jornales

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

random seasons, a haiku/senryu series

stone wall

mottled hands escaping

through air

 

ham flavor

hangs about her sweater

hospice weekend

 

though touch-less

the intimate rustle of silk

 

fall

dog buries

bruises

 

hobbling out of my midnight winter moon

 

apple core

how to bottle

memories

 

a tiger

musing on my eye

autumn dusk

 

chopped beets

i wash the knife

of traces

 

open page

an opaque scent

in his bath water

 

oak stump–

i remember the hornets

last summer

 

shell shards

on a paint roller

a womb

 

November 25, 2014 Posted by | haiku, poetry, senryu | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

summer dusk

summer dusk (a symbiotic poem) 

Always, a loon scours the river shore with me. We dip into indentations of footprints. Share secrets we unravel: the scalloped lips of shells, the broken ribs of fish, the names we name stones. We use no words. The loon thinks he sings, his song always a dirge. I sigh on endless waves, my sighs fragile as peace. We count our regrets on fingers of evergreens, codes a river will never understand. At sunset, the loon spreads its wings to scoop the sun. I let loose my hair in strands to make a web. We wait.

summer dusk
a spider gnaws
at the sunset

LYNX 28:1 February 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

January 21, 2013 Posted by | haibun, haiku, poetry, symbiotic poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

would the moon (an unpublished haiga)

would the moon
descend this low
for love?

ai, haiku/esa, image 2012

(blue heron perched high up on a weeping willow by the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, where I live, taken last summer)

October 10, 2012 Posted by | haiga, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the rose bud/under a sky/full moon (random haiku and what else I am learning about haiku)

1.
rose bud
still tight in the rain–
the coming of summer

2.
under a sky
bent by a rainbow
we ease for home

3.
full moon
on an open cesspool–
the sun for me

full moon partially obscured by the Earth's atmosphere (21 Dec 1999 taken by austronauts aborad the Space Shuttle Discovery) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I love how images work so well with haiku. And like paintings, they can be very compelling and draw out in their distance the deepest of emotions. Nothing should be overt in haiku. It must be hinted at, almost hidden or unnoticed.

For me, it could be something like a quiet reflection on the spit-notes of a waxwing or the epiphany of yes, a full moon on an open un-lidded cesspool. In the first, the notes for me feel like droplets of crystals that melt into a soft coating on my being, gifting me for a moment with the just-being-there-ness of a salmon berry blossom for a hummingbird; in the second, the moon sinks into my darkness– cesspool that I am in many ways of ‘pecadillos’, those daily pin pricks of rebellion from virtue and goodness–and turns on the light of the sun that is in me or what I believe to be my spirit, which at its core remains as powerful as the Sun from whom the moon draws its brightness.

Perhaps, I’m taking this too far but haiku works when it works for the poet–this is what I’m learning fast, though of course there are still the basic elements to go by. At the workshop of Michael Dylan Welch that I attended last Saturday right here in Vancouver in my neighborhood at the historic Joy Kogawa House, he emphasized a few key elements:

*not 5-7-5 syllables unless one is writing in Japanese
*must have a season (kigo) word (there are hundreds of them in a compilation by Japanese masters that differentiate for example mist and fog in spring and autumn have degrees of thinness, or even the moon is different in winter and autumn)
*must appeal to any or all of the 5 senses
*must be objective, meaning, not what is the emotion but what caused it
*precision (sharp focus), immediacy (of the moment not past or future both of which make it static), juxtaposition to make it ‘leap’ into a larger or higher perspective, which may be attained by contrast
*there’s a lot more than that, of course, and I’m still learning

Truly, reading haiku –and there’s thousands of them–and about the art may not be enough. Haiku has been for centuries some kind of a ‘group art’. It must be shared and worked at with others. For me, some kind of openness even humility are a must, a willingness to learn and be straightened out if what one has written seems vague or imprecise and the reader squints his eyes, knits his brows and says, ‘huh?’ instead of ‘ahhhh…’, clasps his hands and looks up to the heavens. Indeed, joining The Haiku Foundation that gave me access to Shiki Kukai, the Vancouver Haiku Group, and signing up for the NaHaiWriMo facebook site as well as submitting my haiku to and getting ‘acceptance’ and more often ‘declined’ mail from online haiku/tanka journals as well as other literary journals have been extremely rewarding.

Haiku’s most precise definition is ‘a short poem in one breath’. Ahhh…okay then, do these random haiku here make you say, ‘ahhhh’ or ‘huh’?

May 17, 2011 Posted by | background, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

deep in a pool (tanka though still not sure)

deep in a pool
a school of tadpoles wriggling
inveigles my thoughts
of a summer evening
to fall in love with a frog

It’s strange how thoughts take on an unintended form or lines simply write themselves out as if they simply ooze out of fingertips like this tanka-ish reflection. The image emerged from a ginko walk at the Chinese Buddhist Temple in Richmond we of the Vancouver Haiku Group had a month ago. The ‘pool’ is the bonsai pool but not tadpoles, instead a school of gold fish darted through moss covered stones. So why the frog? I had thought of Basho and the frog then out of nowhere or perhaps the stillness water always brings on in me as in that morning while gazing at the depth on the pool invited the frog to my lines…how strange and unexpected thought processes can be sometimes.

April 16, 2011 Posted by | poetry, reflection, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

meringue

meringue—
the children’s laughter
rise in the air

My sister’s first experiment on making a perfect meringue prompted this haiku.

I never knew she has always loved it until she told me so before Christmas. And what pushed her to study recipes for it is the price of meringue, which apalled her when she learned how little goes into its making. What she had discovered and which apparently makes meringue pricey is the technique in beating the egg whites, the kind of sugar to use and how much, and the size of the oven. I glimpsed her putting in a baking sheet with tiny blobs on them before I turned back to water the fragile rose–the pitimini she insisted on getting last summer about which I expressed loud dire forecasts and which I’m now nurturing because I feel rueful for its pale shoots like the frail babies in pediatric clinics moms hold like wilting leaves.

I can’t recall how long it took when I began to smell a faint vanilla scent that soon overpowered the apartment. Her meringue has started rising like bleached hills–not quite as perfect as the bake shop displays she has coveted. She offered me a bite when they had cooled. I almost demured having almost sworn off sugar from my diet but I gave in.

I felt like a child as the bite melted into nothing but air in my mouth. I had two more. From the courtyard, the handful of children who have since been cooped up in the winter, burst out laughing for the first time. The air laced with vanilla scent rose like meringue–for me, at least and wrote itself into a haiku!

February 5, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments