jornales

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

questions, your answer…a haiku series

winter silhouettes—

if blackened do nails

retell stories?

***

spiced wind

do snow tracks carry

your voice?

***

when banana hearts

peel off a lover, is it

the solstice?

***

lotus shadow…

is that frog song

a dirge?

***

tattered waves

why must keening tears

leap as an arc?

***

roaring wind

from what stone pod

do you rise?

***

sun dial

in the dark toasting

minions?

***

his arrhythmic heart

on a treadle…
does the weaver

know?

***

wild wind

on dry sedge—

what more 
in her mind?

***

spiraling down

as fish…is the ocean

my soul?

 

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January 11, 2015 Posted by | haiku, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

more throwback tanka…another ‘duet’

again

the sea unloads

its burdens

still i cling

to you

 

in the wind

a wailing dove

you won’t see

as i bend a shadow

beyond yours

 

Alegria Imperial, Multiverses, Spring 2012

October 7, 2014 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is ‘zoka’? (Prompt at NaHaiWriMo: My response, added comment and Alan Summers’ reply)

 

 

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15/10/12 (prompt by Scott Abeles: zoka)

Zoka is defined as “the process of creation, transformation, and destruction in nature”. The presence of “zoka” separates “object-based” haiku from “activity-based” haiku. Indeed, some argue that an object-based, zoka-free poem is not, by definition, a haiku.

Not quite sure I get it but here are my attempts at a response to the prompt:

sniveling wind
a puppy looks at me
for a nod

oak shadow—
a nesting moon rusts
on cloud mist

autumn stillness
a doddering mosquito’s
break-away
(Comment I added) 

Honestly, the prompt almost made me sleepless as the term, ‘zoka’, intimidated me but I wrote three, in case, any might be the right response to the prompt. This happens every time I’m confronted with Japanese terms. And yet, as I’ve been resistantly dealing with my doubts whether or not I’ve been writing haiku, I realized like the other evening, some of what I’ve tried to put in lines are quite ‘zoka’.

Learning more of this poetry form is constantly challenging given the many ‘voices’ that spangle the haiku-sphere. I do read and hear them as ‘voices’ rather than this and that ‘form/term’ because as in any art, each line for me, is of the writer’s/artist’s world.

Again, this too, had confused me when first reading haiku. It was a challenge to be ‘objective’ (stripped of the personal or hints of it as perhaps I misunderstood), a view quite alien to Poetry as I know. But I’ve persisted and still do bravely write haiku the way I filter a seeming sea of knowledge on it from a mosaic of my own lenses. I wonder though if it’s valid, ‘voice in haiku, I mean.

(Alan Summers’ reply)

Yes, all debates such as this do enlighten greatly. Thanks for the discussion. And thanks for the challenge, Scott!

Honestly, the prompt almost made me sleepless as the term, ‘zoka’, intimidated me but I wrote three, in case, any might be the right response to the prompt.

It made you write some good haiku using that prompt. Sometimes too easy prompts do not push us into stretching.

You should never feel uncomfortably intimidated, just enough to stretch those writing muscles.

In fact I’ve observed you, and many others, become incredible writers of haiku, in various styles, through NaHaiWriMo prompts, thanks to MDW!

This happens every time I’m confronted with the Japanese terms. And yet, as i’ve been resistantly dealing with my doubts whether or not I’ve been writing haiku, I realized like the other evening, some of what I’ve tried to put in lines are quite ‘zoka’.”

Exactly! What’s good about the NaHaiWriMo page is that we are all in this together, and out of that support there has been some incredible work.

When I did my recent prompt courtesy of MDW, I was astonished how many fine, not just good, but very fine haiku I had to reduce to the nominated number for the forthcoming anthology. And it was a difficult prompt too!

You can always use Google or Bing to search these terms out. I have a huge database backed up on my computer for the benefit of my workshops.

You can always email or FB message if you are not sure. We are always learning, so I keep up to date as much as possible, and have a useful set of resources.

Learning more of this poetry form is constantly challenging given the many ‘voices’ that spangle the haiku-sphere. I do read and hear them as ‘voices’ rather than this and that ‘form/term’ because as in any art, each line is of the writer’s world.”

Exactly!

Again, this too, had confused me when first reading haiku. It was a challenge to be ‘objective’ (stripped of personal perception as perhaps I misunderstood), a view quite alien to Poetry as I know. But I’ve persisted and still do write haiku the way I filter a seeming sea of knowledge on it from a mosaic of my own lenses.”

You have a remarkable style and voice in haiku, it’s a privilege to know you and read your work.

I wonder though if it’s valid, ‘voice in haiku, I mean. Yes, all debates such as this do enlighten greatly. Thanks!

Having a voice in poetry is what we all aspire to, and so I’d say we can also have our own voice in haiku. After all Basho wanted his students (and in a way, we are his students too) to go their own way in haikai literature, not to copy what he had done.

We don’t know what he’d like or dislike but I think many of us would be both surprised and delighted that he’d like certain developments and progressions in haiku. Alan Gibbons

January 26, 2013 Posted by | background, comment, haiku | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

closer to nothing (NaHaiWriMo prompt on natural disaster)

St. Andrew's Parish Church tower, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

closer to nothing
under its shrinking shadow–
Bacarra tower*

Ooops!! 5-7-5, sorry Michael! Didn’t mean to. But just to share for now…
*brick and mortar tower in my hometown where according to legend, a Spanish royal guard could ride on horseback through the stairs inside of it, bearing the red and gold colors to the third window. This baroque tower built on ‘obras pias’ (alternate tribute of hard labor by the natives) in the 1800s completed toward the end of that century, was known to be the tallest in the archipelago so much so that its domed tip could be seen towns away and the toll of its enormous bells could be heard amid the raging South China sea. Its top window broke during a massive earthquake in the 1930s (can’t recall the exact date) with its dome humbled onto the fracture. With each earthquake, quite frequent in the Philippines, the dome would be crunched lower and lower until another strong one pushed it off its precarious perch to fall on the ground. Ruins of its first window from its base of brick and mortar are all that remains.

August 25, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘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

mid-Manhattan (from memory for one shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by Scott Wyden

a sun tracing its autumn route
never seen here
no shadow falls from slants of light
columns of smoke
the weeping in tunnels
the grating of steel cogs

here only the dream of skies
on narrow slits a canopy propped up
by concrete, glass and steel
needles piercing the day moon
blinking at humans
dogs and cars–toys of King Kong

sunset grinds
a maddening ruckus:
cars rushing as if to escape
people shaken
along with a colony of ants
deadened by the rasp of wheels

blasting horns wheezing air brakes
a wailing ambulance
in a duet with a fire truck
and police cars
in a rush to save a kitten on a terrace
hanging by its paws

the swarm on sidewalks
darkens with dusk
a flowing mush of bodies wrapped
in thick armors of invisibility –
black coat, jacket, cape, cap, boots,
and square-toed shoes

here, no unhurried strides
heads don’t turn
lost in inner spaces
no one misses who gets snared
and stalls: the throng belches on
eyes riveted to warning lights

“Don’t Walk” the wound up toys
stop “Walk” and do
I am lost here
I shed my name I wonder
about the color of my hair
the hue of my skin

I have turned mute
“I’m sorry,” I lisp
as if I really am
sorry about a slice of sky
the undertow that pulls me
to surrender

to the winking stars

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

A poem written from memory prompted by a photo of Scott Wyden posted for One Shoot Sunday for an absolute challenge at One Stop Poetry, th inimitable gathering place for poets and artists. Check out the other poets’ take! Click on OSP on my blogroll.

May 29, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 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

Song (my first lyric poem for OSP Saturday)

In dreams as in wakefulness,
bands of air swirl between us–
thoughts spinning in flight,
words but dust in the eye.

In dreams as in waking
I trail the wind, your thoughts
lost in longing, your moaning
a storm tearing at my heart.

I float hidden in dreams
as when awake like a wisp
I hover but a shadow
light sweeps with but a wave.

Once, awake as in a dream,
I painted my eyes like Circe–
the wind my voice for your eyes
knowing the magic lies there.

But in the dream as in waking,
the wind but died, failing–
the song I played my heart the lyre
for you, but a hiss among shadows.

first published in 2007 at PoetsHaven.com

For One Stop Poetry Saturday “Share a Past”, the community of poets and artists I belong to. We share and nurture each other. Check us out, pr better yet, join us. How? Easy steps are in the website. Click on it on my blogroll (Sorry, I have yet to learn how to make a link work.)

February 20, 2011 Posted by | lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

girl in Sunday dress

girl in Sunday dress
in her father’s shadow—
lost too soon

December 20, 2010 Posted by | haiku, poetry, senryu | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments