jornales

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

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

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October 21, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘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

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