Wake Up and Smell the Poetry – tanka

This is my second post about the event last Saturday in Hopkinton, called Wake Up and Smell the Poetry. Here are the tanka that I read at that event:


a backpack
with my life story inside
the truth
I twist and bend
just to get it in

~Atlas Poetica 17


studying smart phones
in the elevator
I break the silence
with a fart

~Atlas Poetica 17


never too old
to start something new
I have begun
drooling on my pillow

~Prune Juice 8


that barren tree
he wanted to chop down
not long
after he left her
blossoms on every branch

~Gusts 22


already late
I take the wrong exit
and my grandson laughs –
he hasn’t yet learned
how to panic

~Atlas Poetica 17


a frozen banana
falls to the floor
with a thud
only in my dreams
could I get so hard

~Prune Juice 8


on the wall
sharing my shower
a spider –
let’s pretend, my friend
we never saw each other

 ~Gusts 16


dark clouds
yet in the distance
a soft glow
comes over the trees –
there, the sun must be shining

~Red Lights 13.1


she sprawls out
over my lap
and purrs
only an animal
and yet . . .

~Atlas Poetica 22


Gentle waves
Rocking the boats
Another storm
My mind predicted
Never happens

~2014 TSA Contest Honorable Mention


Lying in bed
No strength
to lift this day
A stack of what-ifs
Sitting on my chest

 ~Ribbons 8.3

a tree trunk
lost in the shadow
of its branches…
another yes
when I meant to say no

~2015 Sanford Goldstein TSA International Contest Winner


on a shelf
in her dining room
the red truck
her father bought
hoping for a boy

~A Hundred Gourds 2.1


sunlight slips
through a tangle of trees
after the layoff
not knowing where to go
I take one step

~2015 Sanford Goldstein International Contest Honorable Mention


my penny
sinks to the bottom
of a well
all the wishes
I never made

 ~A Hundred Gourds 5.2


A mountain
wrapped in purple haze
if only
I could go back
and misspend my youth

~2012 TSA International Contest Second Prize


scent of rain
rising from the pavement
after a storm
the few things
I still believe

 ~Sonic Boom Anniversary Issue


roots so deep
I can’t pull them out
this life
that doesn’t know
it’s only a weed

 ~Red Lights 11.2


the cries of wild geese
then silence
by the time I look up
they’ve all flown away

~Gusts 24



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