jornales

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

An invitation to NaHaiWriMo…

…at the NaHaiWriMo Facebook site: In exactly eight days, the shortest month, February, begins. Aptly so timed when it started two years ago, National Haiku Writing Month (NHWM) as an event for the short poetic form, will be in full blast once again! As if we, who joined the first time, have let up because we haven’t long after February was over and the rest of the year unfolded and on to now. 

Long after we’ve taken on the challenge of writing a haiku a day, we kept on at the NHWM Facebook site. From the rather small group we’ve started we’re almost a thousand now, I believe, that have turned into an enthusiastic and supportive community. I’m not only glad I stayed, I’m hooked!

haiku has not only intensified my writing, it has sharpened my senses to everything around me: the wind, the sky, clouds and the moon, the scent of evenings, the feel of wings, a slight twitch in an eye, a pasted wisp of hair on wan temples, etc. etc. of hummingbirds and  raccoons and failed meringue. This concentrated poetic form has helped me see through ambiguities faster than I used to. And the wonder never stops with each three lines or one-or two-line haiku that I compose. It’s not an exclusive experience, too. Each poet responding to a prompt everyday could attest to this.  And by the way, midway last year, Michael Dylan Welch put together our first anthology, “With Cherries on Top”, which I had posted here.

I invite you then, better yet, I challenge you to take it up; like I did, just take the plunge and see where it takes you. Check it out at www.nahaiwrimo.com

With Cherries on Top Cover - Small

January 25, 2013 Posted by | culturati news/views | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“With Cherries on Top” (a NaHaiWriMo ebook, the first of its kind haiku anthology)

“More than something to keep like journals we’ve been published in, for me this is a treasure because I have a small hand in it. Like the 30 other prompters, on whose prompts I, too, wrote, I also had the privilege to select more than five for the collection out of which Michael Dylan Welch made the final choice; in other words, I know the process that went into its making quite intimately.

But most of all, I’ll always read each haiku loving it as the work of a NaHaiWriMo friend, most of whom I’ve written with on the same page every day and still do. Thanks again, Michael, for the great work you’ve poured into this superb anthology—the first of its kind, I believe. And congrats to us all, NaHaiWriMo poets!

Definitely a treasure! Superb haiku by NaHaiWriMo poets and awesome images so apt together!” —Alegria Imperial  

The history of this book is a major part of my personal history of writing haiku. I’ve written most of it in this blog. I’m sure you have noticed how my haiku has taken shape since I signed up on Facebook because of National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo). All it asked of anyone is to write a haiku a day. I joined in mostly because I’ve met Michael Dylan Welch, who is to me everything to a haiku, and from whom I keep learning.

His role in my haiku life started with my first ever haiku award in the 2007 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) Haiku Invitational, which was also my first published haiku. He was a judge that year and I met him at Van Dusen Gardens during the Cherry Blossoms Festival a year later. I had my first ginko walk with him, too, at the gardens. How could I not trust the Facebook site he created?

As well, Melissa Allen, who I met through our blogs, by then already on to her place in English haiku,  had announced NaHaiWriMo. Also at the fourth meeting of our then newly formed Vancouver Haiku Group, Jessica Tremblay, now of Old Pond Comics fame, also a VCBF winner, who came for her first member meeting,  reminded us of NaHaiWriMo.

It turned out NaHaiWriMo couldn’t end in a month. We, who hopped in, wouldn’t let up and so, it’s still on.  In August, Michael came up with this idea of a-prompter-a-day instead of just one for the month. This book is what it was.  I know, dear readers and followers of jornales, that you love haiku. Inflame it with this “With Cherries on Top”, a haiku anthology written by poets of varying haiku-writing stages, demonstrating the very essence of haiku which is: With senses wakened is how we find newness in the same things or what we think is the same day every day, and writing it down into a haiku renews the very thing as much as the poet and those to whom the haiku is shared. I’m sure our haiku will enrich you beyond its more than a hundred pages.

My haiku on ‘watermelon’ prompt by Stella Pierides

watermelon moon

our burdens lighter

than we thought

(Because I haven’t updated this blog to be able to encrypt a link, you might want to copy and past this on your browser or simply click on the link on my blogroll)

https://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/with-cherries-on-top 

November 24, 2012 Posted by | background, culturati news/views, event, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wanted: Your haiku for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival–could be you like me or the novice who won with her first and only entry

Sakura cherry blossoms

My first published haiku, which also won for me an honorable mention, has something to do with this post. The year was 2007, the second year of the Vancouver Blossom Festival (VCBF) Haiku Invitational. I had just arrived from Manila as immigrant to Vancouver and on my first visit to the Marpole Branch public library I read the haiku submission call on the bulletin board. I sent a single entry, “cherry tree/shedding petals at dusk/moths in flight”, that changed my haiku-writing life, which was then quite wobbly.

Ten years before then, cherry blossoms for me, bloom only in words—in the Philippines, the closest equivalent would be ‘kakawati’ tree that blooms in clumps on a twig, which is why we could use it to dance, honoring its glory, holding the ends of the twig in both hands, making it like an arc over our heads as we sway and twirl, and kick our heels when we raise it high to skies over a sun and its court of cotton fluffs or winged clouds.

My first cherry blossom viewing held me jaw-dropping, a stiff neck that evening from looking up in disbelief—how could it be real, the brush of pink descending as breath on eyes which cannot tell between silk and soft rain? The first blooms at Washington Square in New York and the Brooklyn Gardens washed me Oz-like, suspending my disbelief in the Wizard. But it was the street canopy in Baltimore’s Riverside St. that inspired my haiku—my near-dusk walks to the end of the street round a gazebo on an elevated band stand and back toward the sunset on Federal Hill. Magical is a paltry word.

Had I expected Vancouver to be a cherry blossom city? Who is an immigrant who doesn’t realize the place she chooses to live in can never be life in brochures, slices of scenes in the movies, even award-winning documentaries? In the spring, Vancouver skies turn into mere patches of blue through cherry pink intaglio of blooms. Women walking under street canopies of it seem prettier, men to my often-skewed eyes softer, children no longer buds but dwarf trees blooming when under the trees in a breeze wear petals on hair and cheeks.

Submission Call

This year, a novice haiku writer’s life could change, too, like me. The submission call for entries has just been released for the 6th VCBF Haiku Invitational. Anyone from any part of the world can send in haiku starting March 1. Deadline for submissions is May 31. To enter, visit http://www.vcbf.ca and follow the links. Past submissions have come from Australia, Bangladesh, Croatia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This year’s judge will be an’ya, editor of moonset haiku journal. She resides in Oregon. Winners will be advised in the fall. The winning haiku will be published by Haiku Canada, Rice Paper, and on the VCBF website. The top haiku in five main categories (youth, B.C., Canada, United States, and International) will also appear on TransLink SkyTrains and buses all over Metro Vancouver and read in celebrity readings during the next festival in 2012.


Why a cherry blossom festival in Vancouver?

Cherry blossom viewing in this city is considered a sport. About 50 park locations have picnic sites to celebrate the blossoming trees and 23 city neighborhoods bloom with 43 different cultivars of cherry trees in washes of pinks; from a blush to a riot of pinks to pure snow white cherry blossoms–all 37,000 of them.

But cherry trees were introduced to the city only in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s from gifts presented to the Vancouver Park Board, though 500 cherry trees from the mayors of both Kobe and Yokohama for planting at the Japanese cenotaph in Stanley Park honoring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI made the most impact in reshaping the city’s landscape.

The tradition of tall, stately and long-lived shade trees dating from the 1800s gradually changed. In 1958 three hundred more cherry trees were donated by the Japanese consul, Muneo Tanabe, reported in the newspaper as “an eternal memory of good friendship between our two nations.” By the time the Park Board completed its first comprehensive street tree inventory in 1990, nearly 36 percent of the 89,000 trees on city streets were represented by trees of the Prunus genus—the flowering plum and cherry trees. Of the 479 different classifications of trees identified in the inventory, the most common species was Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’, the Kwanzan flowering cherry. (12.6 percent). Further observations on the cultivars, however, favor Akebono cherry trees in recent years.

The heart of the VCBF lies in a 22-hectare (55-acre) garden in Van Dusen Gardens, a botanical garden opened to the public in 1975. VanDusen’s collection includes 11,500 accessioned plants representing more than 7,300 taxa (plant families) and 255,000 individual plants from around the world, representing represent ecosystems that range from tropical South Africa, to the Himalayas, to the South America and the Mediterranean, across Canada’s Boreal forests and Great Plains to plants native to the Pacific Northwest.

The garden design features displays of plants in picturesque landscape settings. Specific garden areas are planted to illustrate botanical relationships, such as the Rhododendron Walk, or geographical origins, as in Sino Himalayan Garden. These areas are set amidst rolling lawns, tranquil lakes and dramatic rockwork with vistas of the mountains and Vancouver cityscape.

Sakura Days

Here, the VCBF Sakura Days Japan Fair as in years past will be held this year on April 2 and 3. As in 2009, pacifi-kana will be participating in Sakura Days, staffing a table to inform and engage, leading ginko (haiku walks) into the garden, and a reading of Haiku Invitational winners on the performance stage in the Gardens.

This year also marks Vancouver’s 125th Year hence a ‘birthday’ theme might be part of the haiku invitational.

(Also submitted for Sketchbook. From pacifi-kana announcements and backgrounder at http://www.vcbf.ca)

March 8, 2011 Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

five rabbits from Snow Country chasing a red dragonfly

Or my title should be

five rabbits from Snow Country got lost in Madison chasing a red dragonfly and flew and flew to Vancouver

My friend, Melissa Allen’s prize of a book finally arrived yesterday, the bubble envelop dented, its edges wavy–signs of that long flight from the opposite side of North America! I fought to disentagle the two-inch tape that secured a package which when I pulled out glowed as the sheer treasures that they are.

Melissa did not only give away her second copy of the more exquisite UNESCO edition of Yasunari Kawabata’s “Snow Country”, she also enclosed two hand-crafted rabbit new year greeting cards, one of them a rabbit origami, the other a cut-out rabbit coated with tiny blossoms and butterflies on hand-made paper; and three creatively picked cards–one of them a cut-out from something like a children’s book, and another a 1909 cottontail rabbit postcard hazed by the sepia of years ( I now have in my possession a 102 year-old postcard!). I regressed, as childlike I held them close, peering into the rabbits’ eyes.

And oh, she lovingly wrapped the book in blue pastel petal prints and tied it with a matching blue string. Her dedication wasn’t written plainly on the title page but on a cutout of yes, an unusual breed of brown rabbit.

Here they are in the order Melissa arranged them so I could unfold the haiku messages on friendship she had handwritten :

card no. 1

greeting and haiku

new year
a new friend becomes
an old friend
–MLA

rabbit #2 folding away/the year/paper rabbit

rabbit caught among my winter roses

haiku and quote of a dialogue between two rabbits

new year
opening the door
for a friend
–MLA

“Can I come in?”
said the bunny.
“Yes,” said the bunny.
And so he did.

rabbit #4

rabbit #5

postmark and clipping on the cottontail rabbits-

Year of the rabbit
I give away
the litter
–MLA

The Cottontail Rabbits (Sylvilagus floridaus and relatives)
Several kinds of cottontail rabbits, and their allies the brush and swamp rabbits which lack the conspicuous “cotton tail” range collectively from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. These denizens of the briar and brush patch afford pleasure to those who love to watch them when at rest, or their headlong dash for cover at the least alarm.

"Snow Country" unwrapped

title page

New Year–
last year’s mistakes mended
with snow patches
–Melissa Allen (“red dragonfly”)

If this is not a shower of all the blossoms I can’t name that rabbits brush in their search for carrot patches, tell me how less lucky I am–more so with “red dragonfly” friends

winning the race
rabbit number six switches tag
with number one

For me from hereon on every…

first snow–
the rabbits’ fur
whiter

January 20, 2011 Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Unabashed (a sparrow speaks in three tongues)

unabashed–
a sparrow speaks in three tongues
twirling on willow twigs

It’s the subject of my post yesterday but I can’t seem to let it go! “My soul speaks in three languages” as in the three tanka I wrote from English, which I translated roughly into Spanish (and had it edited by Sr. Javier Galvan y Guijo, director of Instituto Cervantes in Oran, Algeria formerly of Manila where we met) and in Iluko, is an awarness that has been consuming me–this composing of words from three different dimensions that I believe are of my soul but not finding the right stage to unleash it, let it leap, dance, sing, sigh.

Finally, last month I dared to submit three tanka in three tongues to qarrtsiluni–an online literary journal where I’ve been reading awesome poetry–with an introductory essay I had posted here about the “willow” not having an equivalent in Iluko, the tongue I was born with. The editors accepted it, an honor I’m still riding on an upwind.

Unabashed, I would like to share here what Alex Cigale, translation theme editor, said as well as Jean who posted her comment on the qarrtsiluni site, and Patrick who sent it to my inbox. I hope you, dear readers, bear with me in this moment of exhilaration!

Alex Cigale (editor, translation issue, qarrtsiluni) January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm | #1

What a treasure you sent our way, Alegria! So perfect for us, this window onto a language constructed according to logical grammatic structures that are yet so different from those we otherwise take for granted, qualities such as number, possession, direction, tense, intensity. And what a perfect illustration of the notion that there can be no words that do not represent real objects, so that such culturally-specific idioms are nearly ICONS, your example: “saning-i … portrays … usually a woman in a dark corner, splayed on the floor….” And the recording, the Iluko sounded last and thus echoing so musically, its music so liquid I am tempted to imagine that it was formed among the various sounds of water surrounding the islands. A big thank you!

Jean (tastingrhubarb)
January 13, 2011 at 6:47 am | #3

Oh, these are exquisite and exquisitely satisfying! Listening to the podcast is essential. This is a richness of experience of poetry and language and translation that no publication with only printed words could provide. So beautiful.


Patrick Gillespie (poemshape)
January 13, 2011, 7:14 PM

Finally, I get to hear your beautiful language. Such is the beauty of the language that I could fool myself into thinking that anyone who spoke it would write poetry such as yours. I have always loved the sound of the Mongolian Language, but I think Iluko is just as alluring and beautiful. I would love to speak it.

It’s also beautiful to see how you bring the sensibility of haiku into your longer poems. It’s something I’ve wondered about trying myself, but haven’t yet. Again, how wonderful to hear Iluko. There’s a Japanese expression which I can’t think of right now. It expresses the aesthetic of beautiful sorrow or beautiful sadness. Your poetry is so often imbued with it.

January 14, 2011 Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku, language views, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

2010 in review–Huge thanks!

I posted this “Hello World!” on 02/02/2009 to introduce what I thought this blog would be:

Jornales. Daily Wages. Why have I chosen jornales as the name of this blog? I’m neither Spanish nor English but I was brought up on both languages and on both cultures. I speak and read only smatterings of the first, fluent in the second but I am much more. I live and exist on many spheres of thought that come out as poetry, stories, essays, feature stories, news stories, scripts if need be and whatever shape or form words that seem to write themselves when I compose take on. I work hard to keep alive where I exist. And where does my jornal my daily wage come from? What is my jornal, my daily wage? Ahhh, that’s the mystery you and I will unravel in these pages. Welcome!”

Apparently, on the same day, I wrote my longish rumination on what jornales, daily wages is for me in About. And my search for “wages” other than what is measured or weighed have since taken me into a journey I hardly mapped out. My wages have not been what I had signed for, even hoped for; my reach closer to the stars but beyond the span of my arm. This review from wordpress says, “Wow!” not for the numbers, I believe, but for how this blog had turned out. It’s not all mine–whatever the merits–but yours, too, dear friends.

Thank you all! Thank you hugely!

I quote from my reply to Margaret: “Because poetry is of the heart and the soul, how can’t (I not belong to you)? You ( and all readers who strayed into here leaving but a stat) have made the year just folded over a deeply meaningful one for me–I feel like a cloud instantly transforming with a breeze taking on shapes and forms only the heart can recognize.”

May the New Year with our hearts in place, uplift us closer to where we hope to be, dream to go.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 101 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 133 posts. There were 17 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 19th with 57 views. The most popular post that day was Escape (for one shoot Sunday).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com, Google Reader, alphainventions.com, haikuproject.wordpress.com, and thehaikufoundation.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for jornales, alegria imperial, jornales2010.blogspot.com, the “cantaloupe moon”, and lyrical prose.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Escape (for one shoot Sunday) December 2010
23 comments

2

the cantaloupe moon October 2010
2 comments

3

About February 2009
4 comments

4

white moonlight (edited) October 2010
4 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

5

Count 1234 (One Shoot Sunday) November 2010
22 comments

January 3, 2011 Posted by | culturati news/views | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

my first ever ginko walk/my 100th post

Still imitating Melissa’s ‘numbers’, I’m posting my 100th as a report and the haiku I wrote from my first ever ginko walk with the newly-formed Vancouver Haiku Group. Vicki McCullough of pacifi-kana has helped in its formation with Angela Naccarato as organizer and we’ve been meeting every 3rd Sunday since. Here is Vicki’s report on our first ginko walk in Vancouver:

“Alegria Imperial, Angela Naccarato, Carole MacRury and Vicki McCullough had a lovely wander through Strathcona and Cottonwood community gardens on October 3. The skies were grey, but not precipitating, and the temperature comfortably warm. We marvelled at the immense diversity of flora and of garden plot designs. A few hours later, tea/coffee and treats at an outdoor table a few blocks away in the heart of the Strathcona neighbourhood capped the afternoon. Everyone departed with a head—and in some instances, a camera—loaded with garden images.”

My take on the ginko:

“It was my first ginko walk. My senses had since been so awake and sharp I’ve been quite confident I’m finally writing haiku though some good some ‘yikes’. But not only the garden, I believe, worked like magic–mixed in the potion was Vicki, Angela and Carole. Like children, which I think, is the spirit of haiku with its constant wonder, we gushed at everything–the sound of wonder–such as the blush of huge blooms as well as the remains of the once-beautiful or the once-sweet. This must be how the haiku ‘haijin-s’ (I’ve ben using ‘sensei-s’ to mean master but I think it has something to do with music) drew out from the novices their ‘reflections on the moment’.

And two of my haiku Vicki included in her report:

grey skies
on opaque pool–
no secrets

hydrangeas–
the same whispers
the same sighs

November 8, 2010 Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who is St. Valentine?

 I give myself a ‘jornal’ of $500 for this new knowledge. How much is yours?

Think red on Valentine’s Day and the image of a beating heart comes to mind. Run to a flower shop for roses and a love note to give to that special someone and presume your gesture like millions of others on this day began centuries ago by a lover. But who really knows how Valentine’s Day came to be. 

Vague ideas about it have always hovered in people’s minds. But a search for the real Valentine goes back to a pre-Christian practice, which was later layered over by some genuine act of “sweetness and thoughtfulness” from a “holy man”. The rite honors the Roman goddess Februato Juno in a “ lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls on the fifteenth of this month.” As in most manner of conversion to Christianity, pastors substituted the honored goddess with “the name of a saint in billets given on this day,” and thus, St. Valentine.

Who is St. Valentine? The few lines written about him have spawned a legend that in fact, there are three St. Valentine.  Closer look reveals St. Valentine as not three but just one, a “temple priest jailed for defiance during the reign of the Roman emperor, Claudius, the Goth (Claudius II)” around mid-250 A.D. or the early centuries of Christianity. Valentinus was caught “marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians who were being persecuted.” While in prison, Valentinus is said to have tried to convert Claudius, who took a liking for him.  Such attempt proved fatal for the priest whom Claudius ordered beheaded at the Flaminian Gate in 269.

A clue as to why the emperor almost had a change of heart for Valentinus: the priest cured his jailer’s daughter of her blindness. A link if not quite romantic but “sweet” to today’s “love-crazed” tradition was Valentine’s having left a note for this girl where he scribbled, “From your Valentine.”

Did Valentinus ever exist? Yes, he did. Archeologists have unearthed his remains in a Roman catacomb although he was supposed to have been buried on Flaminian Way shortly after his beheading at the gate. It took another 200 years before he was canonized saint by Pope Gelasius in 496 AD and marked February 14th as his feast in honor of his martyrdom. 

St. Valentine wears red, the color of blood to represent martyrdom. In his portraits, roses and birds surround him. In Christian tradition, he intercedes or is the patron saint of engaged couples (for a happy marriage), the young (and confused), those with epilepsy, or those plagued by fainting spells, bee keepers, and travelers.

For the shy and the lazy, the feast of St. Valentine’s should make a great excuse to declare love just this once a year.

 

 

 

 

 

February 12, 2009 Posted by | culturati news/views | Leave a comment