Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2006, vol 4 no 1

TANKA

Andrew Riutta

days
become months
become years . . .
in moonlight
my beer stays cold

 

faint scent
of chimney smoke---
just barely
I keep myself together
through another year

 

the leaves in piles,
I turn away from
a long year . . .
this rickety heart
beating on the door

 

drunks stumble in and out of her
like cartoon characters---
wet with fallen leaves
this dark road home

 

peeking into
this wormhole in my apple
I see a poet
thirty years from now
still dressed like a plumber

 

a perfect fit,
this gun in my hands---
on a few leaves
already fallen
moonlight glistens

 

a small boulder
broken perfectly in half---
hunched low
in the autumn breeze
I return to myself

 

at my age
falling in love
with the person
she thought I was---
autumn graveyard

 

yesterday
I bought myself a new hat
with ear flaps . . .
today, myriad thoughts
muffle the falling snow

 

one lone cricket
louder than all the others---
not one of us
has ever found the words
to comfort the living

 


Andrew Riutta Andrew Riutta lives in Michigan and is a relatively new, prolific tanka poet. His poetry is notable for its realism and lyric simplicity, beauty and directness of expression. Clearly set in the contemporary world of the midwestern United States, Riutta's tanka also reflect the restraint and poise of Japanese tanka and early waka songs of old Japan. --Michael McClintock