Monday, August 1, 2016

Tanka Prose

Everywhere I look

Signs litter my world. Yet how little sinks in, how little I know. Dozens on the drive to town or, for that matter, anywhere else. Street and road signs, neighborhood notices, highway markers. Instructions, information, warnings. Round, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, diamond- and pennant-shaped, and more. White, green, blue, yellow, orange, red. Blinking lights. Overload.

Private Property–No Trespassing. Speed Limit (and how the limits change along the way). East, West. Right Curve, Left Curve. Pass With Care, Do Not Pass. Don't Litter. Loose Gravel, High Water. Drive Friendly. Adopt A Highway. Church. Cemetery. Dead End. No Shoulder Ahead. . . . Stop, Stop, Stop.

a sign I always see
when passing by
that small empty shack
at the end of the jetty

—Contemporary Haibun Online, July 2016, vol 12, no. 2


  1. This is wonderful!! I love how the litany of signs in the prose begin to take on meaning . . .extended & deepened by the poignant tanka.

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked reading this!

    2. With all the signs one has to read while driving it is sometimes to keep my eyes on the road. You captured the problem beautifully and poetically.


    3. I left out a word in my earlier post: sometimes hard to keep

      I'm too quick with clicking

    4. Glad you like this, quick-clicker Adelaide! It was kind of fun to put together. I literally kept studying all the signs anywhere around here and then narrowed things down to these specific ones.