jornales

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

How I tackled Alan Summers’ prompts at NaHaiWriMo last May

Here’s a week of responses to Alan Summers’ prompts at the NaHaiWriMo (National Haiku Writing MOnth, which Michael Dylan Welch created at Facebook three years ago). YES, definitely, a daily challenge to write haiku has cranked up my mind or better yet, like a fit body, oiled it to resiliency. Writing with a group on cyberspace without the politics of bodily presence and its complications of commitments, has also made me fearless about risking my inadequacies–this turned out to be the secret to finding out who I am as a haiku poet as my lines do reveal. But who this is, until now, I can’t put it in a word…perhaps you can! Here then for you to enjoy, I hope.

#05/07/13 (green/gold/gone )

lunar eclipse—
his eyes on her frayed
jeans front

shattered eye what’s left of her mirror

gold leaf saint—
his indifferent stare

#05/06/13 (found as implied)

petal gust–
the street flutist’s
scrambled notes

under her hat…
the missing stubbles

tunnel spigot …the broken loo

fan tail on second thought

pointed fingers his guilt in black nails

#05/05/13 (echo)

weaving
through a cross stitch
of their argument…
her echo

spring echo–
the baby confronts
a Buddha

echo–
he smiles to his own smile
his other smile

#05/04/13 (den)

behind
the den mother’s back…
murmuring cubs

den of iniquity he finds his own sky

reeking of prey the fox’s den

#05/03/13 (curve)

the curve in her thighs wind chart

Lothario–
the river curves
out by rote

curved furrows a worried moon

05/02/13 (blue)

blue dawn…
the rain’s last phrase
on a glass pane

05/01/13 (asperity)

next I look…
the staccato scratching
of his rake

tea rings in my cup the grumbling darkness

on gravel
a day moon’s
sniffle

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June 11, 2013 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

first cold splash (my voted haiku in the May Shiki kukai)

first cold splash
a stranger stares back
at the mirror

May 2012 Shiki kukai
free format: morning habit

votes (0,2,5) = 9 pts
comment **I can relate to this. Well done!

June 12, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘pine strand’ one of 365 haiku on your mobile phone

Read a haiku-a-day on your mobile phone. Yes, simply access your haiku app and anyone of the 365 haiku would show up as you click or shake your screen. You might read mine:

pine strand
flailing in night sky—
the first low star

Alegria Imperial
Lynx XXIII (2008)

The Haiku Foundation Haiku app Data Base 2012

May 2, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

my bilingual haiku, tanka and free verse for National Poetry of the Month guest post at haikudoodle

Excerpts from Margaret Dornaus’ blog today

http://haikudoodle.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/national-poetry-month-guest-post-6-alegria-imperial/

(or click on haikudoodle on my blogroll)

haiku

(Iluko with English translations by the author)

 

 

batbato iti
kapanagan
sabsabong ti sardam

 

stones
on the riverbank
dawn flowers…

 

 

LYNX XXIV: February 2009

 

tanka (Iluko with English translations by the author)
ayuyang-limdo
diay aripit ballasiw
ditoy a sumken
sinit a nalidliduan
nagtinnag nga anem-em

a haunt for sadness
the dried creek at the crossroad
here they recur
those untended flushes
turned chronic fevers…

 

LYNX XXV (June): 2, 2010

 

agsapa (in Iluko with translations by the author)

by Alegria Imperial

 

naimayeng

dagiti bituen idi mangngegda

ti as-asug

dagiti bulong iti sipnget

 

narba

dagiti pinatanor ti lawag

iti danarudor

dagiti agam-ammangaw

 

Bannawag, the Ilocano vernacular magazine of the Ilocos region in northern Philippines, May 16, 2009

 

 

dawn

(a loose translation with some nuances substituted as in some verbs, which in Iluko already imply a subject, and nouns that need no adjectives)

 

startled,

stars fell in the dark

among leaves

pining over lost suns–

 

loves

that light birthed

drowned in the roar of the

faithless….

 

 

http://haikudoodle.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/national-poetry-month-guest-post-6-alegria-imperial/

April 9, 2012 Posted by | free verse, haiku, lyric poetry, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

bay mouth (haiku–random post for National Poetry Writing Month)

Random post for National Poetry Writing Month

bay mouth

the strangeness

of first meetings

Notes from the Gean 3:4 March 2012

April 4, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

shadows (my haibun at Notes from the Gean, March 2012)

shadows

how much longer

As a child, I searched for shadows. Under trees at high noon when the crown of an acacia tree from across our balcony 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 groves.  I waited on the engorged shadow of a kingfisher that never failed to fly by.

My grandmother had learned from snoops that I sauntered alone at high noon by the stream–even took dips. Upbraided, I stopped creeping under the shadowed stream for a while. Instead, I began haunting shadows in the wooded orchard of a grandaunt. One afternoon, a buzzing shadow chased me. A swarming cloud, the bees I had disturbed raced me to the chicken coop. I suffered a few stings, which my grandaunt soothed with dabs of burnt molasses syrup.

These days, I’m hunting shadows again under ruins and buildings that block the sun off. Why this disdain for the sun, a friend once asked. What answer could I give?

half


of who we are

shadows

Notes from the Gean 3:4 March 2012

NOTE: layout for this page only with photo of  an old building in Montreal by eleanor angeles

March 24, 2012 Posted by | haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

For World Poetry Day: Transformation by haiku (a commentary on Basho at Notes from the Gean)

on a bare branch

a crow settled down

autumn evening

Basho

(trans. by Jane Reichold)

“How true!” was all I could say of these lines, the first of Basho’s that I have read– my introduction to haiku. The spare lines also stunned me yet they opened up spaces akin to meditation. Perhaps, I had thought, I should read it slowly as in praying and I did. The passing scenes I’ve seen in drives had suddenly turned into an immediate moment and I, in it. I recognized the feeling; it also happens when a painting or performance draws me in.  Of course, I was reading a poem and I understood it or so I had thought.

I can’t recall from what collection I read ‘on a bare branch’ among the few books I found at the Enoch Pratt Library eight years ago in Baltimore, where I was then staying. I had just stumbled on haiku, surfing the web for poetry and clicking on the page of Baltimore haiku poet Denis Garrison.  Browsing through the posted works, I thought how easy to do it and so, with the spunk of an ignoramus, I wrote one, responding to his submission call. He sent it back with kind words. It had possibilities, he said, and he even rewrote a line. How encouraging!

I had just ended a long career in media and journalism and on the daring of a friend, had taken up fiction writing in New York and later, poetry—dreams that long hovered in my hard working years. I thought haiku would come as easily as both, which I tackled the way I had wielded words in thick gray slabs. I had studied American, English and continental literature in the Philippines, a country closer to Japan, but had not been aware of haiku until then. And so, I wrote a few more of what I thought was haiku, imitating how Denis demonstrated it and sent these again; I received an outright rejection that miffed me. Yet his advice (or was it a command?) for me to read up on haiku goaded me up the marble steps of the Baltimore library.

The haiku shelf nestled in an alcove of special collections on a mezzanine. The small table felt almost intimate. The few haiku small books felt ancient in my hands, the pages fragile. I could not take them home. I had to take scrap paper from the librarian’s desk to write on. Only Basho’s ‘bare branch’ remains among bales of my notes and haiku drafts. I’ve read more of Basho and volumes of other haiku poets since. I’ve learned that the simplicity and immediacy of the ‘bare branch’ that entranced me had also deceived me. Haiku, after all, is a centuries-old art.  I realized I might never get to an iota of what makes it what it is. But haiku has transformed me since.

Nature and I have turned into lovers, for one, as if I’m seeing clouds, the sun and the moon for the first time, or flowers and birds. Yet, as a child, I prowled bamboo groves and shaded streams to catch dragonflies and wait for the kingfisher’s shadow. As an adult, I walked on streams of blossoms shredded by the wind, relishing fragrances and dreams. I used to throw open our windows for the full moon for me to bathe in. I thought I had shed them off when I left home for North America where I finally live the four seasons with blossoms like daffodils and cherry blossoms or trees that inflame in the fall like the maple that I used to know only as words in poems and songs in a borrowed language from an implanted culture I memorized as a child. But haiku has lent me ways to see things simultaneously through the past into the present, as well as from a pinhole as in a bee wading in pollen to the vastness of a punctured moonless summer sky. I leap from image to thought and feeling simply and exactly losing myself in what a moment presents like how I felt reading ‘bare branch’ the first time.

Some writings on Basho especially in his later haiku identify such a moment as Zen. As a Southeast Asian, I know Zen. It’s part of my heritage. But how come I’m ignorant of haiku? It must have been our destined Western colonization that encrusted our Eastern beginnings with layers of European and American culture, hence, blocking it. In an unfortunate historical accident when Japan occupied the Philippines during World War II, my parents could have learned haiku and passed it on to me. Instead, those years inflicted so much pain that I grew up with my mother’s family trying to survive a pall of sorrow from my grandfather’s execution by the Japanese Imperial Army. Japan, for me, represented the horror of cruelty. Then came haiku. I hadn’t thought of that sadness I inherited when I first started reading on it, delighting even at Basho’s Oku-no-hosomichi (Back Roads to Far Towns) leading me by inroads to Japan.  When the Fukushima tragedy struck last year, I plunged into it, writing a haibun about families being rescued and some haiku, finding myself in tears. I realized a healing has crept deep in me, of which my grandfather must have had a hand.

From my first imitations of Basho, I kept writing haiku that I later found out from rejections were but fragments. Yet two flukes won for me awards in 2007, one from a growing volume of fragments that I kept tweaking as a single entry to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, the other, another failed haiku I expanded as free verse for the Passager Annual Poetry Award (Baltimore, MD). These fired me to keep on. I haunted more sites on the web, picking beds for my haiku. Peggy Willis Lyles, my first editor, sent back my submission to The Heron’s Nest, the first journal I dared to submit with kind sweet comments yet I pushed more; until she died none of my haiku made it (one later did with Fay Aoyagi who took over Peggy’s contributor’s list). Werner Reichold of LYNX, on the other hand, loved my first submission. Still, more rejections from other journals pounded on me to give up.

But my prose and free verse had started to crackle with a ‘textured richness’ as one editor described it–obviously influenced by my practice of writing haiku—and made it to literary journals. I’m writing less of both these days, finding in haiku the closer bridge to pure image and thought—more of my haiku, a few tanka, haibun and haiga have been published in other journals since. I’m also reading less of descriptive texts, dropping the first sentence if lacking the synthesis in a line like haiku. I can’t hope to fully know all I must or even write a perfect haiku but I step into its waters everyday and steep myself in its calmness, its virtue that first drew me in.

Notes from the Gean, 3:4 March 2012 pp. 61-62

March 21, 2012 Posted by | comment, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My first nine haiku at NaHaiWriMo

My first nine posts at NaHaiWriMo written off site and off prompt. It’s been a year and I’m still writing a haiku a day (no at least two now, more the past year). It’s been a really productive year. Haiku not only instilled the discipline in focus but especially in habit that I so needed. There’s more to say about NaHaiWriMo but for now, enjoy this first blush…

jornales

National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo)–that’s what’s going on. I don’t know if we have to sign up and join a ‘marathon’ but I’ve taken it up anyway. What I have here for the past nine days though isn’t honest, I mean, not fresh–freshened up is more like it. I scrounged around for them from rejects of submissions and buffed them up. And so, the kigo is mixed–there’s autumn, winter, spring and summer here. Still, I know some of them or most of them aren’t ‘good haiku’ but like most of what I write, they transform into something else after a while. I don’t really write a haiku a day; when I do, it’s often up to ten or more. So, here are my take for NaHaiWriMO counted from day one. I hope to make the kigo right for the month of February in the next two weeks.

1.
empty nest

View original post 75 more words

March 16, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From NaHaiWriMo: my random February haiku selection (the first year anniversary)

We, members of the NaHaiWriMo community at facebook had a blast last month to celebrate one year of writing a haiku a day. Yes, It’s been a year since. Most of us have stayed (I took a break twice for a few weeks). I can say how much I’ve learned about haiku while drawing out my ‘haiku voice’. What worked for me is its kukai-like format where we responded to a prompt everyday. But unlike the other kukai I join (Shiki, Caribbean and Sketchbook) that gives some time for a writer to compose a haiku, at NaHaiWriMo, the window is only 24 hours. And once a post is shared, the reading as well as the ‘like’ or the silence and a comment, if merited, also appears just as fast. The energy has worked for me. I’ve gained the discipline I’ve always worked at. I’ve gained friends and kindred spirits, too! Most of all, I know more of haiku now than the years I tried to learn it on my own. Above all, I think I’m writing better haiku; proof of it is the increasing acceptance of my submissions in haiku journals. Do this random selection of my ‘anniversary posts’ last month on prompts by Michael Dylan Welch read better? Oh yes, I haven’t pared down my posts to one, but to two haiku from the three and more everyday last year. Honestly, I haven’t reviewed my files for fear of an avalanche! I hope you enjoy this selection and if you do, come over at NaHaiWriMo and give it a try. You can blame me if you stay.

#29/02/12 (leap/leap year)

spring gust

and i but a wave leaping

to touch the sky

 

#28/02/12 (haiku generator)

haiku gen:

arrows seduce, strut


deliveryman quacks, meaty


pure dogs extrude, cool

mine:

deliveryman struts

into a flock of ducks

missing zip code

 

#27/02/12 (bad, ‘huh!’ haiku)

email subject ‘none’

squiggles on blank screen

dancing a Swan Lake

…and I had the gall to submit these to Peggy Willis Lyles (The Heron’s Nest) who sweetly sent them back with a note, ‘pass on this one’ and more to succeeding submission calls (without fail) always 15 per suite of these ‘huh’ or ‘yikes’ haiku, none of which worked until she died.

#24/02/12 (x)

spread-eagle 

ticklish below his navel

the Center of Man

 

#23/02/12 (wig)

through a wig

grazing her sparse brow

first smile

 

#21/02/12 (umbrella)

umbrella

this tight

our crossed-eyes 

 

#20/02/12 (talus)

talus

winds blast to dust

its face and mine

 

#19/902/12 (sandals)

his unshod feet

the redolence

of her perfumed tears

 

#18/02/12 (rattle)

still bush

a rattling

as it uncoils

 

#17/02/12 (queue)

downpour

a thickened queue

at the quay

 

#14/02/12 (nachos)

Nacho Supreme

not quite the red roses

she wanted

 

#13/02/12 (mountain)

Sierra Madre mist

our highways to nowhere

 

#12/02/12 (laundry)

white lies

doused with stain remover

i lose count

 

#09/02/12 (ice)

so hollow

his icy voice

on a glass

 

#08/02/12 (hat)

the mime

unfolds his hat

a falcon soars

 

#07/02/12 (grief)

lingering wail

hers or a mourning dove’s?

 

March 11, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waitingtobouncetoaboil (NaHaiWriMo haiku made concrete)

waitingtobouncetoaboil stone soup 

NaHaiWriMo Fb wall #06/03/12 (prompt: food by Judith Gorgone)

March 8, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment