Tanka Kukai 3

Roundtable Tanka Kukai 3, Fall 2011

walking through the door
gazing into the eyes
of a child
those eyes . . . not knowing.
I will never see Boo again.

Bill Rzesutko (4)

every year,
it seems,
the same
depressing, sad, melancholy
status updates

I wonder what was
going through your mind
when they blew your mind
against the window . . .
Besides the bullet, I mean.

Desi Thomas (6)

I love the playfulness of the wording in this poem. It could be a very bleak image but instead it is playful, almost bitingly sarcastic--which is fitting because the subject in question bit the bullet. Excellent voice, but one has to wonder, who's narrating this? Given the use of "they" it doesn't seem to be the shooter, but is it someone who was accompanying them? Is it a scorned lover, a distant family member thinking "oh I bet you deserved it," a college rival? Why was the subject shot? Its so to the point and yet the tanka leaves so many open ended questions that I find it remarkable. Samantha

she hands her the ice cream
puts in the movie they know too well
lets her laughter turn to tears
the ice cream melts and disappears
like the innocence she gave to him

full of adrenaline
from this epic fight
we could have all died
I pick up my wand
Ewww! Troll boogies!

Bill Rzesutko (3)

poptart breakfast
rushing out the door
i taste the coffee
on your lips
and nothing else

Morgan Ewald (2)

once about
showing off a costume
now all about
showing off cleavage

Kendall Robison

I like this tanka because it's true. I remember when there was a time where people were in a race to have the scariest costume because it’s Halloween: which is about scary stuff, right? But now, it’s all about wearing the shortest shirt or dress, showing off as much cleavage as possible, and making everything sexy. Such as 'sexy' nurse, 'sexy' witch, 'sexy' pirate,'sexy' zombie, 'sexy' etc., etc., etc. It reminds me of the part in "Mean Girls" where Lohan says "... in girl world, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girl can say anything about it." Desiree

listening to laughter
I sit as a Jedi Knight
doorbell rings
I gather candy
to pass to the young Padawan

the troll realizes
he would not
be visiting Hogwarts
this year

Desi Thomas (8)

Samuel Adams
Blue Moon
Fat Tire
they all sit empty
on the cupboard

washing dishes
by hand
in the fluffy suds
you throw your plate in
with a splash

You open the book
that is my life
in efforts to come back,
not knowing that your chapter
was ripped out

Desi Thomas

This was hands down my favorite one from Kukai. Using the book to symbolize one's life and then continually coming back to that comparison was really well done. I could feel the strength and empowerment this author had, when this person kept trying to renter their life, and I admire it. Ashley

I used to catch fire quick
burning everything that
stood in my path but now
I douse myself in liquid nitrogen
too cool to feel anything

Desi Thomas (7)

it's been
unusually cold
the days grow shorter
my hair still tussled
just the way you left it

Desi Thomas (4)

can we truly understand
the whims
of the wind?
Her breezy smile
turns to billow anger

Joe Sparks (7)

The personification of the wind, which blows in all directions as it fancies, strikes me . . . I do see it as whimsical, especially while watching leaves skitter. However, the wind can also be ferocious and cause untold amounts of damage in gusts, tornadoes, hurricanes. I imagine that one hand this poem is merely talking about the breeze, yet on another hand it is about a woman who can be sweet, gentle, and whimsical, but can also be strong, angry, and devestating. A girl who's always on the move, never slowing down. Samantha

midnight letters
to be written
sing sweet nightingale
give me love melodies!

Joe Sparks (3)

under the bridge
the grumpy old troll
yearns to
or treat

Kendall Robison (4)

encased in black,
the dancer,
the swan;
a girl pretends
on Halloween

jingle bells jingle bells
rockin' around the Christmas tree
Santa Claus is coming
and you'll be home for Christmas
but what happened to Thanksgiving?

Ashley Longcor (4)

I like this one because it shows that I'm not the only one who's thinking this. It's seems that once Halloween ended, they said "screw Thanksgiving" and started rolling out the Christmas decorations and fake reindeers. I sort of feel like Dr. Braniger's daughter: they might as well bring out the Easter candy and forget about New Year's and Valentine's Day. Desiree

the days I didn't need
these tiny blue pills to smile so widely
are vivid only
as I lay staring up past the leaves . . .
knowing we'll both fall again

Samantha Parks (7)

B.efore, I thought we were
F.riends that would be there
F.or each other
Now, I know you and
That acronym are a lie

Desi Thomas

I thought this one was interesting how it used an acrostic poem within the tanka. On top of that the author used this acronym that usually has such a fun playful connotation to get out these bitter feelings they have. Overall I thought the poem was definitely one of the more interesting ones. Ashley

was a time
when i'd be happy
with a cheap trinket
i'd settle for a cheap meal

Owen Kosik (6)

This was one of my favorites in the kukai, but I'm just going to reiterate what I had mentioned in class. I really like this poem because of the twist from want to need; materialism to necessity. I also like how [as someone else mentioned] it starts off in the middle of a thought. Whether this was a typo or intentional, I think it really does add an air of intrigue to the poem, giving it more depth and feel. Because of such a beginning,it shows that the character is really thinking. Joseph

at night i shudder
as i get into bed
your feet and hands,
so icy cold.
are you dead yet?

Morgan Ewald (5)

© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.