jornales

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

when do I see/beauty I am not? (my haiku in English, French and Romanian)

when do I see
beauty I am not?
budding rose

quand verrai-je
la beauté que je ne suis pas?
bourgeon de rose

când voi vedea
frumuseţea care nu sunt eu?
boboc de trandafir

Translations in French and Romanian by Virginia Popescu at Virginia’s Selected Paintings and NaHaiWriMo #23/06/12 (prompt: mirror)

for Pierre-Auguste Renoir :
The Toilette, Woman combing her hair. c.1907-1908.

June 27, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

shadows (a haibun)

shadows–
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?

half
of who we are–
shadows

(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

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

dawn and qarrtsiluni

dawn–
the Sierra Madres peaks
burst in pink

in the bamboo grove
shadows shed off the night–
dawn

glinting–
puddles in rice fields
at dawn

each step
on rice paddies
dawn unfurls

their blush regained–
frangipanis at dawn

dawn from the balcony of Angeles Estates, Munoz (Science City), Nueva Ecija, Philippines

It’s a glorious sight from the balcony of Angeles Estates where I stay when I used to travel north from Manila, and on the highways in Nueva Ecija, the Philippines’ central plains. Dawn has always been my time of day though not as much when I moved to this other side of the hemisphere. On rare mornings though, I catch dawn on tips of conifers–the same pink purple though often with hints of red as I’ve waken to as a child.

Why am I talking of dawn today? Because I feel a new morning just risen, figuratively, with the publication of my three tanka in three languages, English, Spanish and Iluko on http://qarrtsiluni.com (click on my blogroll, too). It comes with a podcast of my reading. You may wish to check it out.

January 13, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

la luna blanca/white moon/puraw a sellag(a tri-lingual lyric poem)

…tri-lingual in English, Spanish and Iluko, the language (dialect) I was born with and as I keep saying whenever I post one that I wrote with it, hardly spoke and never written with from my early teens when I moved to the city for university until two years ago when it reawakened first in a yahoo group and later in a website I stumbled upon. Iluko of the nothernmost edge of the Philippine archipelago traces its roots to Austronesian languages. Like most of the major Philippine dialects (87 of them not counting sub-tongues), Iluko tends to be metaphorical and thus, poetic. Melded in its spirit is Spanish not only as a language but a culture and a soul–both of which we, Filipinos but specifically Ilokanos, can hardly discern on the conscious level. English sort of flowed in only in the past century. I believe that when I write I do so from three cultures uniquely one, uniquely mine.

This song again is for Margaret Dornaus at haikudoodle to whom I promised I would share and to my new ‘family’ at One Stop Poetry blog.

1.
la luna blanca
white moon

pimmuraw a sellag

rising in the east
a patch on my shadowed
wedding veil

rimsua idiay daya
anniniwan iti narusingan
a belo ti trahe de bodak

en la bahía
on the bay

iti baybay

white moon melts on ripples
its path on halved waters
we braid our hands

ti pimmuraw a bulan malunlunag iti ayus
agdalliasat kadigiti birri ti danum
nagsillapid dagiti dakulapta

un velo bordado
an embroidered veil

bordado a belo

mira mi cara blanca
la imagen de una noche solitaria
un corazón vacío

look on my white face
the reflection of a solitary night
an empty heart

miraem ti pimmusyaw a rupak
kaas-asping ti rabii nga agmaymaysa
kawaw a puso

2.
la luna blanca
white moon

puraw a sellag

sets at midday
wraps me in a cloud
invisible in blue

nalned ti tengga’t aldaw
binungonnak ti ulep
pinukawnak iti mara-azul

un brillo en los árboles
a sheen in the trees

guilap dagiti kay-kayo

returns at ebb tide
creeps to my bed
stays

nagsubli iti malem
kimmaradap iti nakaidlepak
nagtlana

un blanco sueño
a white dream

puraw a darepdep

se decolora en un beso
caído como rocío en las rosas
un cielo rosado

fades into a kiss
falls as dew on the roses
a pink sky

pimmusyaw nga agek
natnag kas linna-aw kadagiti rosas
ti derosas a langit

I am posting this poem for One Shot Wednesday at the One Stop Poetry blog.
Join us – throw in your verses. Here are the rules (taken directly off their blog):
1. Write a poetic piece & post it on your blog
2. Then let us know about your post. Link back to One Shot
3. Sign up in the Mr Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you’ve posted it.
4. Go visit others who have signed up! Offer support & encouragement. Share your love of words and insight respectfully. Please try to visit as many participating poets as you can. We all could use and appreciate kind feedback.

December 1, 2010 Posted by | lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

ember/beggang (iluko/english haiku )

morning ember
fanned
by broken word

beggang ti agsapa
naparubruban
ti puted a sarita

I wrote the original in Iluko, the language I was born with but hardly spoke and never written with as an adult, trading it with English, a borrowed language I thought was really mine. Iluko of the northernmost edge of the Philippine archipelago traces its roots in Austronesian language. Rediscovering it has been exhalarating! The truth is, I am writing in both languages now with a deeper sense of where both seem to spring from–my being.

November 16, 2010 Posted by | haiku, language views, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments