A poetic journey through my mind

Archive for April 3, 2012

Coyote Tanka

Tanka are a form of Japanese poetry, like the better known Haiku.  I’ve noticed that there are a few definitions for the syllable count in a tanka…the form I’ve chosen is 7, 5, 7, 5, 7, 7.  Hope you like the juxtaposition of a purely Western mythological figure and an Eastern art form!


coyote in the desert
ske’lep, or murphy,
whiskey jack, barking dog,
what shall I call you?

may I name you Trickster
and haunt the mountains with you?


I see your whiskered face, lost,
coyote in the city,
glass bottle of forgetting,
in crumpled paper bag

riding empty subway car
dreaming of desert sky home


coyote in the mountains
glow of firelight
you stare into the campfire
voice of gravel and stone

“Hey there, got a cigarette?”
your shadow has ears and braids


coyote takes a train ride
leathered paw grips tight
eyes under hat watch miles pass
through open steel door

places flash before your eyes
which one will you choose today?


coyote and the maiden
lovely by the fire
dancing to confuse her mind
bring her to your tent

night black hair like wings falling
raven laughs and flies away

For poets and readers everywhere…I love this so much. 🙂

Whimsygizmo's Blog

(after Adrienne Rich)

I know you are reading this poem
bleary-eyed from trying to write your
own, lost and tossed on your torrid
phrases, afraid the shore will never

I know you are reading this poem
through saltwater of your own making,
and with a heart clenched tight as a fist in your
chest, and with grief on your breath like a
mourning song.

I know you are squinting and looking for
a word, a phrase you might tether yourself
to, some hope balloon you might fly to
places unknown, anywhere but here.

I know you are reading this poem
trying to figure out why the words are
marching in thisparticularorder and why
all sense and sensibility have gone AWOL and
why this battlefield is still strewn with verb,
noun, participle.

I know you are reading this poem
out loud through a mouthful of rice crispies
each syllable punctuated…

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