The Tanka Challenge Project


website templates free download

A pair of sparrows
Shake the cherry tree as they
Bounce from branch to branch.
Deer come down the hill to graze.
Unfazed by the falling rain.


Again and again
She returns triumphantly,
Her tail like a flag.
I had forgotten the squish
Of a much chewed tennis ball.


As the day departs,
They come out of the trees to
Savor new spring grass.
With a tail flick they depart
The dog's cries from the window.



Jewel like they gleam
And seem to float in the night
Against the black hills.
Too near for stars, the lanterns
Of houses nearby keep watch.


Another grey dawn
Glowers outside the window
Like a sulky child.
After so much winter rain
I long to see the sun's face.


As the day slips past
The hilltop, they emerge from
The sheltering trees.
The dog is safely inside
And the spring grasses are lush.


A hot cup of tea
And a favorite blanket
Are enough welcome.
After a week at a friend's,
These little things speak of home.


I dreamed a forest,
Lushly green and echoing
With the song of birds.
For now I must be content
With the crows in the maple.


Despite the sunshine
Cold winds buffet the treetops,
Scattering blossoms.
Chilled, I must leave my hard bench
And go back to my duties.



I can see the trees
Swaying against a chill wind
Outside my window.
Though no rain is expected,
It still feels much like winter.


I didn't see them
But I heard their soft voices
Outside my window.
In the tree beside the house
I heard the calling of doves.


All things that flourish
Must one day pass like a dream
Or a bell's echo.
Yes, we foolish humans mourn
And cling to memories.


The empty new house
Blasts light from all its windows
Late into the night.
After three years of building
This is the latest assault.


I have missed more days
Of my self-imposed challenge:
A poetic drought.
At least the road beckons me
For a weekend adventure.


Today's winding road
Led through towering forests
And springtime pastures.
I was a little drunk on
A thousand layers of green.



Windows thrown open
For the first time this season
I hope for a breeze.
Distant windows gleam with light
On the west-facing hillside.


Juggling them like balls,
I still count on my fingers
As I write these lines.
My building blocks are just words:
They're all we have to go on.


I have failed this month
To produce a daily poem
Although it is spring.
Sometimes life gets in the way
Of all our best intentions.


Copyright 2019, Lisa A. Joseph, all photos by Lisa A. Joseph. 

No HOBBY LOBBY products were used in these projects.