tanka

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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

words and an acorn



searching for words
in these sunlit badlands
I dance
on the razorback ridge
between truth and magic

~A Hundred Gourds 2:4, Sept. 2013


a tiny hole
straight to the heart
of the acorn 
you hand me
the poem inside it


~Fire Pearls 2,  June 2013

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Swatch of Gauze

This is a responsive  tanka sequence, which I enjoyed writing collaboratively with my good friend and excellent tanka poet, Janet Lynn Davis.  We wrote the tanka alternately, each of us responding to the preceding "verse" or link.  (Writing collaborative poems in this way has a long and venerable history in Japanese short-form poetry.)  It was a fascinating process to see the poem emerge in completely unexpected ways.  

Please visit Janet's tanka blog, twigs&stones, to read more of her fine work. 


A Swatch of Gauze


Jenny Ward Angyal
Janet Lynn Davis

the clear wings
of a dragonfly
on my hand
a treasure map
of copper veins

poking 
into the hollow
of an oak
I search for pennies
stashed away by an elf

hidden 
among apple blossoms,
a gray tree frog—
I follow the trill
of another world

visions
of a watercolor
mountainside...
how to get there
when I have no brush?

quilting 
the blue ridge
in light and shadow
I slip through the eye
of my own needle

left right
north south east west---
a feather
on a course of zigzags
becomes my compass

a sparrow
missing one eye
alights on my knee . . .
the distant music 
of a blind harper

rendered mute
by a waterfall—
in a grotto
of lava and fern
I speak in poems 

a scallop shell
bound in a bale
of mulch—
my inland journey 
to the sea

at home
among pine needles
a strand
of golden thread
to bind my seams

    ~Skylark 1:2, winter 2013



Chinese translation

To see a Chinese translation of my award-winning "sad ghost" tanka, please visit NeverEnding Story, the first English-Chinese bilingual haiku and tanka blog, edited and translated by Chen-ou Liu. (Chen-ou has previously translated five of my other tanka, which may be seen by clicking my name at the bottom of his "sad ghost" post.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

twigs&stones: Guest Poet: an eggplant (plus travel photos)

I am delighted to find my Venus of Willendorf poem posted on twigs&stones, the tanka blog of Janet Lynn Davis, where it is much enhanced by her photos from the Danube town of Willendorf.

Please visit Janet's blog to enjoy her many subtle and thought-provoking tanka!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Three Trees

heartwood
splintered by storms
once more
I brush blind fingers
across the dome of sky


~The Bamboo Hut 1:2, Jan. 2014



Bible verses
carved on trees
sending their roots 
still deeper
into Earth


  ~Atlas Poetica 12, summer 2012



compost:  I unearth 
my desire to rise 
through the roots of trees, 
to become at last
a harvester of light



~Ribbons 9:1, spring/summer 2013


Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year


cleaning the fridge—
among cake crumbs
and wine stains
the unknowable
detritus of our lives

~Atlas Poetica 13, Fall 2012




two cats
unimpressed
by the peacock’s display—
I scratch out every line
that I just wrote


~Atlas Poetica 12, Summer 2012



Wishing you bright new beginnings in the new year!