jornales

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

‘some nights’ & ‘come feel’, 2 more tanka from GUSTS Spring/Summer 2012


some nights
the moon hides its face
for healing
like our other side
that needs to be unseen

come feel
this frozen bud
let’s learn
from its tight lips
the secret of roses

GUSTS 15 Spring/Summer 2012, Tanka Canada

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April 29, 2012 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

candles (Sketchbook haiku thread editors’ choices)

There are many beautiful haiku in this thread revealing emotions, contrasting light with darkness, and other experiences which captivated their authors and which can provide us with a multitude of meanings and feelings. (Bernard Gieske guest editor and John Daleiden, editor, Sketchbook haiku thread)

1.

vigil candles

the flicker

of mumbled prayers

2.

the steady flames

of tea candles

my mother’s prayers

3.

among mom’s

jewels

our baptismal candles

4.

graveyard visits

same candle

one prayer

5.

candlelit

his hands so deft

on the lute

6.

prayer candles

from the Virgin’s robe

the essence of roses

Sketchbook Nov-Dec 2011

February 18, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

spark by spark (haiku with image, another tribute to Svetlana’s spirit)


Perennis Amour

autumn sun
dripping on roses
spark by spark

Another tribute to Svetlana Marisova who won first place in the 9th (2011) Shiki Kukai ‘Poets’ Choice’ kigo section. Svetlana passed away at age 21 recently. She’s greatly missed by those who love her haiku. I read them daily at the NaHaiWriMo facebook site where she interacted with most of us who posted along with her.

(The image is a bronze sculpture by Harriet W Frismuth, 1923, given by Mrs. Walter Crawford in 1937 for the Arbor and Trellis of the The Cranford Rose Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, NY, titled Roses of Yesterday. I’ve taken the caption from a text on the clock face the figure cradles on her left arm.)

October 23, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

grapefruit bite (kigo)/drum beating (free format) my haiku in Shiki Kukai Sept 2011

grapefruit bite
sweeter with each
cloud let go

2 votes (from peers)
Kigo: citrus Shiki Kukai Sept 2011

The original haiku which I edited at the last minute reads:

grapefruit bite
sweeter with each
dark cloud let go

I wonder if by taking out the adjective ‘dark’ I wrote a vague haiku. Or I think the shift or juxtaposition to a metaphor (dark cloud) failed.

drum beating
to clear skies
rain on the roses

0 votes
Free format: rain Shiki Kukai Sept 2011

I read this now and say, ‘Huh?’ What did I want to say when I wrote it? It looks like I meant to illustrate a thought about ‘dark clouds and dark skies’, reflecting our dark moods as in the ‘grapefruit’ haiku. I must have tried to say here that the same rain, which sometimes falls furiously as if ‘drum beating’ on us and on the roses is meant not only to ‘clear skies’ and our thoughts, but also to give life.

What about this rewrite:

rain on the roses
drum beating to clear skies
our shifting moods

October 13, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

what doesn’t end? (reflections out of a haiku prompt)

damselflies
and mourning doves
the tireless sweetness
of chickadees
the languorous dusk
what doesn’t end?

even the sun ends
not of itself but on us
but where else
do meanings lie
but on the shades
that shrink or end
or burst open with our eyes

roses laugh
leaving imprints on whorls
their petals take shape
swallows glance
and in swiftness
understand what longings
we hide

our dawns to waxwings
mere duplicates
of first dawns
we cannot know
midday points to zeniths
we alter in each turn
our mindlessness take

somethings to a fly
we end too soon it savors
until in willingness
though yet undone
its life ends
even as it captures
with million eyes
the universe the way
we cannot

because we resist
somethings do end
as simply as each day

reflections out of a haiku prompt on ‘insects’ in the soon-to-come out August issue of Sketchbook

September 3, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

evening wall (for One Shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by James Rainsford

the evening wall
leaks morning in silence
a tremor
in the breeze alters the vines
leaves dance disgraced
for river stones
but my cave resists
the shame

i dig into my bones
for secrets
complicities the dark sharpens
the stench of fear
light alludes to ageing roses
in truth
rotting roots falsehoods
smoother

in the night
i listen to winds lash
at recalcitrant stars
then limping in the heights fall
a thin flight through the bars
a moth
hissing on its wings

my cage
burdens reckoning
crude mornings lie to me
disguised as Venus rising
i cannot tell
in my fallow depths
who awaits for me to relent
cawing

(c) Copyright by Alegria Imperial 2011

Posted for One Shoot Sunday with picture prompt by James Rainsford for One Stop Poetry, winner of the 2011 Shorty Award for the Arts, the one place to gather for poets and artists to share their love for their art. Check us out. Click on my blogroll for OSP.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Tanka? Lady Nyo replies to my plea (and tanka from haikuverse to here)

Two reasons why this re-post but more: First, at Red Dragonfly, my friend Melissa Allen’s blog, in her Lucky 13 edition of haikuverse, I read an intense discussion on tanka. I’ve been a tanka-pretender of late because a few of my tanka-ish (because they are in truth free verses) poems have been quite successful. Reading more on it though pulled me in deeper into the mist, into fog/understanding fades/–smoky white thickens. (By the way, if you wish to grow and expand as a haiku poet, follow Red Dragonfly, on my blogroll, especially her flights in the haikuverse.)

Second, I met Lady Nyo in cyberspace, at One Stop Poetry to be exact, through my post the other day, which I’ve pulled out here to include her reply to my plea that she take a look at my tanka. She kindly did and what a lesson I got using my tanka. My ignorance or better yet, bull-headedness, not paying attention to details of what I read about the art–honestly, I often gloss over most discussions and plunge straight into the poems–was bared. Her discussion of tanka through my attempts in this post has waken me up, bolting upright to seriously study it. Arigato gozaimas, Lady Nyo!

Here is my Valentine post of 5 after-the-classical tanka and 3 of my-own-version of modern tanka:

Could these five tanka attempts I wrote after rereading cover to cover Thomas Gurgal’s Japanese Tanka: The Court Poetry of a Golden Age mentioned twice here and Lady Nyo’s almost intimately written background on tanka writing be tanka? Lady Nyo and the tanka book I found at the Vancouver Public Library describe tanka written during the Heian dynasty. It’s the topic today on One Stop Poetry where I’m posting the following tanka. I did imagine myself as a lady of the court, scribbling notes for a lover but still I’m not certain. Could these be tanka?

1.
The roses you sent
I kissed each petal like lips
your vows blossoming–
Were you here I would ask again
Is your love unlike roses?

2.
In my hand your note
takes wings with my heart
I fly to you tonight–
Will the moon you promised
meet me among stars I bring?

3.
We sit under stars
skidding in the hemispheres
you make me wish
I whisper to the willows this:
Bring his wish to the winds

4.
Before I knew you
I wrote a poem on love
now you declare love
I am losing my poem
in my fluttering heart

5.
Will you be sad
you ask me like a songbird
singing to no one
you took my name and my heart
neatly tied in your knapsack

Three tanka–my own–of which I must ask the same question, could this be tanka? My subject is the same, yes, it’s on love but not courtly love. I also followed the structure but just can’t be certain. Would you tell me?

1.
driving into fog
our hearts in our hands–
same hands
scribbling secret codes
our midnight whispers

2.
under frozen skies
oriole songs fill a dome–
divining our dawns
the path our suns travel
distances our longing defy

3.
the full moon stalls
listening to midnight whispers–
skidding stars
spark the skies our eyes
on nothing else but ours

Lady Nyo’s reply to my plea:

I want to clear something up. Tanka isn’t only about love: it’s a vehicle to carry a message about mourning, praise, grief, death (as in Death Poems from Samurai) observations on nature, etc. So we should broaden our attempts at tanka to partake of so many themes.

I think these top 5 are very much in the tanka form. As to spirit? Yes, they are.

However, I do see a difference in the Court tanka, the more immediate tanka in something like the “Man-yoshu”…where the romantic sentiment is a bit more complex. It’s just different and this is hard to explain without a study of it.

But we aren’t Heian court women poets…we are modern women poets, and that ‘sensibility’ is very different I believe now.

The last three are lovely freeverse to me. What is missing here is the syllable count: 5-7-5, etc. If you read the romanji script…the original Japanese tanka, you see, by sounding it out that these tanka follow this form. They don’t necessarily stray from it because it is a discipline and has a purpose.

Tanka is to be read in two breaths. However, the top five very much carry correctly that important Kakekotoba, that pivot or bridge between the top poem (Kami no ku) and the bottom poem (Shimo no ku)

This is what is most hard (well, one of those hard things) in tanka to pull off…the unifying but also the recognition of tanka being actually TWO poems.

It takes a lot of work, process and study to begin to be ‘easy’ in this formation.

But we will get there. This is a good start.

Lady Nyo

We continued our discussion at Lady Nyo’s weblog (click on the blogroll) on the ‘elusive’ spirit of tanka as well as haiku. Next Tuesday at One Stop Poetry, Lady Nyo has promised to discuss the ‘two poems’ in a tanka.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, free verse, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

first frost on LYNX XXVI:1 (haiku that worked)/magnolia (didn’t work)

first frost—
the last of the roses
have lost their names

Published LYNX XXVI:I February 2011

Of the suite I submitted, only this haiku along with a sequence and a tanka worked. I think it was accepted because it’s the only one that is neither anthropomorphic (personifying an object) nor ‘author-driven’ (my weakness it seems) or I did not write my own opinion into it as compared to ‘magnolia’, one of five that didn’t work, here:

magnolia
bares molds on
winter skin

Yes, the magnolia bared in the fall through winter looks blotched and moldy. But I ‘stated’ my observation, and I even personified the magnolia as baring itself, instead of ‘simply noting my observation and my reaction to it’. Also, I used a metaphor in the last line. These points I think made it a non-haiku.

I should have worked on it some more and submitted something like this:

in the winter mist
the bare blotched magnolia–
i turn away

January 28, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments