing: How about this spring?
Before rampaging twister funnels crushed hearths and homes;

If you have strolled and danced ragtime beat on Orleans’
Roadhouses rocking rampant with rap and razzmatazz
Before Katrina’s wrath wreaked hell’s hurricane havoc;

If you still marvel at forest flowers as God’s fingers
And espy sandpipers bolt through thicket cramping marsh
Before infernal flames crackle through Santa Barbara’s hills;

If you have stolen kisses and felt purloined embraces
In the limpid ripples of Cancun’s caressingly undulant seas
Before the onset of the curdling spill on the playa negra;

If you braved the stygian stink of Ilog Pasig and sang songs
While harvesting floating tulips, debris, or stray crayfish
For some foregone repast before it turned into River Styx;

If you have lived through these and now blow fanfare
For Earth’s being the right place for love or maybe care,
You might yet begin to accept that Mother’s lullabies were
Also her gnashing of teeth when you wailed through nights
When slumber would have allowed her love not tantrums
Of infants grown now and “quartered in the hands of war”:


How else explain the wrath of days descending
not into quietness but pain? Has she not kept her anger
in check for all the tantrums of the Ages: Thermopylae,
Masada, Ilium, Pompeii? Hiroshima, Auschwitz, Nagasaki?
Stalin’s pogroms? The death chambers and Holocaust trains?
Polpot’s killing fields in Kampuchea? Rwanda’s genocide?

Before it lured tourist trekkers, the verboten Walls of China?
The Berlin Wall? The Gaza Wall? Fences of n.i.m.b.y.
neighbours: India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, splintered
Korea, the Irelands shorn of the emerald isles, the fractured
United Kingdom where the sun has finally set on its Empire,
the still haemorrhaging American southern states crippled
and still unyoked from black history but seething now
from the African-American’s irascible entitlement ---

With Zimbabwe’s apartheid, Congo’s rapes, Ethiopia’s
hunger, Sudan’s ceaseless putsch tango, Somalia’s piracy
trade, tribal wars in Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya,
will blacks overcome someday, soon? Only if they, too,
would get munitions from Venezuela’s bottomless vaults
gurgling with black gold, aceite y petroleo, and Oil of Ages.
Lubricator of the war and killing machines, in Oil we Trust.


Has it gone any better? Love on this piece of terra infirma?
The man crucified on Golgotha preached love,
And he got killed.
Free the enslaved black man, he cried in Gettysburg,
And he got killed.
The loincloth-clad man asked for non-violent resistance,
And he got killed.
Another Gandhi later, the distaff side, asked for peace,
And she got killed.
The man got his people to the moon, and said:
Ask not what your country can do for you;
Ask what you can do for your country.
And he got killed.
"I have a dream." He said that equality of races will ring true,
And he got killed.
Exiled and returning to forge a conscience for his people,
He said the “Filipino is worth dying for”.
And he got killed.


Guam gets rattled with its strongest quake yet, sunken atolls
In the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand become sea again.
Landslide carnavals in Brazil? Uganda, too? Chile quakes 8.2.
Russia’s galloping inferno will reach Chernobyl in no time.
Radioactive fallouts imminent; its reach unimaginable. 

What’s 14 million homeless like in Pakistan’s deluge?
Wait till China registers its numbers after floods, forest fires,
Mud and muck will roll out its carrion in denuded hills
Like stuck-up slaloms sloshing down where snow will soon
Cover all – not grass on knolls – just searing deserts. Gobi.

“An earthquake is expected on the fault lines between Israel
And Palestine”, the breaking news announces another temblor.
Nazareth shrines will be closed to pilgrims. And Jerusalem?
Closed. Gaza? Construction abandoned. Problems solved. 

Like the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo drove the Ugly American
From the Philippine’s Clark Base where the legions
Of armed rebels, limp politicos, and clap-infected whores
Could not. Tomorrow, then, the Ring of Fire.


Has it gone any better? Love on this piece of terra incognita?
That’s when Mother shushed you back to sleep,
An impatient rhythm clipping away what should have been
A gently lulling melody from the Song of Ages:

 "Rock-a-bye, baby on the treetop; when the wind blows,
The cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle
Will fall; and down will come baby, cradle, and all."

The bough breaks, and you scream. Too late for that.

The cradle falls, she can’t pick it up. Exhausted and utterly
Spent, she mutters in her sleep: Spare the rod, spoil the child.

This is not a dream. The freefall is Mother’s little slip
When she could no longer hold you still, somnolence
Finally taking over, and your cri d’couer, a scream,
For help, for caress, for all the love gone from an empty room.

Tomorrow, if it comes, Mother will prop up --- backaches
Assault her waking days now --- will step into her plimsoll
As she would her dancing pumps, oil-soaked slippers.
She will slip and fall before anyone else wakes up.
She will yell: “Damn it, who spilled oil on the floor this time?”


POST #2 OF THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES. MY POEM TODAY. Mourning what's lost in the Great Grief moving through lands, water, wind, fire, mountains.


The golden light glistening on a black birch...
tells it all. How glorious can that summer sheen
be, seen against the mottled birch branches?

How crisply clear could a day be when cackles
of hungry fledgling crows remain unanswered?
Is it the aborted cry that restores a morning calm?

Have all the querulous puling benumbed this
valley into a lull not unlike that of a dead day’s
silence? Let them beg all they want. Let them cry.

Does anyone hear the starving orphan’s plea
cutting through these barriers of pine and poplar?
Do we hear them still erupting from Haiti’s debris?

Are there cankered mouths in Ethiopia waiting
for morsel? Can anyone locate the burnt slums
now floating with lilies and dog’s carrion in floods

all over the earth, from Manila to Missouri, from
China to India, from Brazil to temblor-struck Chile?
Do we still remember the children of New Orleans?

Their cri d’coeur have not stopped, but the crows
have ceased. I notice the bright day break through
the swaying willow trees, but my morning tea is cold.

—Albert B. Casuga

POST #3 OF THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES. MY POEM TODAY continues my series of The Great Grief poems highlighting the dread of losing our world to extinction.

(For all who care for Mother Earth's Pains)

A pile of fresh dirt at the woods’ edge: a groundhog has dug a den under the roots of a poison ivy-throttled maple. Will he itch all winter?—Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 11-23-11

Places shape us if we let them, like a dug den
at the woods’ edge would define the hog’s
winter under maple tree roots, poison ivy
wrapping its trunk at ground’s access points.

How much life can be eked out of this place
when boundaries throttle the explorer’s
spirit before one has started his exploration?
Not in my backyard, you don’t. Verboten.

There is poison in the air, water, dirt, or fire
from the bellies of the earth to the fusion
chambers of atomic energy plants; death
in coal-fired stations belching black smoke
to ozone distances, drought in global warming.
Seas gobble up atolls and resort isles; diseases
even sprout from infirmaries, and hospitals
become hospices for the dying and the dead.

Why must digging the dirt out of a den
start with the handicap of poison ivy?
Why plant genius and courage in a man
when his unbridled enterprise and struggle
can only lead to disasters that make burial
grounds his enduring, grandest monuments?

There is fresh dirt on the ground: An Occupier
will be buried among the tents in the park.
He could not restart his life; he took it instead.
Like that itch would do the groundhog in, I bet.

— Albert B. Casuga

POST #4 OF THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES: #4 We continue posting worldwide information on the dreaded loss of our world to the forces of extinction which sciences have pointed out are already taking place, here and now.

These are not only from abused environment, but also factors forcing from hearth and home some 60 million persons (at this count) worldwide because of WAR, INSTABILITY, POVERTY, REPRESSION & PERSECUTION, AND NATURAL AND MAN-MADE DISASTERS IN THE ENVIRONMENT.

IN ITS... July 5, 2015 WORLD dispatch, Canada's largest daily, The Toronto Star, published:

BEING FORCED FROM HOME FATE OF 60 MILLION WORLDWIDE. "The UN refugee agency shocked the world by reporting that almost 60 million people were now refugees or internally displaced. But for those in dozens of countries, it was not news. Although war is now a leading cause of relocation, other factors are forcing more people from their homes. As OLIVIA WARD reports, leaving is a hard choice driven by a variety of causes.


Syria's bloody conflict has sent more than 11 million people fleeing, and Iraqis are running from ethnic and religious violence.

But eight (8) wars in Africa including Central African Republic, South Sudan, Darfur, and northeastern Nigeria have displaced hundreds of thousands.

Yemen is in a civil war fuelled by foreign players. Eastern Ukraine remains a battlefield, and regional violence in Burma has forced thousands to leave.


 A number of countries are not officially at war but are teetering on the edge of all-out conflict with parts of their territories hit by outbreaks of violence and terrorism.

These nations include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Guinea, Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as fragmented Libya.


POST #5. OF THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES: #5. We continue posting worldwide information on the dreaded loss of our world to the forces of extinction which sciences have pointed out are already taking place, here and now.
The Toronto Star July 5 dispatch by OLIVIA WARD. (continued)


Extreme poverty has forced citizens to leave citizens to leave numerous countries. often coupled with corruption and violent crime.

Thousands of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Ecuadorans risk their lives to reach the U.S. Impoverished Bolivians and Peruvians head for Chile and Brazil. Millions of Filipinos flock to wealthier countries for work.

Those from Europe's southern and eastern flanks, including austerity-hit Greece, migrate to escape unemployment and destitution. As Puerto Rico's economy crashes, citizens are also fleeing.


 Crackdowns by Egypt's military-led regime have prompted many to leave.
So has Iran's persecution of suspected dissidents and members of religious minorities.
Irqi Christian and minority Yazidi minorities have fled persecution, as have China's Uighurs, Burma's Rohingya and Roma in Easter Europe. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have made life perilous for dissidents.

Russians have exited as Moscow represses dissent and punishes buma rights advocates and LGBT (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders) people. Homosexuals in 36 African nations fear [prison terms.

ENVIRONMENT (Natural and Man-made disasters)

Drying bodies of water. devastating storms and rising sea levels are making some regions unlivable.

From Inner Mongolia to Kazakstan, Africa's Sahel and parched Southern regions, to South Asia and even in the southern U.S., residents are finding it increasingly hard to survive, make a living or lead environmentally secure lives in prolonged drought and escalating heat. Thousands have died in India because of searing heat. Central Asia had some 200,000 antelopes perishing. Thousands of turtles have beached and died in Long Island, New York. Thousands of seals have beached in their natural habitats in the Artic regions to die. Fish have perished from algae poisoning. Ad infinitum.

Meanwhile, Pacific Islanders fear sinking in the sea.
(Click on Images to zoom in) AFP/Getty Images/File photos

POST #6.MY POEM TODAY is POST #6 0F THE GREAT GRIEF SERIES on the dread we might lose our world in the oncoming extinction.


If you braved the stygian stink of Ilog Pasig and sang songs
While harvesting floating tulips, debris, or stray crayfish
For some foregone repast before it turned into River Styx;
---IF: Earth Poems, Asia Writes Featured Poem, A. B. Casuga, June 2010

Five or six juncos at a time flutter down
to drink from the dark water of the yet
unfrozen stream covered by their lilac perches.
Elsewhere in the shantytowns of Haiti,
children jump into murky canals---
what’s left of them unburied by debris---
swim with the flotsam and carrion of dogs
and carcasses of swine felled by temblor.

Their raucous laughter and irreverent
hallooing mock UN relief workers mixing
purifiers, quinine, chlorine, into tanks filled
with dark water to supply the infirmary
nearest the canals with drinking vats
for the sick and dying, cleaning liquid
for strewn sputum, faeces, excreta galore,
and at end of day dark water for the
naked boys and prancing girls to swim in
with the floating carrion and lilies of the marsh.

The trill of snowbirds fluttering down
to drink from the dark water covered
by their lilac perches are dirges elsewhere
in the dark water canals of a wounded Earth.


POST # 7 IN MY "The Great Grief" Series. MY POEMS TODAY are a continuation of my posting information and realities about our dreaded loss of our world to extinction which is now extant here and now.


Howler 1. Who has seen the Wind?

Always the uninvited guest, the wind
pushes through the porch into the house,
and scatters leaves collected in its wake,
like a shower of crackling seeds freed
from pods that do not come from here.
Strange, how it barrels through rooms
disturbing spiders spinning webs busily
before the storm ebbs, safety nets strung
among sepia-tinted pictures on the wall.
What did it miss along the way? Winds
as interlopers are blind levellers–the rich
run for supplies as quickly as the poor do.
In New York, as in Virginia, the howler
brought in the flood, and left laughing.

Howler 2. The Strongest Typhoon on Earth

Yolanda, like the woman scorned,
Brought down wrath as wrath can:
Leap-frogged from south to north
Wrecking the City where Imelda
Rose from the sea like a Venus d’Milo
And now must weep over a mayhem
That will not spare even the loveliest
City that she swore to love but left
In favour of a city in the North
Whence a lover grew tall as hillocks,
Only to be pursued by this Yolanda
Bitch that threatens more wreckage
Before it gets to Viet Nam to flog
Unrepentant Viet Cong, Viet Minh,
“Viet-erans” of an American-exported
War that came as the Earth’s wildest
Wind that will also leave laughing---
An untamed howler that must sink
The reincarnation of the lost continent
Of Lemuria, once magical. A relic now.
A relic of the pillaged mendicants
Who have learned in turn to pray.


MY POEMS TODAY ARE POST #8 IN MY "The Great Grief" Series of information and realities about our dread of the loss of our world to the extinction that is being predicted to consume all life on Earth which is now here and now. Here are Poems 3 and 4 of the Howler Poems. "End Times" and "The Deluge Reprised".


3. End Times? It is here. Stop It. It is late.

On its tail is another wild wind to mop
Up, where the living would rather be dead
Than build sandcastles on islands gobbled
By the hungry sea that must claim dominion
Over the Ring of Fire, and Mother Earth
Can only yell: Damn it! Why puncture the sky,
To heat her armpits, with radioactive leftovers
Of Hiroshima, and the galloping horsemen
Of an unbridled Fukushima paying back
The land of Enola Gay and the hangar of a dark
Dirigible, a Negro Saviour, whose Eastern name
Will not stop the death and dying of civilisation
In Atlantis and now the rigour mortis of Mu?

