Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tanka by Hikaru Kitabayashi

Tanka by Hikaru Kitabayashi

In your eyes I look.
Still, they take my breath away.
I see beauty there,
Beauty which defines the word,
Ageless in its charms for me.
07 May 2012

Life hurts, life brings tears.
You, my songbird, don't you fear.
Papa loves you dear,
Dear, my little love, so hear!
Feed your soul all your years.
08 May 2012

Such a life to live!
Hard you work and then you give,
Give that others live.
You're the hero of your home.
Mine, also. Stay here, don't roam.
08 May 2012

Hope brings with it, fun.
An adventure you've begun.
Where? Where will it run?
Easy's not the life you chose.
Thorns it has. So does the rose.
08 May 2012

Half a world away!
Yet the stars will stay the same,
Bring you back again.
You, who live in dragon's flames,
Parted, you'll not long remain.
11 May 2012

Flaming pink on blue
And a song bird blessed me, too,
Singing "Do, please do!"
Like a cherry blossom does,

Falling betters what I was.
(19 April 2014)

The above tanka was born as a result of encountering as I was leaving home for work a deep-pink, full-flowering cherry tree framed against the early morning, still wet, gray blue sky. The beauty of it all took my breath away and I stopped my hurry to get to the train station a bit to take it all in. And I thought that, just as there is great beauty in a cherry petal falling slowly to the ground, there can also be great beauty in growing old. The thought has been thought by many, but it never seemed as totally real to me as it was then.

Ringing in the ears,
Chirps unstopped for twenty years
Justify no tears.
Autumn's insect songs do please,
Not, though, near so much as these.

20 April 2014

For the last 20 years, I have had a constant 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week, ringing in the ears. It's been with me so long that usually I don't notice it. Today, from the comfort of my room, I could look out into the wet, unusually cold, outside scenery and ponder the small things of life. As I prepared to edit a graduate student research paper within my room, I noticed that the ringing in my ears was not an irritation at all, but rather like a chorus of different early autumn insects, each singing a different song. In the process, I realized that my condition was no longer indicative of a physical defect to me, but rather a new source of personal joy I could call on any time of the day, any day of the year, to bring me pleasure. The above tanka is an attempt to put the satisfaction of that new piece of self-awareness into words.

Plum tree blossoms pull
cherry blossoms into bloom.
Empty now soon full,
then gone, gone! To where? To whom?
Who, their beauty, could entomb?
8 March 2015 and 13 March 2015 and 25 April 2017

The first thoughts of a poem came to me as, on leaving the hospital after a short stay, I found myself surrounded by beauty as I reached my home. Being still too tired, I left things until today when I found I had the intellectual energy to finish the poem, short though it is. 

Now I see you here,
See your image in my brain,
Thoughts that bring you near
Bring me thoughts not thought in vain.
Joy you bring. I can't complain.

A tanka written in my office on the afternoon of 21 March 2015 

Life for this slow brain.
Hot tea with a slice of lime,
Sipped with sounds of rain,
washing off the pain, the grime.
White, so white, plum blossom time!

On finding myself at peace with myself as I looked at a plum tree in full bloom in my garden on drizzly afternoon today. 19 March 2015 and 25 April 2017.

Always move your way,
Not like others want you to.
Of your heart take heed.
Of your soul seek out its depths
Joy you'll find in being you.

1 January 2016

Old loves suit me well,
With such lovers would I dwell,
Heaven, earth and hell.
But, when I am faced with youth,
Beauty's face I see, in truth.
21 January 2016

Limerick as a Tanka and Tanka as a Limerick

I yearn for the burning sun
I don’t need a gentle one
This life is a bore
I need something more
My laughter comes not from fun.

I need something more
My laughter comes not from fun
This life is a bore
I yearn for the burning sun
I don’t need a gentle one

24 November 2016

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