Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2006, vol 4 no 3

TANKA

Kirsty Karkow


strong wind--
flowers and leaves turn
inside out
a door slams, and I welcome
a visit from my mother

-Third Prize, North American Tanka Contest 2001

 

inherited--
long thornless rows
of raspberries
sweet thoughts flow to her
as every basket fills

--Honorable Mention
San Francisco International Haiku, Senryu and Tanka Contest 2005

 

like clockwork
at breakfast time
she walks by. . .
slightly behind
her growing belly

--Yellow Moon First Place Spring 2006

 

cool and naked
across the double bed
she naps
under the aspidistra
a pink camisole lies limp

 

at 2 am
on a moonless night
I do not hear
the passing foxes
or the hunting owl

 

the flotsam
on my inner shore
somewhat collected
I sit on sun-washed sand
listening to loon calls

 

there are days
I feel like Aceh
every street
filled by a tsunami
of rapid flowing trash

 

a tight tee
and jeweled midriff
pregnancy
the care my mother
took to conceal it

 

dreams
of paradise
shelves
lined with books
and time to read

 

I think
a hawk must hate
the crows
incessant
paparazzi crows

 

escaping
my strongest grasp
and skillet
the reindeer ran
back to Sweden

 

after stopping
to smell each rosebud
on the wall
the adorable chipmunk
eats my strawflowers

 

if pain
was visible
shades of red
how raucous the glare
from a crowded room

 


Kirsty Karkow's most recent collection is water poems from Black Cat Press (2005). She is secretary-treasurer of The Tanka Society of America. She resides in Maine with her husband, Ed, and a growing collection of canoes and kayaks.