Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2008, vol 6 no 1
 

TANKA

M. Kei
 

new, this tea mug,
with clouds of milk
in a tannin sky,
but enough sugar
will sweeten this dawn

 

my tea mug
pictures a lighthouse
no longer standing;
do wives remember
better days?

 

these boys,
they say they like
my poems—
but they lie sleeping
in the damp dawn

 

dishes, too,
waiting for
the cold dunk
of water
on New Year's Day

 

what spirit flew
out of this hole
in winter's snow?
on the other side
a flock of wild geese

 

January heat wave
seventy degrees—
the creek bottoms
     full of fog &
          barefoot boys

 

different darks—
am I drawn
to you because
your despair is
not my own?

 

there are times
when I know
the secrets of the universe;
but never when
I am awake

 


M.Kei M.Kei is an award-winning poet who lives on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, USA. He crews aboard a skipjack, a traditional wooden sailboat used to fish for oysters. He is the editor of the Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Modern English Tanka, as well as the author of Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay, and the editor of the anthology Fire Pearls: Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart. Over 750 of his poems have been published in ten countries and five languages. In addition, he writes scholarly articles about tanka and compiles the Bibliography of English-Language Tanka.