jornales

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

Three of my favorite ‘insect’ haiku…


dragonfly
from stalk to stalk–
moonrise

trying my way
through yours—
Monarch butterfly

shifting light–
the truth about black
in this spider

…of the others in the ten published at Sketchbook 6-4 July August 2011 haiku thread. Again, I can’t seem to apply any haiku quality in any of these, except of course, that they’re written in three lines–though not in 5/7/5 syllables, which Michael DW has long debunked–and I believe present two images/thoughts not necessarily complementing each other but serving as a counterpoint for each other in what’s identified as ‘juxtaposition’ in haiku writing. I’ve posted here some reflections on my haiku but lately I seem unable to. I leave these three for now hoping they could stand on their own as haiku or poem should if they are good, that is. What do you think?

October 16, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

first smile (haiga8 for Rick Daddario’s challenge at19 Planets Art Blog)

haiga 8 composed on Microsoft Publisher with my sister's first baby picture at 5 mos old

first smile nothing else

I remember that early morning light, which illumines the bedroom. It could have poured in through a window facing east where deep dark leaves of a star apple tree soaked most of it, leaving a young mango sprout pale in its struggle to grow. Or perhaps it was just uncared for. And why do I now blame the more luxuriant star apple? No one could pay much attention to the mango seedling then, since the birth of my sister and only sibling.

It could have been a Saturday morning. My mother could have been home that late and didn’t leave for school across the stream a block away, a post-deduction I’m making from the angle of the light. If it were a weekend, I must have been sleeping late. It couldn’t but be a Saturday or this picture wouldn’t have been taken by an uncle who also taught at the parish school. So why am I making a fuss this late?

Because I wish I could relate a more credible story as to how that first smile was caught. I remember my sister more as fretful. She cried when she felt sleepy or couldn’t sleep. She cried when she woke up and felt hot. When I carried her, I could not hold her facing me for long; I would have to make her face outward with one arm supporting her butt as in a seat, her legs dangling, and my other arm, bracing her close to me so she would not fall forward. She hardly smiled. She seemed to size up people as if already making opinions as they talked though she still couldn’t except to say, ‘Mama’. Which is why this smile for me sparkles as a gem.

I know that hand carved wooden bed. On it, I nuzzled on my mother’s side under a crook of her arm as deep as my memory dips. I watched my sister suckled from my mother’s breast, perhaps like I did, on this bed. I remember bumping my head on the headboard against carvings of huge blooms, hearts of gardenias in a swirl of leaves leaning away as if blown by their redolence. Lying on it felt like easing into silken strands, the hand woven rattan strips, which stretched and retracted with each un-recalled movement in dreams. I know that slightly creased sheet, too, which is actually a native heavy woven cotton blanket I had dived into as a child myself. It must have been really a Saturday morning because I see no pillows, which my grandmother would have gathered to put out under the sun to disinfect and deodorize.

The story I recall of this morning has to do with impulses. An uncle who lived on the other corner of our street, apparently just happened to drop by with his camera. He just suddenly wanted to take a picture of my 5-month old sister. My sister just then was learning to turn on her side. That morning, she happened to do a full turn to lie on her belly. She just happened to smile. Or maybe I was there to clown around when my uncle clicked his Kodak Field camera. But the truth is, I remember nothing else but this first smile.

Fifty four years gape between that morning and me today. I am now an elderly woman hankering for details I missed. But then again because I have none except this moment caught, I can spin webs around it to catch any morning light, and perhaps one like that Saturday morning.

September 25, 2011 Posted by | haiga, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

solstice (a tanka*-ish reflection for One Shot Wednesday)

only in fullness
am I still–
i cast no shadow
as a rendezvous
dissipates into a sob

the wind flails
hapless
in the gingko twigs–
where perfection
encases feelings

if punctured
fibres
of wombs burst
water before blood
into birthing

a cry of rage
flags what a heart
hoards–
peace when it settles
lines its chambers

nothing like a Nautilus
the heart is but a pump
the fist opening
and closing
for fluids to flow

red colors
a river the heart
conjures–
layers of molecules
veil its nature

until the solstice
skids past its point
of stillness
wholeness is truth
until

a heart breaks
until a birthing point
reverts
to that first sound
that cry of rage


*tanka, sometimes known to be the precursor of haiku, is a 5-line Japanese poetic form used by court poets of ancient Japan. Scroll down for my post on this form in February.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at On Stop Poetry where poets and artists of the most inimitable talents gather to share and support each other. Check it out!

June 21, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

evening wall (for One Shoot Sunday)

photo prompt by James Rainsford

the evening wall
leaks morning in silence
a tremor
in the breeze alters the vines
leaves dance disgraced
for river stones
but my cave resists
the shame

i dig into my bones
for secrets
complicities the dark sharpens
the stench of fear
light alludes to ageing roses
in truth
rotting roots falsehoods
smoother

in the night
i listen to winds lash
at recalcitrant stars
then limping in the heights fall
a thin flight through the bars
a moth
hissing on its wings

my cage
burdens reckoning
crude mornings lie to me
disguised as Venus rising
i cannot tell
in my fallow depths
who awaits for me to relent
cawing

(c) Copyright by Alegria Imperial 2011

Posted for One Shoot Sunday with picture prompt by James Rainsford for One Stop Poetry, winner of the 2011 Shorty Award for the Arts, the one place to gather for poets and artists to share their love for their art. Check us out. Click on my blogroll for OSP.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

i have no name (for One shoot Sunday)

Heather Nelson, photo by India Hobson

the owl
sees through me he digs
my heart
the truth about names

i am muneca
a filament of being
you drew
from rambling waterfalls

on my cheeks
you shaped a winter sky
my eyes and the temple tower
vie for light

you punctured
my lips so deep i gurgle
my defiance
of your desire

restless
your fingers knead
my neck to smoothen
veins you embedded

i leap in spasms
my death as brief
as your breath in my
clogged vena cava

you think
i am perfect in your hands
i grow molds
in the day

my skin liquifies
as you dream i am life
the owl reveals
i have no name

muneca a doll
of your melting eyes
has no heart

Posted from a photo image by India Hobson for One Shoot Sunday at One Shot Poetry, winner of the 2011 Shorty Award for Art given last week in New York. Come join us at this gathering place and meet talented poets and artists who share their love for their art.

April 3, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Butterfly in the winter? Wrong kigo! (12th for NaHaiWriMo)

butterfly sleeves—
she sway-balances her arms
against the breeze

Butterfly in the winter? Wrong kigo!

No, this haiku comes from memory, from the way we wear and dance with our terno or patadyong, the Filipina formal dress. I suppose you’ve seen them. Patterned after European 18th century women’s fashion but made of sheer fabric woven out of pineapple fiber, its main feature is a pair of stiffened sleeves made to look like folded butterfly wings. It’s a hassle to don it on because the bodice, which is entirely made of pina can only be fastened with pins, and for a woman like me, who wore it only once or twice, it makes her feels boxed in the first time. But because it has to fit perfectly, it can look absolutely elegant.

And we wear it not only to socialize but also to dance! Sway-balancing, twirling on its long skirt, while gathering its train so we don’t get snagged on it and fall on our faces. We can’t wear shoes with it as well—it has to be a beaded ‘zapatilla’ (slippers) that covers only the toes…but this is going too far for my haiku and why or how this came about. So…

I pulled out this conversation from comments of Rick Daddario (19 planets) and my reply on my post two days ago (Nine for NaHaiWrimo) because it’s about butterflies, to put it simply. And I’d like to pass it off as my 12th for ‘daily-haiku-write’.

Wrick:

island trail
in the back yard today
butterflies

yeah. that was today – feb. 9, 2011.
in some ways this has become curious to me… when the concept of kigo originated it must have been in one area – so the season was probably basically the same for everyone writing ku. now that ku is planet wide it seems it’s hard to say when a kigo matches the season. the butterfly trail in my back yard has become active in the last week or two – yeah, in January/February. it’s not a major trail but it’s been there since i’ve been here – 20 plus years or so. normally i wouldnt think of butterfly trails as a winter season indicator – i think it does start up about this time of year tho. may be late january… sometimes i think all we can do is write what is around us and let others decide if that’s right or not. i like this butterfly season. cool on the month of haiku. and cool on you revisiting your haiku each day. bwahahahahaaha – i see WP thinks i wrote this on Feb. 10, 2011. my case exactly – it’s still Feb. 9, 2011 for me. okay okay, it’s 11:54 PM on Feb, 9, 2011 – but that’s still today for me.

Me:

We got the same problem though I think we’re earlier on this side of the Pacific!

First off, I love your haiku, Wrick! It could well be mine if I weren’t consciously trailing about in my new country, taking note of the season’s imprints and non-prints. I still find myself looking as if through a fractured glass though, where the sun, for example, shines in hues so like yet unlike what I recognize. And yes, butterflies! Back home in the Philippine archipelago, they flit around amost all year. I loved the tiny yellow species, which flutter like disembodied petals. Did you know that when a butterfly just suddenly bursts into sight, we believe it is a soul?

butterfly
oh, on my shoulder–
name long an epitaph

A ‘season indicator’ aka ‘kigo’ is intrinsic by tradition in haiku, is what I understand. And a kigo to my mind is nothing else but life’s details. If it’s possible to simplify it in these terms, it’s quite easy to understand why haiku thrives anywhere and up to now. It’s an art form that could never fade or die because its womb is the spirit. Reading more and more of its history, I’ve come to believe that it aims at nothing but truth and joy that comes with its flash, ‘aha’! Joy from uncovering a secret–life’s or nature’s secret, that is. And that is infinite, right? Aren’t we lucky to have stumbled on haiku? (I caught it on the internet years ago.) At least with it we can be certain of finding bits of truth and ‘joy’ everyday or as I had set out in this blog, a ‘jornal’! Cool on you for your thoughts and your butterfly! Thanks to you for finding my revisits cool!

February 11, 2011 Posted by | haiku, language views, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Nothingness: A Reflection

For this epiphany, I wrote myself a check of $800. What do you think?

 

I struggle through pain and nothingness with bouts of happiness and calmness of mind everyday. Maybe, I, too, suffer from some kind of mental illness I haven’t dared to find out. What’s certain is my constant search for peace that at times seems to end only for the battle to begin again. Here are some whiffs of calm wind that had helped:

 

“Restless until my heart rests in thee”, thus, St. Augustine simply puts what ails man. All Truth seems poured into these seven words, truths that Jesus lived and died for. He showed us and taught us what these truths are but why did He seem to make peace such an impossibility, indeed?

 

Why is life impregnable? Why is living a crucible? Jesus had a consistent answer—because to walk with God, to go home to Him in eternity is to shed the world at every single moment with every thought and every act. Otherwise we, who have wakened to this true path but have not really given in or have not learned to will what God wills or to simply break our will and turn it over to Him, will never find rest.

 

Until we ‘die to ourselves’ and be nothing in this life, as Jesus says again and again, our journey back home will be wrought with pain. “Die to ourselves”, how do we do that? Not to seek comfort or consolation for what we do, and to deny ourselves of that, which makes us happy (a momentary lift), perhaps? Pain is in the nature of this life, Jesus assured us. If He knew of another way to peace and salvation, being Truth Himself, he would have shown it certainly, shown something else other than having been impoverished, derided, betrayed, and crucified by this world in this existence, this finiteness.

 

No wonder, as St. Teresa of Avila once chided Jesus in all her humaneness, He had so few friends. Maybe, if we acknowledge our nothingness we could be considered among the few.

 

Posted in jendireiter.com  

March 27, 2009 Posted by | lyrical prose, reflection | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment