Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2005, vol 3 no 4

TANKA

C W Hawes

suddenly
these clothes too heavy
tea too hot
these obligations
suffocating

 

my belief in God
so very informal
and yet today
watching the grey clouds roll in
I wonder about it

 

summer rain
falling all day long
soft thunder
rumbles far away
in constant arguments

 

this winter day
feeling full of mischief
I tease
my serious co-worker
and make her grumpy

 

all the things
these old eyes
have seen
they are but
watercolor days

 

brightly colored lights
everywhere in the small town
this Christmas season
but out in the countryside
only the ancient moon shines

 

watching the snowstorm
cover the patches of snow
I think of the years
that buried my spring
and ushered in the winter

 

white glow in the east
thinking of yesterday's
moon in the sky
I wonder how many months
I wonder how many years

 

last night
the waning crescent moon
this morning
gazing in the mirror
I see how thin my hair is

 

in the aftermath
of the fierce summer windstorm
the corn lies flattened
still standing tall dripping rain
the useless blooming thistle

 

sweet mango
caressing my tongue...
I remember
the Wednesday in May
you fed me lunch with your hands

 


C W Hawes resides in Iowa, where he writes poetry that constitutes a kind of emotional diary, intimate and spare. Although he employs many forms in his work, he favors the tanka because of its haiku-like precision, coupled with the lyrical qualities it possesses. Walt Whitman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Basho, Issa and Takuboku Ishikawa have been his poetic influences. His work has appeared widely, online and in print.