Modern TANKA Corner 2012 - 2013

Page 3.

Tanka (five lines with 5-7-5-7-7 or short-long-short-long-long structure), is one of the shortest literary art forms in the world that merges the perception of nature with a moment in human nature or with an event. They make the simplicity of a moment significant and memorable. Tanka have poetic patterns which fuse with descriptive ways of experiencing the wonders of the world and the human condition. Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine hopes to capture the essence of the tanka tradition with all respect due to the Japanese art form.

   Pays $1.00 per tanka if funds permit. Manuscripts cannot be returned.                    

Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine © 2007-2019


it does not seem
out of place
to place
a daisy upon
a forlorn branch

                        by Sherry Steiner


sitting with
my mother
in the soft moonlight
her face
becomes ageless

                      by Nancy Nitrio       
                         (Moonbathing, Issue Number 5, Fall/Winter 2011-2012)

the lust to be
recognized as a poet
a beast inside
consumes and spits me
onto the glossy pages

summer stars
hang nearly within reach
her parting words
whisper through the grass
that pillows our heads

                             by Chen-ou Liu

so small 
at the foot of Mt. Rainier
I disappear
like a child
playing hide and seek
English signs
for tourists prevalent
in today’s Saigon . . .
does Uncle Ho frown
or continue to smile

                                (Note: Uncle Ho was Ho Chi Minh)

wood crackling
in the fireplace . . .
for hours
I write and write
even in my dream

                              by Nu Quang

the storefronts I pass
on the way to work
on the way home
all the places
I never see myself in
                               by Lucas Stensland

autumn sparkles
like summer shape-shifted
and bottled like wine-
from a distance
we drink to tomorrow
                                   (First published in Eucalypt #7, 2009)

after years
of harmless flirting
the boundaries blurred
a border skirmish
a trail of hurt
                              by  Clive Oseman

an old man whispers
although no one else is near:
a single red rose
resting in his calloused hand
together with a photo

                              by  Alexander Jankiewicz 

beneath her navel
a tattoo that begins with
the F-word . . .
in the dark, her eyes
tell me the story

Father cries out're just a girl
my sister stands
with her legs apart

the smell
of bruised apples
in the summer heat...
a blood stain on her shirt

two white horses
grazing in the afternoon sun...
I chew
on the thoughts of writing
a love letter to my ex
                            by  Chen-ou Liu

chestnut mare
mane streaming in the wind
behind her...
I sit on the ground
bottom bruised from the fall

                            by Tracy Davidson 

like the last wisp
of a chalkdust moon
a lone heron
skims the bamboo thicket . . .
I will not bend to your will

do not go gentle
yet, tread softly . . .
poems that shaped me
etched in stone
with a butterfly's wing

he liked to think
he held the key to my heart . . .
picking the lock
with a paperclip

the hum of bees
in the lavender . . .
sitting on the step
the child I once was
asks why I left so soon

                          by Claire Everett

Cancer clinic
in the waiting room
an old woman knits booties
for her doctor’s
unborn kid

The first
to step out of
the fog
the persimmon
and then Mt. Fuji

                     by Alexis Rotella


No need/to go home/the mountain/or the moon

We talk/about the water/children swimming past their fathers/
nothing else

The dead are seething/nothing draws more flies

                                                     by Jay Filan

there are older trees
in the neighborhood,
but I think this one,
middle-aged and bent,
resembles me the most


it’s not very old
as loblollies go,
but still the lichen
on its trunk,
the twist in its branches

once again
the long silence
of illness,
and then, the silence
of nothing at all
mourning dove
spirit of
this grey-green dawn
and all
the weary dreams

                              by M. Kei


The perfume bottles
on my mother's vanity
from her single days --
no longer her.

                                by Alexis Rotella

amidst the remains
I realized who I was
simply not myself
adrift, at sea, suffering
lost in my own deep sorrow
                            by Casey Bottono

the world outside, 
full of the whirling news
of destruction . . . 
but inside, 
this cup of tea

ring marks 
in the swollen knuckle . . . 
a little more
middle age
this morning

                   by M. Kei
etched against
the star-stamped sky
arthritic branches
scrawl the naked poetry
of old-growth forests

by the lamp
of a full Thunder Moon
I wrote this storm
with lightning bolts
dipped in wells of rain

gritty life
shape-shifting into desert
thirst unslaked
the sand in my shell mouth
never becoming pearls

ice dancing
between frozen waves
on winter's lake
silver blades carve initials
in the diamond dust of snow

snow geese
scribe an ancient mystery
across the moon
their soft murmurs
catching winter's breath

the last loon on the lake and I
our echoes vanish in that
sad impermanence of air

feed me words
from your quicksilver tongue
let them drip
into my dusty throat
and down the chin of longing

through the canyon
wild whinnying resounds
shattered echoes
bouncing off the humpbacked
shoulders of the desert night

those silent
bones of words
that mean goodbye
the distance between us
further than the crow flies

my hair
combed by wayward winds
silver webs drift
into the dreaming forest
capturing the song of sun

                    by Debbie Strange

dark clouds
from one horizon
to the other -
strange how quickly
we forget our joy
                     by Juliet Wilson

after the divorce
her side of the bed taken
by winter moonlight ...
alone at a border fence
between dream and reality

of the EKG flatline ...
that summer night
the blood-red juice dripped
from a corner of her mouth

faded curtains
fluttering at a window
in winter twilight
his grandson stands alone
before Golden Village

I promise
not to make any more
promises ... 
her parting words
mingle with snowflakes

the death toll
rises to one thousand...
in the rubble
a man and a woman
entwined in an embrace

                        by Chen-ou Liu

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