Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cool Announcement: Modern English Tanka Press is back online!

My Dear Friends:

Modern English Tanka Press is back online! Publisher, poet and NeverEnding Story contributor, Denis M. Garrison, has made twelve issues of Modern English Tanka Journal available to read free online.

 ... The few words and lines of a tanka are like fingers plucking a stringed instrument: Only a few strings are plucked. The poem's sound passes into silence almost as soon as it emerges, and in that interval the tanka conveys its ideas, emotions, and objects as a unitary whole, a singular impression having meaning. The meaning is, in fact, in the answering echo within the reader's mind, the totality of the reader's own experience, and is an artifact of the words rather than the substance of the words themselves. It is for that reason that the tanka poets kiss the finer objectives of minimalism without embracing the minimalist's faith in words alone ...

--Denis M. Garrison

Selected Tanka (a list of selected tanka will be added below over time)

 Modern English Tanka, 1:1, Autumn 2006

with the stars
instead of you ...
i dig a grave
for loneliness

Pamela A. Babusci

my mother sits crying
my father sits sweating
I roam the streets

David Bacharach

this rainy day
here I am
the father of two children
trapped in the house
trying to catch a fly

Tom Clausen

the crackle and pop
of my breakfast cereal --
more news
about car bomb blasts
somewhere else in the world

Janet Lynn Davis

the words tonight
born grey and cold
no light left in their eyes
time to give them
to the undertaker

Jim Doss

she sits in silence
as the children play --
outside her window
a red oak that will hold
its leaves all winter

Jeanne Emrich

more war news
I feed a stray cat
and flip
the overturned beetle
back onto its feet

Margarita Engle

My heart:
black linen
hung at night
in the shadow
of a crow.

M. Kei

in a downpour
the wipers
whip our small talk
back and forth.

Pamela Miller Ness

I set the white table
expecting your arrival
but only wind
the color of grief
blows open my secret door

Linda Jeannette Ward

Dead of night
returning home exhausted
after the interrogation—
my period begins to flow
like rage.
(first published in A Long Rainy Season, 1994)

Motoko Michiura

Modern English Tanka, 1:2, Winter 2006

a flow of walnut hair
over an almond pillow
this winter night --
a slow dark river
to drown in

Larry Kimmel

so alone
this first winter
after my sister’s death
with only the wind
to follow me home

Aurora Antonovic

I race the light
into a Kansas sunset
of corn and sky
at the horizon
I find only darkness

David Bacharach

cigarette butts,
scattered where he stood,
his unspoken anxiety
like sharks

Jim Doss

in a black skirt
with one strappy shoe
off the curb
I part traffic on either side
like Moses

Annette Mineo

cabin fever ...
bored out of my mind,
i pluck stars
from the sky and
eat them ... one by one

Robert D. Wilson

raking leaves
a pleasure of a chore
given everything else
happening in the world
and in the house

Tom Clausen

Happy Reading


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