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

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