A Change of Venue

I no longer can live in solitude at my little studio. The last several weeks I have spent in hospital and rehabilitation. Now I live in an assisted living setting. To everything, there is a season. Fortunately, I still have my computer and access, so I plan to continue this blog. I hopefully expect to continue to add resources and publications to this Tanka In English site. Inasmuch as I will not be sending off my new poems in submission for publication at any of my favorite fine tanka, haiku, etc., online and print venues, I will publish them by posting to Tanka In English. I hope you will follow my blog or check in from time to time for the latest. You are invited to email me at dengary@protonmail.com with suggestions, comments, and so on. — Denis M. Garrison

A New Article on Cinqku has been Added

My cinqku #6.

Cinqku, a strict form analog of minimalist tanka, is a form I created. My 2005 Haiku Harvest editorial, many of my own cinqku, and a brief new article (January 2020) describing my final prosody of cinqku, have been uploaded. The link is on the Essays & Articles Page. Here is the introduction to the final prosody article: “This very brief edit of my original 2005 prosody of the cinqku is my last word on this matter. I developed cinqku as a haiku analog, hence the 17-syllable requirement. However, after much experience with this form, I found it to be intrinsically a set form variety of minimalist tanka. Inasmuch as minimalist tanka written originally in English had long been practiced, the innovation in this form consists in the strict form requirements. It is my considered opinion that the inherent advantages of strictly formal verse operate maximally in the most radically brief forms. That is to say, the risk of formulaic excess present in all formal poetry is minimized by the skillful practice of radical brevity.” Read and download Cinqku here.

Essays & Articles Page Added

ESSAYS & ARTICLES PAGE has been added to this blog which provides some of the essays, articles, editorials, etc., which I have written over the last few decades. They may be of use and interest to tanka, haiku, and cinquain poets, readers, academics, publishers, etc. They are not in chronological order because they were not originally written as an intentional series. I hope you find something here that is worthwhile to you. The blog menus in the header and in the right sidebar include links to the new Essays & Articles page. Read and download Essays & Articles here.

2019’s Final Post of Tanka

Following are tanka I wrote in 2019 which have not been published in any other venue. I hope you find something that pleases.

this homestead
on a nameless plain …
the oat field’s soughing
field hands’ work song behind the
staccato of busy hammers

along the millstream’s
grassy verge, willows flourish …
beyond, young oaks
reach for the yellow sun—
the old millwheel turns

on my break
in the midst of God’s glory
praying Psalms
in this wretched alley
behind the workshop

For the last day of this year, here are a few jisei-ei (death tanka).

the tiny flowers
I found pressed in pages
of her books—
on her grave, so gently laid,
this bouquet she picked herself

tears flow
around my death bed
as that dread door
opens, at last,
I find my smile

smoke signals rise
from the crematorium
to high heaven …
the least of God’s servants
is coming home

Here are a few tanka with the Zeitgeist as my muse.

late winter’s cold light
filling rented rubbish bins
with all their false smiles
false promises, cover-ups
the debris of corruption

use … misuse … abuse
how good tools are weaponized
the works of our hands
turned against a forthright world —
how selfish souls build ruin

as we press for
all species’ preservation
let us all recall …
every living thing on earth
is a mutant — life changes!

half a century
deconstructing pronouns
he/she and him/her
as hatred’s darkness spreads
we must turn to us and them

city dump
above the fetid mounds
herring gulls
pipe aloft
in the iceberg blue sky

— Denis M. Garrison