A child’s grave … (Tanka Art)

a child's grave


Also appearing in Skylark, a Tanka Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, Winter 2017 is this piece of Tanka Art. The photograph was taken by me in the cemetery of Holy Trinity Church (where William Shakespeare is buried) in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK in 2015.


Moral Monday (a tanka)


This tanka was published in Skylark, a Tanka Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, Winter 2017:


The following tanka is dedicated to the courageous people who participated in the “Moral Mondays” in my home state of North Carolina. They risked arrest for gathering at the State Legislature to protest unfair and discriminatory legislation being passed. These protests were non-violent and led by the Reverend William J. Barber.


Moral Monday –
arm and arm linked
you choose to step
into the darkness
to find the light






Day’s End (a rengay)

This rengay was published in Skylark, a Journal of Tanka,
Volume 5, Issue 2, Winter 2017


               DAY’S END  

Mary Kendall  & Bill Waters 



stillness –                                            MK

violet fades

to black


the scratch of a match                     BW

as I strike it


a flicker                                              MK

of memory starts

then stops


turn of the tide . . .                          BW

how hard it is

to let go


a limb of driftwood                        MK

pulled back to sea


fair nights or foul                           BW

the lighthouse beam



It is always a real honor to be invited to write responsively with a poet I admire. In this case, poet Bill Waters asked if I’d like to write a rengay with him. I love Bill’s poetry and his originality. I had read many rengay, but I’d never written one. Of course trying out a new form is always both fun and a challenge, so without hesitation I agreed. Bill had written rengay with other poets, so I depended upon him to keep me on track, and he did. The process of linking and shifting in responsive writing is the best part of the process. Having this rengay accepted for publication in Skylark, a Journal of Tanka edited by Claire Everett was another honor for both of us. Thanks, Bill, for this invitation.

Skylark Winter 2017

Note:  For more poetry by Bill Waters, please visit his websites:

Bill Waters~~Haiku/
Haiku + Tanka, Haibun, Rengay, & More:

Bill Waters~~ Not Haiku (blog within a blog):  https://billwatershaiku.wordpress.com/bill-waters-not-haiku/


Tundra swans . . . (a tanka)

A new tanka just published in Skylark, Summer 2017, Volume 5, Issue 1



whistling wings    
of Tundra swans
over the marshes
. . . what is this power
you hold over me


(c) 2017 Mary Kendall


gerald plowman photo

Tundra Swans by Gerald Plowman

Between the Lines (a responsive tanka sequence)

This is the second responsive tanka sequence I’ve written and published with poet David Terelinck. A big thank you to editor Claire Everett for publishing this sequence in her beautiful journal, Skylark.

My thanks to David Terelinck for writing with me and guiding me all the way. You are the best mentor any poet could have.


Skylark Summer 2017, Volume 5, Issue 1

A responsive tanka sequence with Mary Kendall (USA) and David Terelinck (AUS) 


Between the Lines

the conversation
turned so quickly
that morning in Paris . . .
your disapproval palpable
as you walked away


despite phrasebooks,
maps and interpreters
how often
we still lose our way
to understanding . . .


you sketch
a stranger’s likeness
with such ease –
how I hoped you could learn
to read between the lines


days spent
rehearsing a response –
why do those
who direct my life
now want to write the script


your practised words
sound right, but feel so wrong . . .
sifting through
shattered pots and ashes
left in an empty kiln    


dementia steals
my name from her lips –
visiting hours,
relatives complete
the latest jigsaw


piecing together
from rumour and gossip
her final days –
I snake through minutiae
to make some sense


they contest
the unsigned will
. . . promises
we make to each other
but don’t intend to keep


© 2016 Mary Kendall & David Terelinck

Note: to my friends unfamiliar with responsive writing, David’s contributions are all in bold face type while mine are in ‘normal’ type.


Fire inhales . . . (tanka art)

It is a true joy to have a piece of tanka art accepted in Skylark. Sandi Pray is the new tanka art editor, and as all fans of contemporary haiga and tanka art know, Sandi is one of the most gifted creators of haiga and tanka art herself.  Here is my contribution:


Skylark Summer 2017, Volume 5, Issue 1

fire inhales

This tanka art selection is dedicated to Joy McCall, a poet who inspires us all.