jornales

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

riddle (for One Shot Wednesday featured and critiqued by Jendi Reiter at winningwriters.com)

from flints flung off
cliffs where crags snag
fledglings came my seed,
buried, until as sapling
i spiraled off ground. air
feeds me but it turns

poison when i exhale, cracks
when as blossom i break,
feigning petulance. i am crowned
when i abscond words.

i bear fruit when my
flesh oozes. my dreams
drip when birds hang where i gaze
on a promise; moons that sprout on my limbs i count
as wings resisting winds.

my yearnings
wear out the sun, singe my heart
a thousand times. but always
at dawn i bud.

Copyright 2008 by Alegria Imperial
Critique by Jendi Reiter at http://www.winningwriters.com October 2008

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, THE gathering place for poets and artists of inimitable works who also nurture each other. Check us out. Better yet, hop in!

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May 31, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

5 Memorial Day haiku of loss and remembrance

i look up
and still that fractured sky–
911 some days

Pearl Harbor–
the only war this orphan knows–
my 90-year old aunt

his saber
still in its silver sheath–
the soldier long gone

memorial wall–
all those summers
these young men missed

in full regalia
he gazes into the void
among the living

—all posted (except #3) at the NaHaiWriMo facebook site for the prompt, ‘Memorial Day, loss and remembrance’

May 30, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

mid-Manhattan (from memory for one shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Scott Wyden

a sun tracing its autumn route
never seen here
no shadow falls from slants of light
columns of smoke
the weeping in tunnels
the grating of steel cogs

here only the dream of skies
on narrow slits a canopy propped up
by concrete, glass and steel
needles piercing the day moon
blinking at humans
dogs and cars–toys of King Kong

sunset grinds
a maddening ruckus:
cars rushing as if to escape
people shaken
along with a colony of ants
deadened by the rasp of wheels

blasting horns wheezing air brakes
a wailing ambulance
in a duet with a fire truck
and police cars
in a rush to save a kitten on a terrace
hanging by its paws

the swarm on sidewalks
darkens with dusk
a flowing mush of bodies wrapped
in thick armors of invisibility –
black coat, jacket, cape, cap, boots,
and square-toed shoes

here, no unhurried strides
heads don’t turn
lost in inner spaces
no one misses who gets snared
and stalls: the throng belches on
eyes riveted to warning lights

“Don’t Walk” the wound up toys
stop “Walk” and do
I am lost here
I shed my name I wonder
about the color of my hair
the hue of my skin

I have turned mute
“I’m sorry,” I lisp
as if I really am
sorry about a slice of sky
the undertow that pulls me
to surrender

to the winking stars

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

A poem written from memory prompted by a photo of Scott Wyden posted for One Shoot Sunday for an absolute challenge at One Stop Poetry, th inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Check out the other poets’ take! Click on OSP on my blogroll.

May 29, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

me to Shiki:/how far can i go/with haiku? (his possible answers)

heron at lake courtesy of wikicommons

me to Shiki:
how far can i go
with haiku?

his possible answers

heron equals
stillness

***

stillness–
we break the rules

***

nothing moves in the pond–
turtle

***

plum tree–
only when it blooms

***

only lotus flowers
in the pond

***

wind to bamboo:
how far
can whispers go?

May 28, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

the wait (TCR issue 51 for One Shot Wednesday)

on the window
the bird seed beveled
a choppy morning
where the soughing wind
mimics whispers
snagged among caricature
of trees

ruined by the rain
shredded under steps
leaves trapped in gutters—
thoughts flung on
rain puddles where the rain
drops as rings blurring
the sky

in the lilac bush
the ruckus of the sparrows
sinks into the sunset
in the brambles a spider web sags—
we wait for the darkness
to open up for the moon

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

Published at The Cortland Review Issue 51 May 2011

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. Check out this site wher poets share their love for their art and nurture each other.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

red (for One Shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Walter Parada

the truth about red:

my heart is like a man’s
although it flickers not throbs
as the Sun I am absent at the zenith
but in living things i lend my flare

my color is red not gold
as Red i seep in or withdraw
i blossom vermillion in camellias, azaleas,
or metamorphose into the rose

when blossoms shed petals,
leaving a litter of brown scraps
i desert the flowers
or blaze in berries, persimmons—
when juiced i spurt red

after coupling with Earth
i, as the Sun, leave it with
fire for smoldering births

find me, Red,
on chipped off terra cotta bricks
a mitt of rust on stray feet
a red organdy dress
to lift the shroud off grieving
i drip red on tubs of basi
shared after evening prayers
flaring on a monsignor’s cheeks
chanting a Te Deum

i pull Red out of my chest
to cloak archbishops
in carmine the color of fresh blood
the blaze of martyrs
who bleed for others
drain their heart out

but locked in self
i dry out a heart turn it black
blood when it dries up
that’s me, a two-faced Diablo
the apparition sneaking in at night
death masquerading as love

a bouquet of red carnations on Fridays
seething trees through bumpy rides
a stone in the moonlight rooting on a mango tree
a branch for a splint on broken bones
a face bruised by kisses
scarlet spears in childhood dreams
your name on my breath
a deep breeze

i, Red, am also the Sun swirling down
on a violent hand
but soften on pink tulle over the fields
coaxing you to reach up to me
scooping you to turn in my arms
switch off your fears
to smoother you with my most tender tinge
i, the Diablo slung in your heart:
you‘re freed

*basi, fermented sugar cane, native wine in the northernmost edge of the Philippine archipelago.

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry where I can’t resist the challenge as the other poets and artists who congregate to share their love of art and poetry in this site. Check us out!

May 22, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

random haiku (and by the way, check out haikuverse)

it’s over
the singing in the twigs–
leafing maples

***

as if not enough
to bloom skin to skin–
Rhodoras

***

from such a tangle
such primness in pink–
clematis

***

Queen Anne’s lace
on dog run’s collar
endangered

***

crow on cawing:
why grate
on each phrase?

This season just keeps bursting at me at each turn though I hardly stray from runnels of my days–same route to the bus stop, same side of the sidewalk, same crescent turn to the skytrain escalator. I even peek at the same display window, pass under the same now budding maples–the gingko flails its wavy twigs in the breeze already knobbed. I’ve counted tens of the dandelions from open-faced mini suns to those fearsome globes of hairy seeds, aha more threats to ruin seeded grass lawns. And yet and yet, without me looking up for stars, divining paths I may one day skid on, I do leap and be lifted often unaware by random gifts that turn into haiku.

This art certainly turns anyone who gives in to it into an “addict”, that is, if as defined by Webster not “one dependent on drugs” but one who “devotes or gives in” or in a ‘pejorative’ but to me, more truthful sense, one who “practices sedulously”. Once I woke up literally one day on lines burning into haiku that could work, some kind of a template engraved itself in my brain. The amazing nature of haiku is that once written, the template clears and the poet hardly recalls it. I used to wonder about this when meeting a poet I’ve read whose haiku I memorized and when I’d cite it to him would hang his head to scour what where when he wrote it, unless it won a grand prize. Not that I’ve attained any of that stature but perhaps because of my “sedulous-ness”–I must have written a couple of hundreds mostly “yikes haiku” by now–I’m beginning to forget what got published where or what has been written about this on this or that flower, bee, bird, star, moon.

It’s so easy to conclude that the universe is infinite because in the vastness, we turn into less than grit. In haiku, this truth is its essence. No wonder the ‘template’ self-erases like a magic slate because another truth soon has to imprint itself on it. What’s even more magical is how such truth reveals itself–no, not precisely at that moment when my feet, for instance, brush by the transmogrified dandelions but when in the dark I sink into space. Or like right now as I “sedulously” write into this void of a screen.

And voila some truths that ring in a greater haiku poet’s mind who picks it up multiply. Take my haiku “it has to end…” Friend Melissa Allen, truly turning out to be a haiku master who also diligently shares endless knowledge about the art and its many forms, has included that haiku in her latest edition of haikuverse! I’m thrilled no end. Check out Red Dragonly in my blogroll now!

May 19, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

unfinished poems (for One Shot Wednesday)

red rose in a fluted vase sitting on its petals
for no one pretending prettiness passes
for love…

the gift in its box but a heart
unwrapped its beating unfelt like the ease
a lover leaves at dawn…

notes left unwritten cloud the heart
wilt on tight buds in a garden
awaiting a storm…

in the soil roots fight over names
like delphiniums like fuschia like hostas where
have heather dug stiffness out of hairs or simply rise
as rose at dawn…

the hand drenched in the haze sags under the moon
the night has so much to say so few
understand…

for us and the stars among sparrows spits turn
talisman in the dark as a dream finds a nymph
on a moss a croak becomes you…

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. Come on in. Join me and other poets in this gathering place.

May 18, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

the rose bud/under a sky/full moon (random haiku and what else I am learning about haiku)

1.
rose bud
still tight in the rain–
the coming of summer

2.
under a sky
bent by a rainbow
we ease for home

3.
full moon
on an open cesspool–
the sun for me

full moon partially obscured by the Earth's atmosphere (21 Dec 1999 taken by austronauts aborad the Space Shuttle Discovery) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I love how images work so well with haiku. And like paintings, they can be very compelling and draw out in their distance the deepest of emotions. Nothing should be overt in haiku. It must be hinted at, almost hidden or unnoticed.

For me, it could be something like a quiet reflection on the spit-notes of a waxwing or the epiphany of yes, a full moon on an open un-lidded cesspool. In the first, the notes for me feel like droplets of crystals that melt into a soft coating on my being, gifting me for a moment with the just-being-there-ness of a salmon berry blossom for a hummingbird; in the second, the moon sinks into my darkness– cesspool that I am in many ways of ‘pecadillos’, those daily pin pricks of rebellion from virtue and goodness–and turns on the light of the sun that is in me or what I believe to be my spirit, which at its core remains as powerful as the Sun from whom the moon draws its brightness.

Perhaps, I’m taking this too far but haiku works when it works for the poet–this is what I’m learning fast, though of course there are still the basic elements to go by. At the workshop of Michael Dylan Welch that I attended last Saturday right here in Vancouver in my neighborhood at the historic Joy Kogawa House, he emphasized a few key elements:

*not 5-7-5 syllables unless one is writing in Japanese
*must have a season (kigo) word (there are hundreds of them in a compilation by Japanese masters that differentiate for example mist and fog in spring and autumn have degrees of thinness, or even the moon is different in winter and autumn)
*must appeal to any or all of the 5 senses
*must be objective, meaning, not what is the emotion but what caused it
*precision (sharp focus), immediacy (of the moment not past or future both of which make it static), juxtaposition to make it ‘leap’ into a larger or higher perspective, which may be attained by contrast
*there’s a lot more than that, of course, and I’m still learning

Truly, reading haiku –and there’s thousands of them–and about the art may not be enough. Haiku has been for centuries some kind of a ‘group art’. It must be shared and worked at with others. For me, some kind of openness even humility are a must, a willingness to learn and be straightened out if what one has written seems vague or imprecise and the reader squints his eyes, knits his brows and says, ‘huh?’ instead of ‘ahhhh…’, clasps his hands and looks up to the heavens. Indeed, joining The Haiku Foundation that gave me access to Shiki Kukai, the Vancouver Haiku Group, and signing up for the NaHaiWriMo facebook site as well as submitting my haiku to and getting ‘acceptance’ and more often ‘declined’ mail from online haiku/tanka journals as well as other literary journals have been extremely rewarding.

Haiku’s most precise definition is ‘a short poem in one breath’. Ahhh…okay then, do these random haiku here make you say, ‘ahhhh’ or ‘huh’?

May 17, 2011 Posted by | background, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

zenith at noon (for One Shoot Sunday)

Photo prompt by Fee Easton

rain combs the strands
of our adagios:

expanse of thoughts
farther than the ends of flights
wings aching for home
a sight among stars

we tread the waves
sink in whirlpools deeper
than the heart of the flower
a hummingbird chooses

lighter
than marrow-less limbs
skimming skies
bending the spheres

constellations pirouette
on mid-strains cresting to slope
to skid onto silken lilies
our bed of seasons

in our clasped hands
the sea regurgitates the sun
froth fizzes a tickle
on our kissing toes

the sea breeze binds horizons
our eyes delude a sunset
our dawns begin
the night

the zenith at noon
the depth of our dreaming

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

From a photo prompt by Fee Easton this poem is posted for One Shoot Sunday yet another challenge at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering place of poets and artists, winner of the 2011 Shorty Awards for the Arts. Come join us. Share your love for your art. Be thrilled over what others say and what you discover of others’ works.

May 15, 2011 Posted by | free verse, lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments