Tanka Poems

Tanka Poems. Examples of Tankas and a list of poems in the correct poetic form and technique. Share and read Tanka poetry while accessing rules, topics, ideas, and a comprehensive literary definition of a Tanka. (New Poems Below)

Poem Topics Related to Tanka

emotions, haiku, japan, love, metaphor, personification, sadness, seasons, simile

New Poems


The gatekeeper whose
golden house’s roof reflects 
off the sun at noon
A torch or a lighthouse for 
The fearless midnight watchman

Marckincia Jean

...Read More
Categories: baptism, christian, creation, faith, god, heaven, hope,
Form: Tanka

If we wish :: Tanka Sequence

Ancient Chinese text,
Tao Te Ching, teaches the world
is sacred vessel
and hence human beings should
refrain from polluting it.

But, we forget our
planet does not have so much
space and soon, a time
will come when the trash will stay
in sight and pervade our lives.

Still...Read More
Categories: life,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member GOD MADE MAN-MUD
God made Man-Mud
Man is like mud
molded like clay water dirt
yet a soul/spirit
a breath of life encrypted
molded clay God creates life

written words by James Edward Lee Sr. 2019

...Read More
Categories: analogy, beautiful, change, creation, engagement, environment, god,
Form: Tanka
The ladybird - Gogyohka
The ladybird 
the washing on the line
mistaking it for 
the scent of flowers.

Gogyohka was a form developed by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally to “five-line poem.” An off-shoot of the TANKA form, the gogyohka has very...Read More
Categories: urban,
Form: Tanka
The day
And the night
Have merged into one,
And the full moon 
Has eclipsed the sun.

       W.A CHOLT. Copyright Fergal O Reilly. 2019.

       14/10/19...Read More
Categories: night,
Form: Tanka

Lipstick Lips
Lipstick Lips

Lipstick red lips on
Tombstone remains. Bloody red
Roses kiss the cold  
Breath of death, crystallizing 
Hearts overcome by the flame

Marckincia Jean 

...Read More
Categories: death, december, farewell, grave, rose, roses are
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Panthera Leo-The Lion I am

I am a lion
King of all the Savage beasts
Shouts roars not whispers
Mighty King of the jungle
muscular, deep-chested cat

Written words by James Edward Lee Sr. 2019©
...Read More
Categories: adventure, analogy, animal, courage, pride,
Form: Tanka

Tears roll down her eyes
She trembles, shivers and sighs 
Goodbyes are forever 
Never again to be seen
Death breaks the toughest of hearts

Marckincia Jean
...Read More
Categories: anger, change, death, depression, funeral, goodbye, grandmother,
Form: Tanka
The Ballon
The Ballon

Pop goes the balloon 
A thin pin pokes into it 
Everyone’s head turns
Nah nah nah the baby cries
Everyone roll their eyes

Marckincia Jean
...Read More
Categories: baby, birth, character, child, cry, humor, silly,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member autumn tanka
crisp leaves of autumn
wearing colours red and gold
shining in sunlight
bright blue cloudless sky above
the air holds a winter's bite...Read More
Categories: autumn,
Form: Tanka
Fermenting Watermelons
the fermenting of
overripe watermelons
     of the ancient gods—
          quenching my carnal desires

Poetic form: KYOKA
Kyoka is a humorous, satirical tanka. Kyoka is to...Read More
Categories: desire, fruit, passion, summer, sun,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member A Father's Plea
That's not him, I swear
   To harm a fly, he can't bear
He'd just never dare...

O, please don't lock him away!
   Now I see: Crime doesn't pay...Read More
Categories: emotions, father son, prayer,
Form: Tanka
Unused parking lot
inspires another one
as urban sprawl

becomes the new normal
paper bag dances in wind

...Read More
Categories: urban, usa,
Form: Tanka
Orange tan conceals
the whiteness of the ghost
subtle cackles sound

You’ve got to be a spirit
cries mystical rastaman

He stumbles along
still offering redemption
to those fading ghosts

The song silhouettes the sky
Spirit can defeat the ghost
...Read More
Categories: appreciation,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Seabird And Plastic
                                       ...Read More
Categories: bird, dark, depression, murder, sad,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Love is Like a Dirty Dish Cloth
Love is like a dirty Dish Cloth
Rubbing on cups, plates
washing them making them clean
Rinse off the dirt grime
placing them in the strainer
clean unsoiled stands tall and dry

I'm like the dishes
dirty soiled God the dish cloth
washes me over
embraces me in hand...Read More
Categories: analogy, assonance, forgiveness, inspirational,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Phoenix Tattoo
Your phoenix tattoo
Etched in inks, black, red and blue. 
Firebird for Firebrand. 
Risen, emancipated, 
Unshackled from broken love....Read More
Categories: betrayal, break up, conflict, freedom, identity, independence
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Love's Here the Hearts Of All Mankind
Love's Here the Hearts Of All Mankind
Love is truly here...inside you if you allow
it to flourish grow
my love shines as the sunshine
warming the hearts of mankind 

10/6/19...Read More
Categories: anxiety, encouraging, humanity, love,
Form: Tanka
Ono no Komachi translations
As I slept in isolation
my desired beloved appeared to me; 
therefore, dreams have become my reality
and consolation. 
—Ono no Komachi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Submit to you —
is that what you advise? 
The way the ripples do
whenever ill winds arise?...Read More
Categories: life,
Form: Tanka
Change, the sole season
Rains recede— front door,
Autumn comes quiet— back door,
Harvest moon’s no small,
Last of leaves begin to fall,
Winter waits ashore.
  Tanka |08.09.13|

Topic: aging, change, seasons, winter

Poet’s note: Spring is long over, summer too has gone, and rains have receded. When last...Read More
Categories: change, seasons, winter,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Control Freak
no life you want mine
never to feel your self-harm
try and steal my smile
facial features black blue
you can’t steal away my glow.

© Harry J Horsman 2019
...Read More
Categories: abuse,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Taken By Soldiers
child taken by soldiers
my neighbors are screaming
feeling unbearable anguish
...Read More
Categories: 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade,
Form: Tanka
Premium Member Hurt
I leave my tears here,
on this white sheet my sorrow;
now, the white is stained-
The words hurt deeply,
like a dagger plunged into my heart.

October 1, 2019

Copyright Protected, ID 19-1185-408-02
All Rights Reserved.  Written under Pseudonym.

Written for the FFI Blog Series, 15-...Read More
Categories: life,
Form: Tanka
lost in pensive thought
fire burns all mendacity,
 self-hatred hooked me.
Rid the hateful piercing cries,
intercept thoughts I despise
...Read More
Categories: hate, pain,
Form: Tanka
my tiger told me
to say hi, ahlla, hello
hallo aloha
a positive self respect
not rapid nor an ego
...Read More
Categories: appreciation, beauty, love, self, wisdom,
Form: Tanka

Read wonderful tanka poetry on the following sub-topics: art, animals, christmas, death, family, flowers, food, friendship, funny, kids, life, love, music, nature, nursery, parents, sadness, school, spring, sports, summer, war, winter and more. Read a definition and example (where appropriate).