Between the Lines (a responsive tanka sequence)

This is the second responsive tanka sequence I’ve written and published with poet David Terelinck. A big thank you to editor Claire Everett for publishing this sequence in her beautiful journal, Skylark.

My thanks to David Terelinck for writing with me and guiding me all the way. You are the best mentor any poet could have.

 

Skylark Summer 2017, Volume 5, Issue 1

A responsive tanka sequence with Mary Kendall (USA) and David Terelinck (AUS) 

 

Between the Lines

the conversation
turned so quickly
that morning in Paris . . .
your disapproval palpable
as you walked away

 

despite phrasebooks,
maps and interpreters
how often
we still lose our way
to understanding . . .

 

you sketch
a stranger’s likeness
with such ease –
how I hoped you could learn
to read between the lines

 

days spent
rehearsing a response –
why do those
who direct my life
now want to write the script

 

your practised words
sound right, but feel so wrong . . .
sifting through
shattered pots and ashes
left in an empty kiln    

 

dementia steals
my name from her lips –
visiting hours,
relatives complete
the latest jigsaw

 

piecing together
from rumour and gossip
her final days –
I snake through minutiae
to make some sense

 

they contest
the unsigned will
. . . promises
we make to each other
but don’t intend to keep

 

© 2016 Mary Kendall & David Terelinck

Note: to my friends unfamiliar with responsive writing, David’s contributions are all in bold face type while mine are in ‘normal’ type.

 

10 thoughts on “Between the Lines (a responsive tanka sequence)

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