jornales

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

robins at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (a haibun writes itself)

Roses losing petals, lotuses dying on their shadow, a poisonous sumac inflamed, the promised turtle missing, but the persimmon tree pregnant, the spider lily swinging; I pick anise seeds and drink on the scent, pinch tips of dew studded mint, and then stumble on frog stones their absent eyes on summer flies–the water striders have long leaped to infinity–it’s autumn at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and after tracing the veins of a horse I figure a ficus has turned into from a knight on a horse by a fairy enchanted by his beauty, E and I skip the desert garden breathing heat off a muggy afternoon.

We pass by the Cranford Rose Garden again where I had posed beside a bronze sculpture titled Roses of Yesterday–this wisp of a woman ripened by love and longing sluiced by it in fluid lines. On her left arm, she cradles a clock’s face Time arrested engraved in words Perennis Amour (Love Eternal); on her right as if bidden, she caresses a bunch of roses that drip as if tears from her deep sad eyes. I had posed unabashed beside her, tainting the poetic moment, which I should have sipped in secret.

No perfume quaffs through the air even as we linger to hold on to each bloom thrusting petals on us for a touch. The gray sky stands by unconcerned as we lean toward a curved path to the main gate. Silence and distant chatter drop on my steps and a stirring in the yew branch. A robin has flit from it. The meadow ends and I shake off a leaf from my shoulders to find another leaf that has hitched a ride in a fold of my hood as we boarded the No. 1 train. It must have been the closed-in faces, the inward smiles, the inner rhymes I imagined beat in time with steel grating on steel and soon the scream of brakes that bid us to pour out of the steel doors even as we tighten our grip on moments we can’t soon recall that this haiku wrote itself–not about the roses or the absent turtle but a fleeting glimpse of

robins
skittering on fallen leaves
our grip tightens

October 21, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lullaby (yet another lyric poem from haiku-strays)

I wrote this poem on one of the early days when obsessed with learning haiku, the form seemed to shape my brain–wherever that part is where words run into lines. This thought, this memory sparked after I wrote a personal essay that I submitted to Passager about my grandmother’s bath-hair washing ritual (“Digos: a ritual” also posted at my other blog, http://filipineses09.wordpress.com). The rhythm apparently timed in with my measured strides during my daily walk at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore where I lived then. Water, birds: seagulls, ducks, robins, ravens, orioles, sparrows; trees: conifers, chestnuts, magnolias; weeds: dandelions, clover, jewel weeds co-inhabited the dome–a span of sky. I walked daily toward dusk, which is why perhaps this poem—or haiku that strayed—is a lullaby.

grandma on a swing
flying on a lullaby–
a smile thin as breath

combing her hair, my fingers
the teeth untangling silk knots–
her tiara

cheeks I kiss–once
a cushion of veined organza
now loose ripples

Paloma, she warbles–
a dove, my name, alights
on her lips, flapping wings

moons chasing suns
sprout wings–in the darkness
whispers grow eyes

in her flight

December 21, 2010 Posted by | free verse, lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stoned Bird (for One Shot Wednesday)

Night for us wraps the sun scruffy,
a rooster ruffled in flight, tossing
its last complaint: how long the wait
for three o’clock, the hour of
lead the hour to undo eternal
betrayal?

Unease stirs our beds made
of filaments, splinters
of our spirits borne on crumbs
we had long swallowed
then spewed out for
opaque dreams.

So unlike warblers, so
lacking their marrow-less lightness
to flitter on twigs, we toss in gales
to roost in flesh, demanding
silence as if to lure death
we must first die.

Straining to sing we cannot
either. If we were but robins, maybe
chords those daylong cries, those
dirges for absent mate, we may
un-shy declare—dark
is darker faith-less.

Who tears the pines in shreds,
pining notes so shrill these whirl
like tin stars? If we could
but like orioles blaze through our sadness
in the dark then singed, be land-
sobered but freed.

Yet, we are but ourselves un-cocked to night’s
endearments, tuned in to strident signals:
the steel-pipe whistles (if it were but Pan’s), the roar
under belly, a thud under foot then
the jingle of keys, a creak as joints
part to solitary landscapes

nightscapes where we have planted
monoliths that guiltless
we treasure priceless unlike we do our
spirit—this soundlessness in our
being, this singing bird
we have stoned.

I am posting this poem for One Shot Wednesday at the One Stop Poetry blog.
Join us – throw in your verses. Here are the rules (taken directly off their blog):
1. Write a poetic piece & post it on your blog
2. Then let us know about your post. Link back to One Shot
3. Sign up in the Mr Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you’ve posted it.
4. Go visit others who have signed up! Offer support & encouragement. Share your love of words and insight respectfully. Please try to visit as many participating poets as you can. We all could use and appreciate kind feedback.

December 15, 2010 Posted by | free verse, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments