Each coloured heart (a tanka)

Well, somehow I missed this, a tanka published in Eucalypt, one of the finest tanka journals out there.  Eucalypt is published in Australia, the home of a great number of brilliant tanka poets. It’s always a great feeling having a poem published in this journal.
My thanks to Julie Thorndike, the editor.

 

Eucalypt, Spring issue 2018:

 

how it begins
this love of beauty . . .
a little girl touches
each coloured heart
on grandma’s quilt

 

 

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“Stacked Hearts” by Planted Seed Designs

 

Silence . . . (a tanka)

 

One tanka published in:

cattails, October 2018 Issue

The Official Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society

 

 

 

 

told not to tell

or be a bother

a child soon finds

a world of her own

silence

 

 

 

Mary age 4A

In that silence, poems are born.

 

 

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

When you were six (tanka)

 

Redlights, June 2018:

 

when you were six
I longed to keep you
that age forever
      once upon a time
      I knew you so well

 

 

 

birthday candles 6

 

 

Dedicated to my son, Adam.

 

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Only four . . . (two tanka)

 


Published in Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2018: Volume 14, Number 2

 

 

the squeak

of the old swing . . .

only four when carefully taught

to keep that secret

to myself

 

 

This tanka was published in the Tanka Café of Ribbons

 

 

the little girl’s doll

marred by lipstick

scrawled on her face

. . . maybe this time 

mother will notice

 


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Brushing Your Hair

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Brushing Your Hair

In the last month you ask me a favor.
Will I brush your hair when you have passed?
You seem to want to greet whatever comes
looking your best. I give my promise.

Each day when I come home, I offer
to brush your hair, but you say no,
maintaining the independence
you have always shown.

Later, in hospice, I no longer ask.
I hold your hands, rubbing lotion in,
skin so fragile, like a butterfly wing.
It is time now to make the last ablutions.

I clean your face and brush your hair,
your sleeping eyes flicker
under paper-thin lids, pale blue veins
tracing their course across them.

I imagine your mother tenderly holding you,
stroking your cheek, watching you dream
in her arms—her newborn daughter
with milky breath.

Ninety-one years separate us, your two watchers.
One joyously bringing you into the world;
the other sitting silently in the dim-lit room,
keeping watch over you through the night.          

 

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The poem, “Brushing Your Hair” is from my chapbook, Erasing the Doubt (c) 2015, Finishing Line Press.

 

 

 

Mary, Mary…poem by Mary Kendall (SAME NAME Poetry and Prose Series)

A new poem just up at Silver Birch Press. Click at the bottom to get to the original on the SBP site.

Silver Birch Press

kate maberlyMary, Mary…
by Mary Kendall

Unwanted.
Unloved.
Shunned.
Spoiled.
Rude.
Aggressive.
Obstinate.
Outspoken.
Contrary.
Sour.
Gloomy.
Dismissive.
Shut away.
Alone.
Alone.
Alone.

Your attributes, little Mary.
A long list.
No one liked you.
Except for me.

Not true. There were others.
Your sweet Indian Ayah, who fed you,
washed you, dressed you, taught you,
tolerated your contrary ways, angry words,
miserable frown. She held you close,
rocked you after nightmares and dark dreams,
fanned you in the hot Indian summers.
She sang to you—mellifluous, soothing songs.

Your mother denied your existence, hid you away from view,
just as later, you’d find your cousin Colin, hidden away, too.

Denial.
What damage it did.
What pain it caused.
Like a plant held too long in a small pot,
its roots pot-bound and crippled,
Colin, unwanted and denied like you.

Unwanted.
Unloved.
Denied.

My family separated when I was just five,
I felt…

View original post 514 more words

Salted Feathers

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To listen to an audio of me reading this poem, just click on the link below. Give it a few seconds, and it will start.

salt shaker

Salted Feathers

I was four when you told me the story
that if someone wanted to capture a bird
they must sprinkle its tail with salt.

We went outside, salt shaker in hand,
not sure what we really planned to do.
In the end, it was a tiny sparrow foraging

for fallen seeds or tiny insects on the other
side of the chain link fence at the back
of the yard. You told me to go ahead and

sprinkle it. My hand would not fit through
the opening link square with the shaker.
Blindly I tossed a spray of salt that landed

more on you and me than any place else.
The little bird was spared, and he continued
rummaging around in the grasses, indifferent

to the plans made by two small girls who
had no real idea what it was to take away
the gift of flight. No salted feathers for him.

All I remember now is that I felt something
happen inside when the little bird looked
at me and, in the way of all birds, off it flew.

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