jornales

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

‘Sayonara’ (a haibun on Fukushima inspired by a tv news reel)

News reel from a Philippine television coverage in Sendai. Families evacuated, the newscaster intones. The Philippine embassy has sent the bus to fetch Filipino-Japanese families to safer Tokyo ground.

we gather our own
in prayer–
a quiet sea

The camera catches fear on young mother’s faces, Filipino mothers, their long straight hair undone by the wind-driven snow. Bundles and backpacks like humps on their slender backs and sides bounce as they race away from shattered homes to the bus, children scrambling along, giant stuffed animal-pillows, dragging them in the danger-laced air. Inside the bus, the camera pans to pillow fights the kids have started, then close-up to a baby asleep, mouth open in lamb-like calm. A mother fusses over a girl’s stuck-up zipper. Mild chaos, more of confusion.

bedtime
lullabies and stories–
the breathing bus
slips into a dream of stars
the old moon grins

Camera returns to the scene left behind, focuses on a man in wordless soundless grief waving his hand as if in a quiet dance of despair, sometimes folding his arms as if to stem the flow of pain. He had opted to stay, the newscaster sustains his even tone. How could he leave? To leave one’s life behind is to die. To lose perhaps, never to see a wife and child again? That’s also death. The camera pans back to the desolate street. The bus moves away.

Sayonara
he waves mutely
in the falling snow
the bus swallows steam
wife and son and tears

Sendai sea–
how far is the other side?

NB

Posted soon after the tragic calamity but I deleted it when I included it to a call for submission for the anthology just published, “We Are All Japan”. Never did get any response from the editors but apparently, it was declined. Just learning how to craft both haibun and tanka then, a year ago. But I’m posting it again for what it’s worth, hoping you would feel what I felt.

The tangential connection of the tsunami destruction and my haibun comes from a personal history between Japan and the Philippines. During that unfortunate war (WWII), many families lost their fathers without goodbyes, my mother’s family, for one. Hardly ever spoken about in my childhood, I grew up nonetheless with a heavy pall of sorrow from the absence of a grandfather whom the Japanese Imperial Army excuted before I was born. No corpus was ever found but tales of how he was made to kneel for beheading abound. When I watched the news reel from a Philippine tv channel, it touched me deeply and from that core of pain this haibun wrote itself out.

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May 27, 2012 Posted by | haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

if i could linger (my tanka at LYNX June 2012)

if I could linger
under trees, i would implant
myself to bar
the wind from luring petals
to their deathly dance

LYNX XXVII: June 2, 2012

cherry blossoms at Sakura Park, Upper West side, New York

May 15, 2012 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

the sun’s footfalls (random lines not quite haiku)

…this is really me, writing, unshackled by poetic (all forms, genres) discipline. Call me untamed, even feral. I’ll agree. But this is my true spirit that I must let roam once in a while like today. 

*

burnt orange the sun’s footfalls

moon flitting
from staccato dawn
an owl hoots

a scrabbling in the pine copse raccoon eyes

is the fox a man in his dream?
snow melt

zebra
snorts
at jet stream
moonset

ivy wall
in its shadowed side
sunlit sighs

May 11, 2012 Posted by | poetry | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

spring song, 3rd place in Blossom Rain’s 1st Haiku My Photo Challenge

My haiku won 3rd place in Chrissi Villa’s Blossom Rain 1st Photo Challenge. The invitation was for haiku poets to write a haiku on a photo. 1st place winner is friend, Sanjukta Asopta. Here’s mine and the comment of the judge, Kirsten Cliff:

spring song
how it draws the heart
to reflection

I’m a fan of alliteration and loved the phrase “spring song” on first reading. It works with the photo and then immediately draws the reader to look outside the borders for further signs of spring. The poet here like the first two, has reminded the reader of Nature’s song, of the life essence that is all around us and part of us. And also like the above two haiku, the auditory sense of the reader is engaged, which lifts the photo to another level. The final lines “how it draws the heart/ to reflection” worked to draw me deeply into the centre of the photo, and deeper into the experience as a whole.

Kirsten Cliff

 

Here’s the link or click on Blossom Rain in my blogroll:

http://blossomrain.blogspot.ca/2012/05/results-of-1st-haiku-my-photo-challenge.html

May 5, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘pine strand’ one of 365 haiku on your mobile phone

Read a haiku-a-day on your mobile phone. Yes, simply access your haiku app and anyone of the 365 haiku would show up as you click or shake your screen. You might read mine:

pine strand
flailing in night sky—
the first low star

Alegria Imperial
Lynx XXIII (2008)

The Haiku Foundation Haiku app Data Base 2012

May 2, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘duayya’ (lullaby): taking a break from haiku to free verse

the birds will soon forget
how much the sun cradled the flowers
to bear the seeds
so easily borne
in the wind
so swift
to scatter to land
and bed and root
and be transformed

but for now the singing
heightens
each day as the sun begins
a lullaby
so unlike us
so unaware of our songs
we bloom and bed
and scour around
so we may seed
you and i
but fail to find a lullaby

so swift to turn away to forget
why we held hands in the moonlight

 Also posted at my other blog, inner spaces, at http://gimperial.wordpress.com

*duayya (lullaby in Iluko of the northernmost region of the Philippine archipelago, my native tongue)

May 1, 2012 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment