Tanka 02

With a single seed
virgin tendris give way to
a trunk grown stout, then
turned gnarled and stooped with wisdom
squinting at its younger kin

If you read all the poetry posted on this blog, you’ll notice a running theme- the interplay of nature and time. Though I also write verse that doubles as social commentary, I find those bits can feel a bit stilted and preachy.

Tanka 01

I’m an avid reader of wePoets Show It, a poetry blog that runs various creative events for poetry, flash fiction, and spoken word performance. Their monthly poetry contest¬†focuses on Tanka, a form that’s basically a haiku with two 7-syllable lines at the end.

I haven’t written haikus for a serious purpose in over a decade- when I wrote haikus in third grade, the positive reception led to me continuing to write poetry to this day. That being said, I have mostly focused on free verse (with the odd old-fashioned set of rhymed quatrains thrown in), and am badly out of practice with a rigid poetry form. The final Tanka I submit will not be posted here, but what I have written for practice will. Here’s my first swing:

The evergreen tree
hides among the now-lush grove
When seasons change and
maples flash brilliant, then
fall silent, it remains, green.

Judging by this first day, I will have far more scraps than completed Tanka, but the challenge appears to be healthy. I’m enjoying it.