Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Midwinter; three ripened

midwinter
strawberry blossoms 
in summer white . . .
intuitively
I should know not to touch

—GUSTS, Fall/Winter 2012


three ripened
homegrown strawberries . . .
I cut them
for us to share
like loaves and fishes

—Mariposa, 27, Autumn/Winter 2012


There's one decent strawberry plant left this year (above). Oops, I did touch the petals, and a couple came off.

Friday, January 25, 2013

No pear tree

no pear tree
no partridge either . . .
I wake up 
to a chill on my face
a million crows-a-cawing

—Winter 2011-2012

Above, one I wrote last winter. Many dog-size crows usher in the mornings around here with their distinctive squawks. When the idea first planted itself in my mind, I remember being alone in a literal and metaphorical chill—and all those crows, as usual.

Synchronicity: I'm not writing about cherry blossoms in this poem, lovely as they are; by that I mean I'm not especially using traditional imagery in the first part. Yet last month, on the blog of a fellow writer whose work I admire, I came across a published haiku in a similar vein—different overall though starting out with the same type of pear/partridge imagery. It appears we may have been on the same wavelength. That sort of thing, of course, happens (and can be enjoyable). You may have read the haiku or, if not, I hope you do sometime.

Though I'm fond of this particular tanka, as I am the above-mentioned haiku as well, I've decided just to post it on this blog and not bother searching for some other "home" for it. I go through phases where I don't much feel like peddling my poetry wares anyway. And I also remind myself that above all I write because I seem to enjoy it. Hope you enjoy this. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mock election

mock election—
my first-grade niece explains
the debt crisis

Haiku News, week Nov. 12, 2012

And she and a fellow classmate succeeded in getting another classmate to switch her vote. Way to go, A.!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eleven months

eleven months
since the tsunami . . .
here in our yard
daisy clusters spring up
out of season

Ribbons, Spring 2006


Remember the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami on December 26, 2004? The new year arrived right then, before we were ready.  

I appreciate how we can use tanka to document our lives and the events that brighten or darken them. However, I pull out my early tanka and then sometimes want to edit them; e.g., in this one, line 4 feels kind of tongue-twistery. If I were composing this today I might consider "clusters of daisies / spring up out of season" (or just "daisies spring up / out of season"). Or alternatively, I possibly could use "daisy clustersin either line 1 or 3. I may feel more edit-happy nowadays, but it seemed easier to write (spill?) them in the first place several years ago.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Is it dust

is it dust
she tries to wipe away
with that small cloth?
how her feet shuffle
through a world we can't see

A Hundred Gourds, 1:4, Sept. 2012

photo copyright of Robert Curtis



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A stranger's card

a stranger's card
adrift on our winter lawn . . .
handwritten inside
Noel's wife has cancer,
just thought you should know

—Wisteria, Issue 4, Jan. 2007; Modern English Tanka, Spring 2007


All literally true. How connected we are.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

First few days

first few days
into this New Year,
tinsel removed—
I hang up bath linens
the color of spring

moonset, Spring 2006; While the Light Holds (Magnapoets Anthology Series 2)

I remember what bath towels I'm referring to (they're yellow), and I know when I wrote this tanka (almost exactly seven years ago). Have I really not bought us any new ones since then? That is, except for some cheap decorative ones I hung up in the bathroom of the house we were desperately trying to sell. :o