Category: Tanka

Humanity’s Order

Humanity’s order – Of that beyond arm’s reach – It cannot matter – Opposite the rows of life lined up – Into each one some rain falls. –…

A Mother Paces

A mother paces – She knew it could come to this – Mourning for her son – Couldn’t he at least respond – To the text she sent…

A Kamoshika

A Kamoshika Surrounded by green bamboo Spontaneity Reflected within its eyes Expressionless, the still moon – a tanka poem

Frozen Evergreens

Frozen evergreens Resolute in the valley Bowed branches supple. Wind howls above the mountain. Water flows beneath the snow. – a tanka poem

Over in Sunlight

Pop autumn fireworks – Burst on the ground, morning frost – Over in sunlight – Tomorrow nearly the same – Until dew rests on snowfall – a tanka…


Somehow long lasting – In face of modern day woes – Americana. Shootings hold no nostalgia – Ignorance casts no light. – a tanka protest poem


He, a tall, kind man – who loved those large camphor trees – Leaves, seeds, on our porch – His apologies, too – All cut down now before…

Look, Move Accordingly

The ridge holds the moon – while red fox glides up the slope – and snow cat descends. – Look, and move accordingly – Sometimes go up, sometimes…

A mother’s worried eyes

So far away – a mother’s worried eyes – fall short of her son. – Gasping for air and vision – This is not democracy. – a tanka protest…

Helpful jealousy

Helpful jealousy- from an innocent question- of a past boyfriend. – perhaps a silly response – or love’s timely reminder. – a senryu poem  

No one remembers them green

Red leaves in autumn soon fall to the forest floor then turn to grey dust. No one remembers them green. Their shine lost in memory.

Unanswerable Questions

Standing spring grasses- pose unanswerable questions- to wild fox spirits.- Who move too fast to notice- the seeds in their red brown coats. – a tanka poem

Petals on a Fern

Petals on a fern – Animated by the wind – Petals on the ground – Soon returning through decay – How much better to be held. -a mountain…

Harbor Tugs

Work tugs, halide lights – Rolling gently, evening swell – Floating styrofoam – Fenders whine with dock lines taut – False appearance of order. -a tanka poem

Macha Tea

Melting spring snow- Flows down the mountainside- into the sunlight. – Why not sit on tatami – and whisk macha tea?   -a tanka poem  

Study the details

Study the details – For in them lies the essence, of reality. – Transcending a lonely soul – with vines and veins together. -a tanka poem

A student without a teacher

I came to the fields –  A student without teacher –  and met winter trees –  Who said to be dynamic –  and strike fantastic poses. -a tanka…

The Valley Spirit

The valley spirit – Lies awake through the winter – Undisturbed by cold – Her seeds already planted – Listen for her unheard voice. – A tanka poem This tanka poem was…

Hanging Like Jewels

Hanging like jewels – the deeds done by a kind soul – Left in the forest – Some traces of a life lived – Accolades water the moss. -a…

Cold Dawn

It dawns cold outside – A fire fills the room with warmth – Blue morning light grows – Until the air is so warm – That the grey…

A Pale Light

Placed up on a hill – A small home casts a pale glow – On the blackened earth – This moonlight shines from within – Family, clouds, and…

Soaking In

  Colors wash over – Reflected in an onsen – Mountains in autumn – Soaking in contemplation – Soaking in contemplation   – An onsen is a hot spring…

Cliff Top Tanka

Stretching to the sky – As still as the midnight moon – The way to nothing – Leads to the top of the cliff – Waves of impermanence…