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)

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?

of who we are–

(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


August 23, 2011 Posted by | haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To write a poem (wordplay on an old typewriter for One Shoot Sunday)

image prompt by Jack AZ part2

is not to catch
the words unlatched:

it is to meet
a current against the sweep

against the words
the patterns on the board

the words imprint
that later fade so like river silt.

To catch a poem
you can’t, unless eyes firm

eyes glued to the vaulted
deep from where had bolted

these words you unleash
on lines that leap

your fingers balancing
thought on words that slink.

To catch the thought
that storms into desert draught

you choose the speed
or letters scrambling in the deep

delude the eyes
escape the mind on ice

old keys do creak when cranked
to catch the lines unlatched.

To catch a storm wreaking
havoc on a heart sinking

in a slew of silted dreams
rusting on dredged streams

where winds howl threats
of maddened sand and dust like breaths

the finger tips must kiss
the letters naming muses hissing.

To catch the muses
soothe their caricatured faces

bare your soul salvaged
from old thoughts once baggage

tear out the paper
spewing lies of hereafter

catch the words that spell
the truth about their names true to their spell

on you to write a poem.

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry where a community of poets and artists share their love for their art and continue to sustain each other. Check us out!

February 27, 2011 Posted by | poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments