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.

7 November 2013

Somonka Challenge 7

Collaborations with Bruce Niedt
for Poetic Asides

Overcast sky.
No moon lights my way
to find you.
How can I discern
the path to your door?


I will leave
a candle in the window,
the latch open.
I will sing a night song
and have tea ready.



A magpie warbles
at my gate.
I send you the song
across distance.


When I hear it
I will fashion clouds
to its music.
When the weather turns
they will sail to you.



Update, 15 January 2014: I'm overjoyed that the second of these collaborations was runner-up in the Poetic Asides challenge (in which I felt every poem submitted was a delight to read). Read the detailed results here.


  1. Exquisite.

    This is something I love about tanka collaborations. Unlike the more oblique associations of renga (and haiku in general), both tanka poets can sing directly to each other in an intimate 'call & response' fashion. These works remind me of the ancient Japanese custom of lovers sending poems literally tied to a flowering branch or other meaningful object.

  2. a beautiful Tanka collaboration...

  3. Thank you both. I personally am enraptured by Bruce's gorgeous responses to my verses, lifting each 'call and response' pair to a level indeed exquisite.

  4. Perfect...beautiful. Well done, you both!