The Tanka Challenge Project

2015

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Oh for a chill breeze
To rattle the scarlet leaves 
On the garden path. 
I swelter in heavy sleeves: 
The seasons are out of sync.

11/01/2015 

I wake in darkness,
The rush of rain on the roof 
Loud, then soft again. 
All too soon I must go out 
Into the season's first storm.

11/02/2015 

Words from my father
Late in the evening are a 
Long held tradition. 
He is not so far away 
When I listen to his tales.

11/03/2015 

Finally blushing,
The tall maple's leaves begin
Their showy decline. 
She blazes like a bright torch 
In late afternoon sunlight.

11/04/2015

Coming home at night
I find the house is chilly: 
Time to shut windows. 
Time too to nestle beneath 
My favorite wool blanket.

11/05/2015 

Each time I impose
This challenge upon myself
I know it will come: 
More than one night of trying 
To come up with a topic.

11/06/2015 

Colored wisps of cloud
Paint the western horizon 
As sun sinks in bay. 
A thousand lamps glimmer on  
Eastern hils as night descends.

11/07/2015 

As I lay out clothes
For tomorrow, I recall 
Rain has been forecast. 
My favorite sweater, then. 
Now where are those warm boot socks?

11/08/2015 

A cavalry charge
Of grey maned storm clouds race east,  
Darkening the sky. 
In moments, a fusillade 
Of rain batters the windows.

11/09/2015 

Fine lines on paper
Take on a life of their own 
And I laugh aloud. 
Two men wage a war of stares 
On a scroll centuries old.

11/10/2015 

The Marine barracks
Plays their sunset bugle call 
As the flag comes down.  
I pause to listen most nights 
As darkness falls earlier.

11/11/2015

Lists have been checked off.
Clothing has been pressed and packed, 
As have been my books. 
In the morning it begins, 
A journey to a new place.

11/12/2015 

In quiet chambers
I gazed upon images 
Writ in silk and gold. 
A world away, a city 
Bled and weeps for her fallen.

11/13/2015 

I wait with my sword
For a turn with some stranger 
In a too-small room. 
Some fall to my humble skills, 
Each one gives me new lessons.

11/14/2015 

A sheaf of bright leaves
Bound simply with silken thread 
Cause the heart to leap. 
A hand reaches in friendship 
Across untold miles to me.

11/15/2015, for Ki no Kotori-hime

Chill winds off the bay
Rattle windows in their frames 
And sway the treetops. 
Inside the house I shiver 
And unfold one more blanket.

11/16/2015 

Travel takes its toll
On mind and body alike: 
I cannot resist. 
It will be an early night 
With a soothing cup of tea.

11/17/2015 

I have one answer
To those who say we must face 
Hatred with more hate: 
It is braver to face fear 
And be a light in darkness.

11/18/2015 

We sit in darkness,
Drawn in by a tale told in 
Moving light and sound. 
Though faced with many trials, 
This time our hero triumphs.

11/20/2015 

The hills are so brown
They seem faded and empty 
After a hard summer. 
I look in vain for rain clouds 
In a sky empty of them.

11/21/2015 

Seriously, James?
Who texts at six fifteen on 
A Sunday morning? 
Himeji is beautiful 
But so is a good sleep-in!

11/22/2015 

I hasten homeward,
Bags stuffed with delicacies 
For the coming feast. 
A cold eyed moon watches as 
I rummage for my car keys.

11/23/2015 

Dawn brings a new pang
And I cannot be sure how 
I have come by it. 
Why is my calendar marked 
In aching joints and lost friends?

11/24/2015 

Gleaming like rubies,
Wet leaves carpet the front path 
Between house and street. 
All this treasure is good for 
Is wet hems and poem grist.

11/25/2015 

Leaves blaze golden
In the cold morning sunlight, 
Defying the wind. 
The little gingko will soon 
Be bare of her bright raiment.

11/28/2015 

Beneath an oak tree
Four friends met with swords in hand 
To test their mettle. 
Mettle is harder to test 
When fighting injuries too.

11/29/2015 

Another month ends
With chilly winds and the rasp 
Of leaves on the path. 
The nights grow ever longer 
As the cold moon turns her face.

11/30/2015 

 For reasons I no longer recall, there was no April tanka challenge in 2015. 

Copyright 2015, 2019, Lisa A. Joseph

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