Tanka for the New Year

A tanka for Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge.


the world’s cold breath mists

billows among black tree shapes

drifting pale and grey

at this year’s end I search clouds

for signs of a beginning

Haikai: To each according to his needs

This tanka is for Frank Tassone’s weekly haikai challenge. This week the prompt is about elections or democracy. I’ve lost my grip on the meaning of democracy, since if the majority of voters turn out to be cruel, ugly-minded bigots (and we’re seeing it happen), I would probably wish for a system that didn’t give morons an equal say with nice people like me.  I know, it’s the best idea we’ve come up with so far. Let’s just keep thinking, can we? Maybe a bit of fine tuning?


Birds flock, huddle

against the cold, sharing warmth

rabbit and fox share

the same earth shelters both—

and our humanity?