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                     TANKA LIGHT

                                                                (November 2000 edition)
 

PAUL MacNEIL:
 
 

as dusk deepens
lakeshore trees become shadow
can it be
that only photographs
recall her face?
 

deepest blue
cat's-paws of wind
from different places
their ripples embrace
in a blur
 

high cirrus clouds
in a September sky
wind-brushed
so brief her life
and my own so long


 

FRANCINE PORAD:
 
 

a white moth 
crisscrosses the cemetery
after his burial
we talk of things earthly
things earthy
 

         U Haul 
parked by the sign

          DOG 
      AVAILABLE
  FOR   ADOPTION
 

one hundred year old: 
my last child buried . . .
in her lap
a magnifying glass
and prayerbook


 

CHRISTOPHER PATCHEL:
 
 

twinkling fireflies
form constellations
at twilight
the bittersweet images
of childhood lost
 

crimson sun
white shrouded
in haze   so deep
in my writing
the moment is lost
 

cloud streamers
of indigo and rose
in sunset's wake
only memories
of promises left


 

MARIA STEYN:
 
 

small table
pale blue irises cast
pattterned shadows
in the silence of
being here
 

spring mist
along the forest path
old memories
in the breeze of his hands
the smile of loving me
 

violin practice
fleeting notes touch
the night sky
hanging thread-thin
from her young hands


 

THELMA  MARIANO:
 
 

from the river's edge
a blend of warbled songs
highs and lows
the harmony we share
despite different notes
 

I locked my door
behind you for the last time
yet tonight
I feel your smile
warm the darkness of my room
 

winter walk
we share sunshine and dreams
as years ago
looking back now I see
our shadows on the snow


 

LARRY KIMMEL:
 
 

a thistledown floats
over grass and Queen Anne's lace
this yellow afternoon . . .
and what have I to do
with tumultuous times?

fast clouds,
autumn leaves swirl
in the street – 
I almost sob to see her happiness
wrapped in such a shabby coat
 

cold stars, white moon,
the crunch of snow underfoot – 
how it pierces
to recall a kindness
rudely refused


 

MARJORIE BUETTNER:
 
 

autumn morning
the sound of the swirl of leaves
surrounding me
how this petal restless wind
stirs something inside me too
 

cloud-waves
rolling over this full moon
to drift away
so too my thoughts have set sail
docking again at your shore
 

the abyss
at the edge feeling the wind
blow through bone
when will my heart learn to sing
like an eagle in song-flight


 

JANE REICHHOLD:
 
 

red white and black
the monks move among
the canyon walls
only the ages
can tell them apart
 

candlelight
it slowly finds the faces
radiant with joy
pre-dawn darkness
in the adobe chapel
 

the mysteries
move to the altar
bell tones
entering cup and plate
two thousand years of faith


 

DEBRA WOOLARD BENDER:
 
 

milky way faded
morning glories open
blue, blue, blue skies
why should I be saddened
to let shining dreams go?
 

longing for
deep thunder
on a rainy day
the phone call
only a sales pitch
 

after drought, rain...
tell me, did the water die
and go to heaven?
if i should be next to go,
let me rest and not return


 

TOM CLAUSEN:
 
 

as if one
were not enough
i daydream pleasantly
of several women
i know 
 

shes not here
to see it
but after breaking the stick
i perfectly fit the broken ends
back together again 
 

I did not want
to lie awake
in the dark,
but you were there
invisibly


 

PEGGY WILLIS LYLES:
 
 

a happy face
sketched on the windshield
blossoms drift
in all directions
from your cherry tree
        (for Elizabeth Searle Lamb)
 

clear water
from the mountain spring
you share my cup
refilling it in time
to catch the sunset's glow
 

with cold hands
we trace the little bear
from star to star
and leave a trail of seeds
in case the chipmunk comes


 

GERLA BRAKKEE:
 
 

oh, how fixed they seem!
the sun, the moon, the stars -
these past years
I seem to drift like a cloud
at the mercy of the wind
 

the spider web -
how long has it been there
unattended?
now it only gathers dust
like my forsaken dreams
 

the winter wind
whispers of more coldness
windswept tears
trace the curve of my cheeks
as your hands have never done


 

ELIZABETH ST JACQUES:
 
 

in full bright light
the graceful rise and fall
of the bluebird's wings
    you came to me
    so long ago like this
 

slow passage
in a gentle breeze
that golden leaf
and the wicker chair 
guiding mother’s steps
 

across the hill
September wind
softly whispering
   low love-prayers
   over family graves

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