Tanka: The dead never die

Painting ©Gogo 1968


The dead never die,

they murmur deep in the bone,

coursing in the blood,

touching the grass, the green hills,

with their immortal fingers.


ThreeLineTales: Bronze ocean

For Sonya’s three line tales photo prompt

Photo©Steven Wei

A photo by Steven Wei. unsplash.com/photos/g-AklIvI1aI

His head hurt, light pounded and he couldn’t remember where he was or how he’d got there.

Stumbling to his feet he gazed in awe at the stacked apartments, balconies and walkways that boxed in his vision— “Jesus, that’s fucking high!”—drawing his gaze to a dull throbbing brilliance his numbed senses had difficulty focusing on.

“You’re looking down, man”—a voice whispered behind his left shoulder—“into the bronze ocean”—and an unseen hand pushed him over the edge of eternity.

Night wolves

Four short poems on the theme of wolves and the night.


Night passes,

Hours burning slowly through the darkness,

Candles of whispered promises.

Silence falls,

When the last, papery sigh is consumed,

And love in ashes blows.


Take my hand, my heart,

and listen to the night,

listen to the cry of forever

in wild lupine throats.


What says the wind as it howls through the poplars?

What says the night to the stars high above?

Dark is the wolfsong, the voice of the wilderness,

Binding fierce hearts in a lifetime of love.


All passes,

Night, day, years, loves,

But in the fading light,

Pearl smooth and lustrous with memories,

Grows the unattainable indestructible

Monolith of the past.

The sun, the moon, and the stars

Four short poems on a common theme.


Sorrow empties the world

of the vibrancy of colour,

dousing the sun’s fire,

washing greens and blues,

with an eternity of rain.


Once the earth moved for us,

the sun stood still,

and the moon and stars

swam in our eyes.

Now the ground trembles

with the violence

of the slamming door.


You made a vow beneath the stars,

That you would never leave.

Now I hold out empty hands,

To catch those stars and grieve.

Falling, they fade and die,

Falling, I wish that I could fly.


Stars fall,

the moon spins,

the sun cools,

the earth dies,

and in the cradle of the universe,

new galaxies are rocked

by soothing cosmic winds.

Over the edge of eternity

A triolet

Painting ©Gerhard Rießbeck


Over the edge of eternity, the silver river flows,

Into the pool at the world’s end, where golden fishes leap.

I set a barque of birch wood sailing, the petals of a rose.

Over the edge of eternity, the silver river flows

Bearing dreams and driftwood to a place where no one goes,

For our little lives are rounded and bounded by a sleep.

Over the edge of eternity, the silver river flows,

Into the pool at the world’s end, where golden fishes leap.


Song for the dead


The dead never die,

They murmur, deep in the bone,

Coursing in the blood,

Touching the grass, the hills,

With immortal fingers.

A ring of trees, a hollow crown,

A hillside beneath the moon,

Stars string a diadem,

Wind pipes a symphony among the reeds,

To restless waves, rising with eternal tides.

Embers lie hidden beneath the green sod,

Burning slow but burning bright,

Like freedom and humanity,

Like all our dead, who will never die.


Painting by Betzy Akersloop-Berg
Nothing lasts forever,
The roses fall, and in the winter blackbirds die.
All things with a beginning have an end,
Even sweetness fades when comes the bitter cold.
Bare branches crack and bow beneath the weight
Of fallen snow and flocks of starvling birds,
Whose thoughts of southern flight they left too late,
Huddled now black plumes among the brittle boughs.
Eternity’s for dreams and those who dream,
Beyond the end, too far for me to see,
In the distant blue where gulls and grey seals go,
Somewhere there’s a place for you and me.