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TANKA TAKE HOME : 13 April — a Wednesday feature

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

hosts: Firdaus Parvez, Kala Ramesh, Priti Aisola, and Suraja Roychowdhury

Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!

book of the month: 'the forest i know' by Kala Ramesh


‘the forest i know’, for me, despite the name, is like a river meandering through the landscape of life. A woman’s life. But, first it was a trickle of awareness.



truth lies

concealed in maya

and beneath the veil

once lifted

truth lies



(I love the play on the word ‘lies’, it lifts the tanka to another level)


And then, the stream gurgles into a stronger current of self-awareness.


treading

the trodden path

this autumn dusk

I come to realize

I’m just ordinary



easily drawn

into the stillness

between stars

I look for the spaces

within me



if I let go

of everything I cherish

the winds

would surely carry me

away like a feather




Every Wednesday for the month of April, I will be sharing some of the poems that touched me the most. Let’s venture on this journey together, feel the rawness of heartbreak, and the honest vulnerability of a poet finding herself. I will let the poems speak for themselves. Ponder over them, and glean your own interpretation. Tell me about it and then, write your poems in the comments.



An essay on how to write tanka: Tanka Flights


Are you inspired!


We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished tanka and tanka-prose (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly magazine.

Also, please do mention, under your poem, if you would like feedback.


But wait a minute before you start writing your tanka. We thought we’d give our members something to think about; to try a different approach from what they’ve been writing so far. Here’s the challenge for the week. Write a tanka in the 1/4 image format. You can click on the link given above and read all about it. To make this even more challenging, we’ve decided to consider only tanka written in this format this week for haikuKATHA. Good Luck, but most of all have fun while you learn.

Here are some examples by Kala Ramesh.


1/4 divide:


autumn fields - a fork in the road widening our shadows even farther



alone now … I light the oil lamp at sunset to keep the gathering darkness from hemming in my soul



kids long gone … this autumn dusk I linger in each room remembering the candle-melting laughter



Looking forward to some amazing poems.



684 views324 comments

324 Comments


Subir Ningthouja
Subir Ningthouja
Apr 19, 2022

Revised with kind inputs from Priti


rented room ...

you, me

and the almirah

overflowing

with our dreams


Original


rented room ...

you and me

and the almirah

overflowing

with our dreams

Like
Subir Ningthouja
Subir Ningthouja
Apr 21, 2022
Replying to

Thanks so much for the kind encouragement 🙏

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neena singh
neena singh
Apr 19, 2022

Revised after feedback from Kala, Lakshmi & Namratha.

Does this work?


forest bathing…

she unravels the years

they spent together

to rise like a phoenix

from the ashes of the past


___________

Original version

forest walk…

unraveling the years

spent together

she rose like a phoenix

from the ashes of the past


Like
Replying to

Good revision :)

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Subir Ningthouja
Subir Ningthouja
Apr 18, 2022

Revised with kind suggestions from Kalaji


distant hills ...

into the calm haze

I walk

seeking myself

where shadows play


Original


distant hills

in a calm haze

I wade

seeking myself

where shadows play

Like
Replying to

I like this a lot- the contrast between a calm haze and seeking myself where shadows play is beautiful.

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Nani Mariani
Nani Mariani
Apr 18, 2022

prayer beads

endlessly spinning

in the hospital

eerie atmosphere

hard to sleep well


🕯🕯 your feedback, please, thank you 👩‍❤️‍👩

Like
Tish Davis
Tish Davis
Apr 21, 2022
Replying to

For L2 & L3 you might consider 'endlessly counting' / 'the repetitions'


Also, if you used 'in the emergency room' instead of 'hospital' wouldn't the 'eerie atmosphere' be implied?


(I hope, if you were ill, that you are better now.)

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pink moon...

a cloudburst

that ripped the sky

leaving tears

that may never heal


Last night's full moon was called the pink moon (first full moon in April). What do you think?

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Replying to

Thank you Firdaus, Kala. Barbara for your suggestions. What I intended was to show the calm after the storm in L1- that is the pink moon, also a metaphor for red eyes after tears. The rest of it is fairly self explanatory, although I did want to play with 'tears' - as in ripped as well as the salty stuff that comes from your eyes...:)

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