Sunday, October 18, 2015


I wrote this as an exercise in writing a tanka. It was posted in this blog before, but it attracted zero comments. Perhaps no one came across it, so I am re-posting it.

For this work, I am sticking to the 5-7-5-7-7 syllables format, though I used to write this form in less. :)

photo by greyerbaby
image from


what then do i see?
a field of wavering grass
a blue sky of clouds.

but not your face, nor your smile
not today, not tomorrow.


"So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart.."

--Metallica, Nothing Else Matters

Shared on Poetry Pantry #274 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger brudberg said...

Nature can be a comfort in longing, but also a canvas to make the longing more palpable... Lovely tanka.

18 October, 2015 18:57  
Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

Soo romantic! Such a burning desire to lift those eyes upon the face of its beloved :D
Beautifully penned!

Lots of love,

18 October, 2015 19:25  
Blogger Jae Rose said...

The most meaningful things/people are so hard to replace and the longing is so great...i am glad you reposted and hope others enjoy your piece as much as me..i could certainly feel the ache..pared down to its most vital feeling

18 October, 2015 19:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like your tanka..the last line adds depth to it.

18 October, 2015 19:46  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A beautiful tanka!

18 October, 2015 19:58  
Blogger Mary said...

Interesting really... It doesn't seem like a very happy poem to me, as you cannot see the person's face or smile or today or tomorrow. So the beautiful setting of the grass and blue clouds lose their meaning really...and are quite empty without a human connection which seems to be desired in the second stanza.

18 October, 2015 20:36  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


there's truth in that. :)


thank you so much! :)


pared down, yes. thus a tanka. a haiku would be harder to express. thank you! :)


thank you! :)




thanks for analyzing the poem. no, it is not a happy poem. i was writing about the loss of a loved one, wishing that we could see the sky/etc together again.

18 October, 2015 21:12  
Blogger Sherri B. said...

There's such a sadness and yearning...beautiful.

18 October, 2015 23:53  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

A very poignant poem, such depth of feeling in these few lines...the contrast between the beauty of the scene and the loss and longing is palpable. Wonderful share, my friend. Always so nice to see you in the Pantry!

19 October, 2015 00:23  
Blogger Maggie Patti Barbara Frankford-Walton said...

a simple wonder does do magic here.

19 October, 2015 00:24  
Blogger Nataša Dolenc said...

sometimes it's the feeling and not a particular person.

19 October, 2015 02:58  
Blogger Susan said...

It is a romantic longing that measures the beauty of a landscape by absence. Well done.

19 October, 2015 04:34  
Blogger Old Egg said...

How is it we seeks comfort in the natural world when we suffer loss, particularly a love? I think that I assures us that we can go on regardless of the hurt we feel when we see life blooming around us.

19 October, 2015 07:54  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

Firstly, I do not like the split into 3 then 2 lines. I would run bothv sets of events together and present the classic 5lined verse
Secondly the theme of love and longing is potent and strong and makes for a lovely tanka

Much love...

19 October, 2015 09:04  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Sherri B.,

thank you! :)


thanks! my pleasure to visit the pantry. :)


thanks for visiting. :)


true, but in this case i was thinking about a particular person. :)


ah yes, i think. well described. :)


this tanka may be seen as negative, but yes, we will move on. :)


thanks for your suggestion/review. a classic tanka shouldn't have a break, and furthermore, i am using a strict syllabic count. i break it up to try to bring out the contrast in emotions in the lines. :)

19 October, 2015 18:55  
Blogger humbird said...

I like the last 2 lines of tanka, underlining the longing with urge and passion. Nice work.

19 October, 2015 21:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, humbird! i am glad it works! :)

19 October, 2015 22:16  
Blogger Nancy Beebe Goolsby Tramel Perry said...

promises come when you seek but not project

lovely verse.

19 October, 2015 22:29  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Hi Nancy, thanks for visiting! :)

19 October, 2015 23:08  
Anonymous tinman said...

Where did you get that photo?

20 October, 2015 06:36  
Blogger G L Meisner said...

Good use of the form. I like the flow of this one.

20 October, 2015 21:19  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hey T,

don't you read the credits?

hi G L,

thank you! this is one form i find not easy to write. :)

20 October, 2015 23:16  
Blogger Alison Sandberg Jason Pritchard Clinton said...

a delicate piece of poetry.

20 October, 2015 23:55  
Anonymous dsnake1 said...

Alison, thank you! :)

21 October, 2015 19:19  

Post a Comment

<< Home