when you are gone I eat on white melamine same dishes I’ve complained about before: generic, expressionless —Simply Haiku, Autumn 2005, Vol 3, No. 3 My first tanka. I wrote it and several more over a couple of days and then somehow got all but one of them accepted for publication three days later. (I'd probably edit a few of them a little differently now, but…) After that, I was hooked!
When the weather is decent enough, patients (both short-term and long-term), as well as family members, caretakers, and miscellaneous workers on break, line both sides of the covered walkway leading to the main entrance of the facility. We often join them there. Swirls of air from the overhead fan graze our faces.
as often as names
are forgotten …
today my mother
calls me her sister
A magnolia tree, its base wide and its spire reaching well above the rooftop of the adjacent building, usually captures her attention—and mine too. But right now, and for the past week or so, she appears to be particularly fascinated by a certain row of windows on the topmost story. With a voice that more than anything is gentle and hopeful, the one who decades ago carried me into the world advises, "Maybe you'll want to move here, on the third floor."
Within a few seconds, I hear the half-whisper of a woman seated across from me, as if she could read my mind. "It's the view," she offers. I simply nod.
Pleased to tie for third place in the recent Mandy's Pages Where the Tanka Prose Grows 2015 challenge!
Note: A slight edit made in the first tanka—"walk" replaced with "pass," the word I used in my original draft.
Tanka poets, please be reminded of the 2015 TSA members' anthology and other upcoming events and deadlines. For details, click on the website links below or refer to the spring/summer issue of Ribbons.
TSA 2015 Members' Anthology—September 1–30. Send 5 to 10 unpublished tanka to our editor, Claire Everett. All current-year TSA members are eligible to participate. (Please consider joining or renewing your membership if you haven't done so.) We hope you can join us on the pages of this year's anthology. Tanka Sunday 2015 (free)—October 18, Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY. Tanka Prose Contest (free)—October 1–31.
Please see the Tanka Society of America website for a list of the winning poems from the 2015 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest! The winners were selected by judges Carole MacRury and Laura Maffei from a pool of 499 entries. Congratulations to these poets:
Place: Ken Slaughter Second Place: José Angel Araguz Third
Place: Susan Burch Honorable Mentions: Dawn Manning, David
Terelinck, James Chessing, and Ken Slaughter (2). The
complete report with the judges' comments will be published in the
fall 2015 issue of Ribbons
as well as later on the website.
The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce a tanka prose contest that will take place this fall. This fifteenth-anniversary special event is open to members and nonmembers alike. There is no entry fee, and the first-place winner will receive a 2016 TSA membership. Please see the submission guidelines at the TSA website for details. The guidelines also are included in the spring/summer issue of Ribbons, the TSA journal.
For years, my grandmother loved to see me in hats and bows—and hats with bows. That may have been okay for my dolls. But it wasn't for me, though in my humble opinion I did at least try to cooperate. My play dress looked like an old-fashioned striped pillowcase. I still remember one of the teenage boys next door rolling down his bedroom window and teasing me about it (in a good-natured way).
The Tanka Society of America (TSA) is pleased to announce the publication of a members’ anthology in the fall of 2015. This year’s anthology will be edited by Claire Everett, a widely known tanka poet and editor of Skylark Tanka Journal. David Rice, TSA’s Ribbons editor, will do the design and production. We’re very excited about this anthology, which will complete a year of events celebrating TSA’s fifteenth anniversary.
– Margaret Chula, TSA president and anthology liaison _________________
See the TSA website for more information. If you’re not a current member, please join or renew soon so you'll be eligible to participate.
The first weekend in June, two years ago—My niece and her band of friends float from party to party. Once the ceremonies and celebrations are over, I discover in my Facebook news feed a picture that says it all: a long line of them captured in mid-leap, mortarboards flung into the stratosphere.
of cottonwood seed
a flock of new graduates
looking for somewhere to land
—GUSTS, No. 21, Spring/Summer 2015
I'm glad I was able to fly to Illinois to attend the festivities. Everywhere I looked, it seemed, there were indeed fluffy cottonwood seeds.
No dry spells here. It seems the rains just don't want to cease; we're way above average monthly rainfall totals. Our wet-weather creek at the back has probably run over. And to think that for two or three years earlier in this decade we were in "exceptional drought" mode!
Poets, submit your fine English-language tanka to these two annual contests. The deadlines for each are June 30. Refer to the websites for submission details as well as contest results from previous years.