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Autumn 2005, vol 3 no 3

TANKA

Edward J. Rielly
 

father's day gift
a birdfeeder for outside
my office window
from a daughter whose beauty
soars higher than any bird

 

the quiet road
in front of my farmhouse
erupts in dust,
then reclaims tranquillity;
I return to my book

 

ancient photographs
in the attic of eternity
how long before
what I view in my mirror
joins them?

 

reading Shakespeare
in a circle of lawn chairs
with brie and wine
we pause to watch a white egret
watch us from the backyard pond

 

hands stuffed
into torn blue jeans
coatless teens
wait in the autumn wind
for their morning bus

 

I slice the loaf
while you garnish the fish;
if we could multiply
like Jesus I would fling open
the kitchen door, call welcome

 

Edward J. Rielly chairs the English Department at Saint Joseph's College of Maine. His ninth book of poetry, A Fine, Safe Journey, was recently published by Pudding House Publications. Among his four books of nonfiction are these two recent titles from the summer of 2004: The 1960s (Greenwood) and Baseball and American Culture: Across the Diamond (Haworth). He is currently writing a biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Rielly's tanka publications include an online book, How Sky Holds the Sun (AHA), and a selection of tanka in The Tanka Anthology (Red Moon Press). He received First Prize in the Tanka Society of America's International Tanka Contest 2001. Rielly's tanka are often proverbial, finding their large themes and philosophical musings in the small details of life and nature. --Michael McClintock


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