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

TANKA

Hisashi Nakamura
 

Her warmth still remains
Deep in my chest like a flame
After fifty years.
With me on her back at dusk
She prayed to the evening star.

 

Their life-long struggle,
Their marching and their banners,
Have left no echo,
Like the wind in the bamboos
In a frosty winter dawn.

 

Through the empty nest
Lodged in the swaying branches
Of a churchyard elm
The winter moon gazes at
A name newly carved in stone.

 

The limpid church bells
Melt into the empty sky
Without an echo.
A lone white bird disappears
Against the pale winter clouds.

 

After long absence
Greeted by a rolling tin
From a ruined wall;
Even lost winter seagulls
Ridicule the newcomer.

 


Hisashi Nakamura was born in a village in the mountains of central Japan in 1950. He has been writing poetry from an early age and at the age of 22 he won a national poetry competition in Japan. After running a school of English in Japan for several years, he settled in York in 1988 and obtained a PhD in Peace Studies from Bradford University in 1994. He works at York St. John University, and in 2004, he initiated the establishment of the Anglo-Japanese Tanka Society, which now has members in 17 countries.

He is the author of The Floating Bridge: Tanka Poems in English.