I have been encouraged to try the tanka form of short poetry. First attempts.

Fountains whisper in cool arcades
bright plumage flashes amid glossy leaves
a girl, slender hand, empty eyes,
sighs and picks a fruit.
A perfumed prison.


Waves roll ceaselessly
drowning memories
in kelp tangled depths
but the glassy sea
is still the colour of his eyes.


Regrets and lowered eyes
he reaches out,
touches empty space
and in his mouth
not words, tears.

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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

6 thoughts on “Tanka”

    1. Thank you, Eric. I don’t know whether I’m doing it quite right. There are rhythmic rules as for haiku (that I haven’t mastered) but they seem to be rather more supple.

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