Thank you to Jeren and Jilly for introducing me to the tanaga. Here are two, using different rhyme patterns.


I run a finger down your cheek,

Valleys traced by our shared years,

Gone, smooth youth with all its fears—

Silence tongue, no need to speak.


Sleeping face in dawn’s pale light,

Hollows filled with shadowed night,

Withheld breath, I touch your lips,

Waking, night to morning slips.



Published by

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.

17 thoughts on “Tanaga”

    1. Thank you, Ryan 🙂 I think it’s like many of these very structured forms, the trick is to make it flow, otherwise it sounds forced and clunks along. I’m glad you think these work 🙂

      1. I couldn’t agree more, Jane. Nothing is more obvious than a round peg being forced…but you transition from one form to the next so very gracefully. I’m most envious. Lovely to read 🙂

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