jornales

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

into fog (my first tanka in print)

into fog
we lose who we are
under oaks
first a weight in the eyes
then our hands no longer ours

copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011
First published in Eucalypt: a tanka journal 10 2011 Edited by Beverley George

One of five tanka from which Elizabeth Howard, past winner, had picked her best choice or a winner in the issue.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. A sad note comes with this post as I lose friends on this site who are leaving for other clear meadows, Adam, Brian, Chris G, Claudia and Pete. I’ve gained a steady ground from which my poetry had soared from their constant nourishment in generous words. I’ll really miss you! But come check us out for this last One Shot with the team.

July 20, 2011 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

this change of name (to celebrate Vancouver’s 125th year and my soon-to-have Canadian citizenship for One Shot Wednesday)

it is
a matter of spelling
only
this change of name

or am i fooling
the skies i look up to
the clouds
none i can name

the mountains
that shimmer
stealing in in stead
the names

of mountain ranges
facing East
among its jungles
my spirit roosts

alien snow
now smoothers
my laughter
i drift aground

is earth
unlike the sun
untouched
by sorrow?

i hear
from mourning doves
the language
of dawns

i mismatch
evening clouds
in my dreams
the chill stays

yet the sparrow
shares its songs
that seep into my sleep
lull my world

i regain my name
on Hollyburn
where a lotus by itself
on the lake

such poignancy
mirorring my loneliness
soaks the sun
as if enough

i trail the buds
lined along the Fraser’s North Arm
winding down and up
the river bed

the tide cuts a line
between my dreams and the sky
ripples catch my breathing
in rhythmic sighs

i’m scaling the breast
of Burnaby Mounains
my soul resists
its longings

i’m close to home
close to sinking
in the foam
skirting Horseshoe Bay

an eagle skims
my rhyming
my longings weave
in and out of the air

on a skein
of cherry blossoms
once only paintings on scrolls
i learn to haiku

thinking of moths
in my childhood those slivers of light
that die on the light
and fade in the morning

on my waking
i am who has always been
the city aground on my steps
whose name i can now say

even in sleep–
Vancouver

copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

Written for Vancouver’s 125th anniversary (supposedly for a poetry collection but whose deadline I missed, and also in celebration of my soon-to-be Canaadian citizenship–I’m taking my oath in a few days, after four years of my arrival as immigrant). Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Come share your art and check out a great number of terrific lines from other poets.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Night Scents: the truth about roses (for One Shot Wednesday)

Evening has fallen, tarnishing all translucence. Daffodils, for one, sprayed like comet behind a picket fence, are now turned-down copper bells. Magnolias, that crowd of plump cheeks on Warren Avenue, now doze on bruised faces.

Only dogwoods on front lawns seem to take evening fall with grace. Their crown, a dull mantle in daylight, has turned into iridescent lace while on the ground ivy has thickened, breathing like a ghost.

Not colors but scents have taken over life in the dying day. But nothing like vapors that seem solid like steam or fog or mist, just weightless molecules spinning in the air.

‘Fragrant’ seems paltry if it were to mean the scent of violets blindly met along a cypress hedge on Montgomery St.—a bouquet part spicy part sweet like a potion for a faint spirit. ‘Perfumed’ weighs gaudily on jasmine for its scent from a terrace on Battery St. descends as faint as a memory—fleeting like all moments that come back to haunt.
.
The nose, is it? Or perhaps the heart leads the nose to track down the scent of roses. Some flourish in unlikely spots; they trap the heart in a patch back of a kitchen on Riverside, for instance. Here, rose bushes wear open faces. No secret chambers there.

Even in the evening, rose blooms thrust up as if to sing—but not to sing, perhaps more to sigh. Listen then and breathe for in opening their lips, their scent also escapes. Note that only in the evening this truth about roses is revealed: their scent hints at sour drops and salt sprays, tears and regrets and the million contradictions lodged in the heart.

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2009
Published in Eleventh Flash in the Pan at Tiny Lights magazine

Posted for One Shot Wednesday 53rd week at One Stop Poetry, that inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Check out what we share and do hop in!

July 6, 2011 Posted by | lyrical prose | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

dawn, a bilingual poem in English and Iluko for One Shot Wednesday (re-post)

In the spirit of first anniversaries that One Shot Wednesday is celebrating, I wish to share an exhilarating moment I’ve had when my poem in Iluko, the dialect I was born with but never wrote with until now, was published, my first ever in the dialect, in Bannawag, a vernacular magazine of the Ilocanos in northern Philippines I read as a child.

Writing from the spirit for me is true writing. While I’m re-learning my tongue like a child, I find in it each time the soul of my expression. The source of my anguish must be its imprisonment in the tangled web of borrowed thought and language. But kneading them together now as in this poem has allowed me bouts of sheer joy. I seem to be writing through this ‘duality’ since then–the borrowed cultures or cultures that impinged on my birth or even in my mother’s womb. And my anguish has lessened since I acknowledged who I am and of what I’m woven.

(as featured poem in winningwriters.com Newsletter, Spring 2010, a loose translation in English by the author 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

unbidden
a freeze crept,
swaddling
the newborn

leaves whirled
onto a fractured cloud,
stars splattered, blinding
the lost

jasmine blossoms
curtsied
as if penitent
shedding their petals

in the palm
of the newborn blossoms
bloomed into a garland for
dawn

(Iluko version as edited and published in Bannawag, the Ilocano vernacular magazine of the Ilocos region in northern Philippines, May 16, 2009)

agsapa

naimayeng
dagiti bituen idi mangngegda
ti as-asug
dagiti bulong iti sipnget
narba
dagiti pinatanor ti lawag
iti danarudor
dagiti agam-ammangaw

awan pakpakada
ti yuuli ti lam-ek
kadagiti di pay nabungon
a kaipasngay

nagkaribuso
dagiti nayaplag a bulong
bayat ti isasangpet
ti ulep a makapurar

nagkurno
dagiti hasmin
kas man la agpakpakawan
narurosda

iti ima
ti maladaga
nagbukelda a kuentas
ti agsapa

Copyright (c) 2010 by Alegria Imperial

Re-post from 9/22/2010 for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, the inimtable gathering place for poets and artists that celebrates its First Anniversary today (tomorrow?) Wednesday! I joined in only halfway in November last year after I stumbled on it in patteran’s page. It’s been a blast to get to know the most amazing, the most talented, and gifted poets and artists here. Check us out!

June 29, 2011 Posted by | lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

solstice (a tanka*-ish reflection for One Shot Wednesday)

only in fullness
am I still–
i cast no shadow
as a rendezvous
dissipates into a sob

the wind flails
hapless
in the gingko twigs–
where perfection
encases feelings

if punctured
fibres
of wombs burst
water before blood
into birthing

a cry of rage
flags what a heart
hoards–
peace when it settles
lines its chambers

nothing like a Nautilus
the heart is but a pump
the fist opening
and closing
for fluids to flow

red colors
a river the heart
conjures–
layers of molecules
veil its nature

until the solstice
skids past its point
of stillness
wholeness is truth
until

a heart breaks
until a birthing point
reverts
to that first sound
that cry of rage


*tanka, sometimes known to be the precursor of haiku, is a 5-line Japanese poetic form used by court poets of ancient Japan. Scroll down for my post on this form in February.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at On Stop Poetry where poets and artists of the most inimitable talents gather to share and support each other. Check it out!

June 21, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

I was once her (for one Shot Wednesday)

who sits on the couch in the music room
lost in autumn hair, violins on a CD player
wafting smiles not hers, smiles of a piquant woman
her lover lost on the river walk that evening
briar roses crumbled on their steps shredded
foliage cushioned.

She sits on vacant clouds, eyes
hinting wakefulness on pools
the sun once mirrored
then drowned. The geese left no sign
that evening of the walk not even a note
to hold up to a sun sinking on the barge:
logs swayed on the water, old men rasped
scraping brawns the tide whittled,

bumping to the rhythm. She hears
her lover hum the tune,
a river whistling in the runes, flowing
infinitely like words in
a vow: in this and that state
no breath in between
but death. Not geese but iron flies
buzzing into her heart shattered

the pool that afternoon, shards of water
blinding her her lover saying good-bye, to fly
on blades that whirl not wings that beat
on air, to return an angel, breast beribboned
to preen to count those fallen
from his fingers.
She peers through her cloud this afternoon:
a river ebbing at her feet, touching

her wiggling toes, she giggles over
silly notes as violins rise, twirling
allegro on the river bank where she once sat
mourning over geese that afternoon
her lover returned a name
in a note unsigned, the lover

who once was mine.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, the gathering place of poets and artists yet unmatched in calibre and talent. I’m a follower here. Do check us out!

June 15, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

a romance diary (a haibun experiment) for One Shot Wednesday

…grey dense skies barring the sun again, chilly on bare skin, spring refusing to leave so much so that even the leafing maple shading the terrace has browned with curled edges in spots, mistaking the air has retracted to autumn, perhaps? Even Nature seems dazed but I’m clear about this memory

spring’s end–
the squirrel flies a trapeze
as we cuddle

…amazing how the sun weakens on spring air yet its sparks illumine all else as in this thought filled in

a weak sun
glitters on spider web–
vacant corners

…even main street breathing unevenly at night has ceased in its restlessness as if the air has suffused all else to a quiet that for me opens up to reach out if it were but a soft turn in sleep when

mute stars–
spaces in between them
open up for whispers

…the night has bounced back in restlessness from a momentary calm which lulled me earlier in a dreamless space but awake now, recalling nights when I would feel lost, feeling an empty space on your side of the bed, but only briefly as you slip back in to turn back

the night
but for the darkness
our roost

…perhaps because they have built their nests, the birds seem to sing a different tune, refrains that rise this morning over the distant grumbling of jets flying off as I compose our song for another day

waning spring–
the wind rearranges petals
tightening us together

An edited version of an earlier post for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, the only gathering place that brings poets and artists to share their art freely, comfortably, and joyfully and nurture each other. Check us out!

June 7, 2011 Posted by | diary/memoir, haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

riddle (for One Shot Wednesday featured and critiqued by Jendi Reiter at winningwriters.com)

from flints flung off
cliffs where crags snag
fledglings came my seed,
buried, until as sapling
i spiraled off ground. air
feeds me but it turns

poison when i exhale, cracks
when as blossom i break,
feigning petulance. i am crowned
when i abscond words.

i bear fruit when my
flesh oozes. my dreams
drip when birds hang where i gaze
on a promise; moons that sprout on my limbs i count
as wings resisting winds.

my yearnings
wear out the sun, singe my heart
a thousand times. but always
at dawn i bud.

Copyright 2008 by Alegria Imperial
Critique by Jendi Reiter at http://www.winningwriters.com October 2008

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, THE gathering place for poets and artists of inimitable works who also nurture each other. Check us out. Better yet, hop in!

May 31, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

the wait (TCR issue 51 for One Shot Wednesday)

on the window
the bird seed beveled
a choppy morning
where the soughing wind
mimics whispers
snagged among caricature
of trees

ruined by the rain
shredded under steps
leaves trapped in gutters—
thoughts flung on
rain puddles where the rain
drops as rings blurring
the sky

in the lilac bush
the ruckus of the sparrows
sinks into the sunset
in the brambles a spider web sags—
we wait for the darkness
to open up for the moon

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

Published at The Cortland Review Issue 51 May 2011

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. Check out this site wher poets share their love for their art and nurture each other.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

unfinished poems (for One Shot Wednesday)

red rose in a fluted vase sitting on its petals
for no one pretending prettiness passes
for love…

the gift in its box but a heart
unwrapped its beating unfelt like the ease
a lover leaves at dawn…

notes left unwritten cloud the heart
wilt on tight buds in a garden
awaiting a storm…

in the soil roots fight over names
like delphiniums like fuschia like hostas where
have heather dug stiffness out of hairs or simply rise
as rose at dawn…

the hand drenched in the haze sags under the moon
the night has so much to say so few
understand…

for us and the stars among sparrows spits turn
talisman in the dark as a dream finds a nymph
on a moss a croak becomes you…

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. Come on in. Join me and other poets in this gathering place.

May 18, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments