Monday, August 29, 2016

moonlight on water

Skylark is delighted to introduce Jenny Ward Angyal's debut collection of tanka,
tanka sequences and tanka prose:

moonlight on water

Jenny Ward Angyal’s long-awaited first collection of tanka, including sequences and tanka prose, represents a considerable body of work by an author for whom poetry is breath and blood. The opening section entitled ‘so many doors left open’ not only echoes the tanka written in memory of the poet’s mother and her gifts of advent calendars down the years, but hints at the mystery and otherworldliness that beckon the moment the reader steps over the threshold into Jenny’s unique story, as well as the questions that will re-main unanswered (and rightly so) when the journey is done . . . Every tanka is a miniature reflection of this beautiful soul, another tile in the mosaic of ephemera; another mirror-gem in Indra’s Net of which she, too, is a part: 

passing through 
each other 
in an ink-dark pool 
our mirrored faces 

But Jenny Angyal has found a way to tack herself to eternity: 

faint words to address 
the infinite— 
I pluck one thread 
in the harp of stars

(From the Foreword by Claire Everett, Founder and Editor of Skylark).

Jenny Ward Angyal is a fine guide on the tanka sequence trail. It probably helps that she seems to write from some primordial, archetypal forty-acre parcel the reader has rarely visited: "high in the arms/of a sugar maple" (heartwood); "the rough old floors/my mother speckled" (house); "born with a caul/the filly struggles" (mare's milk). In the sequences that took me the farthest, I traveled with her to a timeless place where people live near streams, play flutes, and "catch for a moment/time's powdered wings" (chrysalis). Her shifting often surprised me in ways that, after their initial unexpectedness, had me nodding: I see that.

(From 'Jenny Ward Angyal's Sequences', an Afterword by David Rice, Editor of Ribbons).

Cover design by Owen Smith

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

TSA Anthology 2016

News from the Tanka Society of America:

2016 Anthology:  

We are pleased to announce plans for TSA’s 2016 members’ anthology to be published in the fall. The book will be co-edited by Jenny Ward Angyal and Susan Constable. Ken Slaughter will be in charge of production.
Submissions for the anthology will be open July 15–August 15, 2016 for current (2016) members of the Tanka Society of America or those who join within the submission period. 
If you’re not a current member, you are invited to join or renew today at: 
Submission Guidelines will be posted June 15.  Please begin to think about sending 5-10 tanka for consideration when the submission window opens.  Beginning this year, one copy of the anthology will be sent to each TSA member as a membership benefit.  Additional copies will be available for purchase on ($10 plus postage).

~  Contest Reminder:

We are accepting submissions for the 2016 Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contestuntil June 30.  Please visit the TSA website for complete details on how to submit:

Thursday, April 7, 2016


My mother used to sing to horses.  She claimed that “Get Me to the Church on Time” from My Fair Lady soothed the skittish buckskin mare. But when she sang in the presence of human beings, they generally begged her to stop.  From my mother I absorbed the notion that both she and I were simply born without music, just as we’d been born without wings. It took me over sixty years to discover she was wrong; by then she was ten years dead without a song.

inside this chrysalis
of doubt—
trembling wings
unloosed by melody

Saturday, February 27, 2016


cold fog 
enveloping my world
pours from the radio 
the light of trumpets

~GUSTS 21, spring/summer 2015

cello concerto—
no need for string theory
to convince me
the universe vibrates
to a deeper harmony

~A Hundred Gourds 4:4, Sept. 2015

the musician
speaks of going deeper
into the music—
playing for himself alone
he wraps us in his magic cloak

~GUSTS 22, fall/winter 2015

Friday, February 12, 2016

with cold lips

frost flowers
melting on the windowpane—
my breath
a passageway
among the stars

~Ribbons 11:1, winter 2015

nine red birds
in a swirl of snow. . .
have they flown
from some fairy tale
yet to be written?

~red lights 11:2, June 2015

with cold lips
she tastes the snow
on frozen pomegranates—
Persephone dreaming
of meadowsweet and rue

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