jornales

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

red (for One Shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Walter Parada

the truth about red:

my heart is like a man’s
although it flickers not throbs
as the Sun I am absent at the zenith
but in living things i lend my flare

my color is red not gold
as Red i seep in or withdraw
i blossom vermillion in camellias, azaleas,
or metamorphose into the rose

when blossoms shed petals,
leaving a litter of brown scraps
i desert the flowers
or blaze in berries, persimmons—
when juiced i spurt red

after coupling with Earth
i, as the Sun, leave it with
fire for smoldering births

find me, Red,
on chipped off terra cotta bricks
a mitt of rust on stray feet
a red organdy dress
to lift the shroud off grieving
i drip red on tubs of basi
shared after evening prayers
flaring on a monsignor’s cheeks
chanting a Te Deum

i pull Red out of my chest
to cloak archbishops
in carmine the color of fresh blood
the blaze of martyrs
who bleed for others
drain their heart out

but locked in self
i dry out a heart turn it black
blood when it dries up
that’s me, a two-faced Diablo
the apparition sneaking in at night
death masquerading as love

a bouquet of red carnations on Fridays
seething trees through bumpy rides
a stone in the moonlight rooting on a mango tree
a branch for a splint on broken bones
a face bruised by kisses
scarlet spears in childhood dreams
your name on my breath
a deep breeze

i, Red, am also the Sun swirling down
on a violent hand
but soften on pink tulle over the fields
coaxing you to reach up to me
scooping you to turn in my arms
switch off your fears
to smoother you with my most tender tinge
i, the Diablo slung in your heart:
you‘re freed

*basi, fermented sugar cane, native wine in the northernmost edge of the Philippine archipelago.

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at One Stop Poetry where I can’t resist the challenge as the other poets and artists who congregate to share their love of art and poetry in this site. Check us out!

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May 22, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Go ahead, despair in the tropics (for One Shot Wednesday)

Go ahead, pine away among the palms
throw up your sobs: the leaves will heave up
build you a dome to trap your regrets.

Turn away from the sun. Step on your shadow.
Summer has died on the sand at your feet.
Go ahead, let your humid sorrow seethe.

Thrash the frangipanis screaming red. Go ahead
smash the brashness: your heart will not stand
bleeding itself crimson it has you steeped.

Go ahead, gather the remnants of the soul you bared
the blossom you loved was a strange flower
the morning dew bred into a sleuth.

Let go the dreams stolen then tossed,
rivers will swell on banks spewing scraps.
Go ahead, rake in the shreds if you can.

Go ahead, scrape the hurt, wring it dry
no weeping lasts until noon. Tears cannot
stand the sun; it singes wet wounds.

The sun soon descends to a breeze waiting,
your shadow slips behind you when
you rise again. Look back then: the sun

you loved is only copper melting.

A song that plays on internal rhyme posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering of poets and artists who love their art and love sharing them, nurturing both theirs and of others. Check us out.

March 23, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

melancholia (sequence) begins with my first ever haiku

in the haze,
crow circling bare trees
finally alights

while sun
tints bay, i dive skimming
crimson-bottomed boats

duck pairs braid
shadows on my back—
i slurp refuse

gulls overhead fight
over what’s left,
screaming mute—

the same scraps
i tossed in my daze
a moment earlier

before i plunged–
melancholia

First published in LYNX XXIII:3 October 2008

in the haze, I found among my notes is the first ever haiku I wrote. The ‘haiku moment’? A drive to Aberdeen from the Federal Hill in Baltimore. Autumn had greyed on desolate trees. Crows in such skies even then had seemed to me both sinister and comforting–the first because of their eyes, the second, their astuteness.

Soon after more of my haiku ‘doodling’ (to borrow mi hermana’s blog title), I strung them into this sequence with ‘haze and the crow’ as the theme and sent it to Werner Reichold. The day LYNX came out with it and two more sequences, three tanka and a haibun, I found a biographical sketch on Hart Crane’s death; it was as if I knew it when I put together this sequence.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection, sequence | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment