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

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.


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