Sanford Goldstein PDF Print E-mail


a long list
of death, family,
friends, others,
they keep cropping up
sad, sweet, grim flashes of life



a throat tension
this morning, as if as if
Jonathan Edward's around,
is his sermon on hell pointing
its violence at me in remote Japan?


what pleases me
these batting-season days
is Ichiro--
only a tapped infield single,
his rapid run makes him reach first


for fifty years
the road on and on
was tanka--
no longer can I say
fifty years from now


when, when,
you poems of four decades,
will you help me?
will you metaphysical
this commonplace self?


my tanka diaries
kept for more than fifty
year on shelves,
will they burn with me
during my soon-to-be cremation?



Shiki, you often said
May was your evil month,
ah, I should too,
my precious translator mate,
dead in May these six years and ink smells


treat me,
my whirling muse,
to another dish,
one less elegant than those
you offered in the past


sad it is,
I know even now as then
to let the dead go--
memory twists its tight knot
and faces are skewed pin-point


my walk
how confident it was
a boaster's walk,
long ago that knee ache
warned me beware, beware



Sanford Goldstein has been a writer of tanka for more than fifty years and is the creator of the term “tanka string”.