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

My signature tanka “how you heave up…”


how you heave up

to the height of my eyes

pull up this darkness

and serve me tender dawn

O Sea, I want to know


cattails January 2016***Editor’s choice


Whoever might say that tanka isn’t “poetic”, hasn’t read this one by Alegria Imperial from Canada. As an Editor’s Choice, I selected it because Alegria’s words build from line 1 to a crescendo in line 5. This is comparable to the technique an experienced singer uses from a slow quiet start to a grand finale at song’s end. Alegria’s tanka is filled with yūgen, a Japanese word pertaining to a profound awareness of the universe, which evokes feelings that are inexplicably deep and too mysterious for words.


—UHTS cattailstanka editor an’ya, USA



September 23, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“angelus bells” and “being there”: finding a treasure


I’ve been browsing through my files and found this treasure that I have forgotten, buried as it is in my daily-writing years. I’ve slowed down a bit, especially on haiku, feeling like I’m skidding into a meltdown. I seem more productive with my mainstream/innovative/contemporary poems more accepted by only a couple of editors these days. But I’m amazed no end when I find my old works especially when it has been picked up and reviewed as Kathy Uyen Nguyen did to my haiku and haibun at her blog Origami Lotus Stone seven years ago. And my heart sinks…Thank you again, so much Kathy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August Blog Bash, Day 22 – Alegria Imperial @gwhisp

Welcome to the Debut of the August Blog Bash 2012!

I am very much excited and honored to be hosting this new feature series… and it is a great way to end the summer!  This Blog Bash is an impressive talent showcase of poets, artists, and writers/authors from all walks of life.  For each day of this month, one individual will be featured here on this blog, at Origami Lotus Stones, my Twitter (hashtag will be #augblogbash), my Facebook community page, and on my blog page on Writing Our Way Home.  Please be patient while I post on all platforms.

**Please note that all authors/artists have given me permission to post their work on the following platforms/sites I have just mentioned.  Please do not plagiarize, modify, reproduce, or distribute any work without permission from the original authors/artists.  Thank you!** If you are interested in participating in this Blog Bash, feel free to check out the details here.
Today’s Feature:  Alegria Imperial angelusbells by AI
This gorgeous haiku presents a new perspective of church bells tolling with words in minimalistic form.  Through this haiku, the reader can feel the heartbeat of every bell toll as well as his/her own heart beating along with the bells themselves.  I also love the fact that this haiku leaves a subtle touch of the “just enough” sensation for the reader to put his/her imagination into the haiku itself.  For instance, perhaps it’s a pair of newlyweds who’s just swapped vows.  However, notice that these are “angelus bells.”  Imperial was very precise with this choice of words.  It denotes something worthy of praise–like an angelic praise that is continuous and prolonged (“pealing”), which really does turn one’s pulse up a notch!  I also like the word play here too.  “Pealing” should not be confused with “peeling.”  If the angelus bells are “peeling / in heartbeats,” I would be perhaps thinking about peeling off flower petals such as bell flowers or bleeding hearts (and maybe sticking a flower behind my ear), which would make a wonderful transition between bells and flowers!
beingthere by AI
I am very excited to say that this is the first haibun presented through this August Blog Bash series!  This haibun presents a powerful experience of just simply paying attention to what’s around you and just “being there” in the moment.  There are so many lovely words and phrases here such as “the way the leaves sway and retract” and “the constancy of flowers.”  The stream-of-consciousness style in this haibun is steady and soothing like the river itself.  The delightful thing is that you realize that everything ends in the river when the haibun ended with a “river” haiku.  Both prose and haiku complement one another well.  I love how the prose ended with a floating “when,” which leads cleverly into “shifting tides” (wonderful syntax here), so that there seem to be no break (in the flow) between prose or haiku, even though visually, the reader can see the prose and the haiku separately on the page.  This haibun is very lyrical and meditative in composition and tone. Gorgeous work, Alegria!  Thank you so much for sharing and being one of the contributors!  And many, many thanks for your patience and understanding with what I’m going through now. (NB:  Text arrangement on MS PowerPoint by Kathy Uyen Nguyen.  Please note that text/graphics will be in this format.)

To check out more of Alegria’s work, you can click on the following link(s): Jornales (blog) Filipineses (blog) @gwhisp(Twitter) Please do promote this new feature on Facebook, Twitter, etc.!  Thanks so much for all the support!  And look, my blog now has buttons (see below) to make your life easier!  Come back tomorrow for a new artist/author feature!


being there

…it is the rhythm that’s constant it seems and not the stillness—the way the wind pulls and withdraws and the way the leaves sway and retract or how the clouds gather into masses and then dissipate into air or is it merely the eye that misses the jagged movements and edges and catches merely that moment when the rhythm shows and reassures us as in the constancy of flowers even as petals begin to brown and curl in the edges and fall, stripping the branches of their name because all we recall is their being there as in moments we have flowed into still flow into like on our early morning walks when

shifting tides–

the river unloading burdens

for us to decode


LYNX XXVII:I February 2012

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My haiku awards

Had been trying to put them all together and finally succeeded, I think. Here they are before I lose them…happy to share!


grey sky

the gull’s plaintive cries

fade into a wave


Fourth Place

Sea to Sky Haiku Canada Weekend contest May 17-19, 2019, Vancouver BC


autumn rain

the river carries

the sky



European Quarterly Kukai, Autumn 2017


dream catcher

the shifting colours

of dawn


3rdplace, European Haiku Kukai #12 Winter 2015


first tea with her—

cherry blossoms cloud

the skylight


Vancouver Sakura Award

2014 Vancouver Cherry Blossoms Festival Haiku Invitational


our breaths

suspended between skies—

monarch butterfly


honourable mention

2013 Diogen Autumn Contest



a whispered breeze

to the bamboo


12th International kukai ‘butterfly’ 115 haijin, 115 haiku, 27 countries

9th place (tie)


first dawn alone–

the widow eats his half

of the orange


Per Diem Daily Haiku

“Light and Dark”, December 2014

Per Diem Archiveon the Haiku Foundation Website, and the Haiku App.

First Place, free format category, Shiku kukai Sept 2013


pancake steam—

the thin mist on mornings

in a wicker swing


Zatsuei, Haiku of Merit

World Haiku Review March 2013


mixing bowls—

the shallow echoes

of bells


4th place 10th International Kukai 

January 2013


twilight rain

the blue heron mid-lake

somehow smaller


Commended, Traditional haiku

The Haiku Foundation’s 2012 Haiku Now Contest

Under the Basho 2013


winter solstice

the widow tightens

her braids


First Place, kigo* category

December 2012 Shiki* kukai (yava)


spring song

how it draws the heart

to reflection


Alegria Imperial, Vancouver, BC, Canada

3rdPlace, 1stBlossom Rain haiku My Photo Challenge, May 2012


stretching its neck

as if to measure our sky



Editor’s choice, Sketchbook ‘pond life’ kukai, March-April 2012

Commentary:Bernard Geitske

“the temptation to philosophize or explore one’s being is very strong”



our shrinking shadows touch—

harvest moon


haiku bandit society

September 2011 Dottie Dot Awards



we’ve left unsaid–

Indian summer


First Place, kigo category

July 2011 Shiki kukai


cherry blossoms

shedding petals at dusk—

moths in flight


Honorable Mention

2007 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Haiku Invitational and first published haiku



August 31, 2019 Posted by | awards, haiku, poetry | 4 Comments

ku at Under the Basho


the pond

I lied to


magpie chapter

you can tell whose ‘I’

is ripped


let it be

if a mollusk’s pulse

corresponds to a fugue


the word “seed”

lodged between

my incisors


Under the Basho ku, 2019

UtB-ku 2019

July 31, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

summer dusk

summer dusk

a dog sniffs

an empty chair


Selected by Dhugal J. Lindsay

The Mainichi, Japan’s National Daily, July 2, 2019


July 31, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

inside out (a sequence)

muffled wildness a winnowing sky

coughing out the sphere rogue wind

ashen dust between fingers palm ribs

outlines against the rain bones inside out

eggshell stillness un-swept sun-shreds

conical jaws vs marbles in a skull graveyard issues

empty eyes glued to a rootless ‘O’

dangling words noone follows swollen whiteness

Bones 17 July 15, 2019 (journal of contemporary haiku)

July 31, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

single haiku (not proficient, the song I used to hear, the train creeps away)

not proficient 

with birdsong 

a plane arriving


the song I used to hear


of a bamboo broom


the train creeps away

the hours emptying 

the houses


bones 17, July 15, 2019 (journal of contemporary haiku)

July 31, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment



if eye-to-eye with a salamander


talk Heidegger or


drop down flat on your belly


hiss if you can

wait for existential footnotes

be sure to tiptoe


what if a rat

spews out philosophy


like the state of consciousness

in a walnut


the brain you ask


frog guffaws a croak

in fact, a song


confusing reality with logos

frog’s right in that


easier to breathe out pretense


than tug your tie clear your throat

of animus


and begin on a ribbibit


otata July 2019

July 31, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

post-perspectives on (that night)

The first poem (versified haibun) to which I wrote a sequel posted earlier below this: also published at otata, January 2018, of which the editor said, “a masterwork, a splendid piece”. Verses in parenthesis read as haiku…

post-perspectives on (that night)

Alegria Imperial


been told where midnight birthed the Child, a goat bleated and a lamb stared away

to count adorers, i was told, beyond three said to be kings,

in fact, a throng—could they have been cloned?

no heralds really and only the soundless rise and fall

of wondering eyes moved


on the one hand

stars (might have) abandoned

the stable for hillocks



but said of the gifts laid down on hay, gold singeing the silence for one,

incense and myrrh rising as acrid mist—all unfit for dancing around the manger—

no eye winced, not the mother’s veiled though lit like a crescent moon

or the father’s side-glance, bent and weighed down, it had seemed,

braced by a cane possibly de-limbed from a comet-burst,

so i caught from word that came around

silenced (no trace)

boom of horns


deeper into that night, the telling somehow tangles—a wild moon, i was told,

that the star outshone, hence, grown bereft flailed, and in shreds

fell on shepherds the heralds missed, as the camels drunk on light crossed over

from a universe of desert breasts coming to, centuries since,

a seething patchwork of wheeled-what nots, and men—the narrator opined—

pining to be kings scissor-ed streets, where spires of gothic cathedrals taunt the skies,

finding in a huddle of felled pines,

and plastic star-garlands,

their own stable-born


morning ruckus

(balled-up) winds hang

on sand-rimmed clouds



but said of the adoration:

a stream of footfalls—human-forms spiffed up

in business suits and woolen coats,

the unclean eaten by greed, the twisted of bone,

the mummied-up with melting flesh,

the widow but her husband’s ghost,

though not a whiff of malodorous wounds—

inundated the aisle to the crèche as brass handles

of candelabras shed their sheen, and soon, on a parade of hands

a litany of rants rumbled like bamboo clappers,

breaths rising as

petulant wing shapes (or shapeless)

fog the rose windows



one story teller, un-glued, swears he did catch

the plaster of Paris baby’s lids flutter, as lambs peered

at the adorers, and the child’s mother blowing praises into her infant’s

folded ears, while the father leaned back, perhaps deciphering a dream, while

late-coming adorers crept in, rustling

with agonies reprised over and over in a rhythmic ejaculation

of supplication for mercies, so the story

rambles on


corner knot (finger-frayed)

the pain of denial

leaves a wound



this renegade tells

how he, too, waded

his way in, palms damp

from doubt, teary from wafts of incense,

lisping as he counted nights lost on fingers,

confounded by shifting

animal sounds,

and the

leaps and

swirls of



on a cross (hung from a concrete sky)

the midnight Star


December 2, 2018 Posted by | poetry, reflection, versified haibun | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

reconfiguring: if that night comes again

Just published at otata #36, December 2018 (p. 55), like a sequel to the same theme I wrote this month also last year…(verses in parenthesis can be read as one poem, as well). I hope you like it

if that night comes again

(will it be…)

on desert stillness
lamb eyes on a Child’s cheeks
a Star’s piercing shafts

(likely the same)

a gentled flock coating the ground
the shepherds’ mottled hands cupped for night dew
the mother’s breath a mist
(sense of truth)

a donkey braying from the myrrh-scented hay
gold glinting between sleep and dreams
the swaying wisps of frankincense

(or will it be…)
on sky cracks far off
hurtling open vowels spewing hurts
an ire-driven snapping king
(dripping vitriol)
fear-coated tongue brandishing
word-swords but where’s the manger
in baffling infinity?


in buff dunes burrows
and lopsided mountain hips
swept in bursts of rancour
roaring off smeuse-d hedge-walls
buried with wounds
cankered from hollow praises


still I was told
(that night will come again)
flailing wing tips
a wind-brushed sky flung open
humming in cotton-soft air
(a smile)
the sphere balanced as it rolls
on the Child’s upraised hand
darkness shorn of weight

draped with piercing shafts
(the Star’s)

December 1, 2018 Posted by | poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment