jornales

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

‘words’, First place, July 2011 Shiki kukai (what a break!)

words
we’ve left unsaid–
Indian summer

First Place, July 2011 Shiki kukai (Kigo prompt: weather)

Luna moths–
some things
we can’t see

8 pts., July 2011 Shiki kukai (free format: moths)

I can say a lot about what in these haiku I wrote from a blank space (or not trying to write a perfect one) garnered votes–first place or the most votes for kigo even! Let me know what you think about it.

August 21, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

dawn/lost (zero votes in Shiki kukai)-dawn/lost on bare trees (belated but could be better)

Shiki Jan 2011
kigo (dawn)


dawn–
in same sky but a memory
at winter twilight

free format

him I lost once
comes back a new smile
a changed country

Both haiku got zero votes in the kukai for obvious reasons–these are not haiku at all! I wrote them in a wrong state of mind, of this I’m certain. It was a blind space. But having sent them, which qualified me to vote, I got to read exquisite haiku like those of friends Melissa Allen and Margaret Dornaus both of whom got votes in both categories, and those of many other members of haikuworld most of whom are well published and multi-awarded. Congratulations, again!

And mine, belatedly written and could be better

kigo

dawn—
ripples on the water
as we speak

free format

lost on bare trees–
his promises

January 29, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

how not to haiku or haiku submitted with temerity…

…to the late Peggy Willis Lyles, the editor I was assigned to send my haiku to at Heron’s Nest. I believe this belongs to that first batch in late 2007. I had just won an honorable mention that year in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational, a month after I migrated to Vancouver, which gave me the boldness to send these truly absolutely non-haiku I now realize.

Peggy had replied ever so kindly to my submissions–three more followed; the last one she received on her first hospitalization preceding her fatal illness, and still she responded from her hospital bed as always encouragingly (posted here ‘September twilight’ 09/07/2010 and at the haikuworld website with my tribute to her).

I’ve strived to learn from my rejection notes since then. It’s amazing how crystal clear they read as bad when they come back like wilted blooms or sagging starved horsemen. Some specifics Peggy had noted: “use of language should be natural”, “image should not be twisted (unnatural or made-up) but clear (natural in its flow)”.

Other editors of other haiku journals would send back a ‘robot’ mail or just simply not let you know; I later learned that with thousands of haiku descending on them like an avalanche (I read once about an editor receiving 250 haiku about a visit to Hawaii and not a single one worked), I began to feel less ignored in a personal way. I had long contracted haiku and it has turned into a ‘chronic malady’ so much so that I’m still writing and bugging editors.

Of these haiku that demonstrate how not to haiku (you would know), I’ve turned two of them quite successfully into free verse. Haiku#1 became “Suppositions” (free verse, posted 12/20/2010 for One Shot Wed ) and #5 as “Revenant” (sequence-like published in The Cortland Review Issue 39, May 2008 with a podcast ).

1.
turtles tipping on rocks
dip legs in pool—
summer note

2.
ah, spring—
squirrel digging shoots
chews on

3.
on black soil
clumps of snowdrops—
shorter nights

4.
old oak tree
leafing so soon? but sparrows
twig each

5.
duck pair at lagoon
V-patterns on the water—
on the sky

January 23, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

rose hips

rose hips–
my laughter among the bushes
once

There’s that “ache”, again!

“Yes, it seems to be a constant in my lines. I think in my poetry as in my being–because it’s from where our thoughts rise–pain, real or imagined, balances my leaps of joy. It keeps me aware of how flitting life is, beauty is, how un-changeless yet at the same time how much in constant flux this universe is; hence, how treasured each moment must be.”

That and what follows are from comments I’ve pulled out from my posts regarding the “sadness” and the “ache” in my haiku and other poems.

From Jenne Andrews at http://jenneandrews.wordpress.com re my lyric poem, The Birthing, “there is an ache here and in your other poems i’ve seen that is so potent…”

From Patrick Gillespie at http://poemshape.wordpress.com on my haiku winter beach, “One feels that there’s some sorrow in the relationship. One also wonders why, on a cold winter’s day, they are walking so close to the waves…”

From my reply to Patrick on winter beach, “Yes, Patrick (and Jenne), this sad feeling persists in my poetry. The Japanese aesthetics you couldn’t quite recall, when you wrote your comment on my ‘three tanka’ (qarrtsiluni), is not only “wabi”, as I replied but, “wabi-sabi”. I think it is its metaphysical sense that flows into my poems.

As described by Leonard Koren in his book, “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” (Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 that I recently found in a used bookstore, McLeod’s on Dunsmuir St here in Vancouver, a space so tight one could get caught in an avalanche of books, all gems, much like Strands in New York), the metaphysical basis, which he begins with the question, “what is the universe like?” is “Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness…While the universe destructs it also constructs. New things emerge out of nothingness…In metaphysical terms wabi-sabi suggests that the universe is in constant motion toward or away from potential.”

It’s a state of mind I seem to have been aware of as long as I can recall. I have always felt rueful about beauty, and always cried, when absolutely uplifted by works of art especially music; I still do both. I have characters in my short stories and my novella, who sense that at the height of happiness there awaits an equal in the depth of sorrow: my female protagonist in my novella-in-progress (editing and rewriting), “Lovers of the Interior“, exemplifies this thought. But that’s another story–a swing away from haiku!”

I do wish that I could veer away from it more often and walk close to Basho who said that haiku should be light as in shallow water (do I recall this right?) Even Shiki who was writing close to his death could still write with a sense of humor as in this haiku (1901 from Kimiyo Tanaka, Shiki team at haikuworld)

full of spring
rotten oranges
how sweet!

Perhaps I should meet up with Mutusumi often, the Japanese friend who pushed away my “dark” haiku and helped me search for “the wing in my heart”, an experience I hope to post soon!

January 18, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments