jornales

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

winter moods (sequence that worked)

November sky
rains into stray runnels
into cesspools

drenched in the rain
city pavements let no step
leave a sign

on paved walls–
I trace the patchwork
by the moody rain

catching winter clouds
shielding for themselves alone
the marine blue sky

up frosty mountain peaks—
i wonder about the lily
in a summer pond

Published in LYNX XXVI:I, February 2011

A ‘sequence’ is another haiku-related form in English haiku where individual haiku along the same theme are put together. I seem to have better chances in getting accepted with it although most of my sequences have only been published in LYNX and The Cortland Review (Issue 39, ‘revenant’) not a haiku and its related forms but a poetry journal.

The form comes rather easily to me–I do it even here with my posts; when I start composing right here, one haiku often isn’t enough for an image/thought/moment that comes to mind. Sometimes I want to give up on writing haiku and perhaps just get on with my poetry, which seems to have given me a more distinctive voice but haiku whips me back to shape with its discipline and brevity. I look at it as a wisp of air, a mist, fog swarming over me so I may fade and be one with it.

And so, to add a haiku to this sequence

stepping into the fog
knowing
i, too, fade

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January 31, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, poetry, sequence | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

the copper sea (for One Shoot Sunday)

the sun sets copper
on the sea swarming over
desert longings
lapping our dreams

on our footprints
a heat rises on ghosts
of foam cresting
for the stars

the sand sinks
death our sun desires
drained on our footprints
unquenched

no shadows lurk
here the light fractures
the pining twilight
leaves splinters

on the sand
the copper sea turns in
a petulant phantom
on our footprints

unwashed silted

footprints by Iquanyin Moon

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry, a community of poets and artists who love their art and sustain each other.

January 30, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

dawn/lost (zero votes in Shiki kukai)-dawn/lost on bare trees (belated but could be better)

Shiki Jan 2011
kigo (dawn)


dawn–
in same sky but a memory
at winter twilight

free format

him I lost once
comes back a new smile
a changed country

Both haiku got zero votes in the kukai for obvious reasons–these are not haiku at all! I wrote them in a wrong state of mind, of this I’m certain. It was a blind space. But having sent them, which qualified me to vote, I got to read exquisite haiku like those of friends Melissa Allen and Margaret Dornaus both of whom got votes in both categories, and those of many other members of haikuworld most of whom are well published and multi-awarded. Congratulations, again!

And mine, belatedly written and could be better

kigo

dawn—
ripples on the water
as we speak

free format

lost on bare trees–
his promises

January 29, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

first frost on LYNX XXVI:1 (haiku that worked)/magnolia (didn’t work)

first frost—
the last of the roses
have lost their names

Published LYNX XXVI:I February 2011

Of the suite I submitted, only this haiku along with a sequence and a tanka worked. I think it was accepted because it’s the only one that is neither anthropomorphic (personifying an object) nor ‘author-driven’ (my weakness it seems) or I did not write my own opinion into it as compared to ‘magnolia’, one of five that didn’t work, here:

magnolia
bares molds on
winter skin

Yes, the magnolia bared in the fall through winter looks blotched and moldy. But I ‘stated’ my observation, and I even personified the magnolia as baring itself, instead of ‘simply noting my observation and my reaction to it’. Also, I used a metaphor in the last line. These points I think made it a non-haiku.

I should have worked on it some more and submitted something like this:

in the winter mist
the bare blotched magnolia–
i turn away

January 28, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

pine tips (a haiku rewritten from a non-haiku)

pine tips holding up
to the winter sky–
how low can stars fall?

the non-haiku

Pine strands
flailing: how low can stars fall?

Why I think it’s not haiku:

1. it doesn’t have the two parts of a haiku
2. the first part is an incomplete thought, also, wrong word usage–strands don’t quite describe pine branches and flailing suggests something like strips or threads or strands like hair which could describe willow branches–hence,
3. the second part is meaningless or
4. the juxtaposition does not work
5. therefore, it’s not a haiku moment

Perhaps the rewritten version works better though I’m still uncertain about it. The second part might be, as Patrick G would describe, ‘author-driven’. But I’m quite content that I’m seeing batches of non-haiku I’ve written more clearly, and writing haiku that work sometimes.

What had helped? Reading a lot, interacting with haiku lovers-writers who have turned friends-who-care like Patrick Gillespie at poemshape and Margaret Dornaus at haikudoodle, but reading especially Melissa Allen’s haikuverse at red dragonfly. And there’s the monthly meeting with my Haiku Vancouver Group!

January 27, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

quenched (cactus haiku prompted by the Haiku Foundation facebook site)

quenched
the cactus blooms
while i thirst
(posted on the site 1 person likes it)

prickly cactus
to me: ‘touch me not’
my thirst unquenched

saguaro–
desert air brushing my skin
for comfort

desert wind
its rough embrace hurts
but not for the cactus

pear cactus
cut in strips to cook
in its own water

January 26, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

alien notes (for One Shot Wednesday)

in Vietnam courtesy of wikicommons

old suns, desolate breakfasts,
days turning on stiles, later
a trudge ending in a box
re-spelling obtuseness

words on words
soft as soufflé he hardly tasted—
so he left grinding dust, seeking
flashes in the desert

why songs fly
to him now sneaking between dawn
and moaning, silences between
gaping eyes the dead leave on strings, he
draws answers from skies,
grumbling about bomb spores–
songs he plucks off storms
alien to his longings

on his waist solid
steel tips waiting to fly
this sentinel
of rock burrowing on sands
lets old suns free
on his guitar

published as Poet of the Week, Poets Against War, June 2009

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry blog. Join other poets and artists who love their art.

January 26, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

grey skies (and other grey/in the rain/and snow haiku)

1.
grey skies
still the heather blooms
and blooms

2.
hydrangeas
even in dryness
the same sighs

3.
willow tips
dripping with rain
but i’m not crying

4.
tangled vines in the snow–
our thoughts sometimes

5.
in the rain each stone a new face

January 25, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

route (sequence with a lesson on how to breathe life to a ‘lifeless haiku’)

on a bench—
granny arching
to a waltz

on the ground
black-eyed posies,
but not for me

over head
a robin trills, i race
the train

pine strand
flailing in night sky—
the first low star

pasta bowl
and cranberry juice
with no one

Published in LYNX XXIII:3, October 2008

These were separate haiku I labored to make ‘perfect’ but hardly ever tried to submit, having at that time received one rejection after another. And so, I put them together as a titled sequence and got an acceptance from Werner Reichold, my first publication after my one and only haiku award from VCBF haiku invitational.

But as I’m won’t to do, two of the haiku have since danced on into a full poem in free verse: #3 became “first kiss” posted here for One Shoot Sunday, #4 out of the image ‘flailing in the night sky’, I wrote “revenant” published in The Cortland Review.

Lesson: on how to save one’s own self from ‘grief’ of a ‘lifeless haiku’ or how to breathe life on a ‘lifeless haiku’

Do not delete/discard/bury it. Instead, keep it wrapped in angels’ wings.

Let it sleep the sleep of bulbs of daffodils and star lilies.

Wait for spring in your spirit.

And then, unwrap them, buff them and watch the wings stir, flapping weakly at first.

And then, with your touch, watch the lines soar!

January 24, 2011 Posted by | haiku, sequence | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how not to haiku or haiku submitted with temerity…

…to the late Peggy Willis Lyles, the editor I was assigned to send my haiku to at Heron’s Nest. I believe this belongs to that first batch in late 2007. I had just won an honorable mention that year in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational, a month after I migrated to Vancouver, which gave me the boldness to send these truly absolutely non-haiku I now realize.

Peggy had replied ever so kindly to my submissions–three more followed; the last one she received on her first hospitalization preceding her fatal illness, and still she responded from her hospital bed as always encouragingly (posted here ‘September twilight’ 09/07/2010 and at the haikuworld website with my tribute to her).

I’ve strived to learn from my rejection notes since then. It’s amazing how crystal clear they read as bad when they come back like wilted blooms or sagging starved horsemen. Some specifics Peggy had noted: “use of language should be natural”, “image should not be twisted (unnatural or made-up) but clear (natural in its flow)”.

Other editors of other haiku journals would send back a ‘robot’ mail or just simply not let you know; I later learned that with thousands of haiku descending on them like an avalanche (I read once about an editor receiving 250 haiku about a visit to Hawaii and not a single one worked), I began to feel less ignored in a personal way. I had long contracted haiku and it has turned into a ‘chronic malady’ so much so that I’m still writing and bugging editors.

Of these haiku that demonstrate how not to haiku (you would know), I’ve turned two of them quite successfully into free verse. Haiku#1 became “Suppositions” (free verse, posted 12/20/2010 for One Shot Wed ) and #5 as “Revenant” (sequence-like published in The Cortland Review Issue 39, May 2008 with a podcast ).

1.
turtles tipping on rocks
dip legs in pool—
summer note

2.
ah, spring—
squirrel digging shoots
chews on

3.
on black soil
clumps of snowdrops—
shorter nights

4.
old oak tree
leafing so soon? but sparrows
twig each

5.
duck pair at lagoon
V-patterns on the water—
on the sky

January 23, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments