Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Dark days will always be with us,...

but they, too, will pass, like wind
blowing through gloomy rooms:

look at her fleetingly smile at you
when you hold her to your chest,
the dove-like cooing telling you

how warm it is to curl into arms
that will always be there to hold
and enfold however cruel days

become, however bereft of grace
struggling to live becomes. Look
at her gaze at you long enough

to manage another smile before
she looks away and closes her eyes
to sleep feeling you will be there

when she opens them again still
singing her a lullaby, her smile
never once leaving her tender face.

It is when you are moved to get
down on your knees and pray
that, if this were your final day,

you would still have her cuddled
in your arms smiling at what you
have begun to doubt is still there

holding us all in his steady palms.

Albert B. Casuga

Painting by Janet Weight Reed, England, "A Baby"


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ambit's Gambit (Albert B. Casuga Literary Blog): THE PASSION

Ambit's Gambit (Albert B. Casuga Literary Blog): THE PASSION


Poem, if he had a choice. There was a time I could write any borracho under the table, I mean drink under the bridge. Is that the bromide? But whatever for? I cannot recall how and when I wrote this note on a rough, brown paper bag of music... and a pack of metaphors. Did I say music? Meta…what? Oh, I meant a pack of brew. Give it all back. Return them to senders. I am done.

(Or Send Back to Sender)

If he had his druthers, he’d rather not be given:
too little time for too much to give back on.
A keen eye to see both sides of a magic coin?
Be a magistrate then, look for the right and just.
Or a poet who sees both sides of a wall. Or mirror.
Why not a jihadist who slays both good and evil
for a master who will not see any evil in any good?

And snow now melting faster than it could fall?
What ever for? He’d rather they all blew back
to whatever skies they’ve fallen from, too late
anyway for the grandkids who prayed as hard
as the grumbling Imam now hoarse with his
praying at the muezzin. What’s a hillock for
if it is not snowbound for their tobogganing?

 He will not suffer the little ones to miss their
winter sleigh. On the other hand, this could be
a wayward winter storm giving back a late wallop
for having been given a welter of clouds and a clash
of heat and cold. Someone sent him a throne of words:
he built cathedrals of thought no one understood.
It’s poetry, mon ami! He said it’s worth a shrug,
like cold tea on a rainy day. Some tea? Bit of sugar?
Cream? Tea, Madame? Tea? Anyone?


Mississauga, July 3, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


The lullaby has a long poetic tradition. In this poem, I try to capture the rhythm of those songs that are invariably sung to put people (babies) to sleep. (How bad can they get? Or how gentle?) 


Close your eyes and fairy lights will lead you 
Away from the dark and gloom that scare you:

In your dreams, do you run through brackish snow?
Climb leafless trees or swing from a broken bough?

Where the river bends, do you gather rotting fish,
Glean carrion left from a summer’s fishing mess?

Has the snowman’s head fallen off its melting body?
Its stick hands twisted like pretzels. Arrows really.

The carrot nose has become its stabbing tooth,
Where both eyes were, now Cyclops orb is left

On a conehead of dripping snow; a crushed face
Stares blankly at a mid-day sun whose lapping rays

Forebode another season for yet another reason
To accept that what lives is also ripe for destruction.

(O, my aching heart, it aches, it hurts,
It hurts badly, it hurts to the core.
Kindly spare me your gentle nurture,
For I dread death’s coming spectre.)*

Close your eyes and let the wind rip through
Tears and cracks and cranny and broken doors, too.

Grip the tightened string on your wayward kite,
No wind could wreck nor snap it loose from flight.

You will ride the wind, my boy, and touch the sun,
Though frightful prayers plead that you must run

From the dreams that have become nightmares,
From the fallen kites; run from the fearsome snares.

Life is a trap, much like the burlap waiting downstream,
When you get there, you are enmeshed -- do not scream.

It is too late to scream. Close your eyes, shut them tight.
Life is not a waking dream. You have just begun to fight.

(O, my aching heart, it aches, it hurts,
It hurts badly, it hurts to the core.
Kindly spare me your gentle nurture,
For I dread death’s coming spectre.)*



* Annnay, pusok, annay, annay,
Nasaem, naut-ut la unay.
Itdem kaniak ta pannaranay
Ta kaasiak a maidasay.

--- Duay-ya: Dungdungwen Kanto
(A Lullaby of Love), Ilocano Lullaby Refrain