Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tanka Prose

Fishing for words

Found after decades! Packed away with other favorites of mine, their spines barely affixed, A Child's Garden of Verses (a condensed pop-up edition) and The Golden Book of Poetry … coming back to life. 

I don't know exactly when, or why, my writerly muse first emerged—or where it came from. (But perhaps it was fed by the lines within these very books?) Nor can I explain my inability to hold onto my muse for very long at any given time. Yet even after I've convinced myself it's sailed off for good, I will probably half expect to find it again, waiting for me in some invisible box or misty sea.

Wynken, 
Blynken, and Nod, 
poets three 
in the same wooden shoe 
without their nets of gold
______________

Author's Notes:
 The above tanka is a reference to "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod," Eugene Field, 1889; "misty sea" is from the same poem.        
— The Golden Book of Poetry, various poets (including Field), 1947.
— A Child's Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1885.

Haibun Today, vol. 10, no. 2, June 2016 

I wrote the above tanka, a take on the familiar children's poem, in response to three of us lamenting the then-current loss of our muses. They must have sailed away, on vacation together. Not long before that, I came across the above-mentioned books, so voila, a tanka+prose piece!



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How sunflowers


how sunflowers 
could grow taller than me— 
in first grade 
the blurry border 
between fairy tale and fact 

Mariposa, 33, fall 2015


I feel like growing sunflowers. Maybe next summer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A dollop; grouped by class

a dollop
of clotted cream
on my scone—
the pleasant taste of things
I once avoided

~afternoon tea, cruise ship

grouped by class
while on the Titanic
though just one
set of numbers
for all their gravestones

~Titanic cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

—both of these published in Atlas Poetica, 22, Summer 2015

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tanka Sequence

Homegrown 

for Sandy 


for years 
she couldn't venture 
into the garden— 
there, on the paving stones, 
is where she found him 

resurrecting 
the raised tomato bed 
plant by plant, 
she sinks her fists deep 
into dark compost 

Lily, 
her gardening dog, 
at her side ... 
a bounty of earthworms 

and a small patch of peace  

—Skylark, 3:2, Winter 2015

Friday, June 3, 2016

Short green tufts

short green tufts

are all I can see—

crocus blooms

snipped off by wildlife

eager to taste spring


—cattails, May 2016

No crocus blooms this spring,
but we saw several in March 2015