small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


in the hedgerow
I fall into step
with the quick of their wings

~cattails Jan. 2015

in cold rain
a sparrow alights
for a moment
on my grocery cart—
my urge to curtsy

of Literature and Arts 2:1, Feb. 2014

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Eucalypt Distinctive Scribblings Awards

The Distinctive Scribblings Awards

The Awards recognise two outstanding poems from each issue of Eucalypt,
selected and appraised by winners of the Awards in the previous issue.

squiggly gum picSeveral species of eucalypts (gums) exhibit distinctive squiggles that result from moth larvae eating the live wood and leaving a scar that is revealed when the tree sheds its bark. This image of a gum with its insect-generated calligraphy, inspired the naming of the award. 


          Eucalypt  Issue 19, 2015
ancestral valley –
the way prayer flags
flicker light at dawn
I carry this in my heart
each time I leave home
                — Sonam Chhoki  

horseshoe –
the blacksmith’s hammer
singing on the anvil
beating out the rhythm
of long-lost luck

— Jenny Ward Angyal  


TSA Tanka-Prose Contest Winners

Special-event Tanka Prose Contest Winners

The Tanka Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of its first-ever tanka prose contest, held this 15th-anniversary year:

1st Place: Urszula Funnell (UK), "Checkmate"
2nd Place: J. Zimmerman (USA), "Ah Morelia" 
3rd Place: Claire Everett (UK), "The Window Poem"
Honorable Mentions: Jenny Ward Angyal (USA), "Gaps," and David Terelinck (Australia), "Carved in Stone"

Much appreciation goes to poet and editor Bob Lucky, who diligently served as judge for this blind-review contest. We're also very grateful to poet and TSA volunteer Susan Burch, who worked behind the scenes in helping us administer the contest, especially in building the judge's electronic file of anonymous entries. And a huge thanks, of course, to the sixty-nine poets from around the world who submitted entries.

To read the winning tanka prose pieces, please go to the TSA website. Note that the full judge's report, including contest commentary, will be published in the winter 2016 Ribbons. The judge's comments will be added after that to the website. 

Janet Lynn Davis
TSA vice president & contest coordinator, 2014-2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Advent calendars

of advent calendars
my mother sent,
each marked with its year . . .
so many doors left open

~A Hundred Gourds 4:2, March 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

the changeling

a stone angel
steps down 
from her pedestal—
the burden of wings 
others want her to wear

~A Hundred Gourds 4:2, March 2015

the empty shell
of a phoenix egg
sky blue
among the cinders
of who I used to be

fox, or smiling lion . . .
I rummage
my wardrobe
for this day’s mask

~Ribbons 11:2, summer 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

the river

across the river
the tune
my father used to whistle
on summer mornings 

~red lights 11:2, June 2015

no bridge
to that sunlit shore—
the stone
I skip across the river
falls short

~A Hundred Gourds 4:3, June 2015

step by step
I cross the stream 
on a fallen tree—
with open arms I balance 
childhood and old age

~Skylark 3:1, summer 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015


one wayward iris
with its stem awry . . .
I reread
the scribbled comments
in my high school yearbook

~cattails 3: Sept. 2014

trying to free
a flailing black snake
in yards of bird netting . . .
the snarls of my karma

~cattails 3: Sept. 2014

sell your cleverness
and buy bewilderment—
finds me rapping
on the pawnshop door

~Bright Stars 6, Fall 2014
(Quotation in lines 1 & 2 is from Rumi)