Seven tanka

the sand damp and loose
in the inundation zone,
footmarks sunk, shadowed
weed and trash line the edges
a gull picks desultory.

dawn’s escarpment rose
remnant of ancient seas
silent but for waves,
wind and the occasional beat
of huge leathery wings.

after a night out
the upright morning finds
the moon in cream and
watercolour mottle, unsteady
poised on the stink pipe.

there’s only the thing
and the doing: thoughtless
the foot moves and again,
my head’s slightly unbalanced
already in the future.

this sunshine’s too bright
on the page letters and
words evaporate
soon as written, gone
before they can take hold.

it’s all remedial
repairing what’s been broken
but the fix won’t hold,
the glue softens in the sun,
the fractured line’s weakness.

The old swimmer’s bent
with a hacking cough. I ask:
‘Water still warm?’
‘Ain’t been in yet,’ he grins.
Waves coming on like houses.

Image: Rusty figures on a Port Kembla pavement. A bit of play with short poetry this evening. And here’s Miguel (channelling Marvin Gaye) with Pineapple Skies – ‘…promise everything going to be alright…’ Just what we need to hear.

8 thoughts on “Seven tanka

  1. Enjoyed the harmonies/the images here, Peter, thought-provoking. The surfaces, the edges, the lines where time goes on. I think that to repair we need to know what bit of the past we’re trying to restore.


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