jornales

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

alien notes (for One Shot Wednesday)

in Vietnam courtesy of wikicommons

old suns, desolate breakfasts,
days turning on stiles, later
a trudge ending in a box
re-spelling obtuseness

words on words
soft as soufflé he hardly tasted—
so he left grinding dust, seeking
flashes in the desert

why songs fly
to him now sneaking between dawn
and moaning, silences between
gaping eyes the dead leave on strings, he
draws answers from skies,
grumbling about bomb spores–
songs he plucks off storms
alien to his longings

on his waist solid
steel tips waiting to fly
this sentinel
of rock burrowing on sands
lets old suns free
on his guitar

published as Poet of the Week, Poets Against War, June 2009

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry blog. Join other poets and artists who love their art.

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January 26, 2011 Posted by | free verse, 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

how not to haiku or haiku submitted with temerity…

…to the late Peggy Willis Lyles, the editor I was assigned to send my haiku to at Heron’s Nest. I believe this belongs to that first batch in late 2007. I had just won an honorable mention that year in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational, a month after I migrated to Vancouver, which gave me the boldness to send these truly absolutely non-haiku I now realize.

Peggy had replied ever so kindly to my submissions–three more followed; the last one she received on her first hospitalization preceding her fatal illness, and still she responded from her hospital bed as always encouragingly (posted here ‘September twilight’ 09/07/2010 and at the haikuworld website with my tribute to her).

I’ve strived to learn from my rejection notes since then. It’s amazing how crystal clear they read as bad when they come back like wilted blooms or sagging starved horsemen. Some specifics Peggy had noted: “use of language should be natural”, “image should not be twisted (unnatural or made-up) but clear (natural in its flow)”.

Other editors of other haiku journals would send back a ‘robot’ mail or just simply not let you know; I later learned that with thousands of haiku descending on them like an avalanche (I read once about an editor receiving 250 haiku about a visit to Hawaii and not a single one worked), I began to feel less ignored in a personal way. I had long contracted haiku and it has turned into a ‘chronic malady’ so much so that I’m still writing and bugging editors.

Of these haiku that demonstrate how not to haiku (you would know), I’ve turned two of them quite successfully into free verse. Haiku#1 became “Suppositions” (free verse, posted 12/20/2010 for One Shot Wed ) and #5 as “Revenant” (sequence-like published in The Cortland Review Issue 39, May 2008 with a podcast ).

1.
turtles tipping on rocks
dip legs in pool—
summer note

2.
ah, spring—
squirrel digging shoots
chews on

3.
on black soil
clumps of snowdrops—
shorter nights

4.
old oak tree
leafing so soon? but sparrows
twig each

5.
duck pair at lagoon
V-patterns on the water—
on the sky

January 23, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

who can believe (one Shoot Sunday)

the glitz, but a masquerade
a sheer veil behind the haze
for all I hear

slush scrunched underfoot–
what pain in my heart a thousand
baubles thrown on ground

dripping rain slowing down
to creep on eaves so agonizingly glassy–
the dirt shows

heaving trains on stops rumbling as herds
stomping into dreams of slumbering
seeds, mine

how to halt
some hundred puffs of violins ascending
infinity cannot but be an illusion of hearing

a whimper skittering on air, mine
crinkling the silence no one hears–
beneath the blinders

the blinding lights–
who can save me disbelieving
I in masquerade

am searching for a prayer

Photo by Mike Roemer

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry blog from a photograph of Mike Roemer. Join other poets and artists who love what they do.

January 23, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Deserter (One Shot Wednesday)

Spine-sagged figures trudge where mottled hill
smacks a smoky sky. A breeze lifts arms but weighs down on phantom weights, crosses the shape of forebodings.
I plead for coddling. But gray huddle bursts–on command
of the winged kingpin–derisive of my intrusion,
message on their repulsive eyes. I recoil
faceless among faces, creep away.

Had I feathers not sticks to heave survival arms
uphill in desert cubicles where suns sketch moons
over trees, I would fly away. Had I beaks not lips to warble jeweled clips not statements of commitments
without weight or facets I could not hold out to
to some light or undecided darkness,
I would sing. Hence, spirit-less

I creep up a clump of cypresses–those grave
sentinels that now stir in the wind, a warning. Am I
perhaps who has given up fighting, scrambling to my end
where martinet on my deserter’s trail awaits? Hinted stars witness my trembling, and then my calming—
when over my head twitters from sparrows roosting
drip as notes, congealing as affirmation of peace

my endless steps into the day, how it winds
to fill and drain then draw up tweets I drop like theirs,
balancing my spirit on a concrete sky.

NOTE: Editing refuses to read my line breaks on line #2 stanza 1, break on down on/phantom weights; line #3 stanza 2, break on warble/jeweled; line #4 stanza 3, break on stars/witness

Edited from original published in “Poets Against War”, March 2008
posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry blog. Join other poets and link up your poem wth Mr. Linky in the site.

January 19, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

rose hips

rose hips–
my laughter among the bushes
once

There’s that “ache”, again!

“Yes, it seems to be a constant in my lines. I think in my poetry as in my being–because it’s from where our thoughts rise–pain, real or imagined, balances my leaps of joy. It keeps me aware of how flitting life is, beauty is, how un-changeless yet at the same time how much in constant flux this universe is; hence, how treasured each moment must be.”

That and what follows are from comments I’ve pulled out from my posts regarding the “sadness” and the “ache” in my haiku and other poems.

From Jenne Andrews at http://jenneandrews.wordpress.com re my lyric poem, The Birthing, “there is an ache here and in your other poems i’ve seen that is so potent…”

From Patrick Gillespie at http://poemshape.wordpress.com on my haiku winter beach, “One feels that there’s some sorrow in the relationship. One also wonders why, on a cold winter’s day, they are walking so close to the waves…”

From my reply to Patrick on winter beach, “Yes, Patrick (and Jenne), this sad feeling persists in my poetry. The Japanese aesthetics you couldn’t quite recall, when you wrote your comment on my ‘three tanka’ (qarrtsiluni), is not only “wabi”, as I replied but, “wabi-sabi”. I think it is its metaphysical sense that flows into my poems.

As described by Leonard Koren in his book, “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” (Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 that I recently found in a used bookstore, McLeod’s on Dunsmuir St here in Vancouver, a space so tight one could get caught in an avalanche of books, all gems, much like Strands in New York), the metaphysical basis, which he begins with the question, “what is the universe like?” is “Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness…While the universe destructs it also constructs. New things emerge out of nothingness…In metaphysical terms wabi-sabi suggests that the universe is in constant motion toward or away from potential.”

It’s a state of mind I seem to have been aware of as long as I can recall. I have always felt rueful about beauty, and always cried, when absolutely uplifted by works of art especially music; I still do both. I have characters in my short stories and my novella, who sense that at the height of happiness there awaits an equal in the depth of sorrow: my female protagonist in my novella-in-progress (editing and rewriting), “Lovers of the Interior“, exemplifies this thought. But that’s another story–a swing away from haiku!”

I do wish that I could veer away from it more often and walk close to Basho who said that haiku should be light as in shallow water (do I recall this right?) Even Shiki who was writing close to his death could still write with a sense of humor as in this haiku (1901 from Kimiyo Tanaka, Shiki team at haikuworld)

full of spring
rotten oranges
how sweet!

Perhaps I should meet up with Mutusumi often, the Japanese friend who pushed away my “dark” haiku and helped me search for “the wing in my heart”, an experience I hope to post soon!

January 18, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

first kiss (playing with images on haiku-like lines for One Shoot Sunday )

over head–
a robin trills, i race
the uptown train

to meet you

on elm street
my feet on clouds–
wind swept petals

i skid on my soles

under a lavender bush
such fragrance–
so like yours

still running

now through rain drops
i slip but land on begonia quilt–
i pick three dandelions

i race on

a pair of crows–
from juniper tops cawing a duet
swoops in on a picnic spread

i turn away

afternoon rain
coming harder i skid under a shade
of cherry blossoms

my heart thrums faster

singling on a wall
under weeping crab apple blooms–
the rain their tears and mine

am i crying?

my watch
eats up minutes–
you will be gone

i am sobbing

the rain stops–
sunlight ripples through the sky
falls on a lilac hedge i race on

to meet you

against a wall
the sun bursts on your smile
you sprint to meet me

under a rain-washed sky

eyes dripping
sweetened rain, petals on our lips
wet, soft, warm

we kiss our first

on the heart-shaped sky
we sign our names,
say our vows

on three dandelions

Phot by Katherine Forbes

Posted for One Shoot Sunday from a photo by Katherine Forbes. Join other poets at One Stop Poetry blog who write verses for love, read those of others, leave a word of encouragement and/or insight with the same love and respect. Post your piece on your blog and sign up in the Mr. Linky list

January 16, 2011 Posted by | free verse, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Birthing (one shot Wednesday)

I was told an island
rises to its toes when love is
spoken:

waves mount clouds
birds turn dolphins singing.
Flowers bedded on
corals spew beads at

sunrise, winging up as
galaxies mutely
winking at words.

When love is
spoken, Earth shifts axis, faces
eyes limpidness had irked,

takes flings nudged out of
madness—shards shooting as if
aimed though swirling–
and breathes:

first, a shroud shields the pain, next,
a rainbow clears those eyes
for birthing.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry blog. Join other poets who write verses for love, read those of others, leave a word of encouragement and/or insight with the same love and respect. Post your piece on your blog and sign up in the Mr. Linky list.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | free verse, lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

In tatters

She sprints away
as if to leap onto a curdled sky.

Wind-strands race her up,
flick-ends her arms as if
in tender knowing. But she gives no
cheek-turns no lip-end-lifts
to faces blooming essences
nothing but a vacant sweep of
airless breathing, weightless
arm swings. She trudges on.

Above, a sky grovels—
red cheeks billowy like hers, ridged
on edges too, a likeness clouded
over. She turns up eyes mirroring
silence loneliness gifts the sunset.
Plump faces veil her sky,
hiss endearments that splatter
on her steps. She waves whispers off,
the broken lover, heart only
on the face lies inflamed.

She trudges on,
racing to bend the light, fold away
the blue hurls disguised as kisses,
three roses popping off a fist, a love
misled he cloaked her with. On her steps,
sun and sky conspire into a fire
roaring into her regrets,
freeing her in tatters like wings.

She trudges on.

Posted for One Shoot Sunday from a photo of KJ Halliday. Join other poets at One Stop Poetry blog who write verses for love, read those of others, leave a word of encouragement and/or insight with the same love and respect. Post your piece on your blog and sign up in the Mr. Linky list.

January 9, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Window Frame (One Shot Wednesday)

She peers again. Light birthed
in snow has blossomed wings on
branches, an evening suspended on a hand.

The mist curls fingers at her, drawing her–
she hears magic bedded in whispers, magic
that melts on footfalls then trails a sigh, seeps

into thoughts, waking dormant ghosts.
She holds on, clutches on—time
has framed her waiting: even snow birds

scattered on the gravel have turned into leaves,
the light, a wash neither rain-lit nor
breeze-hushed, folding on itself. Frost

has coated the window frame where
she gazes wondering if her eyes
not the stars belong to the night—

her world illumined by the absence
of light, nourished in waiting
for the snow in his wake. Waiting

she wonders if absent stars not
the snow flakes on this window frame
have deluded him

to search for other skies.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday. Join other poets at One Stop Poetry blog who write verses for love, read those of others, leave a word of encouragement and/or insight with the same love and respect. Post your piece on your blog and sign up in the Mr. Linky list.

January 5, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments