Still the roses bloom…(a tanka)

 

.

 

the chiming clock
begins to wind down . . .
five months of quarantine
yet still the roses bloom
and red birds sing

 

 

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This tanka was published in October, but obviously was written in early summer. We are now nine months into this pandemic. Writing is a wonderful relief as we isolate ourselves. Like so many poets, I find my writing has been changed by the pandemic.

cattails:
The Official Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, October 2020 issue

 

 

 

Tanka No. 3: The sudden silence

 

Here is the third of my three tanka published in the latest issue of Gusts no. 32, Fall/Winter 2020:

 

 

even the crows
are quiet now . . .
the sudden silence
that morning snow
brings

 

 

 

 

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. 

No second guessing

 

1.

 

how many times

can a stone skip

before sinking . . .

deep in my breast

a small lump appears

 

Unsplash by Linus Nylund

 

 

2.

 

no second guessing a kingfisher’s straight dive

 

 

 

Kingfisher and Irises by-Ohara Koson, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland.

 

 

3.

leaves turning –

an old friendship

ends

 

Golden Tree by Mary Kendall

 

 

ephemerae,
an international of haikai, tanka & beyond

Volume 1, C: November 2018

 

My thanks to Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy for publishing two of my haiku and one tanka in the November issue of ephemerae

 

 

 

 

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