04 Apr

Following are my tanka anthologized in FIRE PEARLS : Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart, edited by M. Kei. Print Anthology. Lulu Press, 2006.

peach slices
in thick cream
slick lips tell me
what I want to hear

splintered and shotgunned
welcome sign—
your smouldering eyes,
scarlet lips and fingertips

when Lilith rises
playing her tenor sax
the world goes green
stone statues dance and
butcher-blocks burst into bloom

as I turn her brooch
to read the inscription
the pin draws blood
if she knew she still can hurt me
she would smile

moving out at last
I find her bottles stashed
in a secret place
I bury this as well
I cannot mourn for lies

as the cold gurney
shudder-squeaks down the hall
for one more exam
your hand in mine
makes us safe

the cuckoo clock strikes
I smile at the soft dawn light
until my eyes rest
on your bare dressing table,
on all the empty hangers

Our love cannot be.
I am not my own—I’ll leave
and who’ll protect you?
Amongst the ravens, pity
the poor bird that’s beautiful.

lights on the river
where the dredges work
through the night
I drink alone, wondering
why you had to leave

moving house—
there, under my desk,
your lost photo
smiling in sweet ignorance
of cruel days ahead

since you left
I sleep very deeply
alone in our bed—
good practice, perhaps;
since coffins sleep only one


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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in Tanka


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