Bereft of birdsong . . . (a tanka)

What a nice surprise to find one of my tanka included in this beautiful exhibition at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in the UK.

“In autumn 2019, poets from around the world responded to a call for haiku, a form of short Japanese poetry, based on Japanese prints in the collection at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. People sent in more than 800 beautiful, thought-provoking poems from thirty countries worldwide. See the selection below.

Many poems were inspired by woodblock prints in our popular 2018-2019 exhibition series, Masters of Japanese Prints.

The project was arranged by haiku poets Alan Summers and Karen Hoy of creative writing consultancy Call of the Page.” (Quoted from the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery website)

 

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol, UK

 

winter woodland
bereft of birdsong
with your passing
even clear days
are shadowed

 

My thanks to Alan Summers and Karen Hoy who oversaw this project. Over 800 poems were submitted. Congratulations to all who were chosen to be part of this exhibition.

 

Link to the exhibition: https://exhibitions.bristolmuseums.org.uk/japanese-prints/haikus/

Note: You have to click on all the small pictures in order to open many of the prints and poems. Read them all and enjoy!

 

 

 

The voice I’d lost . . . (tanka)

 

 

it took sixty years
to find the voice I’d lost–
that day
blue dragonflies
alighted at water’s edge

 

 

 

Moonbathing, a Journal of Women’s Tanka, Fall/Winter 2019.      
Edited by Pamela A. Babusci

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

 

 

 

Lemon oil rubbed on old wood . . .

 

Blithe Spirit 29:4, 2019 (two tanka)

 

 

 

the familiar scent
of lemon oil rubbed
on old wood –
a new cat finds a place
in your empty chair

* * *

 

 

on the ground
a nest of hatchlings
fallen from a tree –
how well you always
hid your pain

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Three in Kokako 31

 

KOKAKO 31 , 2019, a journal of the New Zealand Poetry Society

 

 

 

first apricots
the baby’s soft breath
in my ear

~

 

moonflower
night after night
that same dream

~

 

barely a whisper
between daylight
and nightfall
       when shadows
hide in darkness