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Winter 2008, vol 6 no 4
 

TANKA

M. Kei
 

Orion's Quiet

 

a pleasure boat
never knows the Bay
like an oyster boat does,
with winter looming
behind the horizon

 

broad quiet—
all the crew laid out
for a nap
but the helm
and the poet

 

the emptiness
of the Chesapeake Bay . . .
a long line of crab pots
the only sign
of civilization

 

Orion
has gone to sleep,
I rise
from a bed of mist
on Galen's Creek

 

steaming west
to Kedges Narrows—
last seen,
least regretted,
the Crisfield condos

 

tying up the boat,
stowing gear,
one bushel to
the marina owner
pays the dockage

 


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 and the editor-in-chief of Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka of 2008. His first collection was Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay, and his second is Slow Motion: The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack (Spring, 2008). In addition he is the editor of the anthology Fire Pearls: Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart. Over 900 of his tanka have been published in ten countries and five languages. He also writes scholarly articles about tanka and compiles the Bibliography of English-Language Tanka.