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

TANKA

Margarita Engle

 

trapped
between the pages
of an old book
I brought from Cuba
scent of the sea



surrounded
by strangers
with cell phones
I become aware
of my own silence



sandstone cliff
a ladder leads
to the altar
long after
the altar is gone



harvest season
is there a name
for the art
of arranging ripe fruit
on a kitchen counter?



fluttering
against a window
the trapped sparrow
helps me decide to turn
away from rigid thoughts



unprinted poems
I search the screen
for words
worthy of paper
worthy of trees



garden shop
instructions for building
stone ruins
with crumbling walls
for roses to climb



ghost town
a child
with a map
helps me find
my way



beyond the grave
of my sister's old horse
quaking aspens
with shimmering leaves
invisible wind



construction zone
the surveyor's orange wheel
measures
fertile farmland
just before it is paved


Margarita Engle is a botanist, novelist and poet. She lives in central California, in the rich agricultural valley of the San Joaquin, in view of the Sierras that are gateway to the Yosemite Valley, where she enjoys hiking and helping her husband with his volunteer work for a wilderness search-and-rescue dog training program.

A tankaist for many years, Engle is a member of the Tanka Society of America and a regular contributor of poetry and prose to its journal, Ribbons, as well as many other journals specializing in the short poem. She writes in a light, wry style that belies an undercurrent of deeper themes and observations. —Michael McClintock


Copyright 2005: Simply Haiku