how soon our seasons feed
the bubbling stream
I still see you bending down
to drink its water
© Xenia Tran
Ribbons, Winter 2020: Volume 16, Number 1
Member’s Choice Tanka, Honourable Mention, Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2021: Volume 16, Number 2
Seamus, a sweet lurcher whom we adopted many years ago who lived to the ripe age of thirteen, would always stop here for a drink from the stream. Ever since his passing, we find ourselves pausing at the very same spot on our walks, as if we are still waiting for him to have a drink. One of those moments inspired the above poem, which was first published in the Winter 2020 edition of Ribbons.
The poem was subsequently selected by Susan Constable as a Member’s Choice Tanka with an Honourable Mention and published in the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Ribbons. This was her commentary and interpretation of the poem:
Xenia’s tanka adheres to a more traditional tanka form, with its s/l/s/l/l lines (both visual and aural), and its use of vivid images. I appreciate the assonance (the rhyme of vowel sounds, not necessarily the repetition of a particular letter) which appears in the words seasons/feed/stream, the alliteration of B’s in bubbling/bending, and the numerous T’s throughout the tanka. There’s also a lovely rhythm to the lines which are written with an almost-perfect iambic metre. All these pleasing sounds echo and enrich the arresting imagery.
This tanka provides some comfortable dreaming room, so my interpretations may not match those of other readers or, in fact, those of the poet. However, I sense the all-too-fast passing of time as winter melts into spring, and the poet and/or narrator grows older. I also feel the loss of a loved one who once bent to drink from this stream and, metaphorically, from Life itself.
Thank you Susan for selecting this poem as one of your honourable mention poems and for your thoughtful interpretation.
Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,
with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx
Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.
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