jornales

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

My 2012-13 published haiku…I hope you like them!

selected published haiku (international haiku journals)

her stiff lip

breaks into a smile

clown for hire

***

swinging

on hooped earrings

bag lady’s air

***

weaving in and out

of whole conversations

his Pinocchio nose

LYNX June 2013

 xxx

insomnia—

a restless dream

stalks the moon

moongarlic ezine 1:1, May 2013

xxx

moss bed

a moonbeam sits

on my lap

A Hundred Gourds May 2013

xxx

bilingual haiku

(Iluko)

panagawid–

nakabaklay kaniak ti napilay

nga Apo Init

(English)

homebound–

perched on my shoulder

a lame sun

(Iluko)

panaglunag ti niebe–

agririn dagiti billit

gapu ken Apo init

(English)

thaw–

sun sparks a row

among the wrens

(Iluko)

sabsabong ti sardam

agararudoken kas mabain

ti duduogan a bulan

(English)

dawn flowers—

creeping away as if shy

the old moon

(Iluko)

ranitrit dagiti kawayn

iti baet ti danarudor didaya–

arko ti kanta dagiti bulilising

(English)

bamboo creaks

between a roaring in the east–

an arc of bird song

kernels 1:1 April 2013

xxx

between us

a pie cut

of infinities

Notes from the Gean, April 2013

xxx

still pond—

not a hole in the sky

I swallowed

 

Notes from the Gean, March 2013

xxx

turtle pond

a girl shares unshelled

peanuts


One of seven in a four-week run of 28 as contributing poet at DailyHaiku’s Cycle 14

October to March, 2013

xxx

tomorrow still a house of knives

Bones 1:1 December 2012

xxx

overcast

an orange scarf flails

on the clothesline

Multiverses 1:1 June 2012

xxx

figuring out

wintry patterns

fretwork sky

Daily Haiku Selection Mainichi, Japan

Feb. 20, 2012

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June 4, 2013 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

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

as the moon/in my palm (2 tanka at LYNX)

1. 

as the moon

transforms in sunlight

we shift roles

you into a clown, i

a hummingbird

2. 

in my palm

the fortune teller

traces lines

one slides off my destiny

away from yours

LYNX  XXVII:I February 2012

February 21, 2012 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

being there/refracted twilight (my haibun at LYNX)

being there

…it is the rhythm that’s constant it seems and not the stillness—the way the wind pulls and withdraws and the way the leaves sway and retract or how the clouds gather into masses and then dissipate into air or is it merely the eye that misses the jagged movements and edges and catches merely that moment when the rhythm shows and reassures us as in the constancy of flowers even as petals begin to brown and curl in the edges and fall, stripping the branches of their name because all we recall is their being there as in moments we have flowed into still flow into like on our early morning walks when

shifting tides–

the river unloading burdens

for us to decode

refracted twilight

…first time ever that twilight struck me as that almost sacred time when the day tears away to let night slip in, how the bleeding sunset fades into lemon yellow to shell white so much so that facing west where the light seems to turn down as in a timer heartbeat by heartbeat, the houses, trees and flowers even weeds become solid walls of darkness—no punctured points on twigs, no dancing spaces between leaves—but haven’t I watched this on my daily walks long ago back in Harbor Hill but then, the roosting sparrows and the first star on tips of pines pulled my steps back to ruminate and settling in, twilight would be for us that time when

first star—

we turn down the darkness

on our own sky

(excerpts from a diary)

LYNX XXVII:I February 2012

February 7, 2012 Posted by | diary/memoir, excerpt, haibun, poetry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

melancholia (sequence) begins with my first ever haiku

in the haze,
crow circling bare trees
finally alights

while sun
tints bay, i dive skimming
crimson-bottomed boats

duck pairs braid
shadows on my back—
i slurp refuse

gulls overhead fight
over what’s left,
screaming mute—

the same scraps
i tossed in my daze
a moment earlier

before i plunged–
melancholia

First published in LYNX XXIII:3 October 2008

in the haze, I found among my notes is the first ever haiku I wrote. The ‘haiku moment’? A drive to Aberdeen from the Federal Hill in Baltimore. Autumn had greyed on desolate trees. Crows in such skies even then had seemed to me both sinister and comforting–the first because of their eyes, the second, their astuteness.

Soon after more of my haiku ‘doodling’ (to borrow mi hermana’s blog title), I strung them into this sequence with ‘haze and the crow’ as the theme and sent it to Werner Reichold. The day LYNX came out with it and two more sequences, three tanka and a haibun, I found a biographical sketch on Hart Crane’s death; it was as if I knew it when I put together this sequence.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection, sequence | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

winter moods (sequence that worked)

November sky
rains into stray runnels
into cesspools

drenched in the rain
city pavements let no step
leave a sign

on paved walls–
I trace the patchwork
by the moody rain

catching winter clouds
shielding for themselves alone
the marine blue sky

up frosty mountain peaks—
i wonder about the lily
in a summer pond

Published in LYNX XXVI:I, February 2011

A ‘sequence’ is another haiku-related form in English haiku where individual haiku along the same theme are put together. I seem to have better chances in getting accepted with it although most of my sequences have only been published in LYNX and The Cortland Review (Issue 39, ‘revenant’) not a haiku and its related forms but a poetry journal.

The form comes rather easily to me–I do it even here with my posts; when I start composing right here, one haiku often isn’t enough for an image/thought/moment that comes to mind. Sometimes I want to give up on writing haiku and perhaps just get on with my poetry, which seems to have given me a more distinctive voice but haiku whips me back to shape with its discipline and brevity. I look at it as a wisp of air, a mist, fog swarming over me so I may fade and be one with it.

And so, to add a haiku to this sequence

stepping into the fog
knowing
i, too, fade

January 31, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, poetry, sequence | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

first frost on LYNX XXVI:1 (haiku that worked)/magnolia (didn’t work)

first frost—
the last of the roses
have lost their names

Published LYNX XXVI:I February 2011

Of the suite I submitted, only this haiku along with a sequence and a tanka worked. I think it was accepted because it’s the only one that is neither anthropomorphic (personifying an object) nor ‘author-driven’ (my weakness it seems) or I did not write my own opinion into it as compared to ‘magnolia’, one of five that didn’t work, here:

magnolia
bares molds on
winter skin

Yes, the magnolia bared in the fall through winter looks blotched and moldy. But I ‘stated’ my observation, and I even personified the magnolia as baring itself, instead of ‘simply noting my observation and my reaction to it’. Also, I used a metaphor in the last line. These points I think made it a non-haiku.

I should have worked on it some more and submitted something like this:

in the winter mist
the bare blotched magnolia–
i turn away

January 28, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

route (sequence with a lesson on how to breathe life to a ‘lifeless haiku’)

on a bench—
granny arching
to a waltz

on the ground
black-eyed posies,
but not for me

over head
a robin trills, i race
the train

pine strand
flailing in night sky—
the first low star

pasta bowl
and cranberry juice
with no one

Published in LYNX XXIII:3, October 2008

These were separate haiku I labored to make ‘perfect’ but hardly ever tried to submit, having at that time received one rejection after another. And so, I put them together as a titled sequence and got an acceptance from Werner Reichold, my first publication after my one and only haiku award from VCBF haiku invitational.

But as I’m won’t to do, two of the haiku have since danced on into a full poem in free verse: #3 became “first kiss” posted here for One Shoot Sunday, #4 out of the image ‘flailing in the night sky’, I wrote “revenant” published in The Cortland Review.

Lesson: on how to save one’s own self from ‘grief’ of a ‘lifeless haiku’ or how to breathe life on a ‘lifeless haiku’

Do not delete/discard/bury it. Instead, keep it wrapped in angels’ wings.

Let it sleep the sleep of bulbs of daffodils and star lilies.

Wait for spring in your spirit.

And then, unwrap them, buff them and watch the wings stir, flapping weakly at first.

And then, with your touch, watch the lines soar!

January 24, 2011 Posted by | haiku, sequence | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment