Tohoku Tanka

                                                 開始 kaishi (initiation)
                                                 restless foundations
                                                 shelved in the nooks of prudent
                                                 mass kabuto plates.
                                                 your feet pace themselves on
                                                 impending pelagic roars.
                                                                          
分割 bunkatsu (the split)
tectonic turmoil
swivels angry heads in halves
capsizing dazed arks.
love tears off for relevance
your name drowns in hurtful words

                                                 増幅 zōfuku (amplification)
                                                  brigades of sea mass
                                                  propagate to storm trembling
                                                  postcard perfect shores.
                                                  our future prospects engulfed
                                                  in the maw of pent up tears.

衝撃 shoogeki (impact)
tidal bores into
mura. Violates concrete
abodes to snatch souls.
you breach my reasoning to
assault matters we can't control.

                                                                                                         結果 kekka (consequences)
                                                                                                         the waves peter out
                                                                                                         leaving behind effigies
                                                                                                         in their violent wake.
                                                                                                         whittled away our polish
                                                                                                         we are ghosts of our past selves.

NOTE: This is my attempt at writing tanka. It's this traditional Japanese lyrical poetry. Forgive me if it's not up to par with the great Japanese poets. Inspired by the Japanese tsunami and earthquake which took place earlier this year, Tanka...are supposed to be short, so I constructed this so each cluster of tanka could be read as individual pieces, but when read in the order I've placed them, tell a story of a massive argument which leaves its participants empty. No, this poem would not be appropriate to dedicate to the people of Japan as there is no hope or silver lining. it's depressing. Yes. I spent weeks studying tanka and I am still not completely satisfied (there's even a particular way of reading it) and it would be pretty embarrassing if the Japanese translations used were completely off the mark. Regardless, this is my first attempt at a traditional form of poetry (instead of my usual 1/2/rhyme slugfest) and if you have ever been through a confrontation which tears a relationship apart, I hope you read and find something you can pull from this. RAWR Sexy bitches! Haha....

 

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© Hazim Haemoglobin 2012

Poems


Tohoku Tanka


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