Drake tanