My Tanka in Woodnotes

From 1989 to 1997, I edited Woodnotes, the quarterly journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and also contributed my own work. The following are all my tanka included in the journal, from 1993 to 1997, arranged chronologically by issue number. See also “My Poems in Woodnotes,” which includes these tanka plus numerous haiku and senryu, and links to rengay, essays, and other content.



this cold lonely night

without you, with no chance

of seeing you again,

how I wish

I could turn off the moon

#16, Spring 1993



a snail has left

its delicate silver trail

on my book of love poems

left out on your porch


#17, Summer 1993



so lonely

again this night . . .

the moonlight

spills over the levee

toward your street

#18, Autumn 1993



still fluttering

in the mountain wind,

a thousand paper cranes

hung on the pine

by your window

#19, Winter 1993



tonight only a pair of doves

has come to my window’s shelter

and beside my still-made bed

I have watched

the raindrops fall

#20, Spring 1994



I tell her I grow old

have a paunch and need new clothes

that the wild geese have flown

and winter is approaching

—my mother laughs

#21, Summer 1994



trimming my nails

on a summer afternoon,

I think of you—

yesterday you told me

you just cut your hair

#22, Autumn 1994



words do not come

for you

on your passing

till the first warm day

      the blossoming plum

#31, Autumn 1997