ten tanka

This week’s poetry challenge, issued by @TinaNguyen under the twitter hashtag #5poem, is based on the word, “ten.” So I decided to write ten tanka, with varying themes of ten lovers, ten songs, doing something ten or ten thousand times.

With the exception of the last two poems, which are about the skewed concepts of male and female “perfect tens,” the poems are not related to one another–except, of course, for the theme.  Here goes:

ten hearts, ten lovers
she callously discarded
leaving time to think
contemplating the rest of
her life as a heart alone

Ten roses, not twelve.
Wife went looking for two
missing buds. But where?
Two daughters lovely as flow’rs;
he gifted each one, love.

ten times I sang it
ten times perfected each note
gave voice to the tears
expressed years of longing
and grace in the song: His

ten thousand eddies
past ten thousand rocks
o’er ten thousand years or more
slapping, forming the stones
proudly thrusting, still

One quarter century:
ten thousand letters, or more,
each erudite, persuasive.
A measure of success in
the writing or the response?

San Francisco hearts!
How many did I leave there?
Five, ten, fifteen, more?
Each time left a bigger piece
of myself, yearning for more.

now’s a time for love
I listened ten times over
Arturo’s voice and trumpet
his heart soared when she sang
my heart takes flight, too

“Rank your pain on a
scale of one to ten.” They ask
difficult questions.
But more pertinent, would be
“When can we expect a cure?”

she’s a perfect ten
hair, body, face, scent, style, form
all beyond the norm
will one more facet matter
her brain’s a bright eleven

he’s a perfect ten
brains, money, career, respect
all surpassed his dreams
will one more facet matter
he’s as handsome as the next


4 thoughts on “ten tanka

  1. I can’t believe you took it upon yourself to write 10 tanka! Well, yes, I can believe it because you are amazing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s