Friday, August 29, 2008

On writing cinquain and other poems

To illlustrate how and why I write poems, I wrote this cinquain in April 20, 2006 which I posted in an internet forum of which I am currently an inactive member. I included some readers’ comments and my responses to them.

- - - - - - - - - -

I just attended a funeral yesterday of the father of my son-in-law. A few days earlier, I heard that an old friend whose wife passed away barely a year ago also died. The sad thing is I only learned about it after he was already cremated. Double sigh.

Passing through

two deaths
in a long week
a tacit reminder
that we are mere sojourners here
on earth

... a nice empirical often our life experiences good and sad can bring an inspiration of the realities we all must face and thus some good can arise therefrom even if it is just a poem that strikes a chord in others’ lives; it reminds [me that] we share this global village together even when separated by oceans.


Yes Brian,

Poetry binds us all together wherever we might be. There is also such a thing as the healing power of poetry, at least in my experience. In the process of expressing the depths of emotions and feelings in my poem, there inevitably follows a release of tension which I liken to a cleansing or purging process. Then I feel I am whole again or going to be and I can stare at my inner demon eye to eye without trepidation.

Thanks so much for your comments.

Vic Gendrano

Vic your comments on the healing power of poetry and how it binds us together are two further thought-provoking aspects that will add to the ongoing Why Poetry debate...

- Brian

Dear Vic,
First, please accept my sympathy.  It's hard to lose people we love. Your poem is a wonderful reflection--a reminder not to take life for granted.  The word "sojourners" is perfect for this cinquain.  Your emotion comes through [in] this short poem. 

  - Karen

Hi Karen,

Thank you very much for your sympathy and gracious comments. Sometimes I get so involved in my poems that it's hard to be objective. Like they say, I wear my emotions on my sleeves. In a way, this cinquain is a revisit to my old Heart stroke poem I wrote sometime ago while I was recuperating from what I overheard the doctor said was mild stroke. It happened soon after the passing
of my wife.

Vic Gendrano

Dear Vic,
I like poetry that comes from the heart. It's the depth and emotion that capture me in a way superficial pieces never will. Your poem allows the reader to ponder and take something away from the experience--something difficult to achieve in a short poem. Thanks again for sharing it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Olympics

Summer Olympics
the world's best athletes
fiercely compete, but in peace
just for a few weeks reigns

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2008 Haiku Anthology

On Sunday, August 24, 2008, at 2:PM, the Haiku Anthology 2008 by the Southern California Haiku Study Group, titled "above the tree line" will be launched at Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, California. It will be followed by poetry reading by the authors, book sale, and book signing. Everyone is invited. More information is available here:

Southern California Haiku Study Group

There are 30 member poets in the anthology. Included in the new book are my five haiku below. I also have a haiga (picture poem) and a haibun.

graffitti wall
the rain uncovers
a poem

sleepless night
I touch gently
her empty space

waiting room
the plastic flowers
always in bloom

handicapped parking
he pretends to walk
with a limp

hot autumn day
a leaf curls
into itself