jornales

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

look down/not up…(a tanka-ish reflection on cherry blossoms)

look down not up
the cherry blossoms
but petal shreds on grass
no memory of our mornings
the tea cup cools that soon

…disjointed from the brevity of the cherry blossoms. The clouds of pink now but litter on pavements. On twigs, brownish shoots have edged out the blosoms. I haven’t recharged my camera to catch the glory of it. What has come in between that seemed so compelling turns out nothing but worn out routes I can’t stop trudging into mindlessly. Ahhh, this life we live to miss what we should not too soon.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | poetry, reflection, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My voted and zero haiku in the Feb Shiki kukai: a self-critique (Or what’s a mirror flashing as signal in the copse all about?)

February Shiki kukai

kigo (spring fever) – 5 pts.

spring fever—
shoots among the lilies
she can’t name

free format (mirror) 0 pts.

mirror
flashing in the copse—
signal she missed

What? A vague haiku, the kind no one should send for a kukai, but at least it wasn’t to a haiku journal, hence, it didn’t waste a minute of an editor. Yet when I wrote it, the image and the ‘moment’ seemed quite clear; it haunted me later though–what if the kukai pariticipants have no idea of the practice I recall in my teens? That’s so long ago, decades ago!

Decades ago when ‘secret loves’ ruled teenage lives and parents had eagle eyes and iron hands (sorry for the cliche); my growing up years in the Philippines, when the ‘mirror flashing in the copse’ served as a secret signal for assignations. Telephones would reach our town generations after I left–farther away into the future when cell phones and ohhh, facebook that has since taken away the thrill of getting caught halfway through the ‘verboten’ (an old HIgh German word for ‘forbidden’ that sounds so archival these days) love-pledges and assignations.

In my early teens, conservative upbringing by families who lingered on the fringes of a now-weakened colonial past treated girls as if we were all novices for a convent. For example, even on weekends, no prowling the streets for me because someone for sure–as my father, especially, drilled into my mind–waited to entrap my eyes, hiding in bamboo groves, in a copse of wild goat-berries or behind hefty trunks of aged acacia trees. Girls, like me and my friends, invented cunning ways to give in to the hunter’s trap. So that’s what the mirror/ flashing in the copse is all about–we used it to send signals though the more inventive among us, could frame words and phrases. Of course, because when and who does the signalling and for whom could hardly be confirmed, part of the thrill would lie in the surprise–but then, it could be missed as whoever awaited could have dozed off, hence signal she missed.

Conclusion? My free format entry wasn’t a haiku but a ‘micro story’ perhaps. Here’s the rest of my mirror haiku from which I chose what I sent that could have fared better.

mirror—
she stares
at her stare

mirror-
she sees her flaws
in his eyes

mirror
her mother’s lips
pursing like hers

March 4, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments