Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Smooth stones

smooth stones
so sensual
we must not only
touch them softly
but write about them also

Simply Haiku, Autumn 2005

twigs&stones: A title I've had in my head for a long time, though it's not necessarily as unique as I'd hoped. E.g., when I Google, I find there's a similarly named viral video, a catchy folk-rock song (see link below), a gemstone hairpin company, etc. Ah, well. . .

We writers seem to love stones and mention them not infrequently in our poems and blogs. Is that how we think of our short poems, our realized moments, as stones both sturdy and delicate, anchoring us, delivering us from a tenuous world? Packed with an intensity of feeling we ourselves cannot easily contain?

The above entry was one of the first two tanka, or "tanka-like poems," I ever wrote. Admittedly, it's a little different (odd?); surely it violates a few "rules" and might not pass muster with some critics. Yet I had no problem getting it published originally, and someone else (a haiku editor at the time) once wrote me a very nice message about it. Above all, it said what it needed to say for me, and still does, so I guess I still kinda like it. ;)

*Check out the Twigs and Stones video by Canadian band Siskiyou.*


  1. Hi Janet,
    For some odd reason, this post went into my spam folder, where I just now discovered it.
    I like your smooth stones. Yes, it is different, and mght not, as you say, pass muster in some quarters. But it gives me a little tactile, sensory thrill. I sometimes wonder if all our self-imposed rules don't become stumbling blocks for beginner's mind, with its wide-eyed freshness.

  2. Thanks, Jenny; I enjoyed your comment. When I was a brand-new beginner at tanka, I guess I felt I didn't have anything to lose. Later, it seems there can be these "voices" I/we feel we must (at times) attempt to please. I believe in trying to follow certain generally accepted guidelines - out of respect - IF I want to call what I write "tanka" or even "tanka-like." Apart from that, however, I say toss out the "rules" and write whatever seems to work, LOL. Above all, write for ourselves?

    Hmm, interesting about the spam...