jornales

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

repetitions (haiga2 for 19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga2 using clip art on Microssft Publisher

ehoes
our silent repetitions
repetitions

repetitions
our silent echoes
repetitions

repetitions
of repetitions echo on silence

echoes on silence repetitions of repetitions

Posted for haiga challenge at 19 Planets Art Blog of Rick Daddario. I composed this haiga using clip art on Microsoft Publisher. The art came first and then the haiku. I seem to be good with visual prompts or I work better with them as I used to with the poems I wrote for the now defunct One Stop Poetry’s Sunday Challenge. Am I now creating my own prompts? I had never thought of it but with this second haiga, I’m starting to have fun. I hope it works.

So what’s the thought in the haiga? The cycles in our lives. The repetitions in shapes and sounds. Even invisibles our mind creates bounce back and forth as thoughts and feelings. Patterns and routes unfurl before us without our bidding. Because we need them. Repetitions. Because each day ends to begin again. Reassurances. Because each vow must be renewed. Reverberations. Because we hear better on a beat or rhyme. Repetitions because once never ends for us. Repetitions. We are embedded in them. We embed them in us.

September 8, 2011 Posted by | haiga, haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

zenith at noon (for One Shoot Sunday)

Photo prompt by Fee Easton

rain combs the strands
of our adagios:

expanse of thoughts
farther than the ends of flights
wings aching for home
a sight among stars

we tread the waves
sink in whirlpools deeper
than the heart of the flower
a hummingbird chooses

lighter
than marrow-less limbs
skimming skies
bending the spheres

constellations pirouette
on mid-strains cresting to slope
to skid onto silken lilies
our bed of seasons

in our clasped hands
the sea regurgitates the sun
froth fizzes a tickle
on our kissing toes

the sea breeze binds horizons
our eyes delude a sunset
our dawns begin
the night

the zenith at noon
the depth of our dreaming

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

From a photo prompt by Fee Easton this poem is posted for One Shoot Sunday yet another challenge at One Stop Poetry, the inimitable gathering place of poets and artists, winner of the 2011 Shorty Awards for the Arts. Come join us. Share your love for your art. Be thrilled over what others say and what you discover of others’ works.

May 15, 2011 Posted by | free verse, lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 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

Song (my first lyric poem for OSP Saturday)

In dreams as in wakefulness,
bands of air swirl between us–
thoughts spinning in flight,
words but dust in the eye.

In dreams as in waking
I trail the wind, your thoughts
lost in longing, your moaning
a storm tearing at my heart.

I float hidden in dreams
as when awake like a wisp
I hover but a shadow
light sweeps with but a wave.

Once, awake as in a dream,
I painted my eyes like Circe–
the wind my voice for your eyes
knowing the magic lies there.

But in the dream as in waking,
the wind but died, failing–
the song I played my heart the lyre
for you, but a hiss among shadows.

first published in 2007 at PoetsHaven.com

For One Stop Poetry Saturday “Share a Past”, the community of poets and artists I belong to. We share and nurture each other. Check us out, pr better yet, join us. How? Easy steps are in the website. Click on it on my blogroll (Sorry, I have yet to learn how to make a link work.)

February 20, 2011 Posted by | lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

mirror/tangled vines/dawn (16th,17th,18th NaHaiWriMo)

16.
mirror-
she sees her flaws
in his eyes

17.
tangled vines in the snow–
our thoughts sometimes

18.
dawn
ripples on the water
as we speak

February 18, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

into fog (haiku though I wish it were haiga)

Beaver Lake at Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada by Bobanny at wikicommons

into fog
smudging our thoughts–
we lose who we are

February 2, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

grey skies (and other grey/in the rain/and snow haiku)

1.
grey skies
still the heather blooms
and blooms

2.
hydrangeas
even in dryness
the same sighs

3.
willow tips
dripping with rain
but i’m not crying

4.
tangled vines in the snow–
our thoughts sometimes

5.
in the rain each stone a new face

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

The encrusted heart

The heart curls

on its own in pain

turns into a suckling,

milking on its hurts.

 

It darkens

in the day—what

sun could pierce

the mirror of grief?

 

Ghosts haunt

eyes taunting

pain, reliving loss,

birthing fresh hurts.

 

In the night the heart

glistens with its wounds

lapping tears–those

globules of pain.

 

Around the heart

in vigil, slabs of light

await for a sign to

splinter into a million

 

points, to pierce

the heart of the mirror,

 to melt encrustations of

its own wounds.

 

The heart resists

locked in eyes on

the mirror of its

making, losing

 

the light each day

to nest its own rebirth.

 

Copyright © 2009 by Alegria Imperial/Posted  in iluko.com

For this poem, I wrote a check of $700 for my ‘jornal’. What would you give me?

February 19, 2009 Posted by | poetry, reflection | , , , | Leave a comment

Fifth avenue: a setting

For having written this, reading it again and again, I give myself a week’s worth of daily wages $1200. If it were yours, how much is your ‘jornal’?

The sun is setting on the southwestern horizon, tracing its autumn route. No matter how glorious, it is never seen on Fifth Avenue: a sense of unreality pervades here; no shadow falls because skyscrapers bar slanting light and columns of smoke seeping off tunnels float eerily.

On the ground, the vast sky is but a dream. Only a narrow slit hangs above like a canopy propped up by towers of concrete, glass and steel. The tallest, the Empire State Building, shoots up like a needle that could pierce the moon. From up there, people, dogs, and cars, shrink as toys for King Kong.

Fifth Avenue at sunset grinds as if run by an infernal machine. The ruckus is maddening: cars rushing into any space, as if escape is possible, and people swarming onto the sidewalk like a shaken colony of ants. The racket is deafening: rasp of wheels, blasts from horns, wheezes from city bus air brakes, and unison wails of an ambulance, fire truck and NYPD cars in a rush to save a kitten – so the word from someone in the crowd is passed on – hanging by its paws on the terrace of a 20th floor condo on East 56th Street.

The swarm of people soon turns into a dark flowing mush that of bodies wrapped in thick armors of invisibility – the black coat, jacket, cape, cap, boots, and square-toed shoes. Strides are hurried; heads don’t turn, each one moves lost in private space. If a show window snares someone, she is not missed: the throng gets on, relentlessly. At cross streets, the crowd lurches to a halt, eyes riveted to a flashing light that warns, “Don’t Walk.” When the light switches to a command, “Walk,” the crowd, like wound up toys, obeys.

In the crowd, I am lost. I shed my name. Under my woolen cap, I wonder about the color of my hair. Beneath layers of cotton warmers, a jacket, and leather gloves, I cannot remember the hue of my skin. No one talks to me; I have turned mute. And when I say, “I’m sorry,” I sound as if I really am for something I can’t recall I did.

A pink sky falls on East 23rd Street where a triangle fans out from the Flat Iron Building’s rear toward Madison Square Park. I feel touched, and now I’m melting. With my heart, I listen to a soundless pink splash at dawn in Baguio, my mountain city perched from across the other side of the hemisphere. When I look up again at a slice of sky, night has crept in. An undertow pulls me to surrender. I stop. I stall. My heart resists.

Posted in iluko.com/Published in myjournal.thoughtbook

February 16, 2009 Posted by | lyrical prose, reflection | , , , , , | Leave a comment