Simply Tanka

Adelaide B. Shaw, USA PDF Print E-mail

at day's end
a task not completed
a poem not written;
there is no moon tonight,
the clouds will have to do

blue wildflowers
under a matching sky
slow my walk;
was there ever a need
for such hurry before?
Andre Surridge, New Zealand PDF Print E-mail

at the gates
of a Russian orphanage
the little girl says
if you take me home I'll sing
and dance for you forever
cold winds
rip bright blossom
from the cherry ...
she hasn't left yet,
the winter witch
each one
on a different leaf
we count
five tiny white eggs
on the swan plant

Angela Leuck, Canada PDF Print E-mail

in my front window
green leaves
between me
and minus 20

Anne Benjamin, Australia PDF Print E-mail

unable to write
jammed between commuters
this solstice morning
daylight lengthens
my time grows less

above the clothes' line
a Qantas jet flies straight
along its course ---
your shirt sleeves and my stockings
knotted in the wash
Aurora Antonovic, Canada PDF Print E-mail

he plans
a Caribbean vacation
for all his friends, but
however would I write angst-filled
poems amidst such gaiety?
in Egypt
on the morning train
while chickens run
around his feet, Cook asks
if we want eggs for breakfast

Beverley George, Australia PDF Print E-mail

brass keyholes
large enough to peer through
and dovetail joinery
symbols of security
I thought would last through life
in Grandma's button box
for new eyes for bunny ...
a buttonhook,a thimble,
a dancecard with Grandpa's name

Beverly Acuff Momoi, USA PDF Print E-mail

during chemo
he plays the ponies
rarely speaks ---
she shops the QVC channel
looking for miracles
getting her affairs
in order, to make it easier
for her daughter
knowing nothing
can make it easy
the sky drizzles grey
and tulle fog settles in the valley's
every crevice
just a little out of focus
my last picture of you

Bob Lucky, Ethiopia PDF Print E-mail

an e-mail
from my son stranded
at Heathrow ---
thinking about snow and ice
I sweep up jacaranda blossoms
returning home
on Ethiopian Christmas
bearing gifts
both pomegranates
beginning to fruit
a club sandwich
at the cafe ---
the odd feeling of knowing
I can't afford to live long

Carmel Summers, Australia PDF Print E-mail

sharp spikes
of the holly's leaves ---
so much easier
to recall your sharp words
than your life's achievements
on this night
rain tumbles from the sky
why can't I
release the sorrow
dammed in my heart

Catherine Smith, Australia PDF Print E-mail

nursing home visit,
he arms himself with
and thoughts of other springtimes
when she remembered his name
the rising sun paints
a pathway from shore
to horizon...
do I have the courage
to begin a new journey?
lazy afternoon
a penny lizard speeds
under the arch
of my bare foot ... living,
such a risky business

Charles Tarlton, USA PDF Print E-mail

rushing to lecture
frantic I don't know the room
will the students
be waiting? oh,wake up
you've been retired a year
slabs of cold
gelatinous air slide downhill
in the morning
light and shadows painted
on implausible layers of glass

Chen-ou Liu, Canada PDF Print E-mail

I show Father
my cover poem from Ribbons ---
his eyes
gazing into space
between T.V. channels
autumn night ...
I bait a crescent moon
with my mind
angling in silence
for her flower heart
the caged eagle
just those few cubic feet
of freedom ...
I see in its eyes
a skyful of my dreams

Claire Everett, UK PDF Print E-mail

no here to there
as the crow flies ...
as a mother
the more I travel
the further I have to go
cloth-soft edges ...
whose hands held you before mine?
my heart
a rice-paper sky
for The Ink Dark Moon
precious little time
we spend together ...
above the lake
two dragonflies fused by need
balance light on their wings

Colin Stewart-Jones, Scotland PDF Print E-mail

on the beach
between high and low water
reading from Job ...
still I dare ask questions
which can't withstand the tide

Cynthia Rowe, Australia PDF Print E-mail

the surgeon
connects a new heart
to your chest,
and now begins
our menage a trois
you boast
your elegant luggage
is bullet-proof ---
I never knew your heart
was also impregnable

David Terelinck, Australia PDF Print E-mail

I trace the outline
of your mastectomy scar
the raw edge
of making love again
for the first time
stags call
among the falling maples
of Nara ---
losing myself in crowds,
finding myself, in you
neat folds
followed by crisp creases
the pattern
for paper cranes  and my life
deceptively simple

Dawn Bruce, Australia PDF Print E-mail

oil slick
slinks across the surface
of the sea ...
to cook my pasta
I add oil to water
a cat crouches
waits in long grass,
eyes glinting ---
you tense, scribbling notes
at every reading of my poems

Ellen Weston, Australia PDF Print E-mail

the years roll on
emotional cross-currents
the bag-piper's kilt
defies gravity

Gerry Jacobson, Australia PDF Print E-mail

dusk creeps
over the interchange ...
stray leaves blow
in the wind ... stray people
wait for the bus home
it's a long night
at thirty thousand feet
time zoned out
packed in a tin
of flying sardines
the campus hums
this summer Sunday
cicadas busy
with lectures and tutorials

Giselle Maya, France PDF Print E-mail

blossoms quiver in the breeze
do not see them
as weeds to be uprooted,
cherish their open faces
another script of life
in the dark
etching of linden boughs
this limegreen April dawn

Guy Simser, Canada PDF Print E-mail

the deeper
into the forest
the deeper
into your shadow ---
a murmuring of pines
formal takeover
parading my first platoon
showtime kiddo
all of them older
and bigger than me

J. Zimmerman, USA PDF Print E-mail

wind dislodges
small stones from the cliff
rattles scrub-oak leaves ---
the misty shape
around your absence
untrimmed candle wick ---
the rainy dusk brightens
in the flame's flicker
third day of the vigil
her hesitant breath

Jan Foster, Australia PDF Print E-mail

a millipede
trundles past the pantry
I try to remember
where I left my shoes

Judy Kendall, Australia PDF Print E-mail

our laughter
as the pup chased its tail ...
now able
to open the album
I find you on every page

Julie Thorndyke, Australia PDF Print E-mail

buttoning my lips
against the Gestapo ---
mild censure
from the boss
morphed into nightmare
dark scallops
of sea to my right, sun-leached
sand to my left
... the reason
for poetry reasserts itself

Kala Ramesh, India PDF Print E-mail

don't slouch
mother always yells
when I see her
my back straightens
as if on remote control
to become
that shiny raindrop
a long journey
as I sit polishing
each thought into a poem

Kathy Kituai, Australia PDF Print E-mail

is this the same
laneway I hurried along
crescent shaped, yellow leaves
lie across the path
the first chill
in the air since we met ...
easy to forget
sultry hot summer nights
never last forever
what must it be like
to lose your home to flood
fire or cyclone?
broom mid-air, I hesitate
to sweep your web from the eaves

Keitha Keyes, Australia PDF Print E-mail

backpackers descend
on the beach near our house
a full moon party ---
we reach for our ear plugs
as the waves of music roll in
on my tree
I hang the crystal star
she bought
in a faraway land ...
dancing light on dark branches

Ken Cockburn, Scotland PDF Print E-mail

my hand discovers
your collarbone during
the saxophone solo ---
all that's left of your drink is
lemon and slithers of ice
that line yesterday
I couldn't catch,returns oh
what you do to me ---
and a high half moon shows up
just as the dark is spreading

Lisa Baron, USA PDF Print E-mail

in mid-winter, summer blues:
a blue-dusted cricket,
a blue-lit spruce, a blue tick
on the tip of a rabbit's ear
to my grandmother's story
generations back
on the train of a mere voice

Margaret Dornaus, USA PDF Print E-mail

you remind me
how it felt that night we met ...
our universe
filled with possibilities
and the soft hum of tree frogs
for meaningful work
between jobs
the chef spends his time
hand-feeding the birds

Margaret Grace, Australia PDF Print E-mail

is it really mine
this fortune from the cookie?
'sweet success
will follow many hardships' 
no sign of where I'm at
on this beach
waves wash in, wash out
leaving flotsam ...
now her empty hallway
a stack of packed boxes

Marian Morgan, Australia PDF Print E-mail

'friends for lunch' ---
not cannibalism,
simply barbeque
with a few beers
and lots of chat

Marilyn Hazelton, USA PDF Print E-mail

what a tangle
of trunk and branch
this wisteria
so like my life but
it doesn't complain
to be a fool
for spring
daffodils too
begin their honking
in line
at passport control
I receive blessings
in several languages

Marilyn Humbert, Australia PDF Print E-mail

in the branches
of a river red gum
sits an empty nest ...
by my back door
two forgotten black shoes
in the silence
between owl hoots
a cry ...
welcome babygirl
beloved grandchild

Mary Franklin, Canada PDF Print E-mail

a deer rests his head
on the back of another
fording a stream ---
do we share our burdens
as charitably?
quivering aspens
natives call you noisy leaf ---
above the chatter
I order a latte
at the corner cafe

Merle Connolly, Australia PDF Print E-mail

lost miner
his only company the light
on his head ...
he talks to it, urges it
to guide him safely out
shop windows,
fashion shoes in a row
enticing ... how I love them
on feet other than mine

Naomi Wakan, Canada PDF Print E-mail

for the coming year
now thin strokes
now thick strokes
foretelling the months to come
Hokusai's wave
awaited the Prussian
blue dye
occasionally it's good
to let a stranger in

Owen Bullock, New Zealand PDF Print E-mail

a leaf
I can watch for hours,
a lover
has to go to work, or
another life altogether
rise and fall
of a cane
down our street ---
is it lonely
to be blind?

Patricia Prime, New Zealand PDF Print E-mail

I learn over and over
that nothing
is ever finished ---
that nothing stops when
you had expected it to

Peggy Heinrich, USA PDF Print E-mail

strange, this life
no parents no mate no boss
to struggle against,
at night I fall asleep
to a chorus of frogs
young I was busy
learning to talk-read-write-think
I never evolved
a strong personality
but I sure like to tap dance

Sanford Goldstein, Japan PDF Print E-mail

to write
a thick Van Gogh
the words like oils
ready to whirl out !
my one friend
from high school days
reunited at lunch,
I wear out my quiet voice trying
to penetrate his hearing aid

Sonam Chhoki, Kingdom of Bhutan PDF Print E-mail

a ladybird
traces the lines on my palm ...
what does it see
karmic links from the past
what will be my next rebirth
moonless night
how deep the stars lie
and this ache
for my mother
I meet only in dreams
a few wavery threads
then flames engulf the log
and so
even when I need to sleep
this urge to write

Sonja Arntzen, Canada PDF Print E-mail

winter rain falls,
taking shelter under dark firs
an alpaca pair
flanks touching for warmth
consolation for me too
first picnic outdoors
at our feet clustered crocus
open to the sun,
drunken bees revelling
in their golden pollen

Steve Mangan, UK PDF Print E-mail

Saturday dad ---
I wait outside the bookies
with a can of pop,
at church we light a candle
for his horse
and a robin's song
in streetlight
the city-bird sings
through the night
winter solstice
a bowl of red bean porridge
with fifty birds' eggs
the days grow longer
and the years shorten

Susan Constable, Canada PDF Print E-mail

like question marks
bee stings cover my legs
each welt asking
what I did that summer
to make my father angry

below the feeder
a few grey feathers
flutter in the wind ---
over new fallen snow
your whispered apology

no moon
when the doorbell rang
that autumn night
the stars went out one by one
and our world turned black