Changing Notes (a Tanka Sequence)

 

My thanks to my friend, poet and editor, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy for writing this tanka sequence, “Changing Notes,” with me. It was published in Kokako 29, a journal of the Poetry Society of New Zealand.

 

 Changing Notes

A Responsive Tanka Sequence

by

Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy (UK) and Mary Kendall (USA)

 

glass bangles
tinkling with laughter 
rice grains
strewn on the newlyweds
seeding a new dream

(SK)

 

such longing
month after month
turning to years
suddenly the emptiness
disappears

(MK)

 

the curve of his hand
cups the moon 
quickening
the one butterfly
aflutter in my belly

(SK)

 

watching
the fragile pulse
of his fontanelle
and those half smiles
in his milky dreams

(MK)

 

rocking horse
hither and thither 
the long curls
of sun-kissed memories
braided into birdsong 

(SK)

 

one day his son will chatter
in a different tongue
raven locks
eased into smoothness
. . . a new chosen land

(MK)

 

Acceptance

Acceptance, photograph by Iosatel (c) 2015

“Acceptance”  Photograph by Iosatel (c) 2015

Should you wish to listen to the poem, click on the link below. It will take a few seconds to begin.

 

Acceptance 

There—on the far side of memory’s window—
You stand there on the outside looking in.

Distanced, safe from the rawness of our lives,
You are given a choice whether to judge us

Now or see if we try to make amends, to heal
The hearts that have been torn at the edges,

Frayed by the refusal to forgive, and let others
Move on, a final repentance, a simple lesson

Of learning to forgive our own mistakes, our
Choices or the decisions we came to regret.

Life is not all black and white, but endless shivers
Of grey, silver, and ebony; hues of cream, ivory

And moonlight, and beautiful colors begin to bleed
Into our fabric when we accept others as they are.

Paths get worn by walking, grass just wears away.
Road crosses road, briefly intersecting, and then

Leading to new and unexplored places where
There might be answers if we put aside our slanted

Views and look well beyond our differences.
Beneath this fragile shell of life we are the same.

Why is this simple lesson so hard to learn?

 dove and monkey

Note:  The main photograph (at the top of this page) used with this poem is a beautiful piece by the photographer, Iosatel. It appears on his photography blog, The Obvious and the Hidden, http://theobviousandhidden.com.

His black/white pictures are both beautiful and mysterious. Along with the intriguing pictures are his titles, which never fail to interest his many followers. This photo was entitled, “Acceptance.” It was this that began this poem. My warmest thanks to Iosatel for allowing me to use this photograph with my poem, ‘Acceptance.’