each time I wake during this long night of painkillers a half-composed tanka fading in and out —kernels ("featured poet"), July 2013 Now, more than two years later, I'm doing a variety of physical therapy exercises to strengthen my "core." Had a good workout today.
Below, several poems from the first half of my tanka career, most of them written and published at different times. Grouped together, I believe they almost form a sequence. Of course, in a deliberately written sequence, I hope I wouldn't have two brand-news and five houses or homes. ;) (And of course, years after the fact, I see an edit or two I perhaps should have made.) my next home,
built among lean pines ... thinner and thinner the desire to make a name for myself squinting, I imagine it ... our rustic home sprouting up
through winter ryegrass
our brand-new home site and, already, some visitors ... in the sandy loam fresh tracks of deer
half the rooms
accidentally painted yellow—
a sin that I can't take
this much cheerfulness?
the time we spend
choosing our new front door as if nothing else much matters but entrances and exits up high inside the porches of our new home wasps and daddy longlegs all settled in before us
brand-new house and yet another leak— the puddles I've been sloshing through on my way to contentment
—"my next home," Tanka Splendor Awards 2007; "squinting," Landfall: Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka (anthology), 2007; "our brand-new," Nisqually Delta Review, Winter/Spring 2007; "half the rooms," Simply Haiku, Winter 2009; "the time we spend," Ribbons, Fall 2008, and Take Five (anthology), Vol. 1, 2009; A Pebbled Shore (TSA 2009 members' anthology); "brand-new house," Simply Haiku, Winter 2009.
Wouldn't you know it, but after all that effort in choosing a door (long story), the builder gave us the wrong size door, with no apologies.
Check out Tanka Time 2014, an event sponsored by Mandy's Pages. You have until the end of this month to submit a tanka on the theme of "march or March." Participants will vote on the submitted tanka, and the winning poems will be posted on the website.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the 15th annual Tanka Society of America International Contest! The submission window will be open May 1 through June 30. Members and nonmembers alike are eligible to participate, and the entry fee is only $1 per tanka.For submission details, see the TSA website or the new issue of Ribbons, the TSA print journal (which will be mailed to members very soon). P.S. The coordinator this year is ... me.
Well, it seems my FeedBurner e-mail subscriptions aren't working. I know I'm not the only Blogger experiencing this problem. I assume all twigs&stones e-mail subscribers haven't received my posts for several weeks. Sorry about that! If I knew how to fix the problem (and if it were quick to fix), I would. I'll continue to attempt to check into things as I find the time. Of course, if you're reading this notice, that probably means you're not an e-mail-only subscriber!
My mother was witness. I see myself, as if looking from above.
four years old
how the china doll
shattered on the floor
. . . still my empty arms
Though well cared for, most of them met with tragedy at some point: for example, the pretty one whose neck gave out; the "kissing" doll who broke when I gave her a bath in my grandparents' sink; the baby doll riddled with dart holes courtesy of a neighbor boy (brother to my best friend).
Polly, the doll
with long golden braids
and a gash
that allowed me to see
her sawdust insides
I chose the names of my future daughters when I was just a child. From where does the nurturing instinct come?
a girl whose dolls were all neatly clothed and coiffed . . . not knowing then that I'd have no children
—Skylark, premiere edition, Summer 2013
"a girl whose dolls" was initially published in Simply Haiku, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 2008), and subsequently in Take Five, Vol. 1 (2009)
north wind lashing my face— I decide it's time to start walking backwards GUSTS, Spring/Summer 2013 Warm this morning, then another cold front roared through, at the exact time that my husband was pumping gas at the station. P.S. Walking backwards is good exercise. If you haven't already done so, try it.