Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2005, vol 3 no 3

TANKA

Janet Lynn Davis


when you are gone
I eat on white melamine
same dishes
I’ve complained about before:
generic, expressionless

 

my photo
missing from your nightstand . . .
discovered
upon your return!
a suitcase can hold many things

 

thirty pairs of shoes
yet I wear tattered sandals
that make you grimace —
you know, you can throw them out
I hear but don’t comply

 

too many remotes
too many cable channels
you try to teach me
but how long can I sit still
by the TV anyway?

 

one hundred degrees
pool all to myself —
I seal my eyes shut
imagine I’m hot hot hot
as a swimsuit model

 

you groan
about your growing belly —
increase your belt size
or turn the dark, sinful
chocolates over to me

 

leaves turn
shades of indigo and sapphire
sometimes
I live in
a blue world

 

leaves turn
into launching pads
for my warped sense
of imagination...
it’s finally autumn!

 

smooth stones
so sensual
we must not only
touch them softly
but write about them also

 


Janet Lynn Davis used to write and edit for a living in Houston, Texas. She has since taken up poetry composition and, in the past year or so, has had a number of her poems published in Web-based and small-press print journals. She is a newcomer to tanka but feels she already may be addicted to it.

In a language that is relaxed and fluid, Davis's tanka touch on themes of love, relationship, and personal reflection that have been handled in tanka for over a thousand years, in the waka poetry of Japan, but here are transformed by the informality and enthusiasms of a fresh voice and pair of eyes focused on this time, this place, this world. --Michael McClintock


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