Saturday, January 24, 2015

where the waves are wild and rough . . .

I might never tire of this brookside haven.


I sleep
under the willows
all afternoon
and wake, covered
in green caterpillars

the river, too
is green, and cloudy
flowing slow
grassy banks gentle
with sleeping ducks

I remember
a brief dream
a wooden boat
the long journey
downstream to the sea

where to, then?
the boat is too small 
to go far
out where the waves
are wild and rough

always my dreams 
turn back to the land
my soul tossed out
onto the riverbank
settling, grounded

Joy McCall

rising mist, fieldstones
Keibooks, Perryville MD, 2015, page 61.

This author has been writing the five-line form known as tanka for a long time, but only recently began to publish, as a result of finding her publisher as she looked for someone to make a few handmade books of her work. In this book, she uses her familiar stanza, but has presented the work assembled in page length poems. I am never sure what to think when I find a poet who doesn't use capital letters or punctuation (except for the essential question mark.) but she really doesn't seem to need them. In an afterword, the publisher tells us that the poet is in ill health and expects not to live much longer. The book is available through Lovers of this short form will find much to admire here.

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