From whiskbroom branches
blackbirds drop a watersong
brown rain in their throats
leaf mummies see the moon's face
music-washed night after night.
Winter's hand strokes wind
across the grain, a dry sea
flat in shades of dust
in time the lost mermaid dies
beached high in the bones of grass.
Let the smoke go up
pluming on horseheads of clouds
visible for miles;
let the wildfire come starved
to its briar sacrifice.
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Challenge: Why I Write Tanka, Part II
Dr Hisashi Nakamura has generously shared his knowledge and skill with the short Japanese syllabic form known as tanka in this series at The Imaginary Garden. A tanka contains 31 English syllables in a line pattern of 5/7/5/7/7. I find them very difficult to write, but easier than not writing them, perhaps, today. I have used the bare minimum of punctuation, so I beg indulgence for my grammatical liberties.
Process note on the third tanka: Like many areas of the western US, we are having wildfires this winter due to drought, high winds and human stupidity.
Photographs: Oak-Blackbirds-Maple, Prairiewise Seeds copyright joyannjones 2014