all innocents . . .
some faces less livid
than others

twilight dusk —
the bruises of life
less livid

with the sea
the rockpool of friends
from my hands

southern cross —
these arms weighed down
with night

tui —
i hear half
its song

roadkill —
the fly-blown voice
of the unborn

breathstop . . .
a praying mantis
shifts weight

another moon —
still the otherness
of her body

freckle-face
her wrinkling nose becomes
newsworthy

never alone . . .
blanket man paces out
the southern cross

haiku moon —
a morepork recites
to its own

under the moon
her hands cup the gift
of her self

awakening
from such light caress
a peony's folds

gaping wound —
a poem
without the moon

what of it?
cherry blossoms
and the moon

wild honey —
how the clover glows
in her eyes!

keeping still
I deepen my roots
in the void

my footprint
as if it matters
I once am

rising tide
eyes awash with the moon
two by two

my footprint
soled, souled, sold
silting up

no mere
patina of grace;
well-worn aves

a bird cocks its head
at nothing — within this hush
a priest breaks the bread

farflung night
a morepork mantles
a cold egg

farflung stars
darkness mantles me
in its wings

morepork,
keep watch with me
through ancient light

kite flying
I strain beyond
my words

ancient one,
your voice too sounds 
of cicadas

gracing
a patina of grace
a stain marks
the loss

night wind —
the sound of light
on the wick

waxing moon —
my shadow lingers
over hers

a haiku sequence

while doves cry i coo

 

a season word
cuts 'twixt my coming
and my going

 

human nature stages a high coup

 

spell casting
a hokkus pokkus
of words

 

the verbal hiccups of a beat movement

 

close reading a cross-eyed ku

park bench—
yesterday's warmth
old news

overhead
galaxies swamped
in equations

 

step by step
our paths merge together
as water and wine . . .
in these unplanned moments
we sip eternity

cattails Premier Edition - January 2014
Editor's Choice - Tanka


Editor's comments:

Being a hopeless romantic and given that tanka originated as court poetry, this one by Hansha Teki of New Zealand, is one of my Editor's Choices. The rhythm being approximately s, l, s, l, l, right off qualifies it as a tanka rather than just a free verse or mainstream short poem. The content is poetic yet not overly done, nor does it lack either in substance or depth. Lines 1 and 2 set up the situation, line 3 gives us a pause plus a twist instead of simply being a run-on sentence. Lines 4 and 5 bring us back to the beginning which gives us closure. Literally “we sip eternity” of unplanned moments with its author.

cattails Principal editor an'ya, USA

leaf by leaf
a lilac emerges
in birdsong . . .

 

trickling stream . . .
stones at rest gather
smoothness