Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2007, vol 5 no 2

TANKA

Amelia Fielden
 

partly glimpsed
through gum tree foliage
the full moon
pear-coloured, reflecting
a Kawano poem

 

a silver shoal
of seagulls resting
on the night beach
at least those seagulls
have each other for comfort

 

this winter
of my discontent
finishing
with orange-red fire
from sky bound flame trees

 

soft green jacket
worn all those winter dawns
of dog walking,
its warmth the only thing
not changed for the worse

 

the rushing
of surfers to the beach
the rushing
of waves to the shore --
where is the zen in ocean ?

 

mirror lake
white sail triangles
this way that way
around race-day buoys ---
what is the point, really

 

in one season
jasmine reaches a branch
of melaleuca
high above its lattice ---
such ambition once was mine

 

persistently
a fern grows between bricks
on the station wall
a woman leans, waiting
to recover from old age

 

on the verandah
of an old old temple
young monk dozing
until a lotus blooms
or his cell phone rings

 

a dew-washed morning
light barely light
here is the chance
to begin afresh
to forgive then forget

 


Amelia Fielden is an Australian living near Sydney. She is a professional Japanese translator and holds a Master of Arts degree in Japanese Literature. To date, working sometimes with native speaker co-translators, sometimes solo, Amelia has produced eight books of contemporary Japanese tanka in translation; currently she is working on a ninth, with Dr.Kozue Uzawa, editor of Gusts (journal of Tanka Canada). A poet in her own right, four volumes of Amelia's original English-language tanka are in print, and a fifth is underway.