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

TANKA

Jörgen Johansson

safety first–
returning the nod
from a woman
i don´t recognize
then the pondering

 

a red rose leaning
on my mother´s name–
watering
my parents´ grave
puzzled

 

swimming
further and further
out to sea–
my sole companion
the moon

 

oven baked apples
with custard—
trying hard
to recapture
the Sundays of my youth

 

the aging poet
returns from his
Shangri-La–
chafed feet and
young at heart

 

dawn–
throwing a coin at the window
then it hits me
she´s gone
for good

 

another breakfast
alone–
not complaining
only spilling the cold
hard facts

 

lost
on purpose
again–
moss is my bed
in the virgin forest

 

following
Hiroshima mon amour—
i dreamt
of a playground
before and after

 

end of Summer–
the autistic child
letting his sister
add the flag
to the sandcastle

 

bedside table–
the origin of species
on top of the bible
that´s how i feel
tonight

 

fishing village
embedded in morning fog—
my sweater on her
as we share a bag
of night caught shrimps

 

midnight dip–
on her way up
i kiss her
goose bumped
birthmark

 


Jörgen Johansson was born 1956 and raised in Lidköping, located in the South-West of Sweden. He has been running his own business since 1982, called Tracks on Wax, selling rare, original 45 recordings from the 1960s — obscure groups from all over the world. He has been writing haiku since early 2003, and has published two haiku books, together with Robert Wilson, Cherry Blossoms and Sakura, both released in 2003. The books include the work of haiku poets from around the globe. He writes: "At the moment i feel most comfortable writing senryu, and i´m very glad that Al Pizzarelli is supporting me, with his wit and wisdom. As i´ve been so focused on writing haiku and senryu, i haven´t had the time, really, to consider starting writing Tanka . . . until August 2005, when i, out of curiosity, logged on to the Tanka Society of America site, and was immediately inspired, trying it out myself. And now i´m "hovering" between haiku/senryu and tanka; by doing this i feel i´m improving my skills, overall."