jornales

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

caked mud (my haiku for CKK#28)

caked mud
clinging to my heels–
summer memories

Caribbean Kigo Kukai#28 (mud)
Votes:33**** Points: 12
Comments: 255 = 12, Is this person a farmer, a labor worker, or a hiker–nice ambiguities that allow the reader to speculate.

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

first smile (haiga8 for Rick Daddario’s challenge at19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga 8 composed on Microsoft Publisher with my sister's first baby picture at 5 mos old

first smile nothing else

I remember that early morning light, which illumines the bedroom. It could have poured in through a window facing east where deep dark leaves of a star apple tree soaked most of it, leaving a young mango sprout pale in its struggle to grow. Or perhaps it was just uncared for. And why do I now blame the more luxuriant star apple? No one could pay much attention to the mango seedling then, since the birth of my sister and only sibling.

It could have been a Saturday morning. My mother could have been home that late and didn’t leave for school across the stream a block away, a post-deduction I’m making from the angle of the light. If it were a weekend, I must have been sleeping late. It couldn’t but be a Saturday or this picture wouldn’t have been taken by an uncle who also taught at the parish school. So why am I making a fuss this late?

Because I wish I could relate a more credible story as to how that first smile was caught. I remember my sister more as fretful. She cried when she felt sleepy or couldn’t sleep. She cried when she woke up and felt hot. When I carried her, I could not hold her facing me for long; I would have to make her face outward with one arm supporting her butt as in a seat, her legs dangling, and my other arm, bracing her close to me so she would not fall forward. She hardly smiled. She seemed to size up people as if already making opinions as they talked though she still couldn’t except to say, ‘Mama’. Which is why this smile for me sparkles as a gem.

I know that hand carved wooden bed. On it, I nuzzled on my mother’s side under a crook of her arm as deep as my memory dips. I watched my sister suckled from my mother’s breast, perhaps like I did, on this bed. I remember bumping my head on the headboard against carvings of huge blooms, hearts of gardenias in a swirl of leaves leaning away as if blown by their redolence. Lying on it felt like easing into silken strands, the hand woven rattan strips, which stretched and retracted with each un-recalled movement in dreams. I know that slightly creased sheet, too, which is actually a native heavy woven cotton blanket I had dived into as a child myself. It must have been really a Saturday morning because I see no pillows, which my grandmother would have gathered to put out under the sun to disinfect and deodorize.

The story I recall of this morning has to do with impulses. An uncle who lived on the other corner of our street, apparently just happened to drop by with his camera. He just suddenly wanted to take a picture of my 5-month old sister. My sister just then was learning to turn on her side. That morning, she happened to do a full turn to lie on her belly. She just happened to smile. Or maybe I was there to clown around when my uncle clicked his Kodak Field camera. But the truth is, I remember nothing else but this first smile.

Fifty four years gape between that morning and me today. I am now an elderly woman hankering for details I missed. But then again because I have none except this moment caught, I can spin webs around it to catch any morning light, and perhaps one like that Saturday morning.

September 25, 2011 Posted by | haiga, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

abducted fireflies (haiga7 for 19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga7 for haiga-a-day made with clip art on Microsoft Publisher

abducted fireflies
glowing in its eyes
frog

Another post for Rick Daddario’s haiga-a-day challenge at 19 Planets Art Blog, which I created from a clip art on Microsoft Publisher.

And what’s behind the image of the frog? This…

Noticing what could be unseen or merely imagined, magnifying the significance of what would be otherwise, some speck lost in the swarm of air particulates, this is what poetry, especially haiku, does to me. My mind cannot seem to work within limitations of space and time, or even sensations. What’s beyond a simple object in a single moment becomes a truth that breaks through thought barriers. Take the frog.

Basho has immortalized its break out of anonymity with his famous haiku, ‘old pond’. Reading it again and again, one steps into the monastic peace of an old pond until a frog that one hardly notices among stones, plops, and animates the peace with the sound of water. In a moment, the old pond turns into a universal moment of any moment that once was lifeless, suddenly, breathing from the unexpected.

My haiga is hardly a takeoff from Basho’s frog. It does not have the quietness of it, nor of the objective quality that identifies the poet as the observer but in whose mind, reality is arranged into three lines that total into a truth. While an observation as well, mine is less objective in that I state what I suppose in what I see, namely, the glow in a frog’s eye–seen especially in the dark. Knowing what it feeds on, I imagine fireflies and connect it with that glow. In reality, it is far-fetched as we know that anything creatures eat ends up far from the eyes, in the stomach. If a glow ever shows in the eye, it is that of satisfaction. But what I have done here, or think so, anyway, is tweak reality and made it slide into poetic thought, some other truth.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | comment, haiga, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

somehow (awardee at haiku bandit society Sept moon viewing)

somehow
our shrinking shadows touch
harvest moon

haiku bandit society
September 2011 Dottie Dot Awards

September 15, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

harvest moon (haiga6 for 19 Planets Art Blog)

harvest moon haiga, my second water color attempt for 19 Planets Art Blog

harvest moon
melting banks of darkness–
our silent walls

I like the haiku which the artwork prompted. This process, as Rick Daddario keeps saying, has turned ‘way way fun’, for me. I do have a vague landscape in my mind before I start playing with the water color pencils (that I chose as medium for easy handling) at first, but something else begins to take form with my first stroke and on to the next. As more colors waft on the frame, it is then, too, when the haiku, writes itself, as in this haiga.

I think it’s not a good one because the image describes the haiku. I believe that with this genre, they should be apart like strangers sizing up each other. In this haiga though, I, the author, slips in between them, bringing with me what I would wish the moon would do more than what we know it does. Also, a haiku as author-driven as this is termed anthropomorphic, if I recall correctly, and it isn’t quite a good haiku. Still, I like this haiga and I hope you do, too.

September 14, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a dragonfly/zips into a tower–/what I remember (a 9/11 repost from filipineses09)

911 REVISITED (REPOST FROM A 2010 POST)
September 12, 2011, 1:55 am

It’s still for me a searing memory…that morning 10 years ago

a dragonfly/zips into a tower–/what I remember

Visit to a Hallowed Ground

I looked on a shallow dish of dirt, raked and dug out, and still seething. From where I stood at the portico of St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street from across what used to be the World Trade Center, I gazed and gaped incredulous. How could it seem so small, so nothing now?

That now hallowed ground I had once walked on, eyes up where the twin towers held up the sky, was raw like a vulture’s leftover meal — the vulture that had zipped into it from the same sky.

The smell of burning still tarnished the air: it was sharp and pungent. Thin spirals of smoke still seeped off the ground where the dying has not ended. There was a stench in the downtown train I thought must be someone’s mess or as the friend I was with said, could be the cleaning agent used. And then, I realized it was the stench of decaying flesh.

For the first time on this visit to New York, three months after the disaster that the world now calls by its date, September Eleven, I finally lived the nightmare.

I could not recognize turns on the streets I learned by heart a whole summer I lived in New York. I had to let go, and be led on by the steady stream of people, moving about in a daze like me. We have walked into a city that was pummeled, ripped, and blown in parts; it felt strange.

The buildings around the World Trade Center, once glinting towers now scarred and wearing ashes have turned old and looked haunted. Delis and coffee shops serving breakfast at 8:45 that morning have grown frost where they had stood still. (In which of them had I once shared with a friend the tastiest sticky bun ever one morning we walked this far?) But I had yet to find the remains of that day.

We had stopped at every cross street that opened to Ground Zero, and hung our heads. We had stalled, holding back tears, where instant graves had blossomed on wrought iron fences or granite walls. The graves drew out the grief, and tears gave names to what were earlier anonymous faces: A wife to one of those still missing stumbled into a huddle, and crumbled to the ground, touching a framed picture adorned with ribbons now frayed and fading. She had visited this grave each day since. A brother to one still lost crept from behind us quietly planting another candle where what he lit last night was dying. He had no way of telling if his brother was among the dead; he was still missing like many who walked into that ordinary summer day but whose bodies have not been found.

A wind ruffled the pages of a letter a grandmother had pinned on a young woman’s framed portrait, detailing how her oh so innocent two-year old son regaled the family with stories of a visit to the zoo in last weekend’s tearful dinner. A scrap of lined paper, bold scripts now blotted, was a young boy’s inspired poem on the heroic death of those he didn’t personally know. The ‘graves’ were now a mosaic of grief; none of us who strayed into them could stay around for long.

Memories of the nightmare played on. On these same streets, thousands of wounded had limped, transformed by terror and grief. Some had lost their hair in the fire, others, half their faces. The sirens had screamed, flying through the night and days from then on. New York congealed into a mass of the helpless hurt, the faceless who came to help, and the cops and firemen who gave their lives to others whose names they had no chance to ask. Blood flowed from cut limbs, and also from veins held up for the taking. This city of spunk and internal faces broke into a weeping, sobbing, moaning humanity. We, who lived through the nightmare whole days on end on television, could only imagine half the reality then.

From St. Peter’s portico, we glued our eyes on those giant combs of steel, the cranes that moved clumsy marionette arms; the diggers had not stopped sifting for remains. They had gone deep underground, out of our sight. After this visit, when they hit what used to be the Cortland subway stop, five more bodies turned up. But where we huddled, necks craned to Ground Zero on this visit, there was nothing else we could see out there. What I kept staring at instead, and like perhaps those strangers around me did, were spots on the ground that held memories, my own…

(read the rest of it at my other blog filipineses09, just click on my blogroll. Also I’m trying to double check this: this was nominated for a Pushcart Award 2010 by Sketchbook but I cannot find my record of it. Perhaps because it was just too overwhelming, almost incredulous, that I lost it but I know I’ll find it or maybe not among my messy files.)

September 12, 2011 Posted by | background, diary/memoir, lyrical prose, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

full moon/this full moon

full moon
he smoothens a wrinkle
on her hand

this full moon
swathing New York tonight–
is it love?

(the first is a NaHaiWriMo post for the prompt ‘love’ and ‘moon viewing’)

September 12, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘from sedge’ haiga5 for haiga-a-day at 19 Planets Art Blog

from sedge haiga5

My fifth post for haiga-a-day challenge on Rick Daddario’s 19 Planets Art Blog. I’ve ventured this time into creating my own artwork. I’m saying so as a caveat for the crudeness of this watercolor attempt. I mentioned that I did dabble in drawing ages ago but never did get an actual training. I had thought that reading a lot for the writing I used to do and interviewing great Filipino artists would work a miracle in me–what improbable thought, no? I guess I still do think it’s possible and so my daring to post this haiga:

from sedge
to sedge no stalk
firm enough
to hold a wing–
damselflies

A five-line haiku? I’m not sure this is legitimate. And if not, consider this a draft then, along with the childlike drawing!

September 11, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘buttonhole’ haiga4 for 19 Planets Arts Blog

haiga4 another clip art creation with Microsoft Publisher

buttonhole–
fireflies sneak
into my dreams

Another post composed with clip art on Microsoft Publisher for Rick Daddario’s haiga-a-day 19 Planets Art Blog.

The haiku came out of a reflection about dreams and fireflies. How often like children do we wonder what makes what seems not possible possible like what makes a firefly glow in the dark. Science does explain it with a chemical they carry like luminescent creatures of the sea. We say, ahhh to that. But tell that to a child and she looks at air. Nothing there. I must have done it many times as a child because the wonder stayed. No matter how much I read now as an adult and discover answers to what once was unexplainable, I remain with the mystery and the dream. And for me, fireflies will always be those fallen stars I used to catch as a child and slept with one, if I did, in my tight fist, expecting it would still twinkle when I wake up.

September 10, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘fallen leaf’ for Svetlana(haiga3 for 19 Planets Art Blog challenge)

'fallen leaf' haiga 3 with clip art on Microsoft Publisher

fallen leaf
curls into its own
emptied self

Tribute to NaHaiWriMo friend, beautiful soul, Svetlana Marisova, whose death at 21 swathed me in heavy sadness today, this haiga is also posted for Rick Daddario’s haiga-a-day challenge at 19 Planets Art Blog, composed on Microsoft Publisher with clip art.

September 9, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments