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,
The Akita International Haiku Network has organised the World Haiku Series 2021 ‘as a token of gratitude to our friends for their great contribution and their deep love of haiku’ and I am deeply humbled, honoured and grateful to contribute haiku and images to these special series too. A warm-hearted thank you to Mr Hidenori Hiruta for his beautiful translations, to the Akita International Haiku Network for the organisation and to all the sponsors who made this series possible.
We are deeply honoured and delighted that an earlier tanka I wrote for Tanka Thursday, Soft and Forgiving, has been included in Self-Portrait, Tanka Society of America 2021 Members’ Anthology. A warm-hearted thank you to Michael H Lester for selecting my poem and putting this beautiful edition together and to Eve Castle, for providing the initial inspiration for the poem with her lovely prompt.
Wishing you all a blessed Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,
Honourable Mention in the 22nd HIA Haiku Contest (2020). A warm-hearted thank you to David Burleigh for selecting my poem and many congratulations to all the other winners.
Yesterday we received a lovely surprise:
I am deeply honoured and delighted to be included in the European Top 100 Most Creative Haiku Authors in 2021. A warm-hearted thank you to Krzysztof Kokot for selecting me and many congratulations to all my fellow European poets.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022 and a peaceful year ahead,
First of all we want to say a huge thank you to all our blogging friends, fellow poets, photographers and prompters who make this such a wonderful space to meet and share in these extraordinary times.
We are also grateful to the health service, rescue services and the large number of volunteers who continued to provide support for people and animals in need throughout the year – your work has been amazing.
We’ll reflect on the year season by season, listing the posts you liked the most.
The year began with new travel and meeting restrictions in place and we enjoyed a rare covering of snow. With less traffic, the air quality improved and wildlife moved into town.
all is quiet in winter’s lockdown nature gives and we gratefully receive the deer near our windows
Travel restrictions were gradually lifted throughout Spring and we had more freedom of movement. The season of fresh growth and flowers also brought the unexpected loss of one of our much loved vets in a mountain accident and the sudden loss of a dear friend who died of a condition she did not know she had. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends for whom this is the first Christmas and New Year without them and with all of you who have lost loved ones this year too.
shenandoah a shaman plays the piano past the sorrows, new rivers flow into this world
We were blessed with a long, warm Summer. People travelled from far and wide to spend time in the Highlands and most of us stayed close to home to avoid the crowds. In the season where it barely gets dark the days were long enough to make a few day-trips to quieter places.
waiting or leaving the choices we make when we’re free