Yesterday Haunts

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.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Meeting the Bar – Form: Tanka

12 thoughts on “Yesterday Haunts

  1. 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!

So? What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s