for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

the way the wind



the way cherry blossoms

let the wind shred petals

… a moment as valued as a shooting star, from which I took my jornal writing this haiku last night

March 30, 2010 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , | Leave a comment




cherry blossoms

what else?



the cat stares

and stares

…aha moments worth in Yukon gold for me.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , | Leave a comment

willow tree in Pilipino

I take a break from the haiku that I usually post here and would rather reply to someone who got to this site searching for the word willow in Pilipino (the national language of the Filipinos). 

I don’t think we have one like we don’t have a Pilipino word for snow–we call it hielo, which means ice in Spanish (Pilipino and some other Filipino dialects have a lot of Spanish words, understandably imprints of 300 years of colonization). Citing both cases of the willow tree and snow demonstrates how language is deeply entrenched in culture, the totality of one’s being layered over by influences of earth, air, water, living things, language whispered, sang, murmured, chanted, stated, shouted, screamed, written for one to read under flourescent light, Coleman light-flood, moonlight, candle light–how we whine and laugh and cuddle up wordless or word-ful, with what flowers we offer our sighs, what trees we carve arrow-pierced hearts, from what looming shadows we scamper away, what wings we shot down, what edges of cliffs we plunge off to get to our dreams.

Borrowed language, borrowed tongues entangle the mind like words to describe autumn turn into phantom leaves in tropical groves narra trees crown. Red and gold in song  that trail sorrow are mimed on plastered walls in made-up nooks while out on a window in constant blaze, a row of arbol de fuego (fire trees).

In languages like mine born of life, a borrowed word–just one, say cry or sob–fail to bring out how anug-og in Iluko (the dialect I was born with of the 87, one of which is Tagalog out of which Pilipino is derived) pictures a bent figure broken in grief, shaking with spasms of pain, sobbing an animal cry that escapes from the depth of caves. Dung-aw, simply translates as lament in English but in Iluko, unravels a dirge a man or a woman unleashes during a wake. A woman veiled in black sadness has wrinkled, creeps to the dead kneels  and beating her breasts, relates a life story now a dirge on the footmarks which those attending the wake follow in sorrowful steps, sniffling, but some chuckling, too, with humor thrown in–what life is ever without it?

Language is as mysterious as the spirit, indeed.

Yes, I recall willow trees along a highway that ribboned a small town still miles away from mine. I named them but they didn’t seem to root in my mind. When I came to north America and walk by them through the four seasons, their name, willow, took on a breath as in one of my sequences published in The Cortland Review, Issue 39, May 2008 and the haiku pieces I had posted here.

No, dear friend who’s asking if there is a translation of willow tree in Pilipino, there’s none I’m aware of.


March 10, 2010 Posted by | language views | , , | 2 Comments

how love is not spelled (two sequences)


on the wall—

scribbled notes

my bank of mementoes

on sand–

footmarks receding

let go of my shadow


prance a quatrain screaming

my loneliness

i step on

angels and unicorns

trapped in the snow

pigeons whoosh up

spray the sky, laughing

at my mud-soaked feet


my broken heart—

wilting like a cabbage rose

in a mulch bed

in the evening

dew on petals splatter

with my tears

under the moon

my fingers on keys–

a pulse


which letter comes first—

evening shower

on the window

a trickle

does not spell love

March 10, 2010 Posted by | haiku, poetry, sequence | , , , | Leave a comment