Sunday, August 20, 2017

Tanka Sequence

Shared paths
 
dusty tracks
crisscross the asphalt ...
what creatures
walk these paths at night
where I walk by day
 
a robin
by this woodland trail ...
nestled in grasses
then gone in a flash
before my camera click
 
yellow jackets
swarm on the same blooms
I want to touch—
if we ignore each other
can we really coexist
 
bones, teeth, tusks
of Columbian mammoths
excavated
from this very ground
beneath my human feet
 
    —the Waco [Texas] Mammoth National Monument

Earth: Our Common Ground (anthology, Skylark Publishing), 2017

9 comments:

  1. This is epic and profound. Haunting word 'notes' float above the line between reality and mystical (in the way that everyday paths becomes so much more). A lovely - and really brilliant - tanka sequence, Janet.

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  2. What a perfect title for this beautifully written nature sequence. Each one is so good, but the last two may be my favorites.

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  3. What a lovely set of tanka! I identify with the 2nd. Photos of birds and butterflies are so hard to take. I am usually too slow.

    I hope you and your family are same from the hurricane. It must be frightening. Houston is supposed to get lots of rain and flooding. I pray for everyone there.

    Adelaide

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    1. Meant to write "Safe" not same.

      Adelaide

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  4. Thinking of you, friend, and praying, too. Hope you are safe and well.

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  5. Thanks, Wendy, Jennifer, and Adelaide. I'm glad you like this sequence. I wrote all of these at different times as separate tanka. It was only when I was putting together a submission for Earth that I noticed I could form 2-3 sequences from some of the tanka in my sub, if I wanted to. (I ultimately decided to only send this one sequence, though.)

    Thanks also for the comments about Houston. What a time it has been - and I don't even live in Houston anymore (moved a little ways to the north several years ago). So much rain it's been like "torture." And so many homes filling with water. But even with a not-too-long power failure, and with roads around us flooded, we've fared well here where we are.

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  6. Glad to hear you are safe and dry.

    Adelaide

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  7. A wonderful sequence whose title lends to each tanka a wider, more metaphorical significance.

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