Tanka Attempts 1 Fvorites

Roundtable Tanka Favorites 1, Fall 2017

she walks with me
golden hair glistening from the sunlight
a love and bond
that can never be broken
just me and my dog

your picture
on the dashboard
I long to feel
your soft hand in mine
come home

Ben Williamson (5)

young at heart
not a care in the world
future ahead of me
music of my youth
on the oldies station

Norman Mears (2)

First Tuesday
of every month
tornado sirens
to their hearts' content

Kathryn Coffey (5)

the zombies emerge
wandering aimlessly
through the halls of the building
focusing on the importance of life
through electronic devices

all the lights
turned down low
I close my eyes
and dream
you are laying with me

are you staying?
she left me
and . . .

Lauren Rhodes (3)

conversation with father
he looks the same as last year
fresh flowers
upon the tombstone

Norman Mears (5)

the ink
     in my skin
          keeps me
               from caring
                    about you.

Hannah Ottenfield (6)

This tanka stuck out to me, more than the rest. I loved how the spacing adds to it. I took this tanka as a person having a tattoo. Since every tattoo does represent a story of a time in a person's life, this particular tattoo was the freedom they needed from this relationship. Every time the author sees this work of art, they are reminded of what was in the past and why it still remains in the past. Norman

This Tanka spoke to me on so many levels. I too have tattoos, many in fact and every time you get one there's a sensation almost like a scar being made to get one. So I connect with the ink and how it could keep someone from denying and or running away from someone. You replace their memory with ink so you don't have to carry that load with you in your mind. It's on your body freeing your mind to carry about something or someone else. Lauren

Buckle up
we're going on an adventure
double cheeseburgers, large fries
just ketchup
Eww, it has pickles

Lauren Rhodes (4)

The tears
act like a leech
bringing everybody down
even though
all she wants is to be with the clouds

of all the stars
i can see from
my Chicago rooftop,
        you remain
        the brightest

Hannah Ottenfield (5)

coming home
from the heat of the sun
my heart is even warmer
now that she has returned
la mas dulce de mi vida

Hannah Ottenfield (3)

There's a sense of intimacy, humanity, and character to these works that I admire and aspire to.~Kathryn

Like a chandelier
these tears hang above me,
even when not in use
there's a dull bulb
I can never bring myself to change

Lauren Rhodes (5)

Pandora's box
one day
he changes the bulb
unaware of the load he lifted
and the event he set into motion

Lauren Rhodes (5)

although subtle
break in
even the stiffest
of leather

Ben Williamson

Being a fan of baseball, I took this as the laces of a mitt. A new mitt is always stiff and needs "work" done to it, to make it ready for playing. Conditioner, bending, and twisting it every which way and many way to break in a new mitt. Yet, the laces of a mitt, being as small as they are, if missing can destroy a mitt. Norman

How could I talk
without fear
of losing
what I gained
in silence

Kathryn Coffey (5)

tries to flee
Don't worry
Mama's got you
claws unsheathed

Old song comes on
from God knows when
a car passes by
I wonder
how she's doing

i am finally
at peace
with all that you've done
     and i wish the both of you

Hannah Ottenfield (3)

Nomad why
you go?
To save you.
I never asked you for that!

our wedding song
on the radio
looking for
a parking space
at the lawyers

Norman Mears (6)

Talk about opportunity knocks. It was interesting to hear the history behind Norman's tanka piece. Like Hannah, I remember putting star marks next to a lot of his tanka. They had heart, and I really like them a lot. And even if I didn't mark one of his the first time reading through the worksheet but talked about in the kukai, I still liked reading it. ~Kathryn

around three
the rabid barking
my dog protecting me
from the bills in my mailbox

Norman Mears (3)

speaking for hours
about music
with one of the pioneers
of the blues
we order another drink

Sauna night
jump in the lake
staring up at the sky
full of stars
in silence

Kathryn Coffey

family and friends
one more time
from the hearse
his last parade

Norman Mears (3)

i don't take sugar
in my coffee
the conversation
with my friends
is sweet enough

Hannah Ottenfield (5)

Me dibujo flores
Ya no se el razon
Porque, los flores representa mi alma
Mi alma sin tu
Yo estoy libre, no tengo feliz

(The above poem is in Spanish, it's translated below.)

I draw flowers
I don't why anymore
maybe, because they represent my soul
my soul without you
I'm free, but I'm not happy

Lauren Rhodes (3)

oceans in your eyes
depths and waves of blue and green
crashing over me
terrifying but soothing
pulling me under.

© 2017, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.