Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2007, vol 5 no 4
 

TANKA

Kasumi Numatani
 

I hug
the cliff rocks
warm and firm
I ask the rocks
if they love me

 

a helicopter
scatters my leaves
I fear
life as a tree
is ending

 

the raven flies
too high to hear
my voice
I begin to sing
with meaningless words

 

three terns
then four more
rest on my branches
they pitch me questions
who and where am I

 

the wish for bells
on upward shoots
from my trunk
a longing for dry wind
in this waterworld

 

I float
feeling self-completion
on the ocean
with my roots spread
getting isolation

 


Kasumi Numatani Kasumi Numatani is a graduate of Kyoto University's department of jurisprudence. She started to write tanka in 1994. Her work was selected for the 1994 Nikkei-Kadan collection. She was a member of Mirai-Tankakai, studied under Takashi Okai and was selected for a Tanka-Kenkyu newcomer's award. Her poems also appear in Les Papiers Cyans and Ganymede. There is a duet serial chapbook, Tongue, written with Kouji Katano. Her Japanese tanka can be found at http://www.cmo.jp/users/swampland/tanka/tanka.htm