Writing a Tanka

      by Naomi Beth Wakan

Writing a tanka
is like feeling
the breeze coming up
from the shore
on the first day of Autumn.
It tells you that
the full blooming of summer
is over—
the seeds sown in Spring
are now to be harvested,
and entropy moves centre stage
as leaves fall and
stalks rot in the ground.
Yes, writing tanka
is like that
Like a record of a full life
and the bitter-sweetness
of knowing that
it must come to an end.


From Bent Arm for a Pillow: New and Selected Poems, Gabriola, British Columbia: Pacific-Rim Publishers, 2016, page 185. The same, too, is surely true of haiku.