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

 

 

 

Life

Two tanka were published in

 

Eucalypt Issue 27, 2019

 

 

miscarriage—
the very word
betrays
the promise
of hope

 

 

 

 

persimmon sun
dips low and sets –
moonlight on the bed
where I was born
& where my father died

 

 

 

Dove photo by Merlune

 

 

 

Haiku Holiday turns 40

 

The North Carolina Haiku Society hosts an all-day meeting on the last Saturday of each April. This year marked the 40th year of these days called “Haiku Holiday.” Each of the past 40 years has been hosted by one wonderful poet and woman, Jean Earnhardt

on Bolin Brook Farm, an old farmstead that has been in her family for 12 generations. Can you imagine opening up your home and garden annually to a large group of poets? Jean does so graciously and with a welcoming, inclusive attitude. Thank you, Jean!

 

“In honor of the 40th anniversary of Haiku Holiday, we read 40 haiku by current and past members of the North Carolina Haiku Society. Crystal Simone-Smith selected the poems and published them as a broadside.”  (Dave Russo, the NCHS website Editor)

 

The Broadside is so beautiful, and it’s an honor to be part of this. My two haiku are listed below. My thanks to Crystal for selecting this to be included.

 

Haiku Holiday, NCHS, 2019

40 Years, 40 Haiku: A Broadside

 

 

dandelion—

more and more invisible

as I grow old

 

 

our country’s story

ever evolving

. . . fallen blossoms

 

 

Both haiku by Mary Kendall (c) 2019

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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