1.  Pathetic fallacy Tanka

 

Late October. A feast of sun.

Burgundy leaves blatting the tiles.

The woods shed feathers

from a pheasant’s neck.

Shots and shafts of grace.

 

 

2.  Tanka of the trail of moments

 

My life, passing by only

a little less rapidly

than that of a mayfly,

is similarly

a joyous ordeal.

 

 

3.  Nested routines Tanka

 

I trot round like a circus pony

performing my

remorseless sequences.

And quite suddenly

it’s getting dark again.

 

 

4.  Positively 4th Street Tanka

 

Just one of the street’s

many ordinary recriminations:

but with what unfathomably

scornful tenderness

he jeers.

 

 

5.  Cursing Tanka

 

Already sour signs of blight –

exhaustion and exasperation –

blacken the harvest:

only a slave wants to

finish his work.

 

 

6.  Scorpio Rising Tanka

 

Always the raw fuel of desire

pressing to discharge

and gaudied up as pleasure.

He: “Opportunity!”

She: “Destiny!”

 

 

7.  Tanka of the balloon-soul

 

Man always and everywhere

strives to escape

from his straightjacket;

but everywhere and always

he hankers for effortlessness.

 

 

8.  Tanka in Bramshill Woods

 

The seethe of traffic rises

to climb the sloping sky

and is carried off

on the backs of seahorses.

Yellow leaves steam the trees.

 

 

9.  Tanka of many waters

 

This woman is like a jewel

whose depths only the years

they promise will unfold.

A star’s crescent lure

into and out of time.

 

 

10.  Airshow Tanka

 

Unflinching, the stern aisle-

goddesses of powdered stone

stare into the distance.

The smile, when it comes,

is firmly confidential.

 

 

11.  Tanka of Two Worlds

 

In the swarm of events

sheer complexity must inevitably

give rise to some logic –

in the soaring

wastes of silence.

 

 

12.  Bright Valley Tanka

 

The Beune’s early mist

fogs the firs’ feet or hangs

like a banner for the buzzards.

Newly aroused, laurel leaves

spoon the sun’s glitter.

 

 

13.  Birthday Tanka

 

Watching the shift of light,

slowing down,

staring into silence.

Now sixty but at last

overcoming the pull of gravity.

 

 

14.  Catherington Tanka 

 

Bushels of ash keys clutch

like gulls’ claws at the wind,

their tall ships heaving at anchor,

firmly absorbing the wind’s

shocks and lean sighs.

 

 

15.  Big Bangle Tanka

 

All the pin-light jewellery ―

garland-like galaxies,

gold-showered clusters suspended

in vast brooches ―

must startle mind and sight.

 

 

16.  Tanka Brumaire

 

Pools of dawn smoke stand

in the garden but only a few

finches chip the forest hush.

And fewer weekend cars

pass in long waves.

 

 

17.  Deckchair Tanka

 

We settle in timelessness

as in a basking deckchair

but know it must all

come to an end somewhere

even as things still swirl.

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