Tanka Writing Roundtable • Fall 2009
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Dr. Randy Brooks

Selected Tanka

Dr. Randy Brooks

December 11, 2009

Ah, a semester of writing tanka with new students and former haiku students, and with Dr. Carmella Braniger, who is quickly becoming an amazing tanka writer.

It has been such a pleasure reading the Modernist Japanese tanka writers and contemporary English-language tanka writers as we explored possibilities for tanka from our own neck of the woods at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Here are some of the favorite tanka I've written as part of this class, including some selected as favorites by the students.

football game over
our slow walk
to the gate
not wanting to say
goodbye again

one black balloon
rises over Millikin
with a prayer
the others

a long night
of whiskey
a duck


folds of skin
a whale's eye
I have no names
for these constellations

camera phone
a pic of her boyfriend
in the hospital
xrays of his arm
broken in two places


calling me
by name
from the back seat
the hitchhiker
in Jesus sandals

sermon on
the end of the world
I want to be
that little boy
rocked in mother's lap


© 2009, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.