Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Haiga: spill your tanka

artwork courtesy of Karen A. Smith; dedicated to Sanford Goldstein
—Prune Juice, #10, July 2013

This is known as a haiga, sort of; haiga typically refers to a marriage between illustration and haiku, though mine contains a tanka (or kyoka) instead. I call this one, not surprisingly, a "cartoon haiga." 

Most poets in the tanka community probably are very familiar with the concept of "spilling." The expression above is attributed to Sanford Goldstein, scholar/professor, translator, and tanka master of the past few decades—also candid mentor and kind friend to many of us. I'm not a terribly prolific writer; Sanford told me several times to get myself to a cafe (as he himself would do) and then "spill" (without "thinking")! Maybe someday I'll better heed his advice, though I suspect I'll always prefer my own home, where my words tend to come out in the form of occasional sputters instead of flowing out.

For those in the U.S.: H A P P Y  T H A N K S G I V I N G!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My eyes

Meant to post this one earlier in recognition of U.S. Veterans Day:

my eyes 
scan the wall of heroes 
at Walmart— 
why should I expect
to understand bravery? 

—Haiku News, Nov. 5, 2012

This headline/link accompanied the above tanka: "Colleges offer veterans classes to ease transition."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

False positive

Well, since I've just returned from a long journey, maybe an airport tanka is fitting:

false positive
from the airport scanner—
so quick
I don't see it coming,
a woman's hands on me

Fire Pearls 2, 2013

That didn't happen this time. :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Too stunning

too stunning
for a simple pasture
the horns

of these longhorn cattle
curve up into the sky

kernels, Spring 2013 (premier issue) 

at a nearby ranch

Fine creatures, especially up close. I hate to reflect upon their fate.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A cutting chill

a cutting chill
till the last rose is placed ...
through the ether
he breathes words into me
for his death poem

Ribbons (Tanka Cafe, "The Afterlife"), Spring/Summer 2013
Posted recently at Haiku-doodle, the blog of poet Margaret Dournaus, as part of her All Souls Day/Day of the Dead series

This tanka refers to a longer poem I wrote several years ago about "his" (my grandfather's) death. Or maybe I should say, "we wrote," because I felt I may have gotten a little help. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Announcement: Three Minus One

I've received news that a previously published free-verse poem of mine posted here earlier, "Pinwheel," has been accepted into a new anthology by She Writes Press titled Three Minus One, which was inspired by the upcoming film Return to Zero. It was selected from about 600 entries as one of 75 pieces (consisting of poems, essays, and artwork). While I'm happy about this, the theme of the collection is a very sad one: infant loss. Here are a few links:

Thanks, everyone, for your continued support in reading, and commenting at, twigs&stones!