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

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

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

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

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


  1. Wow, Jenny and Janet ! ! So much here. Such an exquisite transcendent ride – and beautifully sympatico. (Are you two sure, you weren’t separated at birth – Smiles.) Just lovely.

  2. Thanks, Wendy! We were amazed to see how our two voices blended into one as we composed this.

  3. thanks again, wendy.

    and thanks, jenny, for the kind words in your post. was truly an interesting creative experience.