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TANKA LIGHT





(December 2001 Edition)
 

SANFORD GOLDSTEIN:
 
 

what I most enjoyed,
the bard once wrote,
now contented least
and so my own condition
tumbling, tumbling down
 

bewildered
by this turn,
that,
and still, my tanka muse,
you lead me on
 

tanka muse,
you'll need
a crane
to lift this me
off my solid earth
 


 

THELMA MARIANO:
 
 

I search for you
 by the pool where we stood
 in the moonlight
 seeing for the first time
 the debris in its depths
 

 first leaves underfoot
 the smell of roasted peppers
 as summer ends
 our distance grows and
 sighs fade into silence
 

 like the winged seeds
 that drift on the breeze
 to find my way
 I must learn to follow
 the stirrings of my heart

PAMELA A. BABUSCI:
 
 

news of her death... 
i am like a broken reed 
floating down a stream 
both sides lined with 
blue flags 

(In Memory of  Sue Stapleton-Tkach 
July 3, 1924~Oct. 29, 2001)
 
 

her long tresses 
sprinkled with petals 
reflected in the mirror
how long will she await 
his knock upon her door?
 

i cannot make promises 
i might not keep 
but we are here now 
listening to the rain 
wet with love 


 

JANE REICHHOLD:
 
 

flower faces
a small child smiles
a woman's own
priest-craft of magic
fragrant and perfectly equal
 

winter
quarrels of parents
blowing snow
buries the murdered
childhood in silence
 

mother and child
in an economy of feeling
tide pull
and limpet home-life
of mica smoothed rocks


 

MARJORIE A. BUETTNER:
 
 

will it ever end
this yearning that I harbor
for those I have lost
father, child, lover and now
mother's eyes clouded with stars
 

lake mirroring dusk
waters softly cup the shore
then ebb away
if only for a moment
if only for a day
 

first cup of tea
this early morning hour
amid fading stars
I think about how far now
we have grown from our wishes


 

JEANNE JORGENSEN:
 
 

the Century Plant
blossoming later in life—
so, too, this couple
time-etched faces aglow
as their mototbikes pass by
 

in a small hamlet
first carnival sets up
beside the old church
farmers light up and gossip
while children marvel at it all
 

this winter
another boy who dared—
beside the river
his mother throws roses
into a hole in the ice


 

TOM CLAUSEN:
 
 

tiny bluets
all around me
and over there
a couple,
very much in love 
 

this pounding rain
mocking my passion
for you
who
I don't even know 
 

my letters
unanswered
twisting my heart sense
whether to write at least
one more


 

LARRY KIMMEL:
 
 

their names gone
but i'll never forget that afternoon
in kitzbuehel -
the giggling two of them
teaching me essential german
 

evenings find me sorting
the past, a harvest of old letters
penned to no one -
in the woods below the house
a lone owl hoots
 

across the river
six pines
black in the moonlight -
thinking of a time
by time distorted . . .


 

MARIA STEYN:
 
 

night breezes
whisper in blossom trees
our dreams
drifting past the Milky Way
into timelessness and back
 

if only we could
hold white summer roses
lightly in our hands . . .
how soon the moon slips away
on this cloud-scattered night
 

a summer kite
growing smaller and smaller
severed
the strings of polite words 
that kept us from the truth


 

CINDY TEBO:
 
 

that's the way it was 
with Walter Cronkite 
on the evening news 
one day he retired while I 
moved away from childhood 
 

visions of snow 
from an early frost 
on my sideview mirror 
if only I could change the wind 
and put the car in reverse
 

If I kept 
a list of worries 
the clouds would never end 
so for you, sunshine, 
I'll fake a smile 


 

DONNA FERRELL:
 
 

In the gloaming,
The sliver of a moon—
A small spark. . .
That this heart would move as lightly
As the rising firefly!
 

Only the whistle
Of chill autumn wind filling
An empty heart;
If these brilliant leaves
Could be stored there 'til spring!


 

KIRSTY KARKOW:
 
 

acorns
drum on fallen leaves
soft staccato
of a heart responding
to this bejeweled path
 

the sadness
of women trapped in burkas
never to know
the freedom wild birds have
to sing in any tree
 

more than
these few miles of road
the distance
that separates me
from my mother


 

ELIZABETH ST JACQUES:
 
 

horrific news
from new york
in autumn air
the slow-motion drift
of red rose petals
 

heavy clouds
a fluttering moth
in the web
this sudden need
to hear a voice
 

cold dark day 
yet the wounded cyclamen 
still blooms 
as we too reawaken 
to our inner call 

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