like water in desert
the beauty of you quenches
my lips part – breath gasps
for the feel of your strong arms
that have yet to hold me close
a bloom of scarlet
stark against a white canvas
then sheets – now snow drifts
both give note to the battles
of my birth and of my death
where there is no sound
one hears how your voice trembles
its timbre thrills – pains
gripped in memory’s cruel grasp
yesterday haunts tomorrow
Today at dVerse Toni has us exploring the Tanka in its more traditional use. Having written non-traditional and super tanka before, I challenged my self to string a few together for something of a little narrative. The first tanka above are lovers at first sight, the middle – a soldier’s poem on his birth at his death and the last tanka – the lover left behind who remembers.
Tanka have a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count, per line. The first two lines of the tanka are known as the kami-no-ku – upper poem, the last two lines are the shimo-no-ku – lower poem. The third line. middle line, is the kireji or, cutting line or pivot denoting the difference between the two parts. This is important to remember when writing tanka. There are also no uppercase letters, no punctuation (except for the short dash, like an aspirated breath) or title. Tanka are subjective and can be emotional, opinionated, sensual, and lyrical. They move back and forth through time and use elegant phrases or euphamisms, simile and metaphor.
I like how you told a story in 3 tankas, yet each one could stand on its own. Well done. 🙂
I specially thought the second one was divine with the contrast of scarlet against the white canvas. The first one is sensual, while the last one is poignant. Enjoyed your tanka Ravienne!
Beautifully written! ❤
All of these are so passionate, I can feel the emotion strongly in each one…the last one was almost startling in its strong imagery…truly excellent!
All well done – I really like the last line of the last tanka, “yesterday haunts tomorrow”. This is often true and many times sadly so.
I agree, all three tankas are extremely passionate ❤ lovely work done.
The second one.. superb.. the bridging completing a life… You should write more tanka.
All three are beautifully penned
They work well individually, beautiful as a series. I think I like the middle one best – the visual imagery it creates is so vivid. I can see the snow drifting.
I think the narrative here is wonderful. Each one separated but also linked together. I like the last one best, I believe. Excellent.