Tag Archives: Japanese verse forms

Rainbows and sunshine: tanka

This note may be dark,
but it reflects the weather.
Besides, too much light
fades color from everything.
What a gray world that would make!

Rainbows and sunshine
do not help the whole world grow.
There must be dark storms
to fuel life at its deep roots,
build jungles out of deserts.

Seeing only good
is merely self-hypnosis;
dark and light exist
in equal measure out there.
Why persist out of balance?

05 JUN 2017

Share This:

Sky and Water: sedoka

Why is the sky blue
except from reflected water
stretched between small bits of land?

Why is water blue
except its depths mirror skies
above it, touching everything?

23 MAY 2017

Share This:

Time Travel: katauta

What is this thing life?
Even stuck still in amber
the passage of time remains.

What use is living?
Even the largest river
remembers the breeze touching.

What is this thing life?
Keeping track of each minute
wastes yet another minute.

30 MAR 2017

Share This:

Morning Dogs: choka

The scrabble of claws
across the linoleum:
waking with the dogs.
At the first hint of morning,
they are ready to go.

Forget your sleeping.
The moment your body stirs,
their insistence starts.
Outside, outside! they clamor,
until you do their bidding.

Resistance is futile:
bedcovers pulled from your eyes,
the morning sun blinds.
You need no alarm clock’s ring
once these furry kids awake.

02 FEB 2017

Share This:

You Could Change: tanka

You could change the world
if just given half a chance;
why are you waiting?
It really doesn’t matter
once the moment’s gone away.

You could move mountains
if just sincerely inspired;
what more do you need?
It doesn’t really mean much
to speak loudly but not act.

You could light the way
if these clouds would only clear;
how is that helpful?
When the darkness has dissolved,
no one needs a raging fire.

You could change the world
in an instant, with a word;
why not start speaking?
You might as well say nothing
if no one will ever hear.

11 APR 2013

Share This:

New Day: a choka

A new day is born:
look, how the world starts again;
its still form awakes
from an evening’s slumber
and shakes the sleep from its eyes.

In the quiet hours
before its hum becomes roar,
the whole of life breathes:
a low, gentle rush of air
that fills creation anew.

28 APR 2011

Share This:

A Haiku

The tap left running,
wasting water and money;
all call it evil.

they watch it dripping,
blame who turned it, and cry
“How wrong! How shameful!”

No one moves to change
the sad scene; their sole action
is indignation.

Yet when someone tries
to turn the spigot’s flow off,
they are reviled, too.

Is it the action,
or our own nothing done
that is upsetting?

So you can describe
how the world has become mad,
and with pride, complain.

Just being righteous
without fixing what is wrong
compounds the problem.

What glory is there
in being right about things
that make life ugly?

There is no changing
without risking ridicule.
You must at least try.

05 AUG 2004

Share This: