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. 

Green . . . (Synesthesia in haiku)

Synesthesia in haiku ~

 

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

 

 

spring…
hearing green
and only green

 

 

 

 

 

 Haru = Spring

Three Tanka in Gusts

Three tanka were published in the last issue of
Gusts, Contemporary Tanka  No. 30, Fall/Winter 2019

 

 

as Geminids flit by
in the inky darkness
I pull your jacket tight
around myself
. . . all I have left

 

∼ ∼ ∼

 

ripeness
bears its own burden . . .
fragrant peaches
   dangle low
       bruises   a breath   away

 

∼ ∼ ∼

 

 

in old growth grass     
a newborn fawn
wobbles on spindly legs –
a sure reminder
how brief a season is

 

 

 

unearthing beauty (rengay)

 

 

My deepest thanks to Kate MacQueen for writing this rengay with me. It was a wonderful and illuminating experience to write with Kate. Kate’s verses are #2, 4, 6 (italicized) and mine are #1, 3, 5.

 

This rengay was published in Vines #3, part of the publication hedgerow edited by Caroline Skanne. 

 

Note: for readers not acquainted with rengay, here is a definition from “Graceguts” by Michael Dylan Welch:

“Garry Gay invented a renga alternative in the summer of 1992: the “rengay.”

“The rengay is a collaborative six-verse linked thematic poem written by two or three poets using alternating three-line and two-line haiku or haiku-like stanzas in a regular pattern. The pattern for two people is A-3, B-2, A-3, B-3, A-2, B-3, with the letters representing the poets, and the numbers indicating the number of lines in each given verse.”