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TANKA TAKE HOME: 15th May, 2024 Beverley George - poet of the month

Updated: May 20

hosts: Firdaus Parvez, Kala Ramesh, Priti Aisola & Suraja Menon Roychowdhury


Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!


May 15, 2024


poet of the month: Beverley George

slicing a lemon

with my sharpest knife

seeds remain in place

segments hold their structure

despite my child's divorce


2nd place 6th International Festival Competition

(Japan Times Award)


sharing coffee

with a newly widowed man

tears glaze his eyes . . .

what do I do now, he asks

with her unfinished novel?


Eucalypt A Tanka Journal Issue 27, 2019


We are deeply grateful to Beverley George for sharing her beautiful poems with us.


Bio-note: Beverley George is a Writing Fellow of The Fellowship of Australian Writers and past editor of Yellow Moon 9-20, 2000-2006 poetry journal which included tanka. She is the founding editor of Eucalypt: a Tanka Journal, Australia's first poetry journal dedicated to tanka. She edited issues 1-21, (2006-16) before passing editorship to Julie Thorndyke. In addition, she edited issues of Windfall Australian Haiku issues 1-10, 2013-2022.


Beverley was president of the Australian Haiku Society 2006-10. She presented papers at the 3rd Haiku Pacific Rim Conference in Matsuyama, Japan 2007 and at the 6th International Tanka Festival, Tokyo, Japan 2009. She also conducted a tanka workshop at Haiku Aotearoa 3 Katikati, New Zealand in 2012.


In 2009 she convened the four-day 4th Haiku Pacific Rim with delegates from six countries attending at Terrigal, Australia.


Her books of tanka poetry include:

empty garden; Tanka by Beverley George 

Sydney, Yellow Moon, 2006, reprinted 2013


This Pinging Hail

Eucalypt 2012


Only in Silence

Tanka by Beverley George; Translated by Aya Yuhki

Pearl Beach, Kenilworth Road 2017


A Shared Umbrella

the responsive tanka and rengay of Beverley George & David Terelinck

Eucalypt 2016


Grevillea & Wonga Vine; Australian Tanka of Place

edited by Beverley George and David Terelinck

Eucalypt, 2011


wind through the wheatfields

Tanka by Beverley George writing with friends

Eucalypt, 2012


A Temple Bell Sounds; 108 tanka from the first twenty-one issues of Eucalypt: a tanka journal, selected by the journal’s founding editor Beverley George, Eucalypt 2017

A few thoughts on Beverley's tanka:

A child’s divorce is a very unsettling thing. And, if whatever lead to the divorce and its process has been a difficult one, the resultant pain is sharp and unendurable. One feels as if everything around one is falling apart. However, in the first tanka, through the image of the lemon that is sliced with the sharpest knife, we get to know that ‘seeds remain in place / segments hold their structure / despite my [her] child’s divorce’. One imagines that everything that is a part of one’s familiar world will give way or be in shambles. But it is not so. Also, the unexpressed thought is: if the lemon segments can hold their structure, why can’t I retain my composure in this present sharply painful situation? A brilliant use of the lemon image here!


In the second tanka the grief and bewilderment of  ‘a newly widowed man’ is palpable and sensitively expressed through his question: what do I do now … with her unfinished novel? The widower’s life too is an ‘unfinished novel’ in the absence of his wife who is no more. Simple words, relatable imagery and restrained expression — this is the beauty of this tanka.


Prompt for this week:

We invite you to write tanka about an unsettling or trying life situation. Use simple words with precision and images drawn from your everyday experience to do so.


 Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It really helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!




And remember – tanka, because of those two extra lines, lends itself most beautifully when revealing a story. And tanka prose is storytelling.


Give these ideas some thought and share your tanka and tanka-prose with us here. Keep your senses open, observe things that happen around you and write. You can post tanka and tanka-prose outside these themes too.


An essay on how to write tanka: Tanka Flights here



1. Post only one poem at a time, only one per day.

2. Only 2 tanka and two tanka-prose per poet per prompt.

   Tanka art of course if you want to.

3. Share your best-polished pieces.

4. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written. Let it

    simmer for a while.

5. Post your final edited version on top of your original verse.

6. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.


We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished tanka and tanka-prose (within 250 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly magazine.


Please check out the LEARNING Archives.

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792 views430 comments


mona bedi
mona bedi
7 days ago

Post #2


you refrain

from professing your love —

longingly I behold

a pair of pigeons on the sill

preening each other

Feedback appreciated:)

Mona Bedi

Delhi, India

Replying to



twilight again

I know you won't be back

walking alone

let's me tell you

about the day

Replying to

Nice, David..

I think L 4 has a typo


20/5/24 #2

Footsteps of fallen leaves

A nightingale's song stops and the rain begins. Hunter's moon on the tip of tall bamboo. Swaying to the sound of absence. Another anniversary of loss.

I gather

fallen pine cones

in a bucket --

the spiral growth

of this humble habit

C.X. Turner, UK

(feedback welcome)

Replying to

This is beautiful.



deserted playground


of children’s laughter

in the stillness

a black bunny

barbara olmtak

The Netherlands, May 20th, 2024

Feedback welcome 🙏

Barbara  Olmtak
Barbara Olmtak
7 days ago
Replying to

Ah ! Such lovely comments. Thank you all, Susan, CX Turner,Priti and Padma 🌹🌹

And with regard to the 'black' bunny...that is what I wanted it to instigate....curiosity, quessing and interpreting according to own imagination or frame of reference 🙏💖

For me it is a bit of a sad one. Yet sadness can cause a certain nostalgia and also 'gratitude '

Warm regards and thank you for stopping by 🌹


Thanks, Barbara: edited.

the moon rises

above the Pune hills

is it only

to peep into

my bedroom window


the moon rises

above the Pune hills

it is only       to peep into my bedroom window

Kala Ramesh #1 Feedback, please?

Barbara  Olmtak
Barbara Olmtak
7 days ago
Replying to


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