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TANKA ANTHOLOGIZED IN LANDFALL ANTHOLOGY

04 Apr

Following are my Iowa and Maryland tanka from the Landfall anthology. (MET Press, 2007)

IOWA

fading whistles
and clatter
crossing lights blink off
Iowa at 2 AM
is the dark side of the moon

heading home
for a funeral of sorts
riding the rails
across a golden prairie
windblown and empty

old stand
of paper birch
shading the south side
of a paint-peeling barn
fluttering in the wind

yet chilled to the bone
I go out for morning chores
a breeze rises with the sun—
the old windmill
screeches into motion

MARYLAND

August noon
our barn is blinding red
in from the county road
floats a summer scent
hot tar and mown lilies

cooling off
in the mulberries’ shade
I survey my work—
the lawn, shorn like a recruit
except where the shrew’s nest lies

in the cowshed
barn cats dance for their milk
even the runts . . .
the sky goes mauve
and the air grows fragrant

I am still here
working my sliver of earth—
the oath I swore,
barefoot on the river stones,
to whispering cottonwoods

Maryland summer
life inside the emerald
sun-glare or moon-glow,
jewel tones or mint pastels,
the green is endless . . . endless

more than folk wisdom:
‘every bride is beautiful’
ah! her rolling curves
arrayed in snowy blossoms—
these fragrant apple orchards

_____________________________________

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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in Tanka

 

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