Page 1


ISBN-13: 978-1508844181

ISBN-10: 1508844186

Contents Page: March 31th 1. Featured Tanka




2. Featured Tanka Art ……………………


3. Tanka Sequences …………………...


4. Tanka Art



5. Tanka



6. Haiku/ Sequence



7. Editor’s Tanka



FEATURED TANKA on our honeymoon to the Natchez of my birth we find a house where I hear ghosts whisper... one of them me Rebecca Drouihet, USA Rebecca Drouilhet is a 59 year old retired registered nurse. Her haiku and tanka have appeared in numerous print and electronic magazines and journals. She won a Sakura award in 2012, and she and her husband published a book of haiku titled: Lighting a Path in the fall of 2014. She is a member of the Tanka Society of America where her work has been featured in their publication, Ribbons.



Anne Curran, New Zealand,

Angelee Deodhar: Photo

Anne Curran is from Hamilton, New Zealand. She has been writing haiku and tanka verse forms for about four years now. She has been inspired to write Japanese verse forms by excellent mentoring from editors and fellow poets. She is excited by this learning, and by the fact that she still has much to learn. She studied aspects of Japanese language and culture at University and when living in Japan. Angelee Deodhar has kindly collaborated with her to produce this tanka art.


Then and Now (Tanka Sequence) you a silence that spoke to me eloquently when we were a smile wafting in a gentle wind of maiolica flowers I am now what I was then no longer: being 5

so gladly alive with a deep breath and a beating heart. But that was then. Margaret Saine, USA

That One (Tanka Sequence) They are all around you and they love you so much. But there is one—That One— watch out. That One trips you up. Sends you spinning. Foul mouth pisses himself. Open the outhouse door. You can’t stand it. That One’s raw anger. Dragon breath. Or is it you, hothead? Empty the foul trash. That one stalks taunts, spits. Hits below the belt. I get it. His fist

is my hot fear. Dark One sulks. Farts, sneers, snares. Look out, he jeers. Keep it to yourself. You are only me. I turn around. That One — sick, scrawny, scared. Curl up near, be Dark to my Light. Now on walks he rants and raves and I say nothing. It’s cool. I accept the Dark me. Margaret Stetler, USA

Winter (Tanka Sequence) an icicle freezes a single bell on the wind chime….stop! do you hear the silenced note — ring out? warm raisins 7

left on the porch last night claw prints follow a black bird into the snowy morning chinese new year of the fire mouse the rat gnaws bones from garbage dropped on the frozen ground lavender twice hit by snow I uncover you and your pungent scent shocks the late winter air cramped pinched i wait for the hot blood come late in this cold, barren winter of my fiftieth year Margaret Stetler, USA

TANKAS FOR A CHILLY AFTERNOON (Tanka Sequence) When the old woman climbs this rain-slick hill, does she hear passing cars or an ocean whoosh toward distant shores?

Even as her vision fades she sees autumn glimmer silver, gold, and bronze. All the world's a trophy for living so long. A sanitation truck rumbles around the bend with memories she threw away. Cans tumble along the curb, still heavy with wind. Does time have fragrance? Do elderberries know when they're about to fall? Why does rising smoke whisper her name? Swirling leaves unveil rusted iron, nippled breasts. Oh to be fixed in earth, arms spread wide—only a fire hydrant, painted red. Jackie Craven, USA

Crone Dance (A Tanka Sequence) they whirl in astonished boots to the beats of their frenzied minds dragging bags of magic 9

bags filled with goddess hearts owls frogs and shape shifting crows they sing out of tune marching down the centuries of green chanting hymns of the Morrigan black birds careening to the moon Carole Johnston U.S.A.

Midnight Shadows (Tanka Sequence) scratchy - the warp of that rose covered rug on my knees watching my child reflection dark in the glass door one night I am three years old a magic carpet sweeps me from my crib carries me on dark journeys I sit cross legged on that little carpet flying around

the midnight house Queen of Shadows Carole Johnston U.S.A.


Debbie Strange, Canada


Anne Curran poem

Angelee Deodhar: Photo

Anne Curran poem

Angelee Deodhar: Photo

Anne Curran poem

Angelee Deodhar: Photo

Anne Curran poem

Angelee Deodhar: Photo 13

Anne Curran poem

Angelee Deodhar: Photo

Anne Curran poem

Angelee Deodhar: Photo


TANKA moon god floating in balmy silence a pleasant breeze cradles the cry of a child... somewhere, a star dies Arunansu Bandyopadhyay there is a path leading to the cemetery the poet finds a new road, everyday Arunansu Bandyopadhyay counting rosary beads without end light fails to pierce the pea-souper Arunansu Bandyopadhyay

we hold hands and look out the window watching the snow fall on everything but us

Dave Read, Canada a tea bag dipped in steaming water I can no longer see through what was just clear Dave Read, Canada the poem I couldn't hear in my head has filled with the sounds of the tv upstairs Dave Read, Canada the canopy opens to a little sunshine a moment of light on this long dark path Dave Read, Canada the river flows beneath a sheet of ice I cannot answer his questions of death Dave Read, Canada 17

thinking I still stand a chance the emoji that winks at the end of her text Dave Read, Canada the hardwood's cold against bare feet I approach her with the news she doesn't want delivered Dave Read, Canada photos printed on recycled paper we've never been able to make these moments last Dave Read, Canada the full moon fat in the night sky I count the studs on Orion's Belt Dave Read, Canada she comments on my salt and pepper hair still seeing me in

black and white Dave Read, Canada watching them sleep she waits... the impatience of the sun Pat Geyer, USA my path a slippery slope... tracing the roots of trees now overgrown Pat Geyer, USA both asleep holding hands we dream... night brings our hearts closer Pat Geyer, USA between thunderstorms... eyes closed we breathe every scent of the calm Pat Geyer, USA 19

a layer of snow will erase autumn’s debris solving a problem just as we can surrender our resentments with time Debbie Johnson today gray, tonight white cold front brings heavy snow quickly scenery changes red-cheeked children make plans for snow day Debbie Johnson ponds are collections of tears cried by the world as mankind continues with on-going self-destruction Debbie Johnson snow drifts surround base of painted red barn resembling a scarf sprinkled with remnants of autumn glitter Debbie Johnson

as blossoms unfold a palette of colors brightens our spirits while reflecting the opportunities of this new day Debbie Johnson papers of all types, shapes, colors, styles, invite us to hold on while we record and journal preserving our thoughts and feelings Debbie Johnson

new job. . . my daughter's excuse to miss going to the gym gains weight Kala Ramesh Pune, India

Free slave in bondage Exigencies echelon Liabilities Ferret-out refuge from all; In a state of shambles 21

Derrik Orndorff, USA One you may have; In that one, let love grow wild Wild as a hot night Wild as bush fire, —cold water— Love frames come in wee pieces. Derrik Orndorff, USA Life’s scale, hard to keep Seeking balance within self, Continuous fight To and fro, tearing at the Barriers of true and false. Derrik Orndorff, USA Time to get going Feed the “late” venereal, Aspirations strong: Breast, ass, calves, and tenderness— Exhaling through the pathway. Derrik Orndorff, USA

certain side streets tempt my curiosity a bend that leads to an unknown realm

I prefer to leave unexplored Janet Butler, USA his friends a flock of blackbirds in the churchyard dark clothes glisten in a sunlight that no longer warms his song Janet Butler, USA I hold to your ghost but like snow it melts in the hard light of an ordinary day Janet Butler, USA a jacket hangs souvenir of other days now needing the hands of a tailor to make it fit Janet Butler, USA darkness lays a heavy hand polishes dreams to a nugget of truth wary of daylight Janet Butler, USA 23

the buzz of our conversation bees testing flowers I remember the taste of honey Janet Butler, USA I try a certain perfume at the store counter and you appear almost near enough to touch Janet Butler, USA

stars spill over the mountain I spin in the dark searching for Orion in a strange place Carole Johnston, USA starlings twirl above the shopping mall every year this ancient flyway mesmerizes me Carole Johnston, U.S.A. full moon pops

above the roofscape I chase it down dark alleys camera in hand Carole Johnston, U.S.A. imbolc pagan midwinter full moon waiting for the birth Aquarius child Carole Johnston, U.S.A.

Crushed Campbell Soup can abandoned in driveway a sad Warhol relic forfeiting its own fleeting fifteen minutes of glory Virginia Bach Folger, USA Ink flows from the brush settling on the paper fan nestling into folds as we nestle together writing a secret message Virginia Bach Folger, USA


Rocks on your headstone Pebbles marking time’s passage Each stone a visit Soul’s return weighted by rocks Concrete flowers that don’t bloom David Rullo, Lonely memories Walk along the river bank Tiny ships afloat I pause to watch rolling waves I pause to feel cold winds blow David Rullo, Alone, snow covered field My voice lost in roaring wind Brown leaves at my feet This unexpected goodbye Such a sad, pitiful thing David Rullo, Seems something should grow Despite the cold wind and snow Time should be kinder I long for nature’s green and gold Barren fields and my wet sleeves David Rullo,

the seasons that come to us again and again... the smiles of children amid a sea of sunflowers Rebecca Drouilhet, USA a black cat crosses our path on Friday the thirteenth... feeling lucky anyway when I see your teasing smile Rebecca Drouilhet, USA the teacher's words a bridge across the chasm... is it a mirage this glimpse of a world waiting to be born Rebecca Drouilhet, USA

amongst the ruins a fallen christ propped against the void


Steve Black, UK just enough for cigarettes and a scratch card counting my lucky stars Steve Black, UK summer haze our day in the dirt counting cars and faces we thought we recognized Steve Black, UK dying in the light the comedian desperate to be taken seriously Steve Black, UK the morning after the night before drunk on unfinished wine and for whatever time is left Steve Black, UK

lovers caught in the open counting the time lapsed between thunder and lightning Steve Black, UK

enduring as the falling rain her masterpiece in sidewalk chalk Dave Read, Canada filling out a barren tree my mind's eye looks ahead to spring Dave Read, Canada still steaming over their fight this morning's coffee hot in his thermos Dave Read, Canada


the pebble he throws as far as he can lands with a splash on the mountains of the moon Dave Read, Canada viewing her life like a Picasso the things she recognized strangely out of place Dave Read, Canada shaky on this weathered bridge my iPhone dies before you answer my text Dave Read, Canada in the front row of the social studies class the little girl with no friends Dave Read, Canada deleting a high priority e-mail I hear an ambulance

passing outside Dave Read, Canada disappearing with his coin his wish for a life full of riches Dave Read, Canada still shooting from the hip his arthritic limp grows worse with age Dave Read, Canada

Across the Pacific The sky six thousand miles Fifty years flew by My jet black hair turned white Yet I still long for you Wonja Brucker, USA I used to believe Love Is Blind until you came Now I know the truth You are not blind to my color 31

At least you cannot blame me Wonja Brucker, USA

Cicada's shrill -A cat dozing off in the shade On the pine needle crest A midday feast for helping hands Farm chores yet undone waiting Wonja Brucker, USA

Oriental Poppies burst open Fluttering their scarlet petals In the summer air An outdoor family picnic An ephemeral bliss in life Wonja Brucker, USA Turtles sunbathing Behind cattails in the pond Passersby watching Alas, all those prying eyes Stole the tranquility Wonja Brucker, USA


evergreens misnamed during the winter they are everwhites Debbie Johnson, USA country roads lined with scalloped snow drifts meringue pie Debbie Johnson, USA A 4 line Ku village weavers ... shadows 33

shuttle across the deepening twilight Kala Ramesh Pune, India exoskeleton . . . inside the dragonfly nothing but air Kala Ramesh Pune, India lying awake – the rush of gutters after the rain Kala Ramesh Pune, India

(Four line haiku) The stars: Exclamation points! The moon: (parentheses to dream between). Margaret Stetler, USA Your dark mother swall-

owed you and up you swelled in her fat white belly Margaret Stetler, USA Not the tall huntress. Not what the cow jumped over. Not even green cheese. Margaret Stetler, USA

MOROCCAN IMPRESSIONS before every travel there appear new dreams that will guide my steps after many clouds excited voices greeting a splendid morning I let fountains cool my eyes and their ripples spur travel impatience over the city sounds plaintive and full of praise voice of muezzins window arches seem to dribble dissolve and melt into stalactites 35

soft shimmering of *tagelakt, luminous like bodies in the sky the mirrors dissolve our images or perhaps keep them forever dark doors metal chaps reflecting incandescent light of splendid lamps a pleasant few days contemplating with others the lore of the times sun through red curtains paradise now or deferred to a splendid meal the muezzin chanting somebody knocks at a door roosters rouse the dusk soft murmurs usher harmonious descending night from behind the hills before the body dies hear these immortal words from a poet’s soul: “a piece of the sky reflected in the water resembles your amazing eyes” “deep inside your gaze lives visible a world I wish to inhabit”

over the city sounds plaintive and full of praise the voice of muezzins *tagelakt: interior Moroccan wall made shiny by rubbing with liquid soap after the paint has dried

Margaret Saine, USA


Debbie Strange, Canada

Editor’s Tanka

she's gone, swallowed by fire the house sealed yet held together by the dead Sergio Ortiz, Puerto Rico undressing him in the muted evenings of my golden years

I can't remember his name... love, gone like that Sergio Ortiz, Puerto Rico were you dazzled by the same constellation?* rappelling down a pit cave there’s a blast of adrenaline *ECHOSMITH LYRICS, "Bright" Sergio Ortiz, Puerto Rico bitter bullies whose intimidation is as swift as goose steps in a fascist funeral Sergio Ortiz, Puerto Rico


Undertow tanka review issue 5  

This is a tanka and haiku Journal

Undertow tanka review issue 5  

This is a tanka and haiku Journal