jornales

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

my ‘precious stones’ haiku thread on Sketchbook February 2012

It’s been quite a whirl for me as I tried to keep up with submissions and still failed to meet some including that of Sketchbook for February. These pieces for the haiku thread, in fact, got to the editor’s inbox a day after the deadline. I marked it as another flop but John Daleiden had kindly put it in…Working on the next deadline for April 19 now: ‘pond life’ for the haiku thread and ‘swing’ for the kukai. Check out Sketchbook from my blogroll. 

1.

midnight sky

the glint of sapphire

on wet leaves

2.

first meeting

her opal smoothness

in a handshake

3.

diamond stud

rooting on her chin

unsaid words

4.

her eyes

on the emerald display case

mid-sea calm

5.

bishop’s ring

i kiss a ruby stain

on the martyr’s relic

6.

waning moon

the scent of topaz

fainter

7.

an onyx heart

in grandma’s jewelry box

hidden crescent

8.

the sultan taps

the serpent’s sapphire eyes

ceremonial belt

9.

champagne cabochon

her tears as he slips his mom’s

wedding ring in hers

10.

candle fingers

the snake’s garnet scales

wraps her pinky

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March 27, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

my voted haiku in ‘old calendar’ Sketchbook Nov-Dec kukai

old calendar 

unmarked laughter

on the torn pages

 (5th place)

wall calendar 

their wedding month

fifty years back

(8th place)

 

 

January 6, 2012 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

three ‘starry night’ haiku (extras from Sketchbook submission)

1.
starry night
Venus sputters last
where to this time?

2.
eyes on the sky
is it them that cause
this starry night?

3.
cleaver
must it be moon-less
a starry night?

October 22, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

butterfly/and hummingbird–/after the same flower (and my other flower haiku at Sketchbook)

monarch butterfly courtesy of wikicommons

butterfly
and hummingbird—
after the same flower

snowdrop–
will I ever see
your face?

magnolias–
the longing begins
at moonrise

cherry blossoms
shedding in the moonlight—
the Milky Way

tulips—
recalling
my first kiss

salmon berry blossom:
how deep is your heart
for a hummingbird?

Published in haiku thread,Sketchbook April-May 2011 (kigo: flower)

June 3, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More on my haiku from “hearts” Sketchbook Haiku Thread

Or when my haiku works as in these…

Editor’s Choice “hearts” Haiku Thread ~ Karina Klesko, US

monitor—
his heart’s dips and coasts
but where is love?

# 73. Alegria Imperial, CA

Comment:

“This is one that steals away the explanations of technology. There is no machine thus far that can record the heart, soul of a human.”

Guest Editor’s Choice “hearts” Haiku Thread ~ Bernard Gieske, US (Dimension of Images, Senses, Feelings)

“Thirty-five Poets from these twelve countries wrote one-hundred-sixty-six poems for the “Hearts” Haiku Thread: Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Finland, India, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, United States.

I appreciate this opportunity to make these haiku/senryu picks. I often read and see works on this site about which I would like to respond. In making my picks I looked for those haiku that created for me a second or third dimension of images, senses, feelings; due to the choice and arrangement of words: haiku/senryu that do more than just sit there.”

Read this (next one) by Alegria and see if you agree.

strawberries
cut in half—
such hollow hearts

# 65. Alegria Imperial, CA

Comment:

“A delightful picture of strawberries and perhaps a surrounding pleasing aroma. A straight forward picture of halved strawberries. The key word is hollow and destroys the whole picture. This is unexpected and changes the reader’s feelings completely but exemplifies a fact of reality. Sometimes friends don’t prove to be true.”

Editor’s Choice “hearts” Haiku Thread ~ John Daleiden, US (With an introductory poem, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”, Sonnets from The Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Maternal Love

heartbeat—
her hand on her belly
searching for it

# 71. Alegria Imperial, CA

Comment:

“I have selected these haiku as choice because they represent the heart(s) theme in explicit and unique ways. They also are exemplary haiku, well constructed and meet many of the following attributes of haiku:

• constructed in a fragment and phrase manner; a haiku written in two syntactical parts seperated by a grammatical or punctuation break. See Jane Reichold’s article: Fragment and Phrase Theory;
• uses kireji: written with punctuation or an obvious grammatical break in the syntax of the lines.
• contains 5 7 5 or fewer syllables
• uses the second line a a pivot structure, effectively creating a haiku without resorting to writing an English sentence spread over three lines. Example above: # 123. Bouwe Brouwer, NL
• makes / uses a literary illusion: # 29. Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu, RO
• uses a kigo”

Read the one-hundred sixty-six poems written for the Heart(s) Haiku Thread in Sketchbook Jan-Feb 2011 Issue Vol. 6. (click on it on my blogroll)

April 7, 2011 Posted by | comment, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

my ‘heart haiku’ (published in Sketchbook’s haiku thread Jan-Feb Vol 6 issue)

My choices

hearts of romaine—
between them candles flit
in the silence

she finds the embryo
of the seed–
not his heart

monitor—
his heart’s dips and coasts
but where is love?

losing a heartbeat–
on the hollow of her neck
and on her wrist

Editor’s choice included under ‘maternal love’

heartbeat—
her hand on her belly
searching for it

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

my East Wind haiku (voted on Sketchbook’s kukai–Jan-Feb Vol 6 issue)

east wind—
his words bristling
on grain stalks

6th place

tremor
in the stones—
the east wind

7th place

storm clouds
flying on an east wind—
absent dawn

9th place
(This actually got none or zero votes though it is placed 9th among others as the editor liked it. I think the last line is abstract and doesn’t tie-in with the the first two lines. Perhaps ‘waiting for a hawk’ or ‘a hawk swoops down’ would have made it more concrete.)

I wrote these haiku with my being transported to the Philippines. Vancouver light on my window that morning I composed them washed the colors of trees, leaves and stones with the blankness of snow. The freeze bristled frosted twigs but in my heart, the East Wind blew a bristling steam of foreboding quite palpable at the onset of the dry and hot season (the other season of the two we have is wet) about the time of Easter, or Spring in the western hemisphere. From that memory, I wrote the haiku.

What is the East Wind?

The east wind from Wikipedia:

“An east wind is a wind that originates in the east and blows west. In Greek mythology, Eurus, the east wind, was the only wind not associated with any of the three Greek seasons, and is the only one of these four Anemoi not mentioned in Hesiod’s Theogony or in the Orphic Hymns.

In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Garden of Paradise, it is the East Wind who takes the hero to visit the eponymous garden. In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the East Wind, like most other things dealing with the east, is viewed as a thing of evil. In Book III (which appears in The Two Towers), after Aragorn and Legolas have sung a lament for Boromir involving invocations of the other three winds, the following dialogue takes place:

“‘You left the East Wind to me,’ said Gimli, ‘but I will say naught of it.’

‘That is as it should be,” said Aragorn. ‘In Minas Tirith they endure the East Wind, but they do not ask it for tidings. …’ ”
In George MacDonald’s At the Back of the North Wind, on the other hand, the East Wind is described as more mischievous than strictly evil; the North Wind comments, “…[O]ne does not exactly know how much to believe of what she says, for she is very naughty sometimes…”

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story “His Last Bow”, published in 1917 but set in 1914, ends with Holmes addressing his assistant Doctor Watson on the eve of the First World War… The same speech was used at the end of the 1942 Basil Rathbone Holmes film Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, this time in reference to the Second World War…”

March 24, 2011 Posted by | background, haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How a hole in the sky turned into a pair of wings in my heart: A Japanese haiku experience

The white gold moon: A Japanese haiku experience
Or how a hole in the sky turned into a pair of wings in my heart
(written for the Vancouver Haiku Group)

Not with the thought of learning more about haiku but more out of curiosity or perhaps an “ego-trip”, I had this really enlightening experience in October instead–I met Mutsumi. I didn’t know her but she kindly agreed to meet me through her friend, Diana, my friend who volunteers at the 411 Seniors Center in Dunsmuir; I volunteer with Women Elders in Action, a project of 411. One day a week before, knowing Diana is Japanese, I wrote a haiku on the cashier’s tiny table where she sat, pushed it toward her and asked her to try to translate it. I read it to her, gesturing what it meant:

cloudy day–
my thoughts caught
on a spider web

She demurred to even look at it at first, but did. She looked at it, no gazed at the scrap of paper on her table as she leaned far back in her chair, and then violently shook her head (I exaggerate, but it is how her head shaking struck me). “No! I don’t know English! I don’t know much about haiku (ha-y-kyoo)” she said.

I asked her to explain what she meant. “Not simple,” she says.
And she took my phone number so, she said, she could call a friend who knows more English, quite well read, intelligent who might want to help. She promised a phone call that evening. She did call but to tell me, her friend, Mutsumi will see me a week later.

Mutsumi and I did meet over spare egg sandwiches and coconut muffins at the 411 Seniors Centre Cafeteria. I was late. Mutsumi hardly smiled, hardly met my gaze in that known Oriental mien veiling the person, veiled of emotions. I sort of stepped back, forgetting for a moment as I’ve since been submerged in Western social gestures especially among Vancouverites that I too, in a way, am Oriental, a Southeast Asian, to be exact, a Filipino. Unease made me fidget as we munched our sandwiches. Then she asked for the haiku I had wanted her to read and translate, still naïve better yet, ignorant of what haiku is to one who has been brought up reading it. I laid the printed sheets out on the table, two pages of ten haiku. I had noticed her wince as she read them and then, she pushed the pages away.

“No, not haiku as I know it,” she had said. “I don’t know much about it. I don’t write haiku but these— these are something not like haiku.”

I wilted in my chair but I urged her on. “Tell me what’s wrong with them.”

She pointed to one of them and asked me, or to my mind, accused me, “Where is your heart?”

The haiku she had her forefinger on is this:

hole in dark sky?
but
the white moon

“What do you mean?” I had countered.

“When you wrote this how did you feel?”

“Well, in the dark night sky on a full moon, I looked up and there was the moon like a white hole in the sky.”

“So…”

“Seeing a hole although it was bright sort of scared me but it also delighted me because I realized it is but the moon.”

“And so…”

“That’s it.”

“That’s why, it can’t be a haiku. It cannot stop there. It has to stop right here,” she tapped her chest with her hand and to mine, finally a gesture which uplifted me, “in the heart, your heart.”

We plumbed the idea deeper. She focused on my delight to see the moon. What did I want to do about it? And how would I have wanted to reach the moon. I said the only I could would be “to fly”. She began to smile and latched on to the image, to the idea of flying. She asked how I would have wanted to fly. And I said with wings, of course.

“But you can’t have wings. Still you can fly with your thoughts, your thoughts of happiness,” she said. “Think of where these come from,” she urged me on.

“In my heart, of course!”

“There you are! There is your haiku!”

She took the piece of paper from my hand and began writing in Japanese, translating the characters into this:

gin-iro* tsuki no hikari*
kurai yoru watashi no kokoro
tsubasa

I asked what each word meant and the haiku flowed:

white gold moon
on a dark night in my heart
a pair of wings

As explained by Matsumi:
1. gini-iro* literally translates as white gold. She wrote down “silvery” first, but admitted she only thought of using the word in a Western way—as in silvery moon she has read about. “You could use, ‘gin’, meaning silver,” she said. I chose ‘gin-iro’, seeing in its solidity a contrast instead of a repetition in ‘gin’ the concept of sparkliness in the flutter of wings.

2. tsuki no hikari* literally translates as ‘light in the moon’. Apparently in Japanese, both words are not inclusive of each other.

She was smiling by then, a lovely smile. She had wanted to work on another haiku next: “against the sky/bare willow trees sag/under the full moon”. Again, she commented on my tendency to have a rather dark, heavy heart about nature as in the sagging branches of the willow that I focused on, which she said is their nature. To her, the willow trees speak of romance because where they grow their branches create sheer veils under which lovers may walk, whispering. Willows, too, move freely with the wind, hence, inspiring freedom, she had added.

By the time we said goodbye, Mutsumi and I felt like we’ve melded in spirit and we hugged. But before she left, she pulled me out to go see the three gingko trees in the park right on Dunsmuir beside 411 and across from the Holy Rosary Cathedral. I pass under these lean trees almost everyday and I know they are gingkos. But Mutsumi’s excitement that afternoon has since made me see them the way she did so much so that one of my haiku was chosen by Karina Klesko, editor of Sketchbook, in the journal’s Sept-Oct issue as third of the three best in the haiku thread. It goes:

a chill
seeps into the gingko leaves—
she folds the day bed

Mutsumi and I haven’t seen each other since then but there’s still our plan to meet in a Filipino restaurant from me and a session to demonstrate how to make miso soup from her. We also planned a ginko walk under the willow trees in the summer.

February 14, 2011 Posted by | haiku, language views, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments