Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tanka Prose

Genus Dianthus

In my hand, a memento I consider purchasing from the little shop at the botanical gardens. "Do you know what flower this is?" I ask. The kindly man at the desk seems eager to help me. "Hmm, it appears to be a pink. Not all pinks are pink, you know; some are red, for instance," he offers. "And are you aware that the name pink comes from pinking shears—the serrated edges similar to the edges of the petals?"  

(Can't say I am. Ever-the-novice gardener, I don't even realize at this moment that I have variously colored clumps of pinks, which I have only ever referred to as Dianthus, in front of my own house.)  

I putter around the shop a little longer. Then the man shows me a page in a thick reference book, enthusiastically pointing to an illustration that bears a resemblance to the petite flower on this souvenir"Look!" Before I leave, back to my life far away from shaded trails and lush displays of flora, I remind myself that attentiveness like this doesn't exist just anywhere.

painted
by a local artist
a dish so small
it holds nothing
but a memory

Haibun Today Vol. 10, Number 3, September 2016


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The location: Asheville Botanical Gardens.

5 comments:

  1. This is delightful--the tanka, like the dish, 'so small it holds nothing but a memory,' but memories are huge. For me your piece brings back pleasant memories of the Asheville Botanical Gardens--maybe one of these years we can meet there!

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  2. This is really charming and special - the pretty little tanka dovetailing so beautifully with the prose piece.

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  3. Really pretty, Janet. I'm sure I wouldn't have known the name either!

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  4. You brought back a memory. I tried to grow them once, but they didn't come back the next year. I always enjoy your work. Well done.

    Adelaide

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  5. Thank you, Jenny, Wendy, Jennifer, and Adelaide.

    Yes, maybe we'll meet there someday, Jenny. Adelaide, mine came back from last year or the year before but not vigorously.

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