Kozue’s English tanka



to protect

fishermen of Marseille

the golden Maria

stands high

on Notre Dame

                  Moonbathing no.18, sp/sm 2018



I’ll take

a tap dance course

this year…

someone might worry

about my age, I know


                  International Tanka, no.3, 2018

                                                                                                                          

Santa Fe

very close to Mexico

nice and warm wind

may be blowing

from ancient Spain


                    red lights, June 2018

                                                                                         

O’Keeffe

used to live 

in this town

huge flowers might be

blooming even now


                     red lighs, June 2018



Oscar Wilde

on the rock in the park

watching

the sky and himself

with a cynical smile


                     GUSTS 27, spring/summer 2018



Pieta, Signore!

becomes my favorite

I sing again

with my teacher’s bitter

but sweet encouragement


                       red lights, June 2017



I sing

sweet love songs

in Italian, but

it’s hard to confess

my feelings to him


                     red lights, June 2017



voice lessons

my teacher tries

to release

shyness, negativism

sitting deep inside me


                     Eucalypt, no. 21, 2016



I heard

dead mother’s voice

clearly

in Tokyo for ten days…

ten days of family reunion


                      Moonbathing, fall/winter 2016



waiting for 

the fireworks to begin

on the beach

I look up into the twilight sky

with my childhood loneliness


                  GUSTS 24,  fall/winter 2016



early spring—

no red flowers blooming yet

I set up

a red glass bird feeder

for my guest hummingbirds


                  Tanka Cafe (Ribbons) spring/summer 2016



falling rain

in Amsterdam

this same rain

was falling

during the war


                Skylark, summer 2016



little by little

my yoga poses

improving—

little by little

I get to know him


            GUSTS 23, spring/summer 2016




can’t find Sartre

nor Baudelaire, I come out

with a butterfly

from Montparnasse

cemetry this afternoon


                    Skylark, winter 2015



eyes closed

in a yoga pose

I meditate—

my mind travels back

to my childhood


                 Eucalypt 19, 2015



in this museum

I see van Gogh’s

loneliness

in his sunflowers

in his ukiyo-e plum flowers


                    Moonbathing, sp/sm 2015

                                                        



this town

northern limit for

hummingbirds

seeing one by chance

my blues fly away


                      GUSTS 21, spring/summer 2015



Amsterdam

in February, tulip bulbs

sold in the stores

along the canal, I walk

as if I live locally


                     Eucalypt, no.18, 2015



a robin

with spring air

lands here

I’ll fly to Wonderland

to see my other self


                    Skaylark, summer 2015



although

failing to become red

green tomatoes

smell so wild, and

invite me to bite


                    red lights, January 2015

                                        

planning

to kill him softly

I obtain

a small bottle of

tendre poison


                   Eucalypt no. 17, 2014



this airport’s

waiting area

so airy

birds are coming in freely

like the summer breeze


                        Eucalypt no.16, 2014





spring afternoon

white petals keep falling

in haste

I still cannot decide

to fall in love again


            Moonbathing no. 10, spring/summer 2014



red shoots

of seven peonies

in April

I should not forget

to write him poems


                    red lights, June 2014




balloons

floating lively

in the park—

the breeze has colors

this sunny afternoon


                        Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) fall 2013





rainy day

in early March

I walk

to  Sacré Coer regretting

what I said to him


             Moonbathing no. 8, spring/summer 2013




this baguette

so crispy outside

so soft inside

I am still in Paris

on the fifth day


                red lights, June 2013




prosciutto,

marzipan, sangria

added often

to my shopping list

after a trip to Spain


                      GUSTS no.17, 2013

                  




sometimes

I become a cat

and greet

a neighbor's cat

using sweet voice  

                                            

                   Tanka Journal no. 41, 2012





my thyroid

surgery was not easy

the tumor

as big as an egg

near the vocal cords

                  Tanka Journal no. 41, 2012




for
café au lait

let's grind coffee beans,

warm up milk

this chilly morning

first day of autumn

                   Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) fall 2012




birds

don't have the horrizon

they fly

courageously

beyond our limit


                Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) spring/summer 2012



encountering

my slow movement

of tai chi

neighbor's black cat

walks away in haste


                      GUSTS no.15, 2012




irritating

skin rash around

the neck

am I angry at someone,

someone inside me?

                      GUSTS no.15, 2012




half

of my thyroid removed

with a tumor

silk scarf gently hides

the scar of loneliness

                      GUSTS no.15, 2012




be patient

they'll flower soon. . .

cherry trees

preparing for

the time quietly
 

                 red lights, June 2012




even after

the 3.11 disasters

cherry blossoms

silently encourage

people in despair

                 red lights, June 2012




I am

merciless, childless

tonight

moonless sky

endlessly deep

               Moonbathing no.6, spring/summer 2012



that year

you changed your mind

and decided,

out of loneliness,

to marry someone
 

                   Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) winter 2011




its fragrance

heals my heart wounded

by her sting—

a rosary made of red roses

I bought in Fatima

                      red lights, January 2012




mooon eclipse

I'm in love with him

but my heart

is getting dark until

it becomes invisible

                    Moonbathing no.5, fall/winter 2011-2012




someone

casually praised

my white jeans

I walk -- like a sea breeze,

the streets of Lisbon

                      Eucalypt no.11, 2011




mesmerized

by a deck of cards

in his hands

I’m wandering into

the world of illusion
 

                      Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) fall 2011



after wandering

around a town named Tallinn

we order

hot wine to get to know

a little bit of Estonia                                                                           

                   

                            Tanka Journal no. 39, 2011




standing

in front of Guernica

I feel

fragility of sanity

fragility of our daily life

                      GUSTS no.14, 2011

                                           

shopping

at the farmers market

fresh berries

greens, and balloons

I become happy, so easily

                             red lights, June 2011




a jar of

home-made blueberry jam

my gift

to that stubborn person—

what do I know about him?


                               Eucalypt no.10, 2011




kaleidoscope

I hold it against light

magically

they come into my sight

dark eyes of my dead lover

                           Moonbathing no.4, spring/summer 2011




languidly

peoney petals fall

into my heart’s

empty space

after making love

                   red lights, January 2011




reluctant

to answer him

clearly

my heart floating

like evening mist

                  red lights, January 2011




washed

by moonlight

my eyes

can see clearly now

a wound in his heart

                 Moonbathing no.3, fall/winter 2010-2011



picking

pumpkin flower buds

for salad

I think of Cinderella’s

life after the wedding

                      Eucalypt no. 9, 2010

                                    

a post card

from Salt Lake City

came

with something attached—

a tiny pouch of salt !

                        Tanka Journal no. 37, 2010




consolation

every four hours

I rinse

my mouth with salt water

my molar gone forever

                           Tanka Journal no. 37, 2010




first day

of autumn already—

I buy

mini sunflowers to enjoy

summer one more week

                           GUSTS no.12, 2010




September—

Sydney in early spring

lotus flowers

bloom in pink, and I forget

Vancouver in autumn rain


                              red lights, June 2010



wearing

new animal print

rubber boots

I walk the fields

like a young giraffe

                      GUSTS no.11, 2010



attacked

by migraine headache

in Germany

medieval witches

still alive and mean

                       red lights, January 2010




pink aurora

in the winter sky

tonight

everything looks

delicately balanced
 

                        Eucalypt no. 7, 2009




jet lag

after the trip to Köln

night and day

flashbacks of old churches

and cobblestoned lanes

                      Eucalypt no. 7, 2009




not separated

from colours in washing

my white t-shirt

becomes blue and

accuses my laziness

                    tanka cafe, summer 2009




this acupuncturist

inserts countless needles

on my back

accurately detecting

my deep rooted sorrow


                      red lights, June 2009




something

sweet and magical

might be there—

turquoise skies

early summer

                  red lights, June 2009




smiling 

in this old picture

young me

not afraid of

anything, anyone

                Tanka Journal no. 34, 2009

            



he will betray her

sooner or later

I sense it

from the way

he smiles at me

                tanka cafe, winter 2008




first day of winter—

faint sounds of snow

fill my ears

may I forget now

about my mistakes?

                    red lights, January 2009




sensing

his loneliness

I hide my loneliness

in the tea cup

this cold afternoon

                   tanka cafe, autumn 2008



I still remember

the way he called

my name

but don't remember now

the way he betrayed me

                        GUSTS no.8, 2008



yellow flowers

of witch hazel

in February

loneliness shines

among winter trees

                       Eucalypt no. 4, 2008




it's hard

to prove racism                    

something                     

dark and intangible                                                     

accumulating inside me 

                                                                                                

                    Tanka Journal no. 32, 2008



passion flower

dropped without opening —

I too had

dreams disappear

without blooming


                    GUSTS no.7, 2008




gusty winds

blowing all day

I protect

my edgy heart

in a grey cocoon

                Tanka Journal no. 30, 2007




standing

at the new start line

in the morning

I read today's horoscope

rather seriously

                   red lights, January 2007




stopped

at the red light

i see the thin moon

precariously floating

in the noon sky

                    red lights, June 2007




in the summer sky 

shooting stars appear

one after another

I have so many

wishes to make

                  GUSTS no.6, 2007


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© Kozue Uzawa 2014