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.

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

nightmare (for One Shoot Sunday)

Picture prompt by Rosie Hardy

the last drop of turpentine
stains the moon on the landscape
she conjured

out of yarn that wobbled
like disembodied Adam’s apple
talking to her of a man

she pulled a meadow
where cows wear earrings
and metal buckled boots

they stomp on blue irises
eat white poppies and sneezing
blow balloons from their noses

she draws a woman in a shed
whittling an arrow for a son, but
where’s the boy

a blond head and arms like sticks
legs broken in angles appears
astride on a cow

the moon comes rising
mid spring among the grumbling oaks
their skin brittle as glass crack

the wind is cruel in the meadow
it sweeps in gales and shifts corners
unexpected

she runs out of turpentine
as the white mice appear in between
the boy and a grinning calf

the spaces she overlooked
now scurrying as swift as the wind
she wallops a blob of blue

as if the sky does not cause
clouds that mutate into white mice
the last of the turpentine drips

to the woman’s lap
where is the man and son ask
the elder berries

the woman leaps to dance
the dance of the moon when crazed
by the giggling stars

not stars but tickling
white mice has the woman stoned
after the dance to shake

her nightmare off
she doesn’t waken even as the man wills
to turn himself into a bearded mouse

the painting clears out
in the dream the woman in the shed
becomes a petulant woman wearing

white breasts and the man-mouse
has multiplied on her

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry from a prompt by Rosie Hardy. This inimitable site for poets and artists starts the first Sunday of its second year, winning a Shorty Award for the Arts in its first year. Check out what made it win!

I wish to thank Adam, Chris G, Brian, Pete and Claudia again for having done a wonderful job. NO word is ever enough for what I feel I’ve gained from OSP.

July 18, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

unfinished tales (for One Shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Neil Alexander

at nightfall
a herded flock of sheep bearing
flasks of prayers
bleat on their steps
toward the temple

in the distance
crows scream for mercy
the broken tower
unleashes bats sniggering
at the sheep

in the darkness
the owl hoots at a pregnant moon
who smiles at shrinking Mars
the stars in his court simpering
conspire with the moon

in the thorny bushes
men braid their way into the night
on their heads their gifts
wobble like heads of wearied gods
once revered

seething fireflies their pin eyes
darting among snoring bees
beguile the men
who mesmerized by the light
melt on their knees

spirits splatter
on yesterday’s thorns turned
night embers burning the temple
far off where prayers thicken
barnacled walls

Dawn fans the dying
souls of the moaning sheep
and the whimpering men
the bats coat the temple tower
with their leavings

on the altar awaiting gifts
the gods disentangle
their limbs but leave their hearts
to morning worshippers
hankering for unfinished tales

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry, the gathering place that has been the most fertile ground for my poetry where among the most talented poets and artists whose invaluable nurturing caused me to wildly bloom. I thank Adam, Chris G, Claudia, Pete and Brian’s endless unfailing smiles who are leaving OSP and especially Joy and Jenne, goddesses of the lyrical realm for me, for my growth. Thanks especially for the Sunday page, Chris and Adam, these have driven me to work on original pieces I could never have written. It has been for me a blast of 28 weeks and as you had promised Adam, Chris, Claudia and Brian, I hope to meet you again or please seek me out when you are orbiting in the spheres again! I really can’t thank your enough for your support and uplifting words about each poem I’ve written for OSP.

July 10, 2011 Posted by | poetry, free verse | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 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

transmutation (for One Shoot Sunday)

Photo prompt by Adam Romanowicz.

trapped in a shell
of dreams, the night careens
into an abyss–
the paradise of mollusks
unknown to stars

alien, Night
drowns in crystal tears
engorging shell hearts
layering an encrusted
stone

the sea lashes
the mollusks and turns
Night into strands
of sea spray
Night, the alien

grows eyes
globules of crystals
floating as froth
a veil to hide the birthing
mollusks

Night, the witness
in paradise becomes the sea
as heaving shells open
to let breathe the pearl
they birth

startled
in the blinding brightness
Night leaps and grows wings
springing off its eyes
jewels of sparks

an ocean breath
exhales Night back to dying stars
Night, the prodigal
now smithereens of tears
rain on cupped leaves

frozen as
bejeweled Dawn
on leaf strands
en-clasped like it were
its heart

a shell

Composed from a photo prompt by Adam Romanowicz and
posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Come immerse yourself, better yet share your work and your ideas about others’. Check us out!

June 26, 2011 Posted by | free verse, lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

‘Where has it all gone?’ (excerpt from “Lovers of the Interior”, my novella-in-progress for OSP)

At the far end of the tunnel, a dull roaring begins. The iron tracks tinkle in their trembling. He twitches then bolts up wide-eyed. A shadow looms ahead and a pair of white light pierces through. A ruckus has risen. The scream of steel grating against steel draws near. But what pulls him up panting from disbelief is the empty pit inside of him.

Where has the memory gone? He silently cries out through the maddening screech of the train slithering to a stop. The dazed crowd has massed up. Flexed limbs now aim at the door. He lingers on the rim of the crowd magnetized by the door, smarting from the pangs of a lost memory.

He now feels a bump from behind. The girl has stepped behind him without a word. He turns toward her. She stares at him as if he were a stranger.

The door heaves and gulps the mass. He gets pushed to the end of the aisle, into a crook between the door of the conductor’s booth and the swaying rear of the coach. He glances at the exposed limbs of the train, and then, shifting his eyes he catches Nini’s head three-arms-clutching-the-hand rail away. She seems stilled, not a hint of her missing him. He has finally lost her, he thought holding down a pent-up glee.
An excerpt from Chapter 26 of my novella-in-progress “Lovers of the Interior” posted for One Stop and the Arts–Elements of Writing at One Stop Poetry, the gathering place for poets and artists, sharing both their love for theirs and those of others’ works, and nurturing each other. Come check us out!

June 23, 2011 Posted by | excerpt, novella | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

meanings on walls (for One Shoot Sunday)

graffiti in the Lansing area, Michigan, photo by Chris Galford

1. squiggles

your words mere
squiggles on walls
if but smiles
on dry leaves–
when clouds take over the sun
the butterfly dies

2. waves

on the wall
waves splatter a froth
the sky sheds–
is it rain?
our hand carvings on sea air
but the mindless moon

3. sky

we sip dreams
no one knows of what–
were it earth
it would roll
drums beating down on our sky
to give up the stars

4. ripple

heat seeps off
tips of lanceolate
promises
disguised flames–
in the waters a ripple
once a breath twice life

5. blue fish

ocean lure–
we dig for stone fists
to ripple
the silence
a blue fish whispers to me
a broken flower

Copyright © by Alegria Imperial 2011

Five ‘haiku-induced’ shadorma, a Spanish sestet or 6-line poetic form in 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables per line–my first attempt at it–in response to the Picture Photo Prompt Sunday (One Shoot Sunday) from photos of Chris Galford of graffit’d walls around the Lansing area in Michigan and posted at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Check us out!

June 19, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, shadorma | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments