Wednesday, March 24, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Closed Border Tanka by Lavana Kray

English Original

the closed border 
between mother and son
amid covid
no one attends the funeral
and yet ... shades of mountain trees

Foreign Language Tanka Excellence Award

Lavana Kray

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

然而... 陰涼的山樹

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

然而... 阴凉的山树

Bio Sketch

Lavana Kray is from Iasi, Romania. She has won several awards, including the status of  Master Haiga Artist from the World Haiku Association. Her work has been published in many print and online journals. She was chosen for 2017 Haiku Euro Top 100. In 2018 she joined the United Haiku and Tanka Society as Haiga Editor of its journal, Cattails. This is her blog.


  1. The first four lines of this heartfelt tanka deals with an emotionally poignant yet, tragically, familiar issue amid Covid-19: the death of a loved one without the proper mourning ritual/funeral. However, the shift in L5 reveals something important/insightful about the narrator's attitude towards/response to the "realities (of life) on the ground."

    This tanka reminds me of the "burnt house haiku" by Shokyu-ni:

    On my return from Tsukushi at the close of March, I found that my hut had been destroyed by fire. Looking at the ruins, I composed this verse.

    violets here and there
    in the ruins
    of my burnt house

    Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart


    1. The following is my commentary on the "burnt house haiku:"

      Commentary: As her poetic response to a personal tragedy depicted in the joshi (prefatory note) , Shokyu-ni's haiku addresses centuries-old question: how to confront or deal with the adversity in one's daily life? We can't control what happens, but we can control our response to what happens. And our response depends on our way(s) of seeing the reality on the ground: "the paradox, the complexity, how the good and bad are often intertwined... violets in the ruins" (p. 14)...

      -- excerpted from "Poetic Musings: Burnt House Haiku by Shokyu-ni," accessed at