jornales

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

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

Advertisements

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

into fog (my first tanka in print)

into fog
we lose who we are
under oaks
first a weight in the eyes
then our hands no longer ours

copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011
First published in Eucalypt: a tanka journal 10 2011 Edited by Beverley George

One of five tanka from which Elizabeth Howard, past winner, had picked her best choice or a winner in the issue.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. A sad note comes with this post as I lose friends on this site who are leaving for other clear meadows, Adam, Brian, Chris G, Claudia and Pete. I’ve gained a steady ground from which my poetry had soared from their constant nourishment in generous words. I’ll really miss you! But come check us out for this last One Shot with the team.

July 20, 2011 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

the calm/rereading cards/round and round (3 tanka on the calm from the earthquake elsewhere)

Mie and me on her last visit to Vancouver

1.
the calm–
from Kyoto Mie writes
far from earthquake
the wedding garden today
light snow on cherry buds

2.
rereading cards–
from Michio in Saitama
her New year’s wishes
of Rabbit hopes and dreams
today mine for her in pray’r

3.
round and round
moon and earth mirror each other
chaos of winds
ruined faces blemished cheeks
to be cleansed over and over

March 22, 2011 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

you and i in seven pieces (for One Shot Wednesday)

1.
a flower basket moon—
tilting from a swing of arms
in revolving doors
our sighs uncompleted in the eaves
a storm hanging by a cloud

2.
squalling gulls
rip our day in shreds–
the only sound
between us and the stones
and the dying flowers

3.
why the mimosa
shrinks in pain at our steps–
i search for your scent
you squint from its thorns
i sip drops of night dew

4.
darkness leaves us blind
we grope for our eyes but find
our lips like embers
on a bed of pebbles left to die–
we thrum like restless stars

5.
we reap our moaning
gather folds of reticent dawn
into my breast–
you slice away your pain
my flesh thins out in your hands

6.
i beg for the sun
lodged in the cleavage of morning–
you toss it flaming
your destiny line singed
the line of your heart scarred

7.
i lie in wait–
the next moon comes astride
the east wind raging
washing away whirlpools of dust
baring the sun i conceived

soleil levant by Claude Monet 1872 courtesy of wikipedia

March 16, 2011 Posted by | poetry, tanka, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

haiku truths/crocus and frogs after rain/…secrets…non-stop/oh, poet for you, no rest (where did it come from? or how a NaHaiWriMo idea became this tanka)

haiku truths–
crocus and frogs after rain
ketrels and hyacinths
telling you secrets non-stop
oh, poet for you, no rest

Where did that come from?

If you read the comments between Wrick Daddario (19 Planets Art blog) and me on my #24 & #25 NaHaiWriMo post here, you would have read that tanka. He started with what he liked about the haiku and as always when the interaction takes over, he wrote his own haiku on the comment thread. He later mentioned that perhaps he did write enough to pass off as a-haiku-a-day for the month, adding he didn’t want to make a commit ment but did fulfill it anyway. That’s when this thought that has overtaken me was unleashed…and I wrote on:

Commitment? That’s always a big scare, isn’t it? It is, in matters of personal and true-to-life matters, especially, but even more so in ART. Because it asks or demands of one’s whole being, the thrill with which we throw ourselves into it soon falters and we slouch off along the way. But something else could also happen like what’s happening to me. (These last two sentences added just now.)

I have had brief bouts of it–this ‘being on a roll’, but not like now that I feel totally consumed by it–though still unaware of commitment to giving in or have given in to–the POWER OF HAIKU and TANKA. I feel I’m changing especially with my personality; I think I’m turning into a monk who prowls the city looking hollow or with burning eyes on details that turn into or churn haiku in my mind.

I used to be mindful of my interactions; I used to be prompt with my replies to ideas–I used to be present in most if not all meetings about social issues and plain social events and stay and follow-up on ideas I throw in. But now? Haiku/tanka flowing into my other poetic forms have gripped me like a vise and all else float or flit about like wings of nymphs. (I’ve added the last phrase just now, again.)

I seem to carry a head that’s brewing a stew of images restlessly swirling as words non-stop! Never mind if none or all that comes out of it is bad or good haiku or poetic lines–the ‘power’ wields its whip anyway and I must let it ride, put down on the screen what I’m not even aware whether or not it’s my composition or simply of this power most of the time.

If this hasn’t happened to you yet, totally, I’m sure you’ve felt it some time–beware! Commitment (to haiku)? I don’t know if you can choose to thwart it or shoo it away!”

And the tanka flowed in.

February 28, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

squabbling crows/sunny day at Zoo/the drum beat of rain NaHaiWriMo prompts turned tanka!

1. Prompt #24 flower
squabbling crows
scream into my thoughts–
at dawn how you left
hollow imprints of sleep
scented dreams of jasmine blooms

2. prompt #25–zoo
sunny day at Zoo
lioness searches for my eyes
behind my black shades–
the way we hold our hearts
as we speak of fears and wants

3. prompt #26–drum
the drum beat of rain
on window pane imprints tears
a flood breaking hearts
in loneliness gray rain sneaks
into wells to fill the dryness

Tanka drafts I should call these because I’m certain that when I read them tomorrow, they will sound bad. These came as spontaneously as the haiku I’ve been posting on the NaHaiWriMo wall. There’s an energy that takes over at the site like a hand that holds my wrist as I pause or pose to let the first word dance on the screen. It’s the presence of so many other haiku writers– whose names I recognize from the Shiki kukai and haiku journals even some haijin–that I think itself serves as the prompt and the word, a prop. The experience, though I hopped in only on Day 19, has been exhilarating.

February 26, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

heron’s splash (published tanka)

heron’s splash
on river marsh rocking
the sound of water –
a mountain of wash
after he left home

First published in LYNX XXIII:3, October 2008

This tanka was first returned to me with a lovely note from the editor of a tanka journal, telling me to read more on the art form, work on writing it and perhaps submit again. She said though that first attempts don’t usually make it, nor the second ones. After reading a lot on tanka, I was convinced I wrote mine true to its form and so, I pushed my luck. I submitted the same batch to LYNX and lucked out on three of them getting accepted, one of them, the above.

February 8, 2011 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grey relentless rain (is it tanka?)

grey relentless rain
on moss covered cherry trees—
he counts his regrets
since the dawn he missed the sun
days half-lived appear each turn

Is it tanka? Possibly because it follows the thirty-one (5/7/5/7/7) Japanese form.

But it can’t possibly be tanka because it does not express “passionate or delicate sentiments”, which its original form did.

Tanka reached its peak in the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries also known as the “Heian period, Japan’s golden age”, as identified by Alfred H. Marks, editor-in-chief of Literature East & West. He introduces the period when no written language existed in Japan as yet and so, tanka, was recited. Each year, under the sponsorship of the emperor, a contest would be held. Professor Marks is a “renowned translator and dynamic scholar”.

Here’s a concrete vision of tanka a drawn by Professor Marks in his introduction: “…a languid lady in a palace lined with screens and colorful sliding walls, reading the thirty-one syllable statement of the heart of some moody nobleman and answering the missive in another thirty-one syllables in tasteful imagery and elegant calligraphy. It was the Heian greeting card, and it is today, in Japan as elsewhere, an apt medium for sentiments passionate or delicate.”

The book, Japanese Tanka, The Court Poetry of a Golden Age for which Professor Marks wrote this introduction contains 56 exquisite tanka by Thomas Gurgal, a former student of Marks, with Illustrations by Maggie Jarvies published by The Peter Pauper Press, Inc. Mount Vernon, NY, 1972.

I found the book squeezed between giant poetry tomes and collections at Vancouver Public Library’s central branch on West Georgia here in downtown Vancouver. The tiny pocketbook-size hardbound edition has been quite a discovery, which could hold me in awe even after I close the covers and must turn it back in when it’s due to circulation…I guess I’ll have to line up forever to get it back.

My tanka is far from the sentiments Gurgal so wondrously expresses. I could pretend to be a lady in some imperial court but I know I would be stretching my imagination too far out. My culture won’t give me a shadow to wing from. I would have to visit Japan, I guess. And so, I conclude, what I wrote is not a tanka by these ancient standards except, and this could be stretching it so much so it could snap, it also expresses a sentiment, that of ‘loss’, which seem to rule my subsconscious.

Japanese Tanka, The Court Poetry of a Golden Age by Thomas Gurgal

February 7, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

harbor walk (with rewrite or turning a ‘hanging’ haiku into a tanka)

harbor walk–
webbed-steps tailing us
into the sunset

This haiku, which I’m not sure whether it’s a half- or non-haiku, brings me back to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I walked for an hour everyday at sunset way back when I lived there half of the year until four years ago when I started to wait out here in Vancouver for my Canadian citizenship. Most of my early haiku, when I was still groping through it as well as my other poetry, are images of the harbor, Federal Hill Park and the neighborhood.

Rewrite from haiku that hang to a not-sure tanka

harbor walk–
webbed steps tailing us
into the sunset
in blind paths that waver like words
we mislead even the winds

This haiku I posted three days ago seemed to hang, no not seemed, it hang! But I just couldn’t clinch it and so, again, it wrote itself as a tanka. I’m unsure though if indeed it is a good tanka but I like the poem it has turned into.

February 1, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unabashed (a sparrow speaks in three tongues)

unabashed–
a sparrow speaks in three tongues
twirling on willow twigs

It’s the subject of my post yesterday but I can’t seem to let it go! “My soul speaks in three languages” as in the three tanka I wrote from English, which I translated roughly into Spanish (and had it edited by Sr. Javier Galvan y Guijo, director of Instituto Cervantes in Oran, Algeria formerly of Manila where we met) and in Iluko, is an awarness that has been consuming me–this composing of words from three different dimensions that I believe are of my soul but not finding the right stage to unleash it, let it leap, dance, sing, sigh.

Finally, last month I dared to submit three tanka in three tongues to qarrtsiluni–an online literary journal where I’ve been reading awesome poetry–with an introductory essay I had posted here about the “willow” not having an equivalent in Iluko, the tongue I was born with. The editors accepted it, an honor I’m still riding on an upwind.

Unabashed, I would like to share here what Alex Cigale, translation theme editor, said as well as Jean who posted her comment on the qarrtsiluni site, and Patrick who sent it to my inbox. I hope you, dear readers, bear with me in this moment of exhilaration!

Alex Cigale (editor, translation issue, qarrtsiluni) January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm | #1

What a treasure you sent our way, Alegria! So perfect for us, this window onto a language constructed according to logical grammatic structures that are yet so different from those we otherwise take for granted, qualities such as number, possession, direction, tense, intensity. And what a perfect illustration of the notion that there can be no words that do not represent real objects, so that such culturally-specific idioms are nearly ICONS, your example: “saning-i … portrays … usually a woman in a dark corner, splayed on the floor….” And the recording, the Iluko sounded last and thus echoing so musically, its music so liquid I am tempted to imagine that it was formed among the various sounds of water surrounding the islands. A big thank you!

Jean (tastingrhubarb)
January 13, 2011 at 6:47 am | #3

Oh, these are exquisite and exquisitely satisfying! Listening to the podcast is essential. This is a richness of experience of poetry and language and translation that no publication with only printed words could provide. So beautiful.


Patrick Gillespie (poemshape)
January 13, 2011, 7:14 PM

Finally, I get to hear your beautiful language. Such is the beauty of the language that I could fool myself into thinking that anyone who spoke it would write poetry such as yours. I have always loved the sound of the Mongolian Language, but I think Iluko is just as alluring and beautiful. I would love to speak it.

It’s also beautiful to see how you bring the sensibility of haiku into your longer poems. It’s something I’ve wondered about trying myself, but haven’t yet. Again, how wonderful to hear Iluko. There’s a Japanese expression which I can’t think of right now. It expresses the aesthetic of beautiful sorrow or beautiful sadness. Your poetry is so often imbued with it.

January 14, 2011 Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku, language views, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments