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Tanka by Allen M. Terdiman

the day after
my patient's funeral
I can't remember his name-
squinting I read the ID tag
from the picture in my mind

children playing
on a sunny beach-
off shore
practice for war

published as "unrolling the awning"
The Grand Central Station Tanka Cafe' 2003

two buddies
play with model planes-
now grown
they drink scotch
with lunch

at your grave
a splash of yellow-
the forsythia on the trail
we climbed long ago?

sitting with you
on the nursing home patio
we listen to a lifetime
of music

On August 15 1994 I crossed a threshold. I entered the world of the retired after practicing psychiatry for 35 years. During a course in poetry I was introduced to haiku, tanka and haibun. I was immediately attracted to this poetry of brevity and simplicity which paints the world where all things are connected and where nature, people, and emotion flow together in constantly changing patterns. I have written and published poems in America and Internationally. My third book "Selected Memoirs in Haibun" will be published in the Summer of 2004

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