Tanka from GUSTS   

Tanka from GUSTS #35, spring/summer 2022new

                               selected by Joanna Ashwell

the heron's

still grey poise

in misty waters

this is the shape

of silence

                 A A Marcoff

leaving home

for the first time

my carpetbag

filled to bursting

with butterflies

                    Debbie Strange    


the only place it’s always

safe to go and wander,

just the songs of stars

and sweep of ice-drifts

                            Mary Kendall

Tanka from GUSTS #34, fall/winter 2021

                                     selected by Pearl Pirie

she stretches

her little nightie neckline

to hang lose

all the ways she tries

and tries to be like me

                           Vera Constantineau

broken heart

a medical condition

(yes, I looked it up)

then there’s the heart that grieves

as if grieving were breathing

                                    Louisa Howerow

after weeks

of drought

picking blueberries

in the rain

what it takes to be happy

                               munira judith avinger

Tanka from GUSTS #33, spring/summer 2021

                                 selelcted by Tom Lyon Freeland


past traumas

conscious & unconscious

the overflowing 

of unwept tears

                 pamela a. babusci


of village life

I yearn...

yearn for a time I never lived

and a thatched place I never saw

                                     Naomi Beth Wakan


in and out of lucid dreams 

my mind 

can choose to be young 

and winged

                        Margarita Engle

Tanka from GUSTS #32, fall/winter 2020 


                                selelcted by Anne Benjamin


the warm spring

in Kyoto

I scatter petals of the cherry blossom

on the frozen river

                         Natsuko Wilson



over this messy desk…

a light trail

of biscuit crumbs

leads me back to my plot

                                 Julie Thorndyke


dust motes

adrift in the sleets

of moonlight

my father slips in

and out of himself

                         Chen-ou Liu 

 Tanka from GUSTS #32, fall/winter 2020


                                      selelcted by Susan Burch

wildlife park

kangaroos follow me

wherever I go

if only people

found me so alluring

                          Joanne Morcom

nodding off

in meditation

oh my god

the teacher says

I’ll be reborn as a cow

                           Gerry Jacobson

just do it, I say...

the lesson of swans

is you can fly


without seeing the air

                         Jeanne Emrich

Tanka from GUSTS #31, spring/summer 2020


                           selelcted by Yasuko Ito Watt

a silver moon

through the bedroom window…

a few strands of grey

still tangled

in my mother’s hairbrush                   

                                 Susan Constable   

red lights

on our modems

blink in the dark

like hearts of stars

eons away                                           

                 Barry George            


first night

in the old house

I tell the apparition

I too have trouble

moving on                              

                  Robert Piotrowski           

Tanka from GUSTS #30, fall/winter 2019


                               selelcted by Elaine Riddell


across this darkness

without edges, 

my boat fragile as foam

on the lip of a wave

                               Kathryn J. Stevens

I’m not even looking

for anything

second time out

to the empty


                    Tom Clausen  

climbing upstairs

I hold the handrail

as she did

the unexpected ways

I become my own mother

                                     Elizabeth Bodien 

Tanka from GUSTS #29, spring/summer 2019 


                              selelcted by Edward J. Rielly

the slow rise

of the winter moon

through mist-shrouded trees . . .

tonight, even the tree frog’s

song is enchanted

                             elehna de sousa


the wheelchair

with a bent old woman . . .

an apparition

reflected in our window

that can’t possibly be me!

                                  Kirsty Karkow


on this day

we share a rainbow . . .

can we hold on

to the memory

in darker days to come

                                 Keitha Keyes

Tanka from GUSTS #28, fall/winter 2018 


                                selected by Susan Constable

in my flippy

red cotton skirt

I too 

am a poppy 

in the long tall grass

                               Angela Leuck


just as mysteriously 

as it started 

the tap stops dripping

what are the ways

to understand love

                            Michael Dylan Welch


snow feathering 

the greenhouse roof...

all I am

I tuck away in shelters

touched by frost and sun

                                 Janet Lynn Davis

Tanka from GUSTS #27, spring/summer 2018


                                            selected by Lucille Raizada  

old now

we are fearless in our love

of colour

sunset orange, peacock blue,

the whole childhood crayon box

                          Louisa Howerow

reading on the deck

my list of “to do” things

as a bookmark

the shadows lengthen 

yet still I sit

                       Naomi Beth Wakan 

sugar and cream

in dark roast coffee

I sweeten 

the taste of my

deeper self

               Ken Slaughter


Tanka from GUSTS #26, fall/winter 2017 

                                       selected by Noriko Sato  

a pull

between the earth

and sunlit sky

a knot of petals is untied 

into a flower

                             Natalia L Rudvchev


another lizard tail

left at the door…

how many 


I have dropped

                          Jessica Malone Latham


a raindrop glistens

on the tip of a leaf


its moment to fall...

I wait for your story

                                 Keitha Keyes


Tanka from GUSTS #25, spring/summer 2017

                          selected by Elena Calvo

when she was little

he hung a rope swing

onto a sturdy branch

of the big leaf maple…

her ashes now at its roots

                                    Susan Constable


rain-soaked petals

carpet his grave

so many ways to come 

face to face with heartbreak

                                     Carole MacRury


from the blue moon,

a silver string…

how to pull myself

out of the dark

                        Louisa Howerow

Tanka from GUSTS #24, fall/winter 2016

                                 selected by Aya Yuhki 

plein air musing 

with brush on canvas 

I borrow nature’s colors 

embracing the totality 

of humble pleasures 

Dorothy M. Giangreco                         

my head tells me 

there’s so little time 

to live 

but my universe 

keeps expanding

                         Gerry Jacobson

the edge 

of a long silence 

between us— 

two swans on the lake

flapping their wings

                             Chen-ou Liu


Tanka from GUSTS #23, spring/summer 2016

                                selected by Lp Camozzi


my very existence

the peony 


so intensely red

                          Paul Smith   

after shower

drops on the lawn shining

in the sun--

in the beginning,

words used to be diamonds

                                      Aya Yuhki

a walk

through the park

hand in hand

talking of times

they tried dating women

                                    Ignatius Fay

Tanka from GUSTS #22, fall/winter 2015


                             selected by Kath Abela Wilson


in the sharpening

of my words,

I need a strong blade 

for this broken pencil

                            Sanford Goldstein

a pregnant pause

when our conversation

ripens . . .

apples all gone

from the lower branches

                                 Ken Slaughter

your voice

from somewhere beyond

human hearing . . .

the creak of polished boards

where no foot has fallen

                                 David Terelinck 

Tanka from GUSTS #21, spring/summer/ 2015

                                  selected by Dawn Bruce

playing in the rain

the rain plays with me

opening my mouth

I taste the sky

7 flavors of rainbow

                          Genie Nakano


a jarring ring

after hours of waiting—

both cats

follow me

to the phone

                      Ken Slaughter


sailing along

black swan parents, brown cygnet

between them

           the peace and perils

           of an only child

                                   Amelia Fielden


Tanka from GUSTS #21, spring/summer/ 2015

                                     selected by Ignatius Fay

those questions

we have no answer for—

the curve

of a black swan’s neck

against this cindered sky

                                David Terelinck



so suddenly


the end game

                   Lp Camozzi

waking up

to silence

of snowfall

I rehearse

my day

            munira judith avinger

Tanka from GUSTS #20, fall/winter 2014

                                   selected by Kurt F. Svatek

on one blossom

two butterflies

we shared

so many joys

in this long life

                        Jeff Seffinga


in the flames’ dance


your promise

never to leave me

                            Jan Foster

a day filled

with work at the computer

such a treat

to pick up the telephone

and hear your voice again

                                      Jeanne Jorgensen

Tanka from GUSTS #19, spring/summer 2014

                                   selected by Maxianne Berger


through the morning

I fade

from one century to another

writing poems about the past

                                           Margarita Engle

the trees

have rustles

all night long

where can I seek

a comforting thought?

                                   Nu Quang

two foreign girls

on vacation

my cat 

suddenly fluent

in their language

                          Jeff Seffinga

Tanka from GUSTS #18, fall/winter 2013

                                  selected by Carole MacRury

an open atlas

of roads not travelled

this life spent

mapping the small, wild places

with a poet’s pen
                                       Claire Everett



on one leg

the crane

puts me to shame
Lesley Anne Swanson


she lived

in later years

like a cat

tiny meals, then naps

on a sofa in the sun
Kirsty Karkow

Tanka from GUSTS #17, spring/summer 2013

                                    selected by Maria Steyn

a walk

in the clouds

what else

could we think

this mountain was for?

                                    Michael McClintock 

through the years

so many things have risen

from my dreams

though never once

a butterfly

Paul Smith 

at cock crow

an elderly woman

bicycles the rim road

orbiting the red sky

in slow motion

                        Elizabeth Howard

Tanka from GUSTS #16, fall/winter 2012

                                  selected by Mike Montreuil

I scavenge

perfect pine cones

from downed trees

unsure if my pail

holds joy or sorrow

                              Janet Lynn Davis

today the rain

turned all the puddles

into ponds

there's never a need to teach

a stone how to sink

Stanford M. Forrester

his sketch

of an empty bedroom

I pace out

questions that need to be asked

about perspective

Carol Purington

Tanka from GUSTS #15, spring/summer 2012

                                       selected by Chen-ou Liu

as always,

the echoless flight 

of owls

slicing what’s left

of sanity

                    robert d. wilson

Sunday morning

by an inner city wall

two blankets

neatly folded, two bottles

half full -- and that was all

                                  Amelia Fielden


upon the water

why do we

give ourselves over to

beautiful illusions?

                             Joyce Wong

Tanka from GUSTS #14,  fall/winter 2011

                           selected by Pamela A. Babusci

my daughter has

a star named after her

enough light

for a mother's journey

through grief

                            Jan Foster

a white birch

threaded through dark pine

what is it

that compels the human heart

to fall in love?

                                 Michele L. Harvey

a white gate

blown open by the wind

I wonder

what dreams await me

on the other side

                                Paul Smith

Tanka from GUSTS #14,  fall/winter 2011

                                selected by Tom Clausen

a slice of tomato 

warm from the garden

how dad loved it on toast

with only salt and pepper

and a daughter at his table

                             Caudia Coutu Radmore

there are no

words to describe it

the peace

that comes with easing

a kayak from the shore

                                      Kirsty Karkow

how gracefully

her eyes appear

and disappear

still grieving as she talks

about her husband

                                 Barry George

Tanka from GUSTS #13,  spring/summer 2011

                              selected by Kirsty Karkow

our only child  

grown up and far  

from home—  

I give her tire swing  

a gentle push

                            John Quinnett


as if arising 

from long-buried sorrow 

the white willow 

behind my house

overspreads the earth                                        

                                   Jeanne Emrich


old wounds 

your gift 

of braided bread  

hard crust, soft center                                          

                                  Margarita Engle



some of the worst terrain…  

can I reach  

the crest of sadness  

and not lose my footing?                                      

                                      Kathy Kituai

Tanka from 
GUSTS #12,  fall/winter 2010

selected by Paul Smith

adult daughters

gather dandelions

to place

among the flowers

on her casket

                          Brian Zimmer 

winter night

what else can I do but embrace

the darkness

in which nothing and

all things are possible

                                 Cathy Drinkwater Better

signs of an absent child

in the shade

a pile of pine cones

stacked neatly

on the concrete wall

                               Carmella Braniger 

Tanka from 
GUSTS #11,  spring/summer 2010

selected by David Terelinck

just a gentle breeze 

over the deep blue ocean  

on the day you died  

trees should have been uprooted   

hurled into a blackened sky                                                

                                            Susan Constable  

every spring 

we thin our possessions 

for charity –     

the travel alarm clock

we never take anywhere 
                                          Bob Lucky


no moon tonight 

and the sea breeze has stilled – 

will new gusts  

come from north or south

from your corner or mine? 

Julie Thorrndyke

Tanka from GUSTS #10,  fall/winter 2009

                             selected by Claudia Coutu Radmore


into shape, pounding it out

on the domed anvil;

there is a point when it all

becomes more about the music

                                               Denis M. Garrison

to measure

the space between our hearts

take a crystal

a rain drop or maybe

half a butterfly wing

                                  Jenny Barnard

let's study

the first chapter only. . .

a hippopotamus

is sleeping

under the summer moon

                                       Makoto Nakanishi

Tanka from GUSTS #9,  spring/summer 2009

                                          selected by Janick Belleau

buried earth

a silver carpet – 

maples and I

gaze at the barrenness

we see in each other 
                                  Chen-ou Liu

spring wind

unfolds my memories’ book…

between leaves

a dry lime leaf

and my lost youth
                               Magdalena Dale

the moon

so far to the north

and this chill…

could we both be lost

in a landscape gone awry?
                                        Kirsty Karkow


Tanka from 
GUSTS #8, fall/winter 2008

selected by Natalia L. Rudychev

I still remember

the way he called

my name

but don't remember now

the way he betrayed me

Kozue Uzawa

our paths crossed

again today


things of the past

frozen in time

Art Stein

a message from

the soul

but before I can

write it down,

the words evaporate

            Alexis Rotella

Tanka from GUSTS #7, Spring/Summer 2008


                                 selected by Amelia Fielden

I am a speck

on this rock in this ocean

lost in endless space

but for this puppy I hold

I am a warm, breathing world

                                            Denis M. Garrison

what shall we grow

this Year of the Rat?

I want to seed

the entire valley

in meadowlarks

                             Michael McClintock

at break of day

who leads, who follows

an old man,

unsteady hand outstretched,

an old dog, worried, careful

Sonja Arntzen

Tanka from 
GUSTS #6, Fall/Winter 2007

                          selected by Melissa Dixon

going without sound

the deer into the darkness

of dawn

so gently you took your leave

never once looking back

                                          Marjorie Buettner

in a withered 

field, this child,

without mother

drinking dreams from

a bowl of stars

                              robert d. wilson

cat sprawled

on the windowsill

his tail alive

with all that is April

and airborne

                           Barry George

Tanka from GUSTS #5, Spring/Summer 2007

                         selected by Art Stein

alzeheimer's ward

I bring

my grandmother

a bouquet

of forget-me-nots

                            Stanford M Forrester

women's retreat

deep down in the woods

arriving at our site

we take off

our watches

                        Monika Thoma-Petit

I can see

in the bathroom mirror

someone who

looks like I might

when I am old, someday

                                    Amelia Fielden

Tanka from GUSTS #4, Fall/Winter 2006

                            selected by Joanne Morcom

a bat or night bird

flies across my field of vision

a dark slash  

between this moment

and this moment                                                                                    

                                  Claudia Coutu Radmore

a homeless woman 

with my face 

may live 

in this town— 

my other side

                        Naoko Kishigami Selland

November gusts

last leaves flutter to the ground—  

in quiet moments 

there is no escaping it 

this feeling of things ending

                                            Thelma Mariano

Tanka from GUSTS #3, Spring/Summer 2006

                            selected by Giselle Maya

gusts — 

once again 

the birch tree 

with a deep 


           Robert Kusch 


salt on my tongue 

pulled into his body's curve 

I dream of conches 

that curl inside my palm 

and whisper of the sea

                                     Beverley George 


my favorite things 

best enjoyed in small measure 

like this stillness 

before the morning rush 

as I sit with my tea

                                 Thelma Mariano 

Tanka from GUSTS #2, Fall/Winter 2005

                               selected by Guy Simser

chilly night… 

I huddle by the fire 

drinking Sangria 

and refuse to wonder 

where the hell you are

                                  Joanne Morcom 

in forward flight 

between its wingspan, an owl’s 

heart-shaped face… 

small things that go unnoticed 

until they come stgraight at you



thirty years 


of the rhododendron 

deep red at the core

                                       Pamela Miller Ness 

Tanka from GUSTS #1, Spring/Summer 2005

                           selected by Kozue Uzawa

May air is softer 

no more soot and snow 


a dark root 

I tug at, and tug at

                                 Anne Cimon 


maybe I'll just hang low 

like a few wistful clouds 

and think 

of the many ways 

to write a poem

                             June Moreau 


on the north-facing ground 

that never sees the sun 

still clumps of snow and ice— 

things unresolved in me 

make their presence known

                                           George Swede


go back to the GUSTS homepage

© Kozue Uzawa 2014