tanka

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

[a sign by the roadside. . .]

a sign
by the roadside
found bird—
carefully I check
the locks on my heart


Ribbons 8:2, Fall 2012

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

[in my freezer]

the birds
in my freezer:
grosbeak,
blue jay, indigo bunting , . . .
my secret stash of sky

Atlas Poetica 13, Fall 2012





Thursday, March 14, 2013

[twenty children. . .] and [war . . .]

twenty
children murdered
close to home
the dark of the moon
so clear tonight

Haiku News 2:4, 1/21/2013



war—
the children’s
red crayons
worn down
to nothing

Ribbons  8:3, winter 2012 


I post these poems today in honor of the three-month anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, not far from where I grew up. As a parent and grandparent, and as the mother of a survivor of gun violence, I often wonder about--and grieve for--the deep roots of violence of all kinds in human societies. 



Monday, March 11, 2013

Anasazi

a shadow passes
over the ruin’s face
raven
rising up canyon walls
toward the Old Ones’ eyrie

descending
the kiva ladder
my wish
to enter the spirit hole
still deeper into the earth

drifting up
a thousand feet
the echo
of a flute-player
carved in stone

a sun dagger
pierces the spiral
written in rock
our deepest desire
to grasp what flows

rain
never touching
the earth
among the grave goods
a pot of ancient chocolate

due north
toward origins
the road ends
in shattered pottery
clay returns to earth


Atlas Poetica 13,  Fall 2012

This tanka sequence emerged from a trip to Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) sacred sites in the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States.  The archaeological sites, located in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, included Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Canyon de Chelly, Chaco Canyon, Salmon Ruins, and Aztec Ruins.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

[small stones . . .]

small stones
skip across the water
trailing glints of light
our footprints
on the riverbank


A Hundred Gourds 2:1,  December 2012