the more you arrive at the end,
the more you remain
at the beginning –
see the koel, with monk-like eyes,
watching the black crow’s nest
Haven't written a lot of micropoetry since November 2017, when I hosted
Micropoetry Month (You can also find the link in the sidebar).
Time to give it another shot, maybe?
black wing on tangerine sky
how short this night
how long her empty sigh
one moon stirred pond
one splash of insomniac frog
what are the odds
rain falls on glass
so many ways
the sky calls out your name
kneel on the bamboo mats
between her and the night
a paper lantern
with one eye
even the moth
that burns in the flame
first sees the light
in the distance
I tremble with the leaves
stirring the afternoon
with a broken wing
My tanka has been featured by Chen-ou Liu on NeverEnding Story along with the Chinese translation.
In the comments section of his blog, he has posted his award winning haibun on the same topic.
Here’s another tanka that was published on his blog in September 2017.
My Tanka Prose was published in Haibun Today’s December 2017 Journal. Many thanks to the editor, Janet Lynn Davis.
I love the way Haibun and Tanka Prose allow the combination of prose and poetry. My haibun series – Conversations with Marcus -is available on my other blog Phantom Road.
On this last day of the first edition of Micropoetry Month, I thought we’d take a look at the Jisei, the Japanese Death Poem. The Jisei, written about death in general or about one’s own imminent death, reflects the poet’s contemplation of his mortality, of what was and what comes next both in the context of self and universe.
One translation of Basho’s famous Jisei goes like this:
On a journey, ill—
And my dreams on withered fields
Are wandering still.
I attempted a jisei a couple of years ago, here’s another shot at it. Share your micropoem, about death or maybe about life, using comments or Mister Linky.
And when I realize
there was no now,
that life, like time, was a linear illusion.
A cherita as well in the same tone:
she wrote her jisei in six lines
one line about
the fickle, waning moon
two about a persistent mist,
and three about a hobbled dream
waiting for a perfect night
A very warm note of thanks to everyone who was part of Micropoetry Month – as reader, participant, inspiration or supporter. Thank you for your poems, your likes, your comments. I enjoyed writing. I enjoyed reading. And I hope we can do this, or something like this, again soon. Meanwhile, I will continue to post micropoetry and other poems on this blog and haibun on my other blog Phantom Road. You can find me on twitter @tp_poetry. See you on the trail!
Yesterday’s experiment with tanka impels me to take it further with ‘Tanka Prose’. Like a haibun but with a signature tanka instead of a haiku, this is an excellent form to stretch one’s imagination and word crafting skills even further.
Try this or any other form of micropoetry and share using comments or Mister Linky.
For days we climbed together. Sometimes they disappeared into the mist ahead, sometimes they lingered on the edges. I could always hear their whispered voices, even as the sky slipped closer. But now the words are gone and I have been orphaned by the need to speak. In their soundless absence, the river is just one ceaseless motion, the moon in it is just a point of reflection and this moment is both big enough to fill the universe and small enough to tremble as the cold wind rushes by. What will the birds call me if I do not have a name?
on the other side
of the horizon-
the eagle’s wing
the silent dark
A couple of tanka this Friday morning!
The beauty of tanka comes from the juxtaposition of disparate images, the gentle twist, the tug of emotion.
Try a tanka or two! Share your own micropoetry using comments or Mister Linky.
candles and flowers,
an impromptu memorial
where the horror struck-
one goodbye on a page ripped
from a new school book
the moon and I
in an elevator-
trying not to look
at each other
Time for a Tanka, don’t you think. Always a massive challenge to get right, a tanka can be crafted in so many ways but I believe it works better if it says much more than the five lines allow and says it with subtlety, emotion and mindfulness.
Write your own tanka or any other kind of micropoetry and share it through comments or Mister Linky.
this monsoon sky
heaves inside my heart-
how can I hear his footsteps
in the pounding rain
This tanka takes me back to a poetweet (exactly 140 characters long including spaces and punctuation) I wrote almost three years ago:
A mango tree
outside my window
has broken into song.
Hush, I warn,
gather your boughs,
rein in your leaves,
tonight he may whisper his love.
Micropoetry in all its glorious forms is the essence of communication – succinct, layered, seductive and beautiful in its soulful brevity. Am going to be posting micropoetry every day, all through November. Thought I’d warm up my blog with a couple of tanka I posted on twitter earlier. If you’d like to write micropoetry with me by sharing your poem (in the comments section) or link (using the Mr Linky widget), do let me know. Who knows, it might be a fun journey – saying little, saying a lot, travelling far.
after long weeks
the grey monsoon
packs its clouds and leaves-
the turmeric sun
smiles like a stranger
a boy with a kite
was just that-
a tethered dream
writing haiku on empty cerulean
Say hello, share a poem, join the conversation!
Pleased to have my tanka featured by Chen-ou Liu on NeverEnding Story along with the Chinese translation.
I love this form and learnt to work with it through prompts on CDHK last November. Thanks for the master class on the ten techniques, Kristjaan (Chèvrefeuille).