Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2008, vol 6 no 3
 

TANKA

Michael L. Evans
 

this drifting apart
more and more I find myself
reading Lorca's lines
my dreams gallop ghost ponies
under a red-mooned sky

 

when we ran barefoot
I brought you yellow ribbons
to tie your wild hair
now I send you these lines
to bind our memories

 

walk with me
over the old stone bridge
hand in hand
I will read you love poems
beneath the cinnamon tree

 

she trembles
wild under my touch
in moon shadows
my breath flies away
on night-moth wings

 

this place
where a river becomes
the ocean
my footprints disappear
into tomorrow's rain

 

my love for you
like a blue-butted baboon
screaming in the dark
all the colors of the world
would not bring you to me

 

this mole
that tunnels through
my mind
could I teach it to eat
unwanted memories?

 

when finally
my chest was opened
to mend this ailing heart
they found a small boy
playing hide and seek

 

you ask me why
I live in this small trailer
in the country
watch that little boy's grin
as he sneaks a plum from my tree

 

to be free
of my worst secrets
I whisper
into a curved seashell –
hold it to my deaf ear

 

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following publications in which some of these poems first appeared.

" you ask me why", To Find the Moon, Tanka Society of America anthology, 2004
"she trembles", Ribbons, Vol.1 No.2, Tanka Society of America, Summer 2005
"to be free", Ribbons, Vol.1 No.3, Tanka Society of America, Autumn 2005

 


Michael L. Evans Michael L. Evans migrated to the Pacific Northwest, from his native San Diego, in late 1999.

He spends his time writing haiku/senryu, rengay, tanka, cinquain, cinqku, free verse, and rhyme. His haiku have been published and/or received contest recognition in the US, Canada, England, Australia, Japan, Sweden, and Romania. His tanka have appeared in Hermitage, Ribbons, red lights, Tanka Splendor 2005, Modern English Tanka, moonset, and The Tanka Society of America members' anthologies.

Part traditionalist, part modernist, any poem he writes is just as likely to be the one as it is to be the other.