From Countless Leaves

The following poems were published in Countless Leaves (Edmonton, Alberta: Inkling Press, 2001), edited by Gerald St. Maur, an anthology of North America tanka that also included winning poems from the North American Tanka Contest that I cojudged. In addition to being included in the printed anthology, the book’s poems also appeared in an accompanying compact disc recording. In this recording, Gerald St. Maur arranged the tanka in sixteen thematic sections, with poems read by Betty Moulton, Alex Hawkins, and Shannon Boyle, directed by Betty Moulton. On the CD, the following three anthology poems are featured on tracks 59, 34, and 70, respectively. See also “North American Tanka Contest Results.”

this is but a moonless night,

and my pillow has no tear stains—

it is in the grocery aisle

amid the frozen vegetables

that I long for you

freeway empty

on Christmas morning—

the space

where the skid marks

change direction

you would not sleep on the pillow

I shared with a previous lover—

would you come now,

now that I have

a hundred new pillows