jornales

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

“With Cherries on Top” (a NaHaiWriMo ebook, the first of its kind haiku anthology)

“More than something to keep like journals we’ve been published in, for me this is a treasure because I have a small hand in it. Like the 30 other prompters, on whose prompts I, too, wrote, I also had the privilege to select more than five for the collection out of which Michael Dylan Welch made the final choice; in other words, I know the process that went into its making quite intimately.

But most of all, I’ll always read each haiku loving it as the work of a NaHaiWriMo friend, most of whom I’ve written with on the same page every day and still do. Thanks again, Michael, for the great work you’ve poured into this superb anthology—the first of its kind, I believe. And congrats to us all, NaHaiWriMo poets!

Definitely a treasure! Superb haiku by NaHaiWriMo poets and awesome images so apt together!” —Alegria Imperial  

The history of this book is a major part of my personal history of writing haiku. I’ve written most of it in this blog. I’m sure you have noticed how my haiku has taken shape since I signed up on Facebook because of National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo). All it asked of anyone is to write a haiku a day. I joined in mostly because I’ve met Michael Dylan Welch, who is to me everything to a haiku, and from whom I keep learning.

His role in my haiku life started with my first ever haiku award in the 2007 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) Haiku Invitational, which was also my first published haiku. He was a judge that year and I met him at Van Dusen Gardens during the Cherry Blossoms Festival a year later. I had my first ginko walk with him, too, at the gardens. How could I not trust the Facebook site he created?

As well, Melissa Allen, who I met through our blogs, by then already on to her place in English haiku,  had announced NaHaiWriMo. Also at the fourth meeting of our then newly formed Vancouver Haiku Group, Jessica Tremblay, now of Old Pond Comics fame, also a VCBF winner, who came for her first member meeting,  reminded us of NaHaiWriMo.

It turned out NaHaiWriMo couldn’t end in a month. We, who hopped in, wouldn’t let up and so, it’s still on.  In August, Michael came up with this idea of a-prompter-a-day instead of just one for the month. This book is what it was.  I know, dear readers and followers of jornales, that you love haiku. Inflame it with this “With Cherries on Top”, a haiku anthology written by poets of varying haiku-writing stages, demonstrating the very essence of haiku which is: With senses wakened is how we find newness in the same things or what we think is the same day every day, and writing it down into a haiku renews the very thing as much as the poet and those to whom the haiku is shared. I’m sure our haiku will enrich you beyond its more than a hundred pages.

My haiku on ‘watermelon’ prompt by Stella Pierides

watermelon moon

our burdens lighter

than we thought

(Because I haven’t updated this blog to be able to encrypt a link, you might want to copy and past this on your browser or simply click on the link on my blogroll)

https://sites.google.com/site/nahaiwrimo/with-cherries-on-top 

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November 24, 2012 Posted by | background, culturati news/views, event, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

a dragonfly/zips into a tower–/what I remember (a 9/11 repost from filipineses09)

911 REVISITED (REPOST FROM A 2010 POST)
September 12, 2011, 1:55 am

It’s still for me a searing memory…that morning 10 years ago

a dragonfly/zips into a tower–/what I remember

Visit to a Hallowed Ground

I looked on a shallow dish of dirt, raked and dug out, and still seething. From where I stood at the portico of St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street from across what used to be the World Trade Center, I gazed and gaped incredulous. How could it seem so small, so nothing now?

That now hallowed ground I had once walked on, eyes up where the twin towers held up the sky, was raw like a vulture’s leftover meal — the vulture that had zipped into it from the same sky.

The smell of burning still tarnished the air: it was sharp and pungent. Thin spirals of smoke still seeped off the ground where the dying has not ended. There was a stench in the downtown train I thought must be someone’s mess or as the friend I was with said, could be the cleaning agent used. And then, I realized it was the stench of decaying flesh.

For the first time on this visit to New York, three months after the disaster that the world now calls by its date, September Eleven, I finally lived the nightmare.

I could not recognize turns on the streets I learned by heart a whole summer I lived in New York. I had to let go, and be led on by the steady stream of people, moving about in a daze like me. We have walked into a city that was pummeled, ripped, and blown in parts; it felt strange.

The buildings around the World Trade Center, once glinting towers now scarred and wearing ashes have turned old and looked haunted. Delis and coffee shops serving breakfast at 8:45 that morning have grown frost where they had stood still. (In which of them had I once shared with a friend the tastiest sticky bun ever one morning we walked this far?) But I had yet to find the remains of that day.

We had stopped at every cross street that opened to Ground Zero, and hung our heads. We had stalled, holding back tears, where instant graves had blossomed on wrought iron fences or granite walls. The graves drew out the grief, and tears gave names to what were earlier anonymous faces: A wife to one of those still missing stumbled into a huddle, and crumbled to the ground, touching a framed picture adorned with ribbons now frayed and fading. She had visited this grave each day since. A brother to one still lost crept from behind us quietly planting another candle where what he lit last night was dying. He had no way of telling if his brother was among the dead; he was still missing like many who walked into that ordinary summer day but whose bodies have not been found.

A wind ruffled the pages of a letter a grandmother had pinned on a young woman’s framed portrait, detailing how her oh so innocent two-year old son regaled the family with stories of a visit to the zoo in last weekend’s tearful dinner. A scrap of lined paper, bold scripts now blotted, was a young boy’s inspired poem on the heroic death of those he didn’t personally know. The ‘graves’ were now a mosaic of grief; none of us who strayed into them could stay around for long.

Memories of the nightmare played on. On these same streets, thousands of wounded had limped, transformed by terror and grief. Some had lost their hair in the fire, others, half their faces. The sirens had screamed, flying through the night and days from then on. New York congealed into a mass of the helpless hurt, the faceless who came to help, and the cops and firemen who gave their lives to others whose names they had no chance to ask. Blood flowed from cut limbs, and also from veins held up for the taking. This city of spunk and internal faces broke into a weeping, sobbing, moaning humanity. We, who lived through the nightmare whole days on end on television, could only imagine half the reality then.

From St. Peter’s portico, we glued our eyes on those giant combs of steel, the cranes that moved clumsy marionette arms; the diggers had not stopped sifting for remains. They had gone deep underground, out of our sight. After this visit, when they hit what used to be the Cortland subway stop, five more bodies turned up. But where we huddled, necks craned to Ground Zero on this visit, there was nothing else we could see out there. What I kept staring at instead, and like perhaps those strangers around me did, were spots on the ground that held memories, my own…

(read the rest of it at my other blog filipineses09, just click on my blogroll. Also I’m trying to double check this: this was nominated for a Pushcart Award 2010 by Sketchbook but I cannot find my record of it. Perhaps because it was just too overwhelming, almost incredulous, that I lost it but I know I’ll find it or maybe not among my messy files.)

September 12, 2011 Posted by | background, diary/memoir, lyrical prose, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment