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, June 21, 2017

AND INTO THE FIRE

Dear Albert Casuga:
The world today is a very scary place. With nuclear weapons being built and tested by nations that should never possess them, having a nuke set off in a major US city has become everyone's worst nightmare!
Robert Gleason is a nationally recognized expert on nuclear terrorism, author, repeat guest on major TV and radio shows around the nation, and star/host of the History Channel's 2-hour special on this subject. His latest book And Into the Fire ― depicting in great detail how our enemies would be able to accomplish a nuclear attack on America ― has been hailed by Byron Dorgan, former US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Gridlock, as a book that "should be required reading for all Members of Congress.”
I would like to forward a copy of And Into the Fire in consideration of an interview or review from you.  Please read the following press release and let me know if I may schedule an interview or forward a review copy of the book. If you would like to run this story we'd be happy to send you jpegs of the author and the book cover.  Thank you.
Monica Foster
Senior Publicist
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
Direct: (713) 446-8815
Phone: (281) 333-3507
Fax: (832) 569-5539
mfoster@ascotmediagroup.com 
www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
And Into The Fire Accurately Depicts The Horror And Chaos Of A Devastated America After A Nuclear Terrorist Attack
New York, NY, June 21, 2017 ― For most Americans, their greatest nightmare is of someone setting off a nuclear weapon in one of our major cities. Two possible scenarios that come to mind are setting off a nuke near Washington's Capitol building during a State of the Union address, or melting down a nuclear power plant ― like Indian Point, a mere 35 miles from New York City ― creating such terror and chaos that 9/11 would pale in comparison. Critics agree that nationally recognized nuclear terrorism expert Robert Gleason's latest book, And Into the Fire, describes these terrifying scenarios in more factual detail than any other book they have read.
Robert Gleason, bestselling author of End of Days and The Nuclear Terrorist: His Financial Backers and Political Patrons in the US and Abroad, has starred in and hosted a History Channel two-hour special on this very subject and the various scenarios that could take place. 
He has been a featured guest discussing nuclear terrorism on national TV and radio shows such as Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM”, and NPR, along with many others, and spoken numerous times on this subject at Harvard.
Gleason's latest book dramatizes in great detail how terrorists could steal bomb-grade highly enriched uranium from a country such as Pakistan and smuggle it into the US.  Once in possession of the fissile nuclear bomb-fuel, cobbling together crude would be an amazingly simple procedure.  As Luis Alvarez, the physicist who designed the Hiroshima bomb wrote, "a high school student could build the Hiroshima bomb if he had the bomb-fuel.” Gleason then shows how terrorists can use such crudely built but highly powerful Hiroshima-type bombs to incinerate any major US city.
Advance reviews on And Into the Fire all agree that it is not only a hair-raising thriller, it is arguably the most knowledgeable nuclear terrorism novel of our time.  Byron Dorgan, former US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Gridlock, has written:  "Gleason writes with undeniable authority on the threat of nuclear terrorism… And Into the Fire, is an eye-opening, hair-raising, up-all-night thriller that should be required reading for all Members of Congress."
With nearly 30 years experience researching the threat of nuclear terrorism and the possibility of nuclear annihilation, Robert Gleason can address topics on national security, foreign policy, current events, politics and what needs to be done to defend our cities and nuclear power plants. Following are suggested questions that could be addressed in an interview:
• Are nuclear terrorists wreaking havoc in the world today?
• Is nuclear terrorism feasible and realistic?
• Is it true Japan's new nuclear program is exacerbating the nuclear terrorist threat? And does their nuclear power debacle teach us anything?
• Is Russia's annexation of Ukrainian Crimea exacerbating the nuclear terrorist threat?
• Is a multi-city nuclear attack on America its worst-case scenario?
• Is nuclear power a nuclear proliferation threat?
• The time is fast approaching when any rogue state that wants nukes will be able to get them. What strategy should the US adopt in a world where it is threatened by anonymous nuclear terrorist attacks?
• Can nuclear terrorism lead to Armageddon?
• Does the Bible predict a nuclear Armageddon?
• Which nation is most likely to sponsor nuclear terrorist strikes?
• Why would nuclear terrorists want to strike the US?
• Why Does the Bible think the world will end?
Robert Gleason is a highly regarded expert on nuclear terrorism. He's spoken on the topic at Harvard four times, and on Sean Hannity's and Lou Dobbs's TV shows, PBS, NPR,  George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM”, and many other radio & television programs.  He also hosted and starred in a two-hour History Channel special largely devoted to the subject. He is the author of The Nuclear Terrorist: His Financial Backers and Political Patrons in the US and Abroad, as well as the critically acclaimed End of Days. Gleason lives in New York City, and you can learn more about him and his books at http://robertgleasonbooks.com/.
And Into the Fire
Forge Books
Available June 6th in print and ebook online and at your favorite bookseller
ISBN:  978-0765379160
###
TIP SHEET:
William S. Cohen, Former Secretary of Defense, US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Collision: "His research is devastatingly detailed and shockingly realistic. We should be scared, all of us--very scared.”
Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters (US Army retired) three-time Boyd Award-winner, Fox News military analyst and New York Times bestselling author of The Damned of Petersburg: "Not only the most terrifying, but also the most realistic nuclear-terror scenario I have encountered, whether on the page or in the Pentagon.  Robert Gleason's decades of deep research into the dark realms of nuclear energy and weapons have yielded a superb thriller.  It's a gripping read--and a primer on nuclear terrorism.”
Richard Marcinko, New York Times Bestselling author of Rogue Warrior and founding father of SEAL Team SIX: "The book's nuclear terrorism scenarios are not only possible they are probable. Robert Gleason enhances the realism with technocrat language and verifiable research.”
Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The 14th Colony: "Gleason's book is steeped in pure fact.  And that's what makes this book so scary.  It actually could happen.”
James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Labyrinth: "And Into the Fire is "frighteningly authentic . . . Don't miss this cautionary and important tale of where the world is headed.”
Booklist (starred review): "Gleason is a bona fide expert on nuclear terrorism, and he utilizes his knowledge, along with his storytelling skills, to deliver a thriller that feels shockingly authentic. Military-action fans will relish this one as they shudder at its implications.”











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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: The God Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us


Dear Albert Casuga:
We would greatly appreciate your help getting word out to your audience via your blog or other social media sites on a highly anticipated, soon-to-be-released book.
Christian psychiatrist, international speaker and author Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., recently brought us the thought-provoking, widely successful book, The God-Shaped Brain. He now takes us even further into the realm of God constructs with the equally provocative, The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us.
For more information, please read the following release. Thank you.
Monica Foster
Senior Publicist
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
Direct: (713) 446-8815
Phone: (281) 333-3507
Fax: (832) 569-5539
mfoster@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted or posted to social media either in part, or in its entirety)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The God-Shaped Heart — Book Helps Christians Connect With God's Transformative Love And Truth
Chattanooga, TN, June 13, 2017 ― Love is power — the power to live, the power to heal and the power to be free. What happens, however, when distorted beliefs or unhealthy God concepts take root in the heart and obstruct this love?
Christian psychiatrist, international speaker and author Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., explores the healing power of love, exposes beliefs that obstruct love and identifies eternal truths that open the heart to God's love in his newest book, The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us.
In this compelling follow-up to The God-Shaped Brain, Dr. Jennings takes an evidence-based approach to exposing an infection of thought that keeps millions of Christians trapped in fear and insecurity. He also documents seven stages of spiritual development that can lead people out of this trap and back to God's love.
 
In The God-Shaped Heart, Jennings compellingly reveals:
• Genuine Christianity is centered on love, and such love, when practiced, transforms hearts and heals minds.
• An infection of thought deeply rooted within Christianity is causing confusion, contributing to division and preventing millions from experiencing the transformative power of God's love.
• When human-imposed law replaces design law, injury, pain and damage occurs to hearts, minds and relationships.
• A scientifically and Biblically sound understanding on homosexuality that resolves the long hostility between Christians and homosexuals.
• While there is something wrong in Christianity today, there is a remedy freely available that brings healing and transformation.
Jennings provides insights that make God's love understandable, applicable and accessible for all audiences, including those who struggle with Christianity or struggle to harmonize Christianity and science; Christians who have become frustrated with Christianity; and those who view Christianity as negative and critical.
The God-Shaped Heart was written to help Christians everywhere advance ever closer to God's ideal through experiencing the transformative power of God's love.
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified Christian psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, international speaker, author, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Life-Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association.
He obtained his M.D. degree in 1990 from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. He completed his psychiatric residency at D.D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, and has served as the Division Psychiatrist for the 3rd Infantry Division. He is married and lives in Chattanooga where he is in private practice. Jennings is also the President and Founder of Come and Reason Ministries and has served as President of the Southern Psychiatric Association and Tennessee Psychiatric Association.
His other books include Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind, The Journal of the Watcher, The Remedy New Testament Expanded Paraphrase and The God-Shaped Brain: How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life.
 For more information about Dr. Jennings and to hear his lectures, please visit the website: www.comeandreason.com.
The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us
Baker Books
Release date: September 5, 2017
Available for preorder:
https://www.amazon.com/God-Shaped-Heart-Correctly-Understanding-Transforms/dp/0801075211

###

Thursday, December 15, 2016

TRANSFIGURATIONS





TRANSFIGURATIONS: IS BEAUTY AN OMEN?


A condition of complete simplicity/ (Costing not less than everything)---Little Gidding, The Four Quartets, T.S.Eliot


Cocooned in a condition of utter simplicity,
the silkworm will not stop oozing out its tapestry
onto the point of death which is also its beauty.

How much beauty can be eked out of pain?
Like the hurt bivalved flesh of the grimy oyster,
would the papillon wings glisten like a pearl?

But this one is spun out of patience: there
must be radiance out of a cocoon’s dark
confines. It can only break into mobile light.

Colour the mariposa green, would that matter?
Dye the silk out of its consumed gossamer nets,
would that stop its flying out of a crude beginning?

Arrested from its final transfiguration, the worm
turns and it is on a table–the grub of culinary
quintessence! Quite like an earlier challenge:

“Eat of my flesh, drink of my blood. This covenant
shall not be broken. I will be with you again when
the radiance of this goblet dims into a eucharist.”

A condition of simplicity? Bear beauty and perish?
Offer an unending dream in a kingdom, and be slain?
The tale of the supreme sacrifice is also immolation.

What does it matter that I die then, if I flew out
of a trellis like the monarch butterfly, that started
as a wormed-out silkworm then food for the hungry?

I would be the worm, the injured mother pearl,
the crucified madman who asked that his flesh
be eaten, his blood quaffed, and live forever.

Beauty is an omen. Destroy this vessel of clay,
and it can only spill the reddest of wine, the
stoutest of ale: a dangerous promise of eternal life.


—ALBERT B. CASUGA

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

THE GREAT GRIEF OF EXTINCTION SERIES

POET ROBERT FROST WROTE IN ONE OF HIS POEMS: EARTH IS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR LOVE. HE WAS TOO OPTIMISTIC. (See my series on Extinction and End Times at https://ambitsgambit.blogspot.ca/2015/07/the-great-grief-series-dread-of.html















Tuesday, November 15, 2016

  1. MY SUITE OF LOVE POEMS TODAY was prompted by Leonard Cohen's
  2. LIGHT THROUGH A CRACKED MIRROR
  3. (For Leonard Cohen, RIP)
  4. ...
  5. “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

  6. 1. Her Questions

  7. 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 thunk and come to rest?

  8. 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.

  9. 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—

  10. 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.

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

  12. 2. His Ardent Offer as His Plea

  13. I am back, but I have nothing new to say,
    nor anything that I can offer save myself.
    Unchanged, undefined, unshackled, free.
    There is no other way you would have me.
  14. Would you rather I had lost my insouciance?
    Would you have me speak only one language,
    that of fear, and would not risk this loss again?
    Sing only your song? Part my hair another way?
  15. At the edge of the woods, I have mastered wiles.
    You’d think I had changed and now just a shadow
    of a broken man come home to lick old wounds
    that were left unsalved, cankered when I lost you.
  16. I am the same, and this sameness will make you
    want to look again even if the thousand faces
    that you behold are those from a shattered mirror
    through whose cracks some light must still slither.

  17. 3. Looking Back to Coming Home

  18. Trek back to the church belfry and be the deft
    hands of the carillonneur you wished you were
    when you were young, malleable, and oh, so free
    to dream, to laugh, to thumb your little nose

  19. at the carousing lads vaulting over rooftops
    to call your name, to sing your name like
    perching sparrows lined on some errant wires
    at sunset warbling: sweet-sweet, sweet-sweet!

  20. Take me back. Take me back. And we will retrace
    those letters carved on some saplings grown tall
    beyond our reach, and sing with carillon clangor
    those old evensongs, brave songs. Old love songs.

  21. We will outdo the bell choir master on the belfry,
    ring them all, sing them all, hum them all until
    sundown overtakes us and we hold our tremulous
    voices like our stuttered promises of coming home.

  22. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA

Sunday, August 28, 2016

MY ARS POETICA




MY ARS POETICA: A REPRISE

MY POEMS TODAY spell out my Ars Poetica as a practitioner of the literary art of poetry---the most venerable of the literary arts.

Like most literary artists, I restate my Ars Poetica as I write. This reminds me of an aesthetic which I may have defined some time ago in my The Aesthetics of Literature, a book I wrote for my literary theory and criticism classes at the De La Salle University in Manila. (ca. 1970s)

These poems, like those of poets Archibald MacLeish and Jose Garcia Villa, articulate my poetic credo. Describing the process, I also keep in mind the kind of poetry I deign to create.



1. APOLLO DESCENDING

It is a fiery birthing: after the lonely call
of the last gull that darts after the last
glow of sundown; after the sandpiper’s
song peters out to a lost bird’s chirp;
after all the images have crept under
these breakwater boulders to surface
perhaps as frenzied dancers casting
shadows swaying underneath this tent,
this caravanserai of dreams; after this,
on a throne of palaver, a fire-bearer
lights the torches that fence us all in.


Like Apollo’s captives, we cup flames
in our palms and sing polyglot hymns
to the beauty of words while we shower
our paths with pellets of fire, as we crown
the beggar queen with a flaming nosegay.



2. SURFACING

(An Ars Poetica)

Surfacing. We allow ourselves this one
salving act when every balm fails.

Bobbing up for air where it is rare,
we pray that this will hold long enough.

Enough for the moments at dusk when
we must dive again, submerge again,

into depths we know will one day hold us
down, and remain there to mend hurts

that in those magical spaces become
like pearls: prickly cutting dirt engulfed

into bivalved flesh that may in turn
become a magical gem from the agony.

Surfacing, we find ourselves some river
stream to rest with the rolling river stones.

Surfacing, we know we must go back
to the darkened depths, and like oysters

bear the pain cutting through our flesh
that we may surface soon with a new pearl.


—ALBERT B. CASUGA


Friday, April 22, 2016

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL ARTIST FOR LITERATURE EDITH L. TIEMPO, WOULD HAVE BEEN 97 TODAY




APRIL 22, 2016, Philippine National Artist for Literature EDITH TIEMPO's 97th Birth Anniversary. Remembering a dear mentor and a literary giant.


EDITH L. TIEMPO


Edith L. Tiempo, poet, fictionist, teacher and literary critic, was born on April 22, 1919 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. The daughter of an auditor who had been assigned in various places in the country, she spent her childhood and pre-teen years in Laguna, Pasig, Zamboanga, Surigao, and Samar.

Back in Nueva Vizcaya, she began corresponding with Edilberto K. Tiempo, then already a published writer, who had written a story with a protagonist named after Edith's older sister Arlynne. She wrote Ed Tiempo to ask for an explanation, and the exchange of letters began. Ed Tiempo would become the greatest, most enduring influence on her life and her writing. They both studied in U.P.--he took up his M.A. and she began her law studies. But after only one semester, they got married, went to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, and settled there.

Ed left for the States in 1946 on a fellowship at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, and Edith followed in 1947, after she graduated from Siliman, magna cum laude.

They stayed in the U.S. a few more years to study and teach--from Iowa to Michigan, then Denver--then returned to Dumaguete. In 1962, they founded the Silliman Writers Workshop, the first of its kind in Asia, where many of the Philippines' best writers have honed their craft. They spent every single summer since then managing the workshop, even sharing their wedding anniversary celebrations (May 20) with the writing fellows.

University funding for the workshop stopped in 1992, and for the next thirteen years, the workshop continued through the efforts of workshop alumni, who formed the Creative Writing Foundation, Inc. and the Dumaguete Literary Arts Service Group, Inc.; with generous support from CAP College, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and various groups and individuals.

Edith L. Tiempo's influence as teacher of literature and writing is beyond measure. She is one of the finest Filipino writers in English. In the words of poet Gemino H. Abad, Edith has established a tradition in writing with “two distinguishing marks: a fine critical sense for language and poetic form, and a ceaseless quest for that synergy of idea and emotion by which the Filipino sensibility is most fully expressed.” Her poems are models of organic unity, each word inevitable, each line earning its keep. Her fictional characters are complex and memorable, a confluence of conflicting impulses and principles. When writing fiction, she always starts with character, even in The Builder, which she calls her most plot-driven novel.

She was conferred the National Artist Award for Literature in 1999.

SELECTED WORKS

NOVELS
A Blade of Fern (1978)
His Native Coast (1979)
The Alien Corn (1992)
One, Tilting Leaves (1995)
The Builder (2003)

SHORT FICTION
Abide, Joshua, and Other Stories (1964)

POETRY
The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems (1966)
The Charmer’s Box (1992)
Beyond, Extensions (1993)
Marginal Annotations (2001)
Commend, Contend (Work in progress)

TEXTBOOKS
Introduction to Literature (Co-authors Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo and Fr. Miguel Bernad), Manila: R.P. Garcia Publishing Co., 1980
College Reading and Writing (Co-author Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo), Manila: Rex Publishing House, 1964. Revised editions, 1967, 1980

LITERARY CRITICISM
Six Uses of Fictional Symbols, University of the Philippines Press, 2004
Six Poetry Formats and the Transforming Image: A Monograph on Free Verse, 2008

HONORS AND AWARDS
National Artist Award for Literature, 1999
Various Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards and Philippines Free Press Awards in the short story and poetry categories
National Fellow in Poetry, UP Creative Writing Center, Manila, 1992-1993
Negros Oriental Centennial Commission Award for Outstanding Negrense in Art and Culture, jointly with Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo, 1991
L.T. Ruiz Professional Chair in English, 1981-89
Outstanding Sillimanian Award, August 28, 1989
UMPIL Award-Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas jointly with Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo,1988
Focus Magazine Special Citation in Poetry
The First Leon Kilat Trophy, jointly with Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo, as Distinguished Citizens of Negros Oriental in the field of literature, 1987
Cultural Center of the Philippines First Prize in Novel, His Native Coast, 1979
Elizabeth Luce Moore Disitnguished Asian Professor, 1977-78
Region VII Award of Recognition in Poetry, 1975


*(Reprinted from the Edith Tiempo Blog)




Tuesday, April 5, 2016

back cover blurb for language of ashes

"Language of Ashes", Joel Pablo Salud's first collection of his poems, is worth spending precious life time on. I know I have scarcely any left---physical, spiritual, even literary--- but I find reading his poems a delightful jolt (he would call it "orgasm", not afraid to use all forms of linguistic figures to capture his poetic "meanderings" --- no, not "rants") for their breadth of content and sagacity (audacity?) of style and unobtrusive technique. He describes this book as a collection of love --- and he has them aplenty, the poem for his wife Che being stellar; viz., "Your love/ So strangely swirling without shore/ Binds me to you---a feather or a wing/ Heart beat among breasts of honey." In "Song for Eve", (feminine mystique, really), he sings "...words mean little when set against/ the cuddles of suns in your eyes... how can all this be a thing too odd/ when men love more richly because of you?" It is lyrical and romantic lines like these that made me squirm with envy. Oh, that I could have shed all restraint and burst into unbridled warbling in my poetic diction! Yet, he writes: "I cannot for the sake of brevity/ Impose my will on a word..." for he declares in his ars poetica --- in "I Write" --- "I write to sculpt/ creatures, dye their/ eyes with metaphors/ primrosed by time." Indeed, his metaphors could easily be "over-the-top" were it not for their coalescing into a clear gestalt of imagery when he writes finis to a poem. This is an unerring mark of a gifted poet. Mr. Salud's collection is a stout collection of poems on persons, (writers Nick Joaquin, Edith Tiempo, F Sionil Jose, Jorge Guillen, Dylan Thomas, Che Sarigumba), politics and culture (in "Oremus", "Mendiola Massacre, 1987"), engaging musings on themes poets are never caught without, Indeed, he admits" "It is the wreckage of a soul/ where poems reign." That would even involve poems of vomits, inebriation of assholes, the naked and erotic, and bravely whimsical use of street language that en fin would sound poetic---beat that. "I am not a spool/ Of blunt words,/ A gathering of moss-eaten/ Homes, fallen trees/ And the roots of manes/ Where ingots coalesce/ Brooding and frozen." I shall not torture this "blurb" with a book review or even a critique --- not yet --- I eagerly look forward to reviewing it, and finally criticising it for its literary merits in order to establish its rank as a poetic achievement in his country and internationally. This book is that good. I have read a number. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA, Canada

Friday, April 1, 2016

IN OUR EXILE, A CONDITION OF STILLNESS





IN OUR EXILE, A CONDITION OF STILLNESS


A condition of stillness pursues you,
wherever you find your exile, at sea
or in any exploration. You will be there.


It is your image on the mirror: an old
longing for the simplicity long lost
in the shuffle of life, loves, and losses.


Every wave that beats on the ballast
asks: Are you happy at last? Will this
outlast the lingering left-over dread?

Out there where waves break at the edge
of the firmament of quiet stars on stars
you can see through moving darkness.

Where have all the pains remained?
On what shores did you neglect to load
them, overstaying albatross of gloom?

Your heart leaps with the bobbing bow
and stern, and you whisper a prayer
drowned quickly by the sea. You laugh.

They cannot haunt you anymore than
dead memories can bear you down.
You have built a mansion of dreams.

You have been here before, haven’t you?
Exploring the depths of what happiness
you could grab, you will hold them.

You will never let them slip away; you
have earned them. In this brief exile
on the sea, would you hold on to this

sudden grace of simple stillness?
Will this still simplicity pursue you
wherever you roam? Come home then.


---ALBERT B, CASUGA


A HAIKU: ON JOANNA'S PIER



A HAIKU

(For Joanna Allas-Fojas's Pier Photo)
...
They will not break though
waves may lave and years may find
them when rot sets in.


---Albert B. Casuga