jornales

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

stillness (a haiga with my haiku response to the 2nd Blossom Rain Haiku My Photo Challenge)

 

stillness

the vastness awaits

our vows

Christine Villa has forwarded a challenge to write a haiku on one of her photos last August, the 2nd year of this challenge. Twenty-five poets from ten countries participated in this kukai, blindly voting for the winner from ballots Christine emailed. Rick Daddario won first place. Here’s my already tweaked response, which Christine has kindly put in on her exquisite photo.   

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October 2, 2012 Posted by | haiga, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

first smile (haiga8 for Rick Daddario’s challenge at19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga 8 composed on Microsoft Publisher with my sister's first baby picture at 5 mos old

first smile nothing else

I remember that early morning light, which illumines the bedroom. It could have poured in through a window facing east where deep dark leaves of a star apple tree soaked most of it, leaving a young mango sprout pale in its struggle to grow. Or perhaps it was just uncared for. And why do I now blame the more luxuriant star apple? No one could pay much attention to the mango seedling then, since the birth of my sister and only sibling.

It could have been a Saturday morning. My mother could have been home that late and didn’t leave for school across the stream a block away, a post-deduction I’m making from the angle of the light. If it were a weekend, I must have been sleeping late. It couldn’t but be a Saturday or this picture wouldn’t have been taken by an uncle who also taught at the parish school. So why am I making a fuss this late?

Because I wish I could relate a more credible story as to how that first smile was caught. I remember my sister more as fretful. She cried when she felt sleepy or couldn’t sleep. She cried when she woke up and felt hot. When I carried her, I could not hold her facing me for long; I would have to make her face outward with one arm supporting her butt as in a seat, her legs dangling, and my other arm, bracing her close to me so she would not fall forward. She hardly smiled. She seemed to size up people as if already making opinions as they talked though she still couldn’t except to say, ‘Mama’. Which is why this smile for me sparkles as a gem.

I know that hand carved wooden bed. On it, I nuzzled on my mother’s side under a crook of her arm as deep as my memory dips. I watched my sister suckled from my mother’s breast, perhaps like I did, on this bed. I remember bumping my head on the headboard against carvings of huge blooms, hearts of gardenias in a swirl of leaves leaning away as if blown by their redolence. Lying on it felt like easing into silken strands, the hand woven rattan strips, which stretched and retracted with each un-recalled movement in dreams. I know that slightly creased sheet, too, which is actually a native heavy woven cotton blanket I had dived into as a child myself. It must have been really a Saturday morning because I see no pillows, which my grandmother would have gathered to put out under the sun to disinfect and deodorize.

The story I recall of this morning has to do with impulses. An uncle who lived on the other corner of our street, apparently just happened to drop by with his camera. He just suddenly wanted to take a picture of my 5-month old sister. My sister just then was learning to turn on her side. That morning, she happened to do a full turn to lie on her belly. She just happened to smile. Or maybe I was there to clown around when my uncle clicked his Kodak Field camera. But the truth is, I remember nothing else but this first smile.

Fifty four years gape between that morning and me today. I am now an elderly woman hankering for details I missed. But then again because I have none except this moment caught, I can spin webs around it to catch any morning light, and perhaps one like that Saturday morning.

September 25, 2011 Posted by | haiga, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

abducted fireflies (haiga7 for 19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga7 for haiga-a-day made with clip art on Microsoft Publisher

abducted fireflies
glowing in its eyes
frog

Another post for Rick Daddario’s haiga-a-day challenge at 19 Planets Art Blog, which I created from a clip art on Microsoft Publisher.

And what’s behind the image of the frog? This…

Noticing what could be unseen or merely imagined, magnifying the significance of what would be otherwise, some speck lost in the swarm of air particulates, this is what poetry, especially haiku, does to me. My mind cannot seem to work within limitations of space and time, or even sensations. What’s beyond a simple object in a single moment becomes a truth that breaks through thought barriers. Take the frog.

Basho has immortalized its break out of anonymity with his famous haiku, ‘old pond’. Reading it again and again, one steps into the monastic peace of an old pond until a frog that one hardly notices among stones, plops, and animates the peace with the sound of water. In a moment, the old pond turns into a universal moment of any moment that once was lifeless, suddenly, breathing from the unexpected.

My haiga is hardly a takeoff from Basho’s frog. It does not have the quietness of it, nor of the objective quality that identifies the poet as the observer but in whose mind, reality is arranged into three lines that total into a truth. While an observation as well, mine is less objective in that I state what I suppose in what I see, namely, the glow in a frog’s eye–seen especially in the dark. Knowing what it feeds on, I imagine fireflies and connect it with that glow. In reality, it is far-fetched as we know that anything creatures eat ends up far from the eyes, in the stomach. If a glow ever shows in the eye, it is that of satisfaction. But what I have done here, or think so, anyway, is tweak reality and made it slide into poetic thought, some other truth.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | comment, haiga, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

harvest moon (haiga6 for 19 Planets Art Blog)

harvest moon haiga, my second water color attempt for 19 Planets Art Blog

harvest moon
melting banks of darkness–
our silent walls

I like the haiku which the artwork prompted. This process, as Rick Daddario keeps saying, has turned ‘way way fun’, for me. I do have a vague landscape in my mind before I start playing with the water color pencils (that I chose as medium for easy handling) at first, but something else begins to take form with my first stroke and on to the next. As more colors waft on the frame, it is then, too, when the haiku, writes itself, as in this haiga.

I think it’s not a good one because the image describes the haiku. I believe that with this genre, they should be apart like strangers sizing up each other. In this haiga though, I, the author, slips in between them, bringing with me what I would wish the moon would do more than what we know it does. Also, a haiku as author-driven as this is termed anthropomorphic, if I recall correctly, and it isn’t quite a good haiku. Still, I like this haiga and I hope you do, too.

September 14, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘from sedge’ haiga5 for haiga-a-day at 19 Planets Art Blog

from sedge haiga5

My fifth post for haiga-a-day challenge on Rick Daddario’s 19 Planets Art Blog. I’ve ventured this time into creating my own artwork. I’m saying so as a caveat for the crudeness of this watercolor attempt. I mentioned that I did dabble in drawing ages ago but never did get an actual training. I had thought that reading a lot for the writing I used to do and interviewing great Filipino artists would work a miracle in me–what improbable thought, no? I guess I still do think it’s possible and so my daring to post this haiga:

from sedge
to sedge no stalk
firm enough
to hold a wing–
damselflies

A five-line haiku? I’m not sure this is legitimate. And if not, consider this a draft then, along with the childlike drawing!

September 11, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘buttonhole’ haiga4 for 19 Planets Arts Blog

haiga4 another clip art creation with Microsoft Publisher

buttonhole–
fireflies sneak
into my dreams

Another post composed with clip art on Microsoft Publisher for Rick Daddario’s haiga-a-day 19 Planets Art Blog.

The haiku came out of a reflection about dreams and fireflies. How often like children do we wonder what makes what seems not possible possible like what makes a firefly glow in the dark. Science does explain it with a chemical they carry like luminescent creatures of the sea. We say, ahhh to that. But tell that to a child and she looks at air. Nothing there. I must have done it many times as a child because the wonder stayed. No matter how much I read now as an adult and discover answers to what once was unexplainable, I remain with the mystery and the dream. And for me, fireflies will always be those fallen stars I used to catch as a child and slept with one, if I did, in my tight fist, expecting it would still twinkle when I wake up.

September 10, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘fallen leaf’ for Svetlana(haiga3 for 19 Planets Art Blog challenge)

'fallen leaf' haiga 3 with clip art on Microsoft Publisher

fallen leaf
curls into its own
emptied self

Tribute to NaHaiWriMo friend, beautiful soul, Svetlana Marisova, whose death at 21 swathed me in heavy sadness today, this haiga is also posted for Rick Daddario’s haiga-a-day challenge at 19 Planets Art Blog, composed on Microsoft Publisher with clip art.

