Saturday, January 26, 2013

One Man's Maple Moon: Chrysanthemum Tanka by Pamela A. Babusci

English Original

offering chrysanthemums
to the Buddha...
the only sacrifice
i ever made
was letting you go

First Place, Kokako Tanka Contest  2007

Pamela A. Babusci

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio sketch

Pamela A. Babusci  is an internationally award winning haiku, tanka poet and haiga artist. Some of her awards include: Museum of Haiku Literature Award, International Tanka Splendor Awards, First Place Yellow Moon Competition (Aust) tanka category,  First Place Kokako Tanka Competition,(NZ) First Place Saigyo Tanka Awards (US), Basho Festival Haiku Contests (Japan).  Pamela has illustrated several books, including: Full Moon Tide: The Best of Tanka Splendor Awards, Taboo Haiku, Chasing the Sun, Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, and A Thousand Reasons 2009. Pamela was the founder and now is the solo Editor of Moonbathing: a journal of women’s tanka; the first all women’s tanka journal in the US. 


  1. This tanka is structured into two parts that portray two different kinds of offerings. The contrasts are spiritually and emotionally effective, stirring the reader's emotion and reflection.

    note: "Chrysanthemums originated in China and was brought by Buddhist monks to Japan in AD 400. The Japanese Emperors were so impressed by the flower that they often sat on thrones of chrysanthemums. It is now the national flower of Japan. There’s even a “Festival of Happiness” each year in Japan to celebrate this flower. "

  2. The comparison between the two images is stunning. I enjoy reading your comments which add scents to the flowers.
    Thanks for this marvellous project.

  3. Rita;

    One more thing about the contrasts/comparisons:

    Read the in the thematic context of Buddhism, the jux. of "Chrysanthemum" and "letting go" reveals a profound spiritual depth.

    Many thanks for your kind words and your continued support of my project.


    Note: "the Chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Buddhists are fond of using this flower as offerings on alters."