jornales

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

day in the park (for Friday Poetically with Brian at OSP)

Crow in Bowen Island, BC

a cat eats weed flowers
my dog sits on the bird bath
mom spreads a picnic basket
for baby’s feeding bottles

three crows swoop in
on my bag of popcorn,
a weed flower sticks
to my dress

baby drools
on her blue bib the sky turns
golden, i gather the crumbs
under the blooming junipers

i pull up a heather, a
squirrel flies over my head
on a twig chippers chatter—
my heather turns blue

baby picks a dandelion
the sun slides down, over skies
a swarm of snowbirds
fly home

Posted with other fun poems by and for children for Friday Poetically with Brian at One Stop Poetry. Check us out!

June 10, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

the rose bud/under a sky/full moon (random haiku and what else I am learning about haiku)

1.
rose bud
still tight in the rain–
the coming of summer

2.
under a sky
bent by a rainbow
we ease for home

3.
full moon
on an open cesspool–
the sun for me

full moon partially obscured by the Earth's atmosphere (21 Dec 1999 taken by austronauts aborad the Space Shuttle Discovery) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I love how images work so well with haiku. And like paintings, they can be very compelling and draw out in their distance the deepest of emotions. Nothing should be overt in haiku. It must be hinted at, almost hidden or unnoticed.

For me, it could be something like a quiet reflection on the spit-notes of a waxwing or the epiphany of yes, a full moon on an open un-lidded cesspool. In the first, the notes for me feel like droplets of crystals that melt into a soft coating on my being, gifting me for a moment with the just-being-there-ness of a salmon berry blossom for a hummingbird; in the second, the moon sinks into my darkness– cesspool that I am in many ways of ‘pecadillos’, those daily pin pricks of rebellion from virtue and goodness–and turns on the light of the sun that is in me or what I believe to be my spirit, which at its core remains as powerful as the Sun from whom the moon draws its brightness.

Perhaps, I’m taking this too far but haiku works when it works for the poet–this is what I’m learning fast, though of course there are still the basic elements to go by. At the workshop of Michael Dylan Welch that I attended last Saturday right here in Vancouver in my neighborhood at the historic Joy Kogawa House, he emphasized a few key elements:

*not 5-7-5 syllables unless one is writing in Japanese
*must have a season (kigo) word (there are hundreds of them in a compilation by Japanese masters that differentiate for example mist and fog in spring and autumn have degrees of thinness, or even the moon is different in winter and autumn)
*must appeal to any or all of the 5 senses
*must be objective, meaning, not what is the emotion but what caused it
*precision (sharp focus), immediacy (of the moment not past or future both of which make it static), juxtaposition to make it ‘leap’ into a larger or higher perspective, which may be attained by contrast
*there’s a lot more than that, of course, and I’m still learning

Truly, reading haiku –and there’s thousands of them–and about the art may not be enough. Haiku has been for centuries some kind of a ‘group art’. It must be shared and worked at with others. For me, some kind of openness even humility are a must, a willingness to learn and be straightened out if what one has written seems vague or imprecise and the reader squints his eyes, knits his brows and says, ‘huh?’ instead of ‘ahhhh…’, clasps his hands and looks up to the heavens. Indeed, joining The Haiku Foundation that gave me access to Shiki Kukai, the Vancouver Haiku Group, and signing up for the NaHaiWriMo facebook site as well as submitting my haiku to and getting ‘acceptance’ and more often ‘declined’ mail from online haiku/tanka journals as well as other literary journals have been extremely rewarding.

Haiku’s most precise definition is ‘a short poem in one breath’. Ahhh…okay then, do these random haiku here make you say, ‘ahhhh’ or ‘huh’?

May 17, 2011 Posted by | background, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

zenith at noon (for One Shoot Sunday)

Photo prompt by Fee Easton

rain combs the strands
of our adagios:

expanse of thoughts
farther than the ends of flights
wings aching for home
a sight among stars

we tread the waves
sink in whirlpools deeper
than the heart of the flower
a hummingbird chooses

lighter
than marrow-less limbs
skimming skies
bending the spheres

constellations pirouette
on mid-strains cresting to slope
to skid onto silken lilies
our bed of seasons

in our clasped hands
the sea regurgitates the sun
froth fizzes a tickle
on our kissing toes

the sea breeze binds horizons
our eyes delude a sunset
our dawns begin
the night

the zenith at noon
the depth of our dreaming

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

From a photo prompt by Fee Easton this poem is posted for One Shoot Sunday yet another challenge at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering place of poets and artists, winner of the 2011 Shorty Awards for the Arts. Come join us. Share your love for your art. Be thrilled over what others say and what you discover of others’ works.

May 15, 2011 Posted by | free verse, lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

heron’s splash (published tanka)

heron’s splash
on river marsh rocking
the sound of water –
a mountain of wash
after he left home

First published in LYNX XXIII:3, October 2008

This tanka was first returned to me with a lovely note from the editor of a tanka journal, telling me to read more on the art form, work on writing it and perhaps submit again. She said though that first attempts don’t usually make it, nor the second ones. After reading a lot on tanka, I was convinced I wrote mine true to its form and so, I pushed my luck. I submitted the same batch to LYNX and lucked out on three of them getting accepted, one of them, the above.

February 8, 2011 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

winter3

honking overhead

a flock of geese crossing the moon

for the last mile back?

Can’t figure out a jornal for this picking.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , | Leave a comment