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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, January 10, 2016


MY POEM TODAY IS FOR MY littlest grandchild, Marie Clementine Casuga-Lalonde, who has learned how to ski in a mere year or two, she has been badgering her parents to go to the hills which she now loves. This poem was prompted by a video of her siblings and her going down the slopes. She did not even have a tether. She could stop at will. She is a MAHVELOUS DAHHLING.


(For Marie Clementine, My Wee Lass on the Ski Slopes)

Will you grow older than these lessons,
Mon chère? Will you gather pictures
Like dada-abuelo peppers and papers
His dusty study with his world’s magic?

Papa will no doubt pin this on his wall,
I wager all my left-over memories,
He will: it is this lesson of love and daring
That he will always remember, repeat:

“Go, chère, find your slope and subdue it,
Ride over all the covered snow lumps,
Leap over the stumps, swerve and stomp.
No dreads, brave girl, this glide is yours.”

Down there, in yet another world, prayer
Is passé; that comes only after a striving,
Not after the wind, but a hankering for power
You must dig out from your heart when sliding.

Down there, when you have grabbed your slope,
Eat the snow on the ground, it is your prayer.
Lick the pine cones on your way off the trail
They are your trophies. Each one, my prayer.

January 10, 2016

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