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Best Tanka Poems

Below are the all-time best Tanka poems written by Poets on PoetrySoup. These top poems in list format are the best examples of tanka poems written by PoetrySoup members

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New Tanka Poems

Don't stop! The most popular and best Tanka poems are below this new poems list.

Secret lines by Miljkovic, Davor
Snapshots In Tanka-Time by Puddifoot, Charlotte Jade
Copy-cat by Ward, Julia
Gravity -- Updated by Suspect, Usual
The Eyes of Cats by Wu, YunZhi
The Comet by Massey, A. Mark
Race of a Lifetime by Callus, Paul
FALL'S DEPARTURE by onclaud, nette

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The Best Tanka Poems

Details | Tanka Poem | |

In Strangler's Wood - tanka version

In forest dark where trees bend low
beneath a slice of half moon’s glow,
          silent shadows waver there,
          chilled by gusts of autumn air.

Quavering, as if afraid,
they fall on stumps from trees decayed.
     among those stumps the shadows creep
     and shroud a form that seems asleep.

Lightning flashes . . . Thunder peals.
A sight forlorn the light reveals
          a man, quite dead, in woolen coat,
          with scarf of death left on his throat.

The shadows saw, and now they quake,
lone witnesses in murder’s wake.
     They cannot speak, but if they could,
     they’d tell all travelers of the wood:

"We’re not the foe.  It’s one of you
that makes us tremble as we do.
          Although we loom and cause you fear,
          something worse is lurking here."

Then Thunder echoes in accord
as from the sky, cold rain is poured.
     And silent shadows start to shrink
     into a night of blackened ink.

At a dead man’s throat lies the rain drenched woolen scarf that stifled his screams. Cold Wind howls through decayed trees - witnesses in the shadows. For Debbie Guzzi's Metamorph Poetry Contest a rhyming poem changed to a tanka

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2013

Details | Tanka Poem | |


~It's Out There~

Green colored field 
A flower without the sun 
Wilts from distrust 
now washed away 
by the man storm


Copyright © Poet Destroyer A | Year Posted 2015

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Watercolours in the Rain

~*~ Summer to Autumn ~*~ Expresses blooms of beauty, ~ primary pastels ~ whilst impending changes loom ~*~ Water colours in the rain ~*~

Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2010

Details | Tanka Poem | |

December Magic

December Magic
Waltzing with the wind, in crocheted gowns of white lace… flurries of snowflakes sway to sweet divine music... that only angels can hear.

Copyright © Pandita Sanchez | Year Posted 2014

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Sad Song -Tanka

"Marriage after Sunrise"

sunset drunken light
on lavender glass of wine
a long lost tear falls
converts into sleeping pills
dismiss the rain again

"Divorce before Sunset"

Copyright © Poet Destroyer A | Year Posted 2012

Details | Tanka Poem | |

As One Together

moon and stars above
warm summer night breeze blowing
arms wrapped around me
closeness makes my body weak
your breath, the warm breeze, I melt
our hearts together
beat now as one forever
till death do us part
A Mesh Of Forms Contest of Russell Sivey Written by Carol Brown 03/22/2012 Using the forms Tanka & Senryu 1st Place Winner

Copyright © Carol Sunshine Brown | Year Posted 2012

Details | Tanka Poem | |

A yarn of sunshine

"I've got sunshine" 

This heavy weight wind
jiggles the chimes limbs hanging
a thousand sound waves invade 
visible radiation

Dark moonlight tempest
blunders off the mountain top
a massive flooring…
the courageous beam of light
saved souls upon meadow blades

A place called daylight
where the beam is always pure
if you could only feel this
you’d ask to hold the torchlight 

Somewhere were you sleep
the fluorescence substance light 
absorbs your beauty
every second that you breath 
the light becomes like sunshine 

TANKA  ~5 
Sky of falling stars
belong in my diary
renewing my wedding vows
sunshine begins with me

Missed the snooze button;
pendulum rods tick out loud 
morning bird and worm;
sunlit curtains sooth out rays 
anonymous melody

Two rainbows petals 
peek outside with loneliness
against no sunlight
rainy weather condition 
no color will bring you back 

for: contest

Copyright © Poet Destroyer A | Year Posted 2012

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Under Maple Trees


                our innocence lost
                its ability to blush
                under Maple trees
                unripe fruits camouflaged
                by gold, brown, and red leaves




Copyright © Usual Suspect | Year Posted 2014

Details | Tanka Poem | |

In Twilight

               left behind
               fading trails across the sky
               in twilight
               at the nursing home
               my father asks me my name


Copyright © Usual Suspect | Year Posted 2015

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Moonlight Sewing Night

pearlescent moonbeams satin spools unravelling through dark threads of trees fragile crocheted filaments luminous lunar lacework scattered sequin stars bright beads on night's black fabric silken starlight strands darn darkness with silver yarn moonlight's purled embroidery

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2011

Details | Tanka Poem | |

wooden rafts float

wooden sea- rafts float
     as the hardest beads

        the mildest songs

offer layered dahlias

   for holy queen's regatta

~ Dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima's 90th Anniversary
( edited)

Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2015

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Tanka 1 about Smudged Roses

Now published at

Inspired by Chris'tanka contest ~Now, for the contest :)

Copyright © Charmaine Chircop | Year Posted 2014

Details | Tanka Poem | |


we ran gleefully chasing the summer’s fireflies putting them in jars. . . those warm nights of our childhood - they flickered, and then were gone 4/1/2015

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2015

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Sending Waves

My feelings flounder
like a sky of dying stars
already snuffed out
yet still sending waves of light
to haunt my heart at midnight

Copyright © Heather Ober | Year Posted 2013

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Crescent Witness


                                         A crescent witness 
                                         holding its pale light in waves
                                         night of solitude
                                         On the shore of deep waters 
                                         the distance between          lands waits


Copyright © Usual Suspect | Year Posted 2009

Details | Tanka Poem | |


Father’s of sky blue
mother’s of deep hazel brown
a blend of the two
sunlight on dew in meadow
or moss clinging to the stone

© Harry J Horsman 2016

Copyright © harry horsman | Year Posted 2016

Details | Tanka Poem | |


Hope I shut out sorrow. Drowning in my rainy days, I hide from the hurt... close my eyes to what has been; close my eyes on what's to come. Yet, past my sorrow, somehow I know they will come; new flowers of joy will spring from my lonely tears... to bask in sunshine again. Sandra M. Haight ~6th Place~ Contest: Photograph #1 - Under 10 Lines Sponsor: Poet Destroyer Judged: 04/18/2016

Copyright © Sandra Haight | Year Posted 2016

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Window Dressings

she holds to her eyes two lovely white daisies window dressings that conceal a sullied soul For PD's Photograph #1 -under 10 lines- Contest

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2016

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Fisherman's Trove

Maiden of the sea
on blue silk mattress of dreams
Hush Hush lullabies
soft waves rocking her "good night"
as she sleeps in silver sheets


Copyright © Charmaine Chircop | Year Posted 2009

Details | Tanka Poem | |


Winter butterflies
Flutter in an evening sky
Of soft velvet black
Their icy wings glistening
In the pale light of the moon


Awarded: Fifth place

Copyright © Elaine George | Year Posted 2010

Details | Tanka Poem | |

I'm So Jealous

~The One That Got Away~

Here I lay weeping

I sing a sad song to sleep 

Fire cracking bones

kicking, screaming, pulling hair

The moment, gone forever


Copyright © SKAT A | Year Posted 2015

Details | Tanka Poem | |

A Good News Story

Cesarean birth a newborn hugs his mom's face - his cheek pressed to hers. . . pulled away from her, he screams some bonds cannot be broken

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2014

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Spilling to Death


                                                    Beaches in mourning:
                                                    clean species engulf their hopes
                                                    through a viscous trance
                                                    Ignominy and death stick
                                                    to the short time remaining...


Copyright © Usual Suspect | Year Posted 2010

Details | Tanka Poem | |

Eternal Soul

The soul's forever—
As an eternal spirit.
Leaves this mortal coil . . . 
	 Again to the spirit world 
And home to Heaven’s Kingdom!

Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved, 
Schoeningen, Germany (November 7, 2014)
(Tanka poetic format) 

Copyright © Gary Bateman | Year Posted 2014

Details | Tanka Poem | |

the farm boy

amidst the green field
behind grandpa’s old brick house
lies a broken fridge,
unmindful of time passing
until my mom calls me home.

Copyright © Ernesto P. Santiago | Year Posted 2010