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. 

Widowhood

 

Published in FROGPOND, Volume 43:1, Winter 2020:

 

 

 

 

widowhood

day blurs into evening

into night . . .

 

 

 

 

This poem is dedicated to my dear sister-in-law, Paulett Brylinski, who lost her beloved husband, Jimmy, in December 2017. Watching her learn to cope and live with grief has taught me so much about courage and love.

 

Woods Hole, MA – 3/30/14

 

 

 

War memorial (a haiku)

As Memorial Day approaches, thoughts of all who have sacrificed for our country come to mind. There have been so many wars, so many skirmishes, so many of our service people posted to regions far away from their homeland. The work they do in times of war or in conflict is something that requires a level of courage I don’t have. Yet we can all pay them our deepest respects and honor those who have died as well as those who came home. They have made this country what it is.

 

This haiku was published in Frogpond 42.1, Winter 2019 (Haiku Society of North America)

 

 

war memorial

blue dragonflies

loop in tandem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loneliness . . . (three tanka)

Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society,
Volume 28 Number 4, November 2018

 

Three tanka were published in Blithe Spirit this past November:

 

 

 Snow Landscape by Hans Braxmeier

 

 

winter woodland

bereft of birdsong 

           with your passing 

even clear days

are shadowed

 

 

Photo by Frantisek Krejci

 

 

together so long

we seem to finish

one another’s  sentences,

fluent in the pauses

of each other’s mind

 

 

 

Universe by Gerd Altmann

 

loneliness

comes and goes,

dancing around

my mind

with two left feet