Another Tanka (NaPoWriMo Day 12)

Scattered with seaweed,

empty of the summer crowd,

waves break on the shore.

I listen to a conch shell—

gulls ask too many questions.


I was in the mood for another tanka. The topical prompt came from Robert Lee Brewer: write a “broke” poem.

Tanka (NaPoWriMo Day 11)

the young crabapple

is still two dimensional

cut back the leader

force branches to radiate

swap the obvious for growth


NaPoWriMo‘s prompt today was to write a “tanka,” a traditional Japanese form of poetry. In English, a tanka typically has five lines with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7, though this is more a guideline than a requirement due to the differences in English and Japanese units of language. This is the first tanka I’ve written, so I did a little reading online to get a better feel for them. I found this article very helpful in terms of writing one, though I’m not sure I’ve quite captured the form yet.


Here’s the literal crabapple, though of course there’s a figurative one as well.

Looks great from this angle...

Looks great from this angle…

From this angle it's two dimensional!

…but from this angle it’s practically flat!