jornales

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

shadows (a haibun)

shadows–
how much longer
can we stay?

Shadows have always fascinated me. As a child, I chased them or rather searched for them. Under trees at high noon when the crown of an acacia tree from across our balcony but covered its root space like a clipped parasol, I’d creep to it and hug the ancient roots, basking in its shadow. By the stream where my grandmother scoured the soot off the iron rice pot and skillet, I’d haunt the silken strips of shadows under bamboo grooves and waited on the engorged shadow of a kingfisher that never failed to fly by; damselflies swarmed around that time, too. But by then, I’d be drawing on the dance of bamboo leaves on the steady current for a clue on which side of the stream is shallowest for me to swim. My grandmother had learned from snoops that I sauntered alone at high noon by the stream–even took dips, shedding off my clothes to wear her pandiling* or tapis** (sarong-like cloth) that when soaked weighed on my body and tended to slip off; I had by then showed signs of turning into a woman. Upbraided, I stopped creeping under the shadowed stream for a while. It was then when I began exploring the wooded orchard of a grandaunt and got chased by a swarm of bees I had disturbed. My granduncle had heard my screams and came with a mosquito net plus some kind of obnoxious spray. I suffered a few stings that my grandaunt soothed with dabs of burnt molasses syrup. I had since then, confined my fascination for shadows under ruins and buildings that block the sun off. Why this disdain for the sun, a friend once asked. What answer could I give for some things I have none?

half
of who we are–
shadows

(Prompt from a free-wheeling discussion with Rick Daddario, 19 Planets Art Blog that you can click on my blogroll, about a would-be no-goal project we have on ‘moon and shadows’.)

*Iluko, the tongue of the northernmost region of the Philippine archipelago I was born with
**Pilipino, native language of the Filipinos derived mostly from Tagalog, the dialect of the central plains in Luzon, the biggest of 7,100 islands, where Manila and also my region are located. Filipinos speak four major dialects of the 87 with Pilipino (and English in its varied adaptations to tongue and colloquial expressions) spoken in most of the islands. I speak but can’t write proficiently in Pilipino.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Alegria Imperial

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August 23, 2011 - Posted by | haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, let alone the content!

    Comment by destiny | April 15, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks for your kind words, Bonnie!

      Comment by alee9 | June 3, 2013 | Reply


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