Wednesday, October 3, 2012



Looking for a good time to stop,
is to stop looking like slumping
on a fallen trunk or a trail rock
jagged and jutting out of the bluff.  

Morning walks get longer along
empty spaces before familiar curbs
signal a turn to what we wait for:
the final bend. We are back home. 

Now Albert is coming back,
make yourself a bit smart.”* Eliot,
of course, said it for me earlier.  

How long ago was that, when I
read those Wasteland lines? How
long have I waited to use them?
Is this a good time, yet? I waited. 

Because we have seen the clues,
because we have seen them all
already, I feel it is time to stop
waiting, sum up the bill, and go. 

What was I given to bear the pain
of knowing that I did not know?
Or build a home I could not live in?
What tools must I now return?  

In summing up, I will discount this,
in the game of haggling for a place
back in the Garden. Our stay here
was overpaid. We waited too long  

for that room with a better view,
that terrace with a canopy of roses,
and blue birds trilling on the sill.
O, for a touch of that distant sky!  

Next time around, if there is one,
I will be smart. I will settle only for
a room where I could see the sky
and the sea conspire to eat the sun.


---Albert B. Casuga

* T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland, II. A Chess Game, T. S. Eliot, The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950)



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ambit's Gambit (A. B. Casuga Litblog): GROWING AWAY

Ambit's Gambit (A. B. Casuga Litblog): GROWING AWAY




1. Away

It does haunt one’s reverie
like an old melody’s refrain,
it is a way but not away. But
where is away? A memory,
perchance a lingering pain? 

Distance-given right to know
erases world’s away, rebuilds
them only as far as a pebble
skips and skims over eddies
on roiled water: See old faces? 

Etched on beach sand, away
is a heart pierced through
by an arrant arrow called Luv
and a spray of trickling angst
named Will or blood bubbles. 

Or a nodding gran chanting
on her beads wishing shadows
on her walls at sundown might
jump out where they grow tall
and call out: Granny, I’m back!  

Maybe an unreachable land,
then, endlessly dark, no sun
creating rainbows, no showers
lads and lasses run through
naked and free, cold but happy.

2. Monologues 

When are you coming back
from the front, son? Sometime
soon, before mom fades away?
Where is this Viet Nam? Iraq?
Afghanistan, Pakistan? Somalia?  

Will you take the midnight train,
Betty, and be home Christmas?
Me and the gang, we will throw
a party at the Metro, wait for you,
gulp suds for every train whistle.

I guess he will not be around
for my umpteenth birthday, mom.
You invited him, did you not, he
and that woman in Denver? I
just have to wait by the window.  

Is grandpa going fishing with me?
Like last summer, he will drive in
on his old Studebaker, clanking
with a loose tail pipe over cobbles
on our street. Will he? Won’t he? 

I will not be away for a long time,
not too long. Before you know it,
some 10,000 sleeps from now, we
will be bowling again in St. Peter’s
Alley, cracking lightning and thunder.

3. Overture 

Come away then, come away, while
we can, let’s run through valleys,
swim the rivers with the catfish,
slalom down those snowbound hills.
Come away, Love, to some place away. 


* The poems above were prompted by lines from Hannah Stephenson’s “Away”. Throw it away, / we say, but where/ does this directive/ lead. Where is/ away. We know it/ suggests distance/ and removal, that/ the thrown thing/is no longer visible/ or retrievable. --- From “Away” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 1—20-11