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Tanka War Poems | Tanka Poems About War

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

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cherry blossoms
swirl through the streets
like ghosts -

replacing the men
who have left for war

*Yamazakura means 'wild cherry blossom'.
During WWII, the first Japanese Kamikaze unit was given the title of: Yamazakura,
to honour the last two official Samurai warriors who were part of the unit.
Falling cherry blossoms were believed to bring good luck to the courtships
of teenagers left behind, in hopes of many future male babies,
because the Emperor had conscripted all available men into the doomed war.
The Samurai 'Petals of Death' Bushido code, is: Death before the shame of surrender.

Chris D. Aechtner     February 24th, 2012
Inspired by David Williams' "Twenty/Twenty" contest

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recess is over

as the school bell rings
children are shrieking with glee

    recess is over.

          a sudden rain of bombs leaves
          the playground deathly silent

For "Re-write One of my Poems" Contest

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bruised peaches

bruised peaches
long before they ripened
on the ground
the battle raged for hours
and soldiers cried for home

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Tanka 3

silently I lie awaiting I await thee a wry smirk greets me sighted precision confirms sporadic crimson now speaks

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gunmetal clouds

gunmetal clouds part
and sunlight streams on a hill
that holds poppy wreaths 
      the wet cenotaph now gleams
      while a vet faces its glare   

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PEACE - (triple tanka)

I'd like to believe
Peace is a natural state
That war is foreign
But I see war after war
And brother slaying brother

Old sacrifice young
Our youth gone before their day
Then I want to cry
For thought that they gain nothing
Are lost through their innocence

What a wonder    youth
How pliable and pristine
They want but to shine
While all the burnt-out old men
Pull the strings from their armchairs

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The Watch

Assuming the watch
Among the fallen heroes
Symbolic eagle
Touching American hearts
A patriotic sun rise

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American Flag

What the Quack!
I dont want my poems in Poem Zoo!


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Our National Strength

The brave and the free,
Lain to rest for liberty.
Honor forgotten.
Souls sacrificed, protecting.
Sovereignty wrought with valor.

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I did not know hate
till I was told to kill him,
it is so normal
I universal soldier
guilty as the enemy.

© Harry J Horsman 2013    

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Deep in the Shadows of Time

instead of flowers, stones bloom in mass profusion, engraved with honor….. history has come to rest locked in the shadows of time far from battlefields, all creatures learn of courage.. it comes with the breeze and deep in the heart of man... heard in tears of a bugle .........................................................................................................................

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Far Distant Fields

They were the soldiers
who fell on far distant fields
in wars of the past.
Don’t take freedom for granted,
it was won by those long dead.

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Rendezvous with death, War ravages everyone; Carnage for vultures. There are survivors, untouched; Emotions are ravaged, through.

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I salute our troops
who are serving in harm’s way
in Afghanistan.
May they all return safely
to their families and homes.

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The Eagle Has Landed

the eagle has landed standing guard on the remains these courageous vets sacrificed for our freedom young hearts that rest neath tombstones
Written for the Bald Eagle in the Cemetery contest and dedicated to all our veterans

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---land of the mighty

land of the mighty
brought to their knees in surprise
warriors far from home
remember ancient war cries
and the pierced autumn sky

* Tanka is a long form which arose from the same literary tree as haiku 
[no title, punctuation, or capitalization were used] as such, 
it should have 31 onji sounds [which are much smaller than syllables] 
so, less tha 31 syllables is preferrable.

It is a MOOD poem in which [unlike haiku] metaphor, personification,simile and 
other poetic devises maybe used in a short/long/short/long/long format. 

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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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ww ii

soon not one will know 
of the war - not one will care
soon - that it was done
not one will mind - neither bird 
nor tree - men dead - utterly

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No Black Out 1940

in the village street
alone our brand new gas lamp
this our Las Vegas,
while we all celebrated
enemy bombs raining down.

© Harry J Horsman 2014  

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Tanka two


It is cold outside 
Yet almond trees bear flowers 
Sun and rapid rain 
Winter and spring dance tango 
A green leaved oak applauds 

A charming princeling 
Fight battles in a lost war 
Pleased by his dimness
The tabloids are triumphant
He has made war glamorous    

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Dog Waiting Tanka

His dog lies waiting
for his master to come homefFrom the battle field
No matter how long he's gone
Lies down head on paws waiting

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Families  bereaved
Epaulettes and sacrifice
And  valour  buried
Only this lone guest to sit
And rue, in avian grief.

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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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A Battle Rages

A battle rages
between beans and broccoli.
Sadly, no winner
emerges from this dark fog.
Perhaps I will blame the dog.

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Amidst Sighs

A moment alone ~* Thoughts of her love, being home soon *~ Her pent up release ~* now resonates amidst sighs *~ Fulfilment reaches it's heights

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the very last second

clouds shifting-- the moon dancing on puddles in syncopation the whiz and ping of bullets that he can no longer hear © nov cgh war tanka

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Tears of the War

Tears of the war 

Tears flow silently,
Pride digs deep into the heart,
Dare you defy grief,
Bravery etched in the gold,
Mortals are now immortal !

Tanka- 5/7/5/7/7
Written Feb 9th, 2015
For contest "Tanka Tears" by Rick Parise

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Contemporary Haiku - Catie Lindsey - My Rewrite -Tanka

Caties Poem 

Children play and scream
in a world at war
school bell rings

MY POEM:  Tanka

Children play war games(5)
we laugh as they run guns raised(7)
Prized birthday gift toy (5)
church bells, war heroes  at rest (7)
Mothers sad good-byes, guns kill!(7)

Catie Lindsey's contest

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Islamic Isis                       
terrorists loot museums  
steal valuable                        
rare books, sell to buy bullets        
it is said; sometime words kill

Robert Gene Stoner Jr
Form - Tanka

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Celestial War

   unexploded shell
   soldiers trying to defuse
   silence now departs
   leaving them no time to lose
   heaven fights again with hell