John Stone's Poetry Pages

Dancing with the inevitable

John Stone is a musician who sometimes writes things down. Sometimes they are published, sometimes not. He's cool with it either way...

TANKA

 

wedding band

a broken promise

in the junk drawer

even now it slips

through my fingers*

---------------------------------------

 west of the moon

a lingering pink persists
autumn sunset
she abandons her loom
for the mortar and pestle ^

---------------------------------------

 evening star

reminds me of her earrings

on my night table

the way she slipped them on

and closed the door ^

--------------------------------------- 

 in forsythia

I still try to imagine
a black and white world
even though if it were
my heart would wither and die ^

--------------------------------------- 

 coroners wagon

a murder of crows

watches him depart

all he ever said to me

was get off my lawn*

---------------------------------- 

 solitaire

the old mans weathered deck
missing a queen
losers game or loners choice
the house always wins ^

------------------------------------- 

 red tail hawk

flying low over the yard

fleeing from your wrath

I admire his wings

as you storm across the lawn

-------------------------------------- sakura madness

an empty sake jug

floats in the river

the wretched poet moans

I am worse than the gaijin

------------------------------------- 

 evening train

my  thoughts of suicide

derailed

the young girl asks, astonished

you’re sixty, really?

----------------------------------- 

 never have I

forgotten your beauty

much longer than

the time it takes

to gather these peonies 

----------------------------------- 

 I am reminded

of my old typewriter

rotting in the attic

a ribbon full of mistakes

that cannot be erased

----------------------------- 

 I talk to the stones

listen to the trees

become the forest

a river otters splash

takes my breath away

-------------------------------------

 in forsythia

I still try to imagine
a black and white world
even though if it were
my heart would wither and die ^

------------------------------------ 

 Cheyenne women say

my place is behind my man

so I may whisper in his ear

and tell him

which way to go

------------------------------------- 

 dark and cool

your absentminded song 

from beneath the palms

now silent as the frost

on your headstone

---------------------------------------- 

my place is behind my man
so I may whisper
in his ear and tell him
which way to go

even more
that it cannot be touched
I reach out to touch it
the kaleidoscope
that is the raven's wing ^

--------------------------------------

Roiling waters

the sail makers needle stops

in mid memory

he pushes himself away

and goes down to the sea ^

-------------------------------------- 

 my sweet natasha

saw her in a highway dream

and i found her there

curled as in a peaceful sleep

on the double yellow line*

 

----------------------------------

 a flash of  wings

from the mulberry tree

unfortunate worm

born of  tempered clime

this is where the robins go

--------------------------------- 

 Seeing her face

the old man's fingers

trace a fading scar

his memories are leaves

falling from the sycamore ^

---------------------------------- 

 for a moment

I heard her speaking

from the kitchen

its only me and the dog

staring into the rain

--------------------------------- 

 

I heard her speaking
from the kitchen
its just me and the dog
staring into the rain...
I heard her speaking
from the kitchen
its just me and the dog
staring into the rain...
I heard her speaking
from the kitchen
its just me and the dog
staring into the rain...

 

for a moment
I heard her speaking
from the kitchen
its just me and the dog
staring into the rain...--------------------------------------

 

 in the night

I can only imagine
those vivid colors
but there is always the scent
of gardenias in your hair

------------------------------------- 

 no moon

only fireflies

know the way

down the dark path

to your grave

--------------------------------------- 

 once in a while

the passing trains

carry my thoughts

to unquenchable thirst

like reading Bukowski

--------------------------------------- 

 in smoky twilight

I remember how light

the casket was

yet I can’t pick up his toys

still scattered in the yard

--------------------------------------- 

 answering machine

even the blinking light

shies from your anger

I push the button thinking

what a koan you are 

 ---------------------------------

red tail hawk

flies low over the yard

fleeing from your wrath

I admire his wings

as you storm across the lawn

 ------------------------------------ 

 upon my return

the cobwebs will await
their exorcism
I must find the old dog's ball
in an unmowed lawn

----------------------------------------

 august sunrise

the laughter of my neighbors
on their way to church
I return to my dent
in the mattress ^

------------------------------------- 

(*) First published in Simply Haiku

(^) First published in Modern English Tanka 

title

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