jornales

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

‘fox moon’, a tanka sequence at Yay Words on ‘fox dreams’

fox moon

must it always be
this light
that draws your anguish
so feared so misunderstood?

your paws
on thawing banks the tracks
you left for me
as if I’ve lost you in
the moon’s shifting moods

silence
the midnight wind sends
you howling
always you miss my whispers
shushing your longings

in dappled shadows
the fire burns in your eyes
singes rustling leaves
you step in the moonlight
where we lay down your embers

come out of hiding
what greater fate is there
that awaits
than for us to bare our desires
we live for this and this alone

Thrilled to share my first in Aubrie Cox’s creative blog, Yay Words, included in a collection of poems by 34 known and published haiku/tanka poets on ‘fox dreams’. So honored to have my work alongside theirs. Thanks again to Aubrie for this wonderful project.  Check it out at http://yaywords.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/fox-dreams/  Or click on ‘Yay Words’ on my blogroll.

Image of silver fox courtesy of wikipedia commons, photo by Zefram

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April 24, 2012 Posted by | poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

a romance diary (a haibun experiment) for One Shot Wednesday

…grey dense skies barring the sun again, chilly on bare skin, spring refusing to leave so much so that even the leafing maple shading the terrace has browned with curled edges in spots, mistaking the air has retracted to autumn, perhaps? Even Nature seems dazed but I’m clear about this memory

spring’s end–
the squirrel flies a trapeze
as we cuddle

…amazing how the sun weakens on spring air yet its sparks illumine all else as in this thought filled in

a weak sun
glitters on spider web–
vacant corners

…even main street breathing unevenly at night has ceased in its restlessness as if the air has suffused all else to a quiet that for me opens up to reach out if it were but a soft turn in sleep when

mute stars–
spaces in between them
open up for whispers

…the night has bounced back in restlessness from a momentary calm which lulled me earlier in a dreamless space but awake now, recalling nights when I would feel lost, feeling an empty space on your side of the bed, but only briefly as you slip back in to turn back

the night
but for the darkness
our roost

…perhaps because they have built their nests, the birds seem to sing a different tune, refrains that rise this morning over the distant grumbling of jets flying off as I compose our song for another day

waning spring–
the wind rearranges petals
tightening us together

An edited version of an earlier post for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, the only gathering place that brings poets and artists to share their art freely, comfortably, and joyfully and nurture each other. Check us out!

June 7, 2011 Posted by | diary/memoir, haibun, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

me to Shiki:/how far can i go/with haiku? (his possible answers)

heron at lake courtesy of wikicommons

me to Shiki:
how far can i go
with haiku?

his possible answers

heron equals
stillness

***

stillness–
we break the rules

***

nothing moves in the pond–
turtle

***

plum tree–
only when it blooms

***

only lotus flowers
in the pond

***

wind to bamboo:
how far
can whispers go?

May 28, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

the wait (TCR issue 51 for One Shot Wednesday)

on the window
the bird seed beveled
a choppy morning
where the soughing wind
mimics whispers
snagged among caricature
of trees

ruined by the rain
shredded under steps
leaves trapped in gutters—
thoughts flung on
rain puddles where the rain
drops as rings blurring
the sky

in the lilac bush
the ruckus of the sparrows
sinks into the sunset
in the brambles a spider web sags—
we wait for the darkness
to open up for the moon

Copyright (c) by Alegria Imperial 2011

Published at The Cortland Review Issue 51 May 2011

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry. Check out this site wher poets share their love for their art and nurture each other.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

me to Shiki:/how far can i go/with haiku? (and his possible answers)

heron at lake courtesy of wikicommons

me to Shiki:
how far can i go
with haiku?

(his possible answers)

heron equals being still

***

stillness–
we break the rules

***

not a stir in the pond–
turtle

***

cherry blossoms–
what’s wrong with fruits?

***

plum tree
only when it blooms

***

the jade Buddha laughs
long after sunset

***

wind to bamboo:
how far
can whispers go?

April 26, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

plea for a poem (for One Shot Wednesday)

write me a poem
words to breathe in
even if only whispers
as shouts have turned
the air into a
hail storm

write me some rain–
my heart crackles
in the draught longing
for words drenched in
thought to sip
in the dark

i yearn for verses
snipped from flame tips
words that dance
the fire of fallen angels
saved from their march
on dying coals

write me a song
cadenced in sunsets
tympanis of words
rising off the hum
of meanings
drums have flattened

give me back poems
shredded spirits birth
in caves midnights cleanse–
poems howling wolves
hankering for stars
divine

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry as my share in a lively exchange of art and poetry among a loving community of poets and artists who nurture each other. Follow us at the site. Click on OSP on my blogroll.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Tanka? Lady Nyo replies to my plea (and tanka from haikuverse to here)

Two reasons why this re-post but more: First, at Red Dragonfly, my friend Melissa Allen’s blog, in her Lucky 13 edition of haikuverse, I read an intense discussion on tanka. I’ve been a tanka-pretender of late because a few of my tanka-ish (because they are in truth free verses) poems have been quite successful. Reading more on it though pulled me in deeper into the mist, into fog/understanding fades/–smoky white thickens. (By the way, if you wish to grow and expand as a haiku poet, follow Red Dragonfly, on my blogroll, especially her flights in the haikuverse.)

Second, I met Lady Nyo in cyberspace, at One Stop Poetry to be exact, through my post the other day, which I’ve pulled out here to include her reply to my plea that she take a look at my tanka. She kindly did and what a lesson I got using my tanka. My ignorance or better yet, bull-headedness, not paying attention to details of what I read about the art–honestly, I often gloss over most discussions and plunge straight into the poems–was bared. Her discussion of tanka through my attempts in this post has waken me up, bolting upright to seriously study it. Arigato gozaimas, Lady Nyo!

Here is my Valentine post of 5 after-the-classical tanka and 3 of my-own-version of modern tanka:

Could these five tanka attempts I wrote after rereading cover to cover Thomas Gurgal’s Japanese Tanka: The Court Poetry of a Golden Age mentioned twice here and Lady Nyo’s almost intimately written background on tanka writing be tanka? Lady Nyo and the tanka book I found at the Vancouver Public Library describe tanka written during the Heian dynasty. It’s the topic today on One Stop Poetry where I’m posting the following tanka. I did imagine myself as a lady of the court, scribbling notes for a lover but still I’m not certain. Could these be tanka?

1.
The roses you sent
I kissed each petal like lips
your vows blossoming–
Were you here I would ask again
Is your love unlike roses?

2.
In my hand your note
takes wings with my heart
I fly to you tonight–
Will the moon you promised
meet me among stars I bring?

3.
We sit under stars
skidding in the hemispheres
you make me wish
I whisper to the willows this:
Bring his wish to the winds

4.
Before I knew you
I wrote a poem on love
now you declare love
I am losing my poem
in my fluttering heart

5.
Will you be sad
you ask me like a songbird
singing to no one
you took my name and my heart
neatly tied in your knapsack

Three tanka–my own–of which I must ask the same question, could this be tanka? My subject is the same, yes, it’s on love but not courtly love. I also followed the structure but just can’t be certain. Would you tell me?

1.
driving into fog
our hearts in our hands–
same hands
scribbling secret codes
our midnight whispers

2.
under frozen skies
oriole songs fill a dome–
divining our dawns
the path our suns travel
distances our longing defy

3.
the full moon stalls
listening to midnight whispers–
skidding stars
spark the skies our eyes
on nothing else but ours

Lady Nyo’s reply to my plea:

I want to clear something up. Tanka isn’t only about love: it’s a vehicle to carry a message about mourning, praise, grief, death (as in Death Poems from Samurai) observations on nature, etc. So we should broaden our attempts at tanka to partake of so many themes.

I think these top 5 are very much in the tanka form. As to spirit? Yes, they are.

However, I do see a difference in the Court tanka, the more immediate tanka in something like the “Man-yoshu”…where the romantic sentiment is a bit more complex. It’s just different and this is hard to explain without a study of it.

But we aren’t Heian court women poets…we are modern women poets, and that ‘sensibility’ is very different I believe now.

The last three are lovely freeverse to me. What is missing here is the syllable count: 5-7-5, etc. If you read the romanji script…the original Japanese tanka, you see, by sounding it out that these tanka follow this form. They don’t necessarily stray from it because it is a discipline and has a purpose.

Tanka is to be read in two breaths. However, the top five very much carry correctly that important Kakekotoba, that pivot or bridge between the top poem (Kami no ku) and the bottom poem (Shimo no ku)

This is what is most hard (well, one of those hard things) in tanka to pull off…the unifying but also the recognition of tanka being actually TWO poems.

It takes a lot of work, process and study to begin to be ‘easy’ in this formation.

But we will get there. This is a good start.

Lady Nyo

We continued our discussion at Lady Nyo’s weblog (click on the blogroll) on the ‘elusive’ spirit of tanka as well as haiku. Next Tuesday at One Stop Poetry, Lady Nyo has promised to discuss the ‘two poems’ in a tanka.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | critique/self-critique, free verse, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Window Frame (One Shot Wednesday)

She peers again. Light birthed
in snow has blossomed wings on
branches, an evening suspended on a hand.

The mist curls fingers at her, drawing her–
she hears magic bedded in whispers, magic
that melts on footfalls then trails a sigh, seeps

into thoughts, waking dormant ghosts.
She holds on, clutches on—time
has framed her waiting: even snow birds

scattered on the gravel have turned into leaves,
the light, a wash neither rain-lit nor
breeze-hushed, folding on itself. Frost

has coated the window frame where
she gazes wondering if her eyes
not the stars belong to the night—

her world illumined by the absence
of light, nourished in waiting
for the snow in his wake. Waiting

she wonders if absent stars not
the snow flakes on this window frame
have deluded him

to search for other skies.

Posted for One Shot Wednesday. Join other poets at One Stop Poetry blog who write verses for love, read those of others, leave a word of encouragement and/or insight with the same love and respect. Post your piece on your blog and sign up in the Mr. Linky list.

January 5, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

on her feet unceasing

on her feet unceasing

the lapping waves–

cryptic whispers

August 15, 2010 Posted by | haiku, poetry | , | Leave a comment