jornales

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

random seasons, a haiku/senryu series

stone wall

mottled hands escaping

through air

 

ham flavor

hangs about her sweater

hospice weekend

 

though touch-less

the intimate rustle of silk

 

fall

dog buries

bruises

 

hobbling out of my midnight winter moon

 

apple core

how to bottle

memories

 

a tiger

musing on my eye

autumn dusk

 

chopped beets

i wash the knife

of traces

 

open page

an opaque scent

in his bath water

 

oak stump–

i remember the hornets

last summer

 

shell shards

on a paint roller

a womb

 

November 25, 2014 Posted by | haiku, poetry, senryu | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meanwhile, I’m writing non-haikai* poetry–here’s my 14th

No. 14 (non-haikai) curlicues

 

who would imagine

a laced peace banquet of soldier ants

bowling over a strange lobster

 

as war winds whoosh in

tumbling half filled cups

 

meanwhile, hidden in bushes

a truce between magpies stalls

over recyclable ladles

 

beyond the gates

arthritic oak limbs crackle

 

as a diagnosis befalls

dusky walls about an orphan’s

spelling of melan chocolic

 

somewhere, a homecoming sergeant

with wounds missing skin eats a map

 

as devastation news

swarm on beaches where algae

turns toxic red dye

 

a moss hill rises on a hero’s nose

and on the street renamed Desire…erasures

 

in a battle manifesto

 

*nod to Johannes S.H. Berg, editor of bones, a journal for new haiku, who coined non-haikai rising as they do from a swarm of haiku. Tell me, what you think, will you please?

September 19, 2014 Posted by | haiku | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is ‘zoka’? (Prompt at NaHaiWriMo: My response, added comment and Alan Summers’ reply)

 

 

IMG_0180

15/10/12 (prompt by Scott Abeles: zoka)

Zoka is defined as “the process of creation, transformation, and destruction in nature”. The presence of “zoka” separates “object-based” haiku from “activity-based” haiku. Indeed, some argue that an object-based, zoka-free poem is not, by definition, a haiku.

Not quite sure I get it but here are my attempts at a response to the prompt:

sniveling wind
a puppy looks at me
for a nod

oak shadow—
a nesting moon rusts
on cloud mist

autumn stillness
a doddering mosquito’s
break-away
(Comment I added) 

Honestly, the prompt almost made me sleepless as the term, ‘zoka’, intimidated me but I wrote three, in case, any might be the right response to the prompt. This happens every time I’m confronted with Japanese terms. And yet, as I’ve been resistantly dealing with my doubts whether or not I’ve been writing haiku, I realized like the other evening, some of what I’ve tried to put in lines are quite ‘zoka’.

Learning more of this poetry form is constantly challenging given the many ‘voices’ that spangle the haiku-sphere. I do read and hear them as ‘voices’ rather than this and that ‘form/term’ because as in any art, each line for me, is of the writer’s/artist’s world.

Again, this too, had confused me when first reading haiku. It was a challenge to be ‘objective’ (stripped of the personal or hints of it as perhaps I misunderstood), a view quite alien to Poetry as I know. But I’ve persisted and still do bravely write haiku the way I filter a seeming sea of knowledge on it from a mosaic of my own lenses. I wonder though if it’s valid, ‘voice in haiku, I mean.

(Alan Summers’ reply)

Yes, all debates such as this do enlighten greatly. Thanks for the discussion. And thanks for the challenge, Scott!

Honestly, the prompt almost made me sleepless as the term, ‘zoka’, intimidated me but I wrote three, in case, any might be the right response to the prompt.

It made you write some good haiku using that prompt. Sometimes too easy prompts do not push us into stretching.

You should never feel uncomfortably intimidated, just enough to stretch those writing muscles.

In fact I’ve observed you, and many others, become incredible writers of haiku, in various styles, through NaHaiWriMo prompts, thanks to MDW!

This happens every time I’m confronted with the Japanese terms. And yet, as i’ve been resistantly dealing with my doubts whether or not I’ve been writing haiku, I realized like the other evening, some of what I’ve tried to put in lines are quite ‘zoka’.”

Exactly! What’s good about the NaHaiWriMo page is that we are all in this together, and out of that support there has been some incredible work.

When I did my recent prompt courtesy of MDW, I was astonished how many fine, not just good, but very fine haiku I had to reduce to the nominated number for the forthcoming anthology. And it was a difficult prompt too!

You can always use Google or Bing to search these terms out. I have a huge database backed up on my computer for the benefit of my workshops.

You can always email or FB message if you are not sure. We are always learning, so I keep up to date as much as possible, and have a useful set of resources.

Learning more of this poetry form is constantly challenging given the many ‘voices’ that spangle the haiku-sphere. I do read and hear them as ‘voices’ rather than this and that ‘form/term’ because as in any art, each line is of the writer’s world.”

Exactly!

Again, this too, had confused me when first reading haiku. It was a challenge to be ‘objective’ (stripped of personal perception as perhaps I misunderstood), a view quite alien to Poetry as I know. But I’ve persisted and still do write haiku the way I filter a seeming sea of knowledge on it from a mosaic of my own lenses.”

You have a remarkable style and voice in haiku, it’s a privilege to know you and read your work.

I wonder though if it’s valid, ‘voice in haiku, I mean. Yes, all debates such as this do enlighten greatly. Thanks!

Having a voice in poetry is what we all aspire to, and so I’d say we can also have our own voice in haiku. After all Basho wanted his students (and in a way, we are his students too) to go their own way in haikai literature, not to copy what he had done.

We don’t know what he’d like or dislike but I think many of us would be both surprised and delighted that he’d like certain developments and progressions in haiku. Alan Gibbons

January 26, 2013 Posted by | background, comment, haiku | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments