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

TANKA

Beverley George
 

year of the mouse
in this morning's mailbox
these cards from Japan
I leave my computer
for a chair in window light

 

out there
in this war-torn world
people who
collect stamps, press flowers
gather shells at daybreak

 

this urge to touch
things they told me not to –
gardenia petals
butterfly wings, drying paint
the nape of your tanned neck

 

after three dry months
this splendid storm
this pinging hail
this absurd urge
to dance in it

 

after he mends
the five bar gate
the old man
rides it     once
across the puddle

 

from the verandah
we scan the summer sky
my grandfather
briefly schooled
at home with constellations

 

A Christmas Carol
read aloud each year –
apple peel falling
in unbroken spirals
from my father's knife

 

accustomed
to your daily email
if it were cut off
should I send you smoke signals
or row to you with bare hands

 

three in the morning
and the sound of pages turning
first yours . . . then mine
how companionable we are
in our separate realms

 

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

"accustomed", Blithe Spirit #17 (1), 2007;
"A Christmas Carol", Gusts #6, 2007;
"after he mends", TSA Quarterly Newsletter, December 2005.

 


Beverley George Beverley George lives on the east coast of Australia between the ocean and a freshwater lagoon. From 2000-2006 she produced and edited Yellow Moon which published tanka from 1997-2006. In late 2006 she founded Eucalypt, Australia's first journal dedicated to tanka.

She wrote the winning poem in the 2006 TSA International Tanka Contest and her tanka placed second in 2005.

She values the network of friends around the world that writing tanka has brought her.