tanka

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

Friday, December 27, 2013

[the moon and the morning star . . .]

the moon
and the morning star
side by side
throughout the winter night
. . . if we could travel so 



Fire Pearls 2June 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

[the shortest day . . .]

a scattering of birds
          driven by wind
                  across an empty sky
the minutes
          of the shortest day 




Bamboo Hut 1: 1, August 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

silver moon fish and a runnel of starlight

silver moon fish
dancing on the pond’s
dark eye—
this need to shift my gaze
when the wind is up


A Hundred Gourds 2:3, June 2013


after seasons
of searching the world
for the axis mundi—
this runnel of starlight
down my spine

A Hundred Gourds 2:4, Sept. 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

"I Know Where I Must Go"

On her knees, she scrubs floors by day, paints all night in a candlelit garret.  From some whirling nexus beyond her ken, flowers, fruits and leaves flow from her fingers onto canvas. Form and color rise up and dance.

oxblood,
candlewax, and herbs--
she extracts
essential pigments
from her narrow world

Starving while war boils around her, still she paints the stained-glass gardens of her soul. Someday her paintings will be exhibited in Paris and New York—yet Seraphine Louis will spend her last years in a madhouse.

visions and voices
from another realm—
an eye
embedded in the tree
of life


Haibun Today 7: 4, December 2013


Click here to learn more about  Seraphine Louis and see some of her paintings, including L'Arbe du Paradis, which is mentioned in the second tanka. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

[flinging moonlight . . .]


flinging moonlight
out of the trees
like milk
I am for a moment
more wind than woman


A Hundred Gourds 2:4, Sept. 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Asphodel



the ping
of blueberries
filling the bucket
one by one
the years

I mend
the broken basket
that once held meadowsweet
for mother’s funeral—
the weight of ripe melons

arms outstretched
in a blackbird wind
I dance
my tiny role
in the pantomime

dapples of  light
fall across my future
gravesite . . .
on a neighboring stone
the one word laughter


--Ribbons  9:2, Fall 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

blackbirds and a raven


I stay drunk
on the ten thousand things
rising and falling
without cease
a flock of winter blackbirds

A Hundred Gourds 2:3, June 2013



a raven
    tumbling
across the sky
    my wild mind
in his beak


Tinywords 13.2, 8/16/13

Friday, November 8, 2013

[a harvest mouse] / Skylark's Nest Award

I am delighted to announce that the following poem is the Skylark's Nest Award Winner in the brand-new winter issue of Skylark:



a harvest mouse
gathering seeds
she didn’t sow . . .
in my seventh decade
a thin sheaf of poems



Skylark 1: 2,  Winter 2013