Home Page Haiku Tanka Mondo/Sedoka Sijo

The tanka has been popular in Japan for over 1300 years, a wonderful form, balancing an image/event and an emotional response.

on the paper             first one wing
the dark ink blot                        and then the other

on the paper
the dark ink blot
unfolds its shape
first one wing
then the other


you made your promise
as out the window
we admired icicles
dripping away
towards the sea

your wedding ring
so well it fits
was it custom made
for each damp tear
on my sleeve?

each night I place
a dent in your pillow
to be filled
with morning light and
a few seconds of happiness

in a winter coat
I tend her garden
leaving each stone
where she placed it

on this mountain
with its eternal winter
still her memory
brings me warmth
and ice on my sleeve

still this winter rain
turns roads to rivers
on a distant hill
a new born lamb
chases the wind

so much snow
even the mountain fades
in the distance
will I see your footprints
before Spring?

last year's blossom
I thought had gone
with the migrating birds
I see now they borrowed it
for their winter home

we speak of poets
relaxing with wine
in a glass
the moon's reflection
turns gold

pointing east
to our old home
a faded signpost
of lost dreams
and tears

the small stream
as children we tried to dam
with no one around
I pick up the first rock
and wonder....

again the moon
into my room creeps
in your absence
I find comfort
in her loyalty

seeking the words
to explain my absence
on the note-pad
I write your name
over and over

in your eyes
the look of someone
departing soon
the empty wardrobe
tells me you've already left

back from retirement
my badge of office
so heavy now
the snow
upon my brow

before the men
a gentle ghost
of legends

bright the moon may be
lighting the lane
through Autumn trees
yet her parting
is all I notice

yet again
from the cupboard
I get my coat
leaving my house
in the spring rain

away tonight
outside your arms
I find Autumn
is slowly ageing
not only the leaves

In Winter's cold grip
it's only the ivy's green
covering the oak
if only my humble coat
could be so thickly padded.



I read your words
on the open page
your emotions running
onto my sleeve


at an ancient oak
with the gnarled limb
which once lifted me
high into its branches

the scuffed toecap
of an old work-boot

-- protruding from the shadow
of my sick-bed

the lake
reflects both our faces
though my tears
moon-- do you miss her
reflection too?

how strange
seeking solitude

the moon and stars
leave me alone

watching the blossom
follow you down the river
with each petal
I feel contentment
seep from my heart

safe I thought it was
trapped in my body
and beating yet
it is in your eyes
I find my heart

I watch the tide sweep
the debris
all that remains
since you are gone

blackthorn's blossom
pink before the setting sun
a stage for spring song

even my rusty gate
silent for the show

the rose blossom
loses a petal
as I convalesce
I wonder "next summer
shall I see another"?