top of page

TANKA TAKE HOME - 9th November 2022 | poet of the month - Tish Davis

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

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

Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!


poet of the month: Tish Davis


9th November


Tish Davis / Tanka Prose


Marked with a "B"


curved wood

to and fro rhythms . . .

my grandson

lifts another flap

in the board book


Baby animals. I bring my lips together and make their sounds. He delights in touching the textures: wiry whiskers; soft fur; down feathers . . . Oh, how each open window's treasure must feel against fingers still so new! The white pom pom yarn used for the bunny's tail is his favorite.


the bunny

on the cardboard page

still waiting

for me

to imitate its cry


My grandson, a "MoMo" twin and the only one to make it to term, has fallen asleep on my lap with one of his little hands wrapped around my index finger. I rock him, rock him, and listen to him breathe. Was he holding his brother's hand when his brother passed?


rocking in this chair

what's connecting the curved wood

I cannot see;

something stronger holds me

holding my grandson



First published in Skylark (7:1, Summer 2019)

Author's note: For additional info on monoamniotic twins.

***

Thank you, Tish, for taking time off to answer our questions. _()_


2. TTH: How did you get started as a poet? I was in the “Advanced Literature” class in high school. One of our assignments was to memorize and recite the Prologue to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. I started writing poetry then. During my last year of high school, that same teacher encouraged us to submit a poem for some type of competition. (I don’t remember the details.) During an awards ceremony that last week of school it was announced that my poem had been selected. I don’t remember if I “won” or “placed” but I was surprised and that motivated me to sign up for poetry classes in college. In one of my poetry classes, I was introduced to a public speaking team that travelled to other universities and competed. I signed up for the classification “Oral Interpretation of Poetry.” Our coach taught us how to mark up our selected poem, so we knew where to stress a syllable and where to pause. I received high marks in my first competition. I recited an excerpt from Stephen Vincent Benét’s “John Brown’s Body.” I think of that poem even now in the context of tanka prose and how one can often amplify musicality via the use of repetition.

Bio: Tish Davis lives in Northern Ohio. Her tanka and related forms have appeared in numerous online and print publications. When she isn’t busy with work and grandchildren she enjoys exploring the local parks with her husband and three dogs.



Challenge for this week: rocking in this chair

what's connecting the curved wood

I cannot see;

something stronger holds me

holding my grandson


Ls 4 & 5 are subtle and seem to hold true mysterious grace in the above tanka. In my years of coming to understand the tanka spirit, I think it's this mysterious quality in tanka and that too in the lower verse (Ls 4 & 5) that zeros in on tanka spirit. D T Suzuki says:

Yugen (幽玄) is a mysterious concept. It is a compound of two characters, the first of which indicates mist settling in a valley and the second indicating impenetrability. Give us tanka & tanka-prose loaded with "yugan." Not saying it's easy! Just try! It would be so beautiful if all of you share your feedback on others' tanka and tanka-prose. This is a nurturing space and as much as we love getting feedback for our poems, I'm sure each poet feels the same. Please make it a two-way road :))) ***


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 this theme too.


An essay on how to write tanka: Tanka Flights PLEASE NOTE 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.

Tags:

454 views198 comments

198 Kommentare


Billie Dee
Billie Dee
23. Nov. 2022

#1--23Nov22


steady rain and my daughter’s house full of grandkids, dogs

how lucky I am to have

this big red umbrella


feedback welcome


---Billie

Gefällt mir

DECISIONS

A toss-turn night. I wake on the floor beside my futon mattress.The scent of fresh-woven tatami

sets me sneezing.Sliding open the shoji screens reveals Hakata harbour at dawn framed in the tall windows.

a liner glides

past dark bonsai islands ----

tomorrow

I'll take over this lease

and sign the divorce papers


Amelia Fielden

Gefällt mir
Billie Dee
Billie Dee
23. Nov. 2022
Antwort an

Wonderful poem, and lovely to see you here, Amelia! The "dark bonsai islands" is such an effective prelude to L3-5. This one will stick with me for a while. Thanks.


---Billie

Gefällt mir

Bryan Rickert
Bryan Rickert
15. Nov. 2022

#1


passing the house

where I was raised

surely

the cold of your ghost

still lingers there


comments always welcome

Gefällt mir
Ron Russell
Ron Russell
16. Nov. 2022
Antwort an

A cryptic tanka leaving the reader much to ponder as to who is the ghost; what happened in that house; how it affected your childhood; what lingering effect it still holds on your adult life; and what skeletons are still hiding in those closets. The word choice of 'cold' is all that's needed to add a sinister touch in directing one's thoughts. Cold also implies the ghost is not seen but felt--- perhaps felt deeply, to the bone. So much left unsaid is what makes this tanka excel and continue its haunting in the mind of the reader. Loved it.

Gefällt mir

mona bedi
mona bedi
14. Nov. 2022

Post #2 Revised thanks to Susan!


deep autumn

I make friends

with the fortune teller

...worried when he can't

foresee my future


deep autumn

I make friends

with the fortune teller

if only he could

foresee my future


Feedback appreciated:)

Gefällt mir
Suraja Roychowdhury
Suraja Roychowdhury
16. Nov. 2022
Antwort an

I love this one, Mona :). You are bribing him ...

Gefällt mir

Barbara  Olmtak
Barbara Olmtak
14. Nov. 2022

Still pondering on yugen I thought I'll give it a humble try.....all feedback welcome ?


clear images

of what awaits

observed by the third eye

I turned a blind eye

too little too late


barbara olmtak

Gefällt mir
bottom of page