The Silent Surprise


Published in Blithe Spirit,  31.3  2021



A responsive tanka sequence between Mary Kendall (USA) & Hazel Hall (AUS)



The Silent Surprise


a life piled
in a shopping trolley – 
the cold
cathedral steps
kept clean and tidy                                                                  HH


broomcorn gathered
and plaited, tied and cut – 
if only the years
had passed so neatly 
without much fuss                                                                   MK


lawn raked free
of twigs and leaves
green bin full
a mob of cockatoos
prunes the trees once more                                                 HH                                            


shouts of confusion
and chaos in teargas clouds
    that burning need 
to make sense                                                                        
of why we looked away                                                           MK


from antique lands
an ancient epic
this shattered visage
covered in graffiti                                                                   HH


the silent surprise
of a bundle of letters
bound in red string
hidden deep
in the endless rubble                                                               MK



My thanks go to Hazel Hall, one of my favorite tanka writers in the world. This is our second collaboration in writing a responsive tanka sequence. 

Note: Hazel’s verses are in regular type; Mary’s verses are in italics



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