We turn away…(tanka)

 

This tanka was published in Hedgerow, a journal of small poems ~ #130, Winter 2020

 

 

we turn away

from all we just can’t face—

the glistening red

of a vulture’s head

emerges from a carcass

 

 

 

Poet’s note:

Out of decay comes art and beauty. Look what artist Georgia O’Keefe created from a skull found where she lived in New Mexico. All is part of nature and is nature.

 

Deer’s Skull with Pedernal by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1936

 

Where I live in central North Carolina, we have plenty of black vultures and turkey vultures. They circle and gather in the sky when there is carrion to be had. I chose this topic for the tanka because it’s a scene I’ve seen more than once. Yes, it’s not a pretty sight. Vultures, especially when eating a dead animal or gathering in a group in a tree or abandoned house do give you shivers. Something in us seems to respond with at least a momentary revulsion. However, I’m a bird lover and I try to see how a specific species fits into the scheme of things. Vultures and crows do eat carrion, the flesh of dead animals, often of roadkill along our roads and streets. They perform a good service by eating their meal and cleaning the mess up. Imagine all those dead animals left to rot. So these birds help us as they go about their business (albeit unpleasant business to us). They are birds we should appreciate for their useful role in nature. They also offer us a wonderful metaphor.

My thanks to editor, Caroline Skanne for being the one editor who chose to publish this poem. 

The old dog . . . (tanka)

 

 

Tanka Society of America 2018 Members’ Anthology:
Of Love and War and the Life In Between

 

 

almost toothless

the old dog sleeps

by the fire . . .

the peace of knowing

you are there

 

 

 

This poem is dedicated to all beloved, faithful dogs for the  pure joy they bring.

 

 

Black swan . . . (haiku)

 

cattails, October 2018 Issue

The Official Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society

 

 

 

black swan    

the beauty

in difference

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 4.48.54 PM

Credit:Bournemouth News / Rex Features

 

 

 

I urge all of you to read the full issue of cattails, which you can download as a pdf here:  http://cattailsjournal.com/currentissue.html

 

With breath so soft . . . (tanka)

 

Redlights, June 2018:

 

a newborn fawn
hidden in tall grasses,
with breath so soft
not even a dandelion
stirs

 

Fawn by Carmen Sterba Russell

Photograph by Carmen Sterba Russell (used with her permission) (c) 2018