Cantankerous Tankas

I attended an excellent Tanka workshop with Genie Nakano and I fell in love with the Tanka format. I adore Tankas. My new writing thrill. I am having fun with them. To that end, I asked a few choice friends and poets to send me any Tankas they have to spare.

As introduction, here is a link to a good explanation of Tanka and the different techniques, from the Aha Poetry site:

Here are some Tankas which my friends have sent me:

MATT HENRY- South Bend, Indiana

Gaslight Mob

Owls aren’t what they seem
you are a rape survivor;
And I’m a monster. Shadowing death defenseless
screaming terror shadow dark.

Strobe Sounds

Running a lampshade,
broken bottles boring you.
A rundown lampshade;
Something else, nothing working –
something else mirrors red lakes.

Wander Shore

I scarred your ocean;
drove you to storms like moth wings
forcing fate further,
because fear of the scary
seemed worse than complacency.

VIC DAY- Van Nuys, California

gentle petals fall
like kisses from the heavens
caressing my face
the final cherry blossoms
before the the sweet fruits ripen

once we were lovers
in the shadow of mountains
passing in silence
not a single word spoken
distant hills still haunt us now

under towering redwoods
a sacred silence
not found in any building
no need here for prayers
no lofty pious sermons
only the voice of the wind

random janitor
invisible to the world
he toils through the night
diligent toilet scrubber
with the heart of a poet

eyes like dark mirrors
the enchantress draws you in
make your moves with care
if you fail her expectation
you will not depart unscathed

MARIE LECRIVAIN- Los Angeles, California

a light fog
clothes the rising heat
a veil
to seduce senses
still trapped in slumber

I pretend
it’s still early spring
buds instead
of pendulous bulbs
hang from the fruit tree

I wish
we’d grown together
as saplings
instead we caress
barren limbs

DAVE NORDLING- Westminster, California

Awake on the sand
surging waves pushed me ashore.
Drying in warm sun
I walk into the jungle,
a new home under the palms.

ANGEL URIEL PERALES- Valley Village, California

El Coquí
sings of love forever
all night long, never spent
El yunqúe springs alive

Papaya or
soft mango fuzz
Thick juices
drip down her body
Our lustful life

Guava tort
crumbs lost in bed
passion fruit of
blended morning
dawning through the slats

barks at rising tide
Next work day
crabs scurry, carry shells
Ever vigilant dog


Crevice dark
rock thrown without sound
Dark crevice
stretch over precipice
cold draft blows on face

Red anthill
molehill tower fire
burnt out husk
smoke glistens into clouds


Black Goya
Zeuss eats his children
Goya’s monsters
stalk dream periphery
of my bed, my spoon.


Geisha mask
my face, on my face
Cramped up legs
ripped bodice, cowled scowl
shoes not fit to wear

RACHEL MALLINO- Monessen, Pennsylvania

And My Daughter Too

My body, thorough-
bred. Pero, she is blue eyed
blonde Boricua
she’s no one’s white bitch. Watch her
Olympic: Gold tongue & blade.


© 2017 all rights revert back to the respective authors.


About Rumrazor

Just a malcontent surviving in Los Angeles, working the news, writing the poetry, making the films.
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