4. The Deluge Reprised.
(Beware the melting of the Arctic).

A Deluge comes. Only this time, we have no Arks
Nor Ararats to salvage all who hope to find
Another Blue Planet in an extended Universe.
No one has applied to be a Noah. They are all,
All retired and tired of saving a ruthless specie,
The homo viator whose journey brings nothing
But a discovery that he has lost the Love he had
For all the meek who shall inherit the Earth.



Thursday, May 7, 2015




(For Marie Clementine)

 1. Sundance at Sauble

Do you hear that rhythmic titter
from the ebbtide, my wee lass?
Sundown waves mimic whistles,
hisses or calls of “encore”:
an unbridled adoration, if you ask,
but I might just be bantering
about old enchanted mortals
who have long asked whence,
when, how, why, or what haven,
have you come from to shower
this grace on our little lives?

 2. A Beau Geste

Dance, wee lass of all hearts.
It is still the loveliest beau geste
to this sun and sea and stars
that have claimed you their
own sweet child, their bright
pulsing star, their dancing girl,
their balm for all the ills visited
upon the Earth, O, our fiery star
on darkest eventides, wee lass,
to last us all until the sad end
of all that is beautiful and wild!

3. Surfing a Wave of Flowers

Pretend like that surfer then, lass,
roiling through the green meadow
cuddling these bloomed cherries,
blossoms of pink waves sweeping,
rushing through waves of flowers
until they pull you into an eventide
where all I could see is your face
bobbing out of the eddied water,
showering us with gentle grace.
Surf, lass, dance into my old heart.

May 5-6, 2015 Mississauga


Monday, April 27, 2015


MY POEM TODAY WAS PROMPTED BY THE EARTHQUAKE IN NEPAL. A DISASTER BY ANY MEASURE. Cassandra's box says they will be occurring less infrequently now. Mother Earth is staggering from neglect and lack of love and care. Oil spills, forest blazes, droughts, wars, temblors, plagues --- enough for anyone to scream; Damn it, why?


(For All Who Need to Respond to the Cry of Mother Earth)

Has it gone any better? Love on this piece of terra infirma?
That’s when Mother shushed you back to sleep,
An impatient rhythm clipping away what should have been
A gently lulling melody from the Song of Ages:
"Rock-a-bye, baby on the treetop; when the wind blows,
The cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle
Will fall; and down will come baby, cradle, and all."
The bough breaks, and you scream. Too late for that.
This is not a dream. The freefall is Mother’s little slip
When she could no longer hold you still, somnolence
Finally taking over, and your cri d’couer, a scream
For help, for caress, for all the love gone from an empty room.
The cradle falls, she can’t pick it up. Exhausted and utterly
Spent, she mutters in her sleep: Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Tomorrow, if it comes, Mother will prop up --- backaches
Assault her waking days now --- will step into her plimsoll
As she would her dancing pumps, oil-soaked slippers.
She will slip and fall before anyone else wakes up.
She will yell: “Damn it, who spilled oil on the floor this time?”
(From CNN: "1900 killed in Nepal in today's earthquake.
The body count is expected to rise." So will the sun rise,
But Mother's aches make her wish more for the sunset.
"There must be some balm remaining still in the eventide",
She mutters and retrieves her pom-poms from a greasy sink.


Monday, April 13, 2015



From the stupor of a languid walk, a wounded walk,
he recalls Via Dolorosa up the hill of skulls, a Golgotha
still echoing with a cacophony of voices: Crucify Him!
He steps on squiggled graffiti on the sprung trail: "Occupy".
On this quaint mid-morning of spring on Glen Erin trail,
he shrugs the lingering cold off: "Here is my empty heart.
Occupy it." He mutters: "All I need now is a little loving,
like the ditty says: A lil' lovin', a lil' lovin', just a lil' lovin."

He trips on the branches of a fallen tree, cut off clean
into a gaping stump marked starkly with an "X", ruddy
like an eye out of its socket. Why, they've cut the trees.
A good number of them, including those where he saw
the old graffiti of a stout-hearted lover: Will you marry me?
Forestry blames a disease, "Emerald Ash Borer-infested
trunks will be cut down, whittled, burned, carted off.
Stay clear off the work area." No love here at all. No love.

Mottled trees, dead still from winter will not grow buds.
Dead trees. Not unlike those 166 Syrian children starved
in the raids on Yarmouk, the 127 gunned-down youth
in the university halls of Kenya, the massacred innocents
in Connecticut, the raped and slain lasses in Boko's Nigeria,
the decapitated men as caricatures of holy men's wrath,
accidental martyrs condemned from minarets of muezzins
barking for more beheadings for that is good. Insha Allah.

Whistling like a lad in a dark alley, he prays: Be gentle.

Mississauga, April 12, 2015