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Winter 2006, vol 4 no 4

TANKA

Ingrid Kunschke
 

a single twine
of honeysuckle has reached
the eaves
treating me as it were
to one flower's perfume

 

waiting in vain
I unfold & fold my napkin
producing
a very red flower
a very crushed fox

 

the wind
seems to have changed
its tune –
in my native place
they must be cutting reeds

 

    sorting out
        old scraps of paper
my thoughts
            begin to resemble
                         a bunch of         squirrels

 

at night
  they rise in the seas
    creatures from the deep
          sliding sluggishly
                    I slip into a dream *

 

from abroad
a parcel maybe
with a fan
the coolness I'd feel
unwrapping *

 

no matter
how fast I run:
the moment
father falls, he falls
too far from here

 

silently trickling
into our conversation
fresh blood
from the cancer
in Daddy's face

 

a black kitten
that prowls about the rooms
and vanishes -
darkness surrounds us like that
meaning no harm tonight

 

peeled an apple
and cut it in halves,
picked some berries
and slowly ate them:
rid myself of pain

 

beautiful
the teacher's arms
full of verve
she draws the flag
straight on the board

 

when it gets dark
deep deep inside my heart
I close my eyes
then the child within
plays the elder flute

 

words like cotton,
they stick to the palate
so at a loss
I finally spit them out:
dead birds well meant

 

unable
even to raise my head
I contemplate
every sound until
it's crystal

 

there must be
some kind of parasite
in my spine
    – such are my thoughts
    facing the ceiling in pain

 

new bandages
instead of flesh-colored
I choose TITAN
signaling "beware of
the Bionic Woman"

 

* Note: The original German versions of the asterisked tanka appeared online at
http://www.haiku-heute.de in September 2006.

 


Born in 1962 in the Netherlands, Ingrid Kunschke moved to Germany in 1990. Having written free verse and short prose earlier, she started writing haiku and haibun in 2000. She soon broadened the scope of her poetry to renku and tanka. Writing mainly Dutch, German and English, Ingrid has contributed poems, reviews and essays to websites, magazines and anthologies. In 2004 she launched TankaNetz (http://www.tankanetz.de), the first German website to focus on tanka.