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Tanka Loss Poems | Tanka Poems About Loss

These Tanka Loss poems are examples of Tanka poems about Loss. These are the best examples of Tanka Loss poems written by international PoetrySoup poets

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~~ Beyond my sorrow, there is a path that beckons; I could go that way . . . Or stay and hold hands with death, and weep upon a cold stone . . . ___________________________ August 16, 2014 Tanka Entered in the contest, Any 5 line Poem, Poet Destroyer First Place

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Maybe in time


holding back the tears

reading an old love letter

it made me smile then

perhaps i should wait longer

they say that "time heals all wounds"...

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The Grand Staircase

Kept calling to him As he climbed the grand staircase Never knew he'd died I climbed but could never reach him Papa turned, smiled, waved good bye ~*~
BY: Annalise Brigham FOR: Michael's "Tanka Me A Dream" Contest

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Small Voices

                                         Standing in Heaven
                                  a small voice calling my name
                                          the image is small
                                     I'm sorry God needed me 
                                    my child who was not born

by Michael J Falotico
Dedicated to all who have
lost a child before or after

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in huff of gray clouds

a ravaged kite disappears

losing speed mid-air

a string tumbles down from sky…

my lover never returns

,,,, ,,,,,,,,,        ,


Susan Burch's Tanka Contest
21 mar 12

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kiss of venus fly trap 
suck the marrow from my bones,
encase my heart, secrete,
dissolve the myth of wings... 
death be true to death

*love,death or truth may be the sanctuary
  depending on the situation.

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night time's starlight moon

night time’s starlight moon
curdles the whey of longing
clouds mask heart’s desire
trembling arms reach out to you
train whistles haunt the captives

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Where now a Butterfly Sits

In innocent lie
Amidst the lightening dew
Poppies in mourning
She unknown, taken at will
Where now a butterfly sits

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paying respects

another deep breath
    of suffocating air
       passes the lump in my throat...
            I offer a Kleenex
                   to the woman beside me

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It was on June


                While picking petals
                The supposed truth falls in vain
                                    act out of whimsy 
                A sad yellow disc floret 
                For beauty has been destroyed


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Ribbon Tied

you took both my breasts
leaving me with a flat chest
worse, feeling like less - 
   I feel like a man even
   in my most beautiful dress

Black Eyed Susan
*Dedicated to all women who have lost a breast (or both) to breast cancer - and also to my friend Pam who I just found out yesterday  (11/14) has it and is beginning radiation

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only a dream

the softest caress

of your hand touching my cheek

wakes me from slumber

... I reach across emptiness

your touch was only a dream

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heartbreaking aqua
tears tearing from lashed sighs
run in wakes of blue
endless fountain of grief’s fall
wipe salt filled eyes  

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Where now a Butterfly Sits

In innocent lie Amidst the lightening dew Poppies in mourning She unknown, taken at will Where now a butterfly sits .

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New York From the Above

Tearful scared face sobs
Implosion of mute whispers
Two reflection pools
Host ghostly towers of light
I see my kids bring flowers...

for Carolyn Devonshire's Contest " Remembering 9/11"

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Daddy rocked his chair
Counted blessings with the creaks
Life    so unbalanced
God called him home    His blessing
My blessings drowned by my tears

For Not So Happy Holidays contest 
sponsored by Andrea Dietrich

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the Titanic

the Titanic …
against all odds she rests
beneath the sea
naught for elegance
naught for the egos

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Death of a Rose

A summer rose fades
One by one its petals fall
In downward spiral
Scattered by an autumn breeze 
It's fragrance a memory


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She leans whispering,

whilst black deadened eyes stare back ~~

Amidst translucent

reflection, she now reflects ~~~*

In compassionate sorrow.

Her sibling taken

having disappeared years back ~~

Background beauty blooms

in ignorance of her loss ~~~*

If only they knew the truth.

*This is James Fraser's entry into Constance's 'Reflection' contest

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There’s no need of proof 
that all I ever desired  
was taken away, 
a quick death by self-Judas. 
I had not prepared to bleed. 

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Crying is Every Hurt

She cries tears of pain The heartache he left for her Tears that turn to blood By the hurt that she now feels Nothing is worse than this pain She doesn’t feel now No other understanding Comes to her hurt mind She’s corrupted by horror Listlessness of her being There are streaks of tears The pain enveloped within Her heart beats outside Her cold life lies meaningless Darkness is all that she sees Her heart feels nothing She lies staring at the wall The tears do not feel They are empty, meaningless They just are there, falling down Tears represent pain The passion of hopelessness But while on their own They are nothing and empty But crying is every hurt
Russell Sivey

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unbelieving eyes

unbelieving eyes
glued to surreal images
death and destruction 
and an ashen aftermath
terrorism had hit home

