Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2009, vol 7 no 3
 

TANKA

Karen Cesar
 

our clothes
still tangled in a heap
your voice
from the shower singing
Venus in Blue Jeans

 

the jagged edge
of a bottle half-buried
in the sand...
they say some diseases
are carried in the blood

 

junk jewelry
stored in a shoebox
the glitter
from my first pair
of ruby slippers

 

only I knew
she kept a bottle of wine
in the hamperÖ
the neighbor who let a child
paint her toenails red

 

like this
she tells the hairdresser
pointing
to a picture
of overlapping leaves

 

in Japanese
it means 'forest of songs'
to my delight
with the change of one letter
Karen becomes karin

 

heat returns
with the approach of summer
we rent a cottage
for our anniversary
and for the wild raspberries

 

a slim volume
of lesbian poetry
on my pillow
tonight my lover's kisses
are softer than eiderdown

 

my mind flitters
subject to prickly subject
not so much age
as the way Iíve always been
a gypsy moth on thistle

 


Karen Cesar Karen Cesar lives with her husband and Italian greyhound, Shadow, in Arizona. She began keeping her first haiku notebook in June 2006. Her first tanka was written in August 2006. Since then she has been published in Frogpond, Heronís Nest, Modern Haiku, Ribbons, Eucalypt, Gusts and moonset. She was awarded Best US Poem in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2007 Haiku Invitational.