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.

30 September 2011

Hot windy day: Tanka for September 2011

blue-green waves
framed on the Courthouse wall
sequinned fish
in symmetrical rows
Young Offenders’ Program


my visiting son
as silly mothers are
as mine was with me


these geraniums
started from a cutting
have come with me
from house to rented house
always making me smile

cheery plants and hardy
blooming bright
remind me of my Dad
so very fond of them

over the way
children are singing
a schoolyard chant
on this peaceful day
children are laughing

on this date
forty-four years ago
I had been
a brand-new mother
for one whole day

closing my eyes
I lean against a post
almost nod off
until a smell of rain
sharpens the lazy air


hot windy day
the fire haze in the sky
thankfully old
from far north of here
chilling reminder


Those coils on my lawn —
brown snake or diamond python?
Live snake or shed skin?
Deceives me every time,
that twisting, exposed tree root.


I was four
she was white and strange
my Nana
in that hospital bed
I refused the last hug



  1. Each and every one of these fantastic writes drives home like a hammer! I love the tanka form, but have never been able to pull power from them such as you have here with each and every one. There's magic in the air I think! ;) I couldn't pick a favorite if you asked, but must say, refusing that last hug...oh my!

  2. Each, a nail, a strong sense of foreboding, especially the last one.

  3. That last on is heart wrenching. Great writing!

  4. Each one of these is truly special.

  5. so full of emotion (good and bad ems)…
    ‘’a brand-new mother
    for one whole day’’
    (adoption?, abortion?, and the leftover emotions….these come to my mind with the sadness which they convey. cf: ‘’chilling reminder’’ of the too-close-for-comfort fire.)

    ‘’that twisting, exposed tree root’’ fooling you everytime…is funny! vividly laughable.

    how geraniums convey a warm feeling for dad…nice touch here.
    how geraniums are always with you…follow you…sad that your dad doesn’t & isn’t.)

    farewell to your son…

    So much taken and so much remains (in feelings). I love your poem. Thank you for sharing with me.

  6. Thank you too, Mama Zen, manicddaily and tinkwellborn. I'm glad you enjoyed these pieces. I write at least one tanka a week for the facebook Tanka on Tuesday group and then put them all here in one post at the end of each month. Sometimes, as with the geranium etc. verses, I make a whole poem our of individual tanka.

    Tinkwellborn, the one about being a brand new Mum was not meant to imply anything sad. I said that at this time 44 years ago, I HAD BEEN a brand new Mum a whole day; I wasn't meaning to suggest that it had stopped. If so, I would have written, 'I WAS a brand new Mum / for just one day'. So please be happy, not sad about that one! It was meant to be celebratory. (Of course, some others are sad or scary.)

  7. I loved these glimpses, Rosemary. Love the "silly mother" tears, and the memory of being a new mom. Oh that transformative first day, hey? Loved these.

  8. Rosemary, these are wonderful. The saddest one is written about being four and refusing the last hug. I can understand how hard it would be for a four-year-old plus understand why that memory would live with you always.

  9. Thank you, Sherry and Mary, for understanding. :)