For Carolyn Devonshire's
"Remembering 9/11 Poetry Contest"

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Angels Among Us

in line they marched proud
and in death, they remain so
on it's marble stance
proof, angels are among us
a beauty of nature shows

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---rose petals garden

rose petal's garden
thorns raking an open eye
trimmed bush barren bare
blood let the face of mourning---
sweet cherry of virgin light

Contest: Tanka me a Dream
Poet: Debbie Guzzi

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metamorph contest

Old poem:
Sorry for Your Loss

“I’m sorry for your loss,” you say 
As if those words make it okay
Well it’s NOT okay, I’M NOT OKAY
Nothing will ever be the same!
I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t drink
All I can do is think think THINK
About how she’s gone and never coming back
But she can’t be gone; she’s my other half!
How could this happen on our wedding day?
She never had a chance to proclaim
“I do!”
A heart attack at 32
Our life together, an unraveled spool
Gone, before it began – 
Why God, did this have to happen – to me, to us?
How could You take someone I LOVE so much?
Tell me WHY, what was the point -
Why her, why NOW? I’m going crazy 
Trying to figure it out!
She was my world, my life, my reason to live
And You took her, YOU TOOK HER
And left me like this –
With a HOLE 
Like the Grand Canyon 
Inside my soul
Why did You take her and leave me alone? 
Why won’t You answer? I deserve to know!
She was my home, my HOME, and You left me 
A L O N E 
You had to know this would rip me to bits - 
Thanks a lot, for the WORST WEDDING GIFT!!!!

morphed into tanka:

Dear God
How could you take my bride on
our wedding day?
She was my heart, my SOUL -
I DO believe I HATE YOU

for Debbie's metamorph contest
Debbie, I hope you will see my tanka as modern. I know that there are usually no caps, but rules can be broken and they were done for effect.

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Still Bleeding

the white rose
marks the pureness
of remembrance---
still recalling
true loves loss

the rose thorns
scrape the edge
of the vase---
wearing the pricks
on my heart

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by the old levee
summer's caressing breezes
off the mudriver
whisper so lachrymosely
southern painful centuries

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far across country
smoke drifts..cries reverberate
sitting  mesmerized
bewildered, mutely frightened
taste word...terrorist

No. 1 in Carolyn's contest.

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Stains of Life

Into the world, pure ~*~
we protect and shelter, whilst
life's avenues open ~~~
sadly, the fortunes of war
displays our lost, stains of life ~*~

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Sun Unveils Herself

sun unveils herself
red sings out to carress her
shameless disarray
beckons her with his calling
greens from past lives fade away

(August 22nd, 2011 Wausau, Wisconsin USA)

(c) Copyright 2011 by Christine A Kysely, All Rights Reserved

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Leaving me soon

Fold away the fields,
Watch spring blossom turn to ash.
Nature gives, then steals.
Our love padlocked to a bridge
Will endure beyond death's crash

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Dancing Rain


                                            never will I know

                                      again your gentle laughter---

                                        except in the voice

                                     of spring bursting with tapping...

                                     raindrops dancing in pure joy 
                                                      '   '    '    ' 
                                   '     '    '    '    '     '     '     '     '      ' 

For Francine Robert's Contest: "Wow Me With 5 Lines"

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safe in the cocoon
  of sweet shock and disbelief
     cocoons become tombs
       moths suffocate and wither
          rather than fly to the flame

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Will Strands Of Thread Hold

Will strands of thread hold

Hidden thoughts within my mind

Words never spoken

Fearing to give utterance

Or will silence be broken.

(February 9, 2011 Wausau, Wisconsin

(c) Copyright 2011 by Christine A Kysely, All Rights Reserved

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Tipping the Night Scene

She tips the night scene Torment shuffling through her She displays hurt sighs The insides of her heart bleeds Quite wounded in her weak plights
Russell Sivey

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sandman missed his house the night he was most needed consumed by such grief his wife, a cancer victim, had lost her battle that morn
*For Susan Burch’s “Tanka” contest Written March 19, 2012

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loss - tanka

the sky is crying...
souls, climbing the rain's ladder,
try to find the sun...
grief sweeps slowly with its hand
the eyes of those who still are...

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A Sad Christmas Eve

Rain for many days Rivers of water swept through On that Christmas Eve We struggled to higher ground Leaving our home and the cat.....
A true story, we lost everything (material) on that evening.

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Buried Treasure

Castle in the sand

indicates the location

A buried treasure

where once we sat and sunbathed

Lost to a watery grave

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Engulfing sadness

So gross is the scene
Scattered tears of bleeding heart
Heart stabbed and deceived
My strength of bearing pain,sapped
Lurking in oblivion
Empty handed life
Drags me on a fiery path
Smiles snatched from the face
Destiny showed no mercy
Engulfed me in a dark shroud

for PD's contest

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Blue completely blue.
The walls in this place are blue.
Outside skies are blue.
In the skies bells ring, birds sing.
Until freedom mood is blue.

By: Jimmy Anderson
For "blue"  contest

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Memories Thorns

Picked before you bloomed 
your loss brings me to my knees 
playbacks run too long 
remembrances felt so strong... 
slipping now into my dreams

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mourning... - tanka

heaven is heavy
with the tears of angels
shed for falling stars...
pain's knocking at heavens' gates
asking for its toll of salt...

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Stolen Wedding Ring

For years it shone gold

Brightening a lonely home

Left home for a walk

Late hubby’s ring was stolen

What thief could be so heartless

*This just happened to me.  
Written March 31, 2014 for Chris’s contest

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empty tank-a

as I close my eyes
smiles touch my lips
with thoughts of you—
I reach out 

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Trail Marker

Barn swallows returned,
from seasons I have not known
Eyes sting from hot winds  -
I have scanned the old dirt road,
searching for a summer lost 


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the box is open
too many no nos have leaked
and been accepted
gone the wisdom of ages
everything legalized

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An Empty Bassinet

Anguish paints the mask.
Choking on dysphoria
begrimes a collapsed heart.
Hypothermia sets in
when squeezing the color blue.

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Evil Came Calling

                                                 evil came calling
                                               creating devastation
                                                     unholy fury
                                            unleashed on the innocent
                                         the world stood still in dismay

For Carolyn Devonshire's
"Remembering 9/11" contest

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Love You

total enchantment
the time I shared here with you
long past the times, few
sometimes I feel the cancer  
is in us both not just you

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Flaming Fire Crackled

flaming fire crackled
ranging venom of cruel souls
thousands of hope dashed
burning ember raised its hands
the world united in grief

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Mayan culture 
First you invade and destroy it
Then you mythologies it 
And finally 
Makes it a tourist attraction 

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We Will Never Forget

9/11  - We Will Never Forget!  

The mighty towers crumbled
Grieving loved ones prayed
That God had spared their loved ones
While victims jumped from windows!

Beatrice Boyle
Tanka for Carolyn's Remembering 9/11 contest

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A Sandy Hook Christmas

A town in mourning
No joy in this season of
Wonder, love, and light
   The children on the mantel
   Won't be here again this year.

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White Marble Angels

Silence surrounds me as I walk amidst greened lawns ~~. My sense of freedom, I finds so hard to absorb ~~. White marble angels explain

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The Horror of Nine-Eleven

Life had been normal
Then a crash the whole world heard
Pain in many hearts
Revenge was instigated
Then the world knew our power

Russell Sivey

Entrant into Carolyn Devonshire’s “Remembering 9/11” contest

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Heirlooms, these old cards with her lovely penmanship Snippets of advice still live in delicate lines where love is immortalized
*dedicated to PD. About this Poem Sadie was my stepmother and she and I were first cautious acquaintances , then friends, later good friends, later still best friends, then (for a bit) enemies, then... mother and daughter. I miss her. Some families are given. Some are made. Sadie died of Leukemia. My father joined her two years later after a battle with colon cancer. I often take out her letters and cards---she always added so much to those store-bought cards. She lives in those words of love. I hope, PD, you have something similar from your stepmom, pictures or letters—they can really help!

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The New Coolness

the new coolness
resting in the old swing
without him
gaining courage
to rake the leaves

the new coolness
without him by my side
looking ahead
facing challenges
expecting snow

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Why Should I sing Merry Songs

                                          mere ashes I see
                                 where once were burning coals
                                         this linen receives
                                  the remains of building hope
                                  why should I sing merry songs?

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Red Plaid Autumn

          While autumns have come and gone
             eyes still shed tears on the leaves

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My spring was
but my handsomeness-
vanished in fall...
revealing age.

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Year Ending

                                                     one by one days pass
                                                     another year is ending
                                                       regret fills my soul
                                                     for days I let slip away
                                                    without paying attention

12/17/11  For Rick Parise's 5 - 8 line poetry contest.

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God Bless America contest

Panic consumed our Nation,
Fanatic cowards
Tried to shatter our union,
But United We Stand.

Always and Forever
God Bless America

BY: Sabina Nicole

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One last dream is left...
something I've pursued for long:
to go back in time
and see myself a young man,
to get rid of this madness!

Entered in Michael Falotico's contest,
" Tanka Me A Dream "
written by Andrew Crisci

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Nature's Morticians


                                          Buzzards circle left
                                Death sure is near__one squirrel
                                         Not enough for them
                                Blackbirds and crows feast today
                                   Buzzards go hungry for now

(First attempt at a Tanka)

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The Lonely Ace of Hearts

Dedication to my first and last love, Lance Ewens, 1979-2006

She's remembering
The day that she fell for him
It was in Autumn
When she first transfixed her eyes
Upon the most gorgeous face
That she'd ever seen
He smiled at her with a charm
That glistened so bright
It melted her heart like snow
They became friends instantly
Their friendship would grow
And thus, blossom into love
They spent every day 
With each other mirthfully
Until that last fateful night
A bitter, rough wind
Stole her one true love away
Her heart always breaks
When she holds the ace of hearts
It remains a painful token
Of the love that she once had

Dawn Kilby 
Copyright ©2008  Dawn Kilby

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My grandfather's name
Was given to me at birth
To honor the man
That my father never knew
Having died in World War Two

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All trees turn leafless...
and as skies are less brilliant,
they induce boredom;
ah, days are shorter than nights,
making hearts sad for four months!

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shadorma poem


Tiny steps 
Ornamental pool
A cool eye
Summer’s day
A long ominous silence 
Endless tears. 

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Like Icarus, Like Suicide


                             A saffron circle
                             daisy without corolla
                             looking for petals
                             When the last one has been picked
                             I just flew to the circle


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R.I.P. Mikey

You were my first love,
but the soul in you is gone,
Rest in peace my friend,
Everyone misses you,
we all want you back dearly.

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Crazily I walk.
Into a forgotten dream,
I see it appear.
A desire I created.
Now a disgrace I regret.

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Inevitable tears shed amid the wailing hearts seeking solace acknowledging that honor cannot replace a lover

tears shed amid the wailing 
hearts seeking solace
acknowledging that honor
cannot replace a lover


submitted to -  Tanka Tears – Poetry Contest
sponsor – rick Parise 

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Through the Reflection

Through the refection I see no love like your love I am now alone For you have left Earth surely I desire your heart on me You brought many smiles To my lonely, languid face I cry tears right now My reflection holds not you For you are not here with me
Russell Sivey

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Rock Climbing

My daughter and I Were rock climbing one morning We got up real high I reached the top of the rock And awaited my daughter Something went bad wrong Her rope came completely loose And she was falling I grabbed rope hard and tightly But she was slipping away I started to fall Caught myself nearly the end I heard a small voice Yelling up to me, pleading “Save yourself, just let me go”
And I had to…
Russell Sivey This is a fictitious poem . No events actually took place in my life. Entrant into Lisa Hiatt ~Dark Poetess "Letting go " contest 3/30/2012

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No Heart True

She ventured forth now
Holding onto no heart true
Where hers still broken
Still lasting day after day
In lumbering feelings threw

Entrant into Suzette Crous's "TANKA - THE PIVOT" contest


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A Loser Once More

A loser once more. Somehow, it happened again. Oh so foolish me. I thought I could win money. History repeats itself.

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Innocence Lost

Her innocence lost,
Shattered and shamed, scared alone.
Picked up the pieces;
She waited for the sentence.
Forty-eight months, not enough!

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Girl Sitting Alone

Girl sitting alone Looking into old mirror Doesn’t see herself But sees image exceeding Her own imagination Wonders why she sits Sits all alone in this room Without hope alive None to keep her heart stirring She gloomily sits alone… No one to carry her mirror for her
Russell Sivey

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my love

the love of my life,
Forever and a light year,
before me he stands,
then gone without a notice,
never agin to see him,
but i still love thee.

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a tanka for you


Ornamental pond 
In the garden of sorrow
Is dry and lifeless
But can’t hide the memory    
A child’s still face and wet leaves. 

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Can You

Can you shake the feeling?

Can you deal with your own pain?

Can you not criticize me?

For not crying in f--king vein

You’re the one that chose to stay

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Moonlight Dream Vanished

The night is to sleep
The evening is cool and brisk
Could she be real now
Tonight her heart and soul will
Hopefully be true with me

I lay my head down
On a mist-full moon tonight
She’s at the window
Waiting for me to come out
I go...she’s not there….again

Russell Sivey

Entrant into Tracy's "Moonlight Dreams" contest!

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Evil Annihilating Me

Evil rushes in
Annihilating my soul
Whaling my hurt heart
Destroying my torn being
Evil crushes down within

Russell Sivey

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Misshaped Heart After Love

a vase slammed on a 
burner:  the gold melts and all
contents of the vase
lie in repose -- gold encased
flowers and water steaming.

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Tanka- funereal

huddled together
from the heeting rain
the unbrellas moc the hearse-
then in twos
slowly separate

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Malfunctioning Machine

Ah!  This rusted brain!
(I lost the instructions too.)
Now, the whir and spin
of cognitive, liquid thoughts,
just grind cogs to snaps of smoke.

Ah! I can't complain!
(Lack of use is true to blame)
TV thoughts do rust
Advertisments do congeal
'till once, what spun, is silent.