I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

8 May 2012

Tanka Challenge

In the midst of the Poetic Asides April PAD Challenge, Robert Lee Brewer also issued a tanka challenge.  He has just announced the winner, out of hundreds submitted. It is by Jane Schlensky, you can read it here, and it will be published in a future issue of the Writer's Digest magazine. He also listed the rest of the 'top ten', and what do you know — one of mine came second! 

Here are all those I submitted. The first is the one chosen. I hedged my bets and made some of them 5/7/5/7/7 even though I think that the least important 'rule' for tanka in English. I'm particularly delighted that the one chosen has shorter lines.

she is lonely
new love poems
to an old love


when I am dancing
and you are looking at me
with your eyes shining
for a moment I forget
that we are old people now


once upon a time
when the fairytale ended
and they did not live
happily ever after,
they found another sweetness


a still night
the hum of his bike
goes for miles
she hears him leaving
the rest of her life


she dozes
a gentle touch
on her arm
awakens her
she sees no-one

PS  My place-getting tanka was later published in the Writer's Digest of September 2012.


  1. These are ALL lovely, Rosemary! :-) I'm glad it was Robert and not I who had to decide which to choose for the top 10! :-]

    1. Yes, it must have taken some doing. All the PA poets are so good!

  2. They are all fabulous Rosemary! The one Robert picked was my favorite, but really I would not want the responsibility of picking.

  3. enjoy your poems - love that first one too

    1. Many thanks. I'm glad they 'spoke' to you.

  4. Congratulations! Just lovely. I love that form.