September 9, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

repetitions (haiga2 for 19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga2 using clip art on Microssft Publisher

ehoes
our silent repetitions
repetitions

repetitions
our silent echoes
repetitions

repetitions
of repetitions echo on silence

echoes on silence repetitions of repetitions

Posted for haiga challenge at 19 Planets Art Blog of Rick Daddario. I composed this haiga using clip art on Microsoft Publisher. The art came first and then the haiku. I seem to be good with visual prompts or I work better with them as I used to with the poems I wrote for the now defunct One Stop Poetry’s Sunday Challenge. Am I now creating my own prompts? I had never thought of it but with this second haiga, I’m starting to have fun. I hope it works.

So what’s the thought in the haiga? The cycles in our lives. The repetitions in shapes and sounds. Even invisibles our mind creates bounce back and forth as thoughts and feelings. Patterns and routes unfurl before us without our bidding. Because we need them. Repetitions. Because each day ends to begin again. Reassurances. Because each vow must be renewed. Reverberations. Because we hear better on a beat or rhyme. Repetitions because once never ends for us. Repetitions. We are embedded in them. We embed them in us.

September 8, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

‘in the thicket’ (haiga for 19 Planets Art Blog made with clip art)

'in the thicket', my first ever haiga made with clip art

in the thicket
waiting on clouds
frogs

I think it looks awful, not artful at all! It reminds me of cards I pick up on shelves of thrift shops, the kind no one makes these days. But I have to try something. And I did with Microsoft Publisher, the only program I have that allows me to do some layout and a bit of art. Maybe I can learn to paint with the program because it’s possible. Still, I have to give it a shot and suffer through the birthing.

Thanks to Rick Daddario for giving me the spunk to do this.

September 6, 2011 Posted by | haiga, poetry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

shadows (a haibun)

shadows–
how much longer
can we stay?

Shadows have always fascinated me. As a child, I chased them or rather searched for them. Under trees at high noon when the crown of an acacia tree from across our balcony but covered its root space like a clipped parasol, I’d creep to it and hug the ancient roots, basking in its shadow. By the stream where my grandmother scoured the soot off the iron rice pot and skillet, I’d haunt the silken strips of shadows under bamboo grooves and waited on the engorged shadow of a kingfisher that never failed to fly by; damselflies swarmed around that time, too. But by then, I’d be drawing on the dance of bamboo leaves on the steady current for a clue on which side of the stream is shallowest for me to swim. My grandmother had learned from snoops that I sauntered alone at high noon by the stream–even took dips, shedding off my clothes to wear her pandiling* or tapis** (sarong-like cloth) that when soaked weighed on my body and tended to slip off; I had by then showed signs of turning into a woman. Upbraided, I stopped creeping under the shadowed stream for a while. It was then when I began exploring the wooded orchard of a grandaunt and got chased by a swarm of bees I had disturbed. My granduncle had heard my screams and came with a mosquito net plus some kind of obnoxious spray. I suffered a few stings that my grandaunt soothed with dabs of burnt molasses syrup. I had since then, confined my fascination for shadows under ruins and buildings that block the sun off. Why this disdain for the sun, a friend once asked. What answer could I give for some things I have none?

half
of who we are–
shadows

(Prompt from a free-wheeling discussion with Rick Daddario, 19 Planets Art Blog that you can click on my blogroll, about a would-be no-goal project we have on ‘moon and shadows’.)

*Iluko, the tongue of the northernmost region of the Philippine archipelago I was born with
**Pilipino, native language of the Filipinos derived mostly from Tagalog, the dialect of the central plains in Luzon, the biggest of 7,100 islands, where Manila and also my region are located. Filipinos speak four major dialects of the 87 with Pilipino (and English in its varied adaptations to tongue and colloquial expressions) spoken in most of the islands. I speak but can’t write proficiently in Pilipino.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Alegria Imperial

August 23, 2011 Posted by | haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments