The Trouble with Tanka-3

the geese have gone
we fill the spaces in the autumn sky
with blue fistfuls of cold,
your lips darkened by warm sake
your eyes bright as the distant moon

*

the moon leans closer-
the garden becomes a lily patch
then a dragonfly on a blade of grass,
I brush snowflakes from your hair
I feel the half smile on your lips

*

all through the night
the first frost formed, all through the night
the last train kept going-
by the lake, the quiet waited,
for the last ripple to fade

Fujiwara no Teika’s Tanka Technique 3: . Elegant beauty – urawashiki tei, characterised by harmony, balance, and beauty of cadence.
The  Trouble with Tanka-2
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7 thoughts on “The Trouble with Tanka-3

  1. That first tanka reads very well a dew days later. It is so, so good. There is a French song called ‘Amsterdam’ I think which has the same feel you incredibly managed to capture. There is an English version, too, that does not quite have the same depth.

    Your second shows a warm, tender side and that third
    reaches again, as your tanka do, into something we had forgotten was inside us.

    Like

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