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

five rabbits from Snow Country chasing a red dragonfly

Or my title should be

five rabbits from Snow Country got lost in Madison chasing a red dragonfly and flew and flew to Vancouver

My friend, Melissa Allen’s prize of a book finally arrived yesterday, the bubble envelop dented, its edges wavy–signs of that long flight from the opposite side of North America! I fought to disentagle the two-inch tape that secured a package which when I pulled out glowed as the sheer treasures that they are.

Melissa did not only give away her second copy of the more exquisite UNESCO edition of Yasunari Kawabata’s “Snow Country”, she also enclosed two hand-crafted rabbit new year greeting cards, one of them a rabbit origami, the other a cut-out rabbit coated with tiny blossoms and butterflies on hand-made paper; and three creatively picked cards–one of them a cut-out from something like a children’s book, and another a 1909 cottontail rabbit postcard hazed by the sepia of years ( I now have in my possession a 102 year-old postcard!). I regressed, as childlike I held them close, peering into the rabbits’ eyes.

And oh, she lovingly wrapped the book in blue pastel petal prints and tied it with a matching blue string. Her dedication wasn’t written plainly on the title page but on a cutout of yes, an unusual breed of brown rabbit.

Here they are in the order Melissa arranged them so I could unfold the haiku messages on friendship she had handwritten :

card no. 1

greeting and haiku

new year
a new friend becomes
an old friend

rabbit #2 folding away/the year/paper rabbit

rabbit caught among my winter roses

haiku and quote of a dialogue between two rabbits

new year
opening the door
for a friend

“Can I come in?”
said the bunny.
“Yes,” said the bunny.
And so he did.

rabbit #4

rabbit #5

postmark and clipping on the cottontail rabbits-

Year of the rabbit
I give away
the litter

The Cottontail Rabbits (Sylvilagus floridaus and relatives)
Several kinds of cottontail rabbits, and their allies the brush and swamp rabbits which lack the conspicuous “cotton tail” range collectively from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. These denizens of the briar and brush patch afford pleasure to those who love to watch them when at rest, or their headlong dash for cover at the least alarm.

"Snow Country" unwrapped

title page

New Year–
last year’s mistakes mended
with snow patches
–Melissa Allen (“red dragonfly”)

If this is not a shower of all the blossoms I can’t name that rabbits brush in their search for carrot patches, tell me how less lucky I am–more so with “red dragonfly” friends

winning the race
rabbit number six switches tag
with number one

For me from hereon on every…

first snow–
the rabbits’ fur


January 20, 2011 - Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] her package and post them on her lovely blog, jornales, so if you’re interested in visuals, hop on over there and take a […]

    Pingback by January 21: Belated Rabbits « Red Dragonfly | January 21, 2011 | Reply

  2. And the sun hasn’t failed to brighten up my world this morning again sheathed in wet blackish freezing rain–the only sparks appear on puddles where raindrops alight on toe points. But yesterday, light snow descending in shimmers froze on thin grass–lawns seemed filigreed. I was freezing though warmed with such possible haiku and thoughts about rabbits somewhere tucked away, buffing their cottony tail like what Melissa sent in a postcard–we’re on the Pacific side, isn’t British Columbia?

    But see what an interaction with Melissa does? How shouldn’t thoughts of her red dragonflies swarming so far away in my childhood, so flitting on sheer wings not bring out these lines?

    Thank you again, Melissa!

    Comment by alee9 | January 21, 2011 | Reply

  3. bwahahahaha. cool and well posted Alegria Imperial. my laughter is due to Melissa’s often sited “no, know nothing about art” comments. yeah, but you do Melissa. this package is right out of the Mail Art world – awesome. …including the post office patina it gathered. way cool. way fun. cool post. aloha.

    Comment by Rick Daddario | January 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for coming by, Rick! And I’m glad you liked how I posted my gifts from Melissa. Aren’t they amazing? I agree with you. I thought Mail Art that you and she discussed briefly is a lost art. I remember being engrossed by it myself years and years ago. I think we should revive it. To receive a hand crafted mail still has no match. Really awesome!

      Comment by alee9 | January 22, 2011 | Reply

  4. aloha Alegria Imperial – yeah, years ago, i and some friends did what we called “Mail Art”. that was very different than what is going on now in the Mail Art world of today tho.

    what i’ve found is that Mail Art now is a very big community with all kinds of interactions and projects, swaps, trades and… anything that can go through the postal system is part of mail art the way it is now… in fact there are many mail art communities. both on the net and in local areas too.

    i became reacquainted with this new mail art way about 4-5 years ago.

    some of the things i like about it, is that it embraces all kinds of people and disciplines from around the world. it brings art back into the hands of all people. it connects people in good ways around the planet and it’s for all ages and backgrounds. the net/web has facilitated a lot of this in many ways.

    i’m sure we could engage in any number of activities on a variety of levels through WP. if mail art really interests you, i can point you toward some dedicated communities. i’m not as active currently as i was even a year ago, but i still have a lot of my connections and can step back in i’m sure at any time. in some ways poetry and writing have a lot of followings in mail art – so do other art forms.

    yeah. that mail package is a very cool treat Melissa sent. and in many ways it struck me as right along the lines of Mail Art now. and yeah, mail art makes going to your mail box a lot of fun.

    have fun. aloha.

    Comment by Rick Daddario | January 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Wrick! I love this interconnection of past and present, past and future of an art we share. Yes, I would like to be reacquainted with it. I may not have much time for it and I may have grown inceasingly challenged in the use of my hands for fine craft but I could finger paint, or create patches of leaves and petals on paper perhaps. I’d love to browse on what others, besides Melissa and you, have been doing and what’s up.

      I’m still quite overwhelmed with her gifts. If Mail Art is it then I’d love to do something in return.

      Thanks again!

      Comment by alee9 | January 23, 2011 | Reply

  5. aloha Alegria Imperial – what my friends and i did years ago was simply picking a name at random in a phone book – which had addresses – and sending something in the mail as a surprise, imagining the outcome of receiving something like that. it was small stuff and we didnt include return addresses or ways to contact us – so it was just something a random person would find in their mail box. that was fun for us.

    Mail Art now is way different. it’s still full of surprise and fun tho – and it takes on many different forms of art at all levels – young and experienced, and experienced and inexperienced of all ages, beginners and long time artists, all forms of disciplines from craft to fine art too – writers, poets, woodworkers, sewing, clay, photographers digital and non-digital, watercolor, acrylic, drawing, collage and paper crafts and more – just about anything you can think of… and just about every country around the planet – you can find people exploring mail art almost anywhere.

    what you are suggesting that you can do would be very appropriate. there are trades and swaps among groups of people with themes or specific criteria and there are individual one on one swaps and trades too. you choose what you want to participate in and then do what that group is doing for that swap/trade. or you can ask if someone wants to trade – sometimes they will and sometimes they wont.

    here are two sister sites, one that accepts everyone and one you can get into by applying and going through a jury process – it’s high caliber work.

    ATCs For All is for everyone no matter what your background or experience and it’s great for beginners and very helpful and friendly:

    the sister site is:

    Illustrated ATCs – it’s not just illustration – but it is by jury process that you can get into it:

    on both of those pages click Gallery or Card Gallery and you can browse over 1,000 pages of ATCs. do you know what ATCs are? it stands for Artist Trading Cards – a lot of mail art artists swap and trade these cards.

    ATCs are a standard size – small. like playing card size. 2.5 x 3.5 inches. other than that, anything you want to do will qualify. those two Mail Art sites do more than just ATCs but that is the main area for most people on swaps/trades etc. for those sites. there are a lot of other formats – including but not limited to postcards, chunky books, skinny books, zines, 4 x 4s, 2 x 2s and just about anything else you can think of that can go through the postal system.

    i’ve added a search box on my blog so you can put in ATCs or Postcards or Mail Art and see what i’ve posted along those lines (everyone does these things in their own way tho – so dont think it has to be done the way i’ve done it at all).

    in general i swap and trade in mail art communities (or with people i have met in these communities). outside of mail art communities, sometimes people dont follow through as well – this can happen in mail art communities too, but it’s way less likely to happen.

    of course you can also search Mail Art terms in the tags of WP and see what WP people are doing too (or Google these Mail Art terms). WP is a blog community, where as the two sites above are mail art communities. in many cases people in the second site are also members in the first site above as well.

    the first site above is a good way to find out about how things are done – and of course you can always ask me and i’ll tell you what i know too. i’m a member on the first site above. i had planned on applying to the second site (i’ve swapped with a number of people on the second site) when i had my work where i could easily show them. i have that now with my dotcom but i havnt had time yet. bwahahahahaha – my dotcom:

    there are plenty more Mail Art communities – i’m a member of some and i know about others. i think browsing the two above will give you some ideas about Mail Art. you can participate as much or as little as you want in ATCs For All if you sign up. signing up will also give you more access to things on the site too. you can look up individuals and see what they have done or have available. you can even look me up – i’m Wrick there.

    you can also of course ask me if i’ve been unclear about something or you just want more info in some way…

    i’m sure Melissa would appreciate anything you wish to do. a thank you note is always appreciated.

    if you want more Mail Art Communities or more info, let me know – and have fun exploring. aloha – Rick (Wrick)

    Comment by Rick Daddario | January 23, 2011 | Reply

    • Woww!! It does sound like an exciting world to unravel not unlike what I’ve known. I’d like to take it slowly, read this wonderful ‘brochure’ you had written in one breath and take your advice one step at a time. Some ideas have since been budding since I read it in a rush this morning before leaving for Sunday mass and chores downtown. I can’t wait to browse through the sites, look for Wrick, and will certainly tell you about it!

      Aloha! Gayyem, Wrick! (friend in Iuko, my dialect)

      Comment by alee9 | January 24, 2011 | Reply

      • aloha again alee9 – yeah, Mail Art is fun. and yeah again too, go slow and explore – no problem on that. even if you sign up with a community in most places that i know of you are not required to participate in a specific way – so looking around and asking questions is fine, even if you dont join in a swap or trade.

        when you do decide to play, i’d encourage you to take your time in joining projects and not join too many at one time. once you catch on to it, it’s very easy to over commit yourself because there are always a lot of great swaps and projects going on. after a while, you’ll get to know your own pace and (hopefully) can take on projects in numbers that you can work with and meet the time lines. fun.

        ha. Gayyem Alee9 – that’s an intriguing word – and the dialect is one i know nothing about – Iuko. very cool. mahalo (thank you – in Hawaiian) – altho i do not speak a lot of Hawaiian it is so much a part of the culture here that words enter into our every day speak a lot). – aloha

        Comment by Rick Daddario | January 24, 2011

      • Thanks again, Wrick! I love the rambling…truth is, I’ve already peeked into all three sites you sent my way. All three look cool! I like your art–it expresses who I sense you are…hmmm but I might get entangled in nouns and adjectives here! Browsing your frames is like finding gates that announce you’ve arrived to where you’d rather be. Most of the others engage in fantasy, a world created. You’re right in telling Melissa and me that Mail Art could be just the other perfect outlet for haiku and other poetry. Even now, I’m imagining what I would do though I really should take my time or I could get totally absorbed in it!

        I’m glad you like the sound of my dialect. Do you know that Oahu is nicknamed the other Ilokandia? There are thousands of Ilokanos in Hawaii. In Oahu, I have a host of relatives including an aunt, my mom’s youngest sister, and a cousin who has long made it home for his family. Iluko history in Hawaii goes far back a hundred years ago but this conversation should be picked up as yet another thread at another time.

        Mahalo. Napnuan yaman (literally, full of thanks)!

        Comment by alee9 | January 25, 2011

  6. Hey, look at the great conversation you guys are having over here about me! (It is all about me, right? Not about art or anything?)

    Everything I learned about putting together a package like this I learned from the reading of many craft blogs where people were always doing this kind of thing for each other.

    I am (kind of) “crafty” in that way…I mean I have lots of ideas about arts and crafts I can do…I just don’t have any real artistic skills such as drawing, painting, sculpting, metalworking, etc., etc., and am incredibly clumsy and awkward with my hands (which is probably an actual neurological deficit, not just a standard variation), so this is probably the closest thing to “art” I will ever produce.

    And actually I think of it more as an extension of poetry than as visual art — most of the art-stuff is someone else’s (my son folded the rabbit) while all the poetry is mine, I just picked out the stuff to write it on and figured out which words would work with what. 🙂

    It is tons of fun, though. Especially the surprise part. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed, Alegria …

    Comment by Melissa Allen | January 23, 2011 | Reply

    • Hahaha…yes, it’s all about you and because of you!!! Now Wrick has opened for me a new ‘verse of which my pickings from it could flood you in the future! But I’m quite curious not having any idea at all that what I used to do is actually an ‘art’. I’m sure we’ll keep talking about it and especially about you–but we are! And it’s because I’m still enjoying my gifts.

      Comment by alee9 | January 24, 2011 | Reply

    • bwahahahaha, of course this conversation is all about you Melissa – it’s all your fault we’re having it! bwahahahahaha…

      yeah, you’d get along fine in Mail Art communities – both of you would.

      Mail Art community people are from every walk of life you can imagine. it’s art for and by human beings. and… they tend to blur the lines between craft and art and all kinds of creative endeavors, careers, hobbies or anything else you can think of…

      you dont have to have some special knowledge in order to create. you just have to do it. it’s in doing it that you gain understanding and knowledge.

      i still like thinking that each work or study i do, i do so that the one after that one will be better. that’s why i keep exploring and experimenting – to see how something comes out so the next work i do will come out even better. that’s the journey. it’s simply a process and path points along the way. and you know where every path starts – the first step you take. that’s it. that’s how you begin every journey.

      entering the Mail Art world as a poet/writer is a great place to enter it. and you can create exactly as you’ve mentioned here. by choosing papers and writing materials and your words and having fun. that is one of the great keys – having fun.

      if you have fun, your work will have fun in it. knitting, stitching, sewing, beading, collaging and on and on – almost anything you can imagine can be used to create in Mail Art circles. sometimes themes are as simple as a color – or even a word. and sometimes there is no theme. you decide what you want to do. sometimes it’s “your favorite quote” or a quote on… xyz. or the theme might be winter, summer, spring – a season – as long as you can connect your work up to the theme – it’s valid. so i know you have a stock pile of material at hand already.

      see? this is all about you. not some grand art thing that we have to look up in a dictionartary. put it together so that it’s your own way of having fun – it’ll appeal to others – and inspire too. you can go at your own pace. one a week? one a month? one a year? if it’s fun, you’ll like doing it. and yeah, the surprises will be there.

      whew. ramble off. bwahahahahahaha. i know, i know. time. sheesh. and sleep. okay okay. i’m going to go sleep too. ha. aloha

      Comment by Rick Daddario | January 24, 2011 | Reply

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