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

TANKA

Jack Prewitt
 

a lightning strike
illuminates the world…
I return
from a long journey
before the thunder claps

 

day lilies
emphatically dead
but upright
   propriety requires
   they be cut down

 

like stage curtains,
parting clouds uncover
the moon
not unlike the magic
when you enter my room

 

a blouse
of rippling red silk
in the front pew–
my wife turns my hymnal
the right way up

 

trailing its legs
the great white heron
leaves the lagoon
an emptiness as tangible
as the rock in my stomach

 

orange pickers
line the roadside fence
in torrid heat
a gangly boy is carrying
his dead dog home

 

on the mudflat
eastern curlews gather
for migration
this year you won't know
which day they leave

 

summer grass–
scattering her ashes
on his grave…
and as she would want it
some for their neighbours

 

take this toad
my gift of strangeness
for you
in a world everybody
wants to explain away

 

faded photo
of an old flame–
I hesitate
between garbage
and recycling bins

 

dawn dewdrops
sparkling on the grass…
how must it feel
to be small, inquisitive
and dressed in a red jumpsuit

 


Jack Prewitt is an itinerant Australian poet, with a home base in Sydney. He has written many tanka. A few have been published in Ribbons, Tanka Splendor, Tanka Calendar and elsewhere.