Kozue’s English tanka


a leisurely bath, yet


my discouraged heart

still dark and flat

                GUSTS 35, spring/summer 2022new

a chickadee

singing chick-a-dee-dee

I take it easy

this tiring summer---

I skip my tap lessons

              GUSTS 34, fall/winter 2021

staying home

days in days out

my mind

trapped inside

a blue labyrinth

              red lights,  vol. 17, no. 1, 2021


coffee beans

for myself…

the day just started

I should think positive

              International Tanka no.9, 2021  

a hummingbird

coming to the feeder

its head is

scarlet and beautiful…

a new face around here

             GUSTS 33, spring/summer 2021  


to the hospital

to sing—

my first carolling

comforts me

                GUSTS 32, fall/winter 2020  

we do

our regular yoga class


hoping coronavirus doesn’t

know the internet yet

                        red lights,  June/July 2020

on the bus

I’m silently singing

my alto part of

Mädchens Wunsch…

certainly we did well

                            red lights,  January 2020

my second trip 

to the Louvre

by metro—

at last I met Mona Lisa

and her many admirers

                                GUSTS no. 31, spring/summer 2020


the giraffe

with a long neck

looking afar…

looking for green fields

in his memories

                      International Tanka, no.5, 2019

11 o’clock 

entrance ticket 

is given

I wait two hours somewhere

thinking about Caravaggio

                                red lights, June 2019


coffee beans this morning

I remember…

in the Uffizi, I found

Caravaggio, lost my scarf

                                 Eucalypt no.26, 2019                    

I went to see

the Phantom of the Opera

in New York

when I was young

when I was unhappy

                       Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) Fall 2018

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

Inernational Tanka



Santa Fe

very close to Mexico

nice and warm wind

may be blowing

from ancient Spain

                    red lights, June 2018

red lights 2018



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


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

Eucalypt 21

I heard

dead mother’s voice


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


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


in his sunflowers

in his ukiyo-e plum flowers

                    Moonbathing, sp/sm 2015


this town

northern limit for


seeing one by chance

my blues fly away

                      GUSTS 21, spring/summer 2015


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


failing to become red

green tomatoes

smell so wild, and

invite me to bite

                    red lights, January 2015

red lights jan 2015



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


floating lively

in the park—

the breeze has colors

this sunny afternoon

                        Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) fall 2013

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


marzipan, sangria

added often

to my shopping list

after a trip to Spain

                      GUSTS no.17, 2013




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

café au lait

let's grind coffee beans,

warm up milk

this chilly morning

first day of autumn

                   Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) fall 2012


don't have the horrizon

they fly


beyond our limit

                Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) spring/summer 2012


my slow movement

of tai chi

neighbor's black cat

walks away in haste

                      GUSTS no.15, 2012



skin rash around

the neck

am I angry at someone,

someone inside me?

                      GUSTS no.15, 2012


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


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

moon eclipse

I'm in love with him

but my heart

is getting dark until

it becomes invisible

                    Moonbathing no.5, fall/winter 2011-2012


casually praised

my white jeans

I walk -- like a sea breeze,

the streets of Lisbon

                      Eucalypt no.11, 2011


by a deck of cards

in his hands

I’m wandering into

the world of illusion

                      Tanka Cafe (in Ribbons) fall 2011

Ribbons 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


in front of Guernica

I feel

fragility of sanity

fragility of our daily life

                      GUSTS no.14, 2011




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


I hold it against light


they come into my sight

dark eyes of my dead lover

                           Moonbathing no.4, spring/summer 2011


peoney petals fall

into my heart’s

empty space

after making love

                   red lights, January 2011


to answer him


my heart floating

like evening mist

                  red lights, January 2011


by moonlight

my eyes

can see clearly now

a wound in his heart

                 Moonbathing no.3, fall/winter 2010-2011


pumpkin flower buds

for salad

I think of Cinderella’s

life after the wedding

                      Eucalypt no. 9, 2010

Eucalypt9 2010


a post card

from Salt Lake City


with something attached—

a tiny pouch of salt !

                        Tanka Journal no. 37, 2010


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


Sydney in early spring

lotus flowers

bloom in pink, and I forget

Vancouver in autumn rain

                              red lights, June 2010


new animal print

rubber boots

I walk the fields

like a young giraffe

                      GUSTS no.11, 2010



by migraine headache

in Germany

medieval witches

still alive and mean

                       red lights, January 2010

pink aurora

in the winter sky


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


sweet and magical

might be there—

turquoise skies

early summer

                  red lights, June 2009


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


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

Tanka Journal 32

it's hard

to prove racism                    


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


at the new start line

in the morning

I read today's horoscope

rather seriously

                   red lights, January 2007


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


go back to the front page

© Kozue Uzawa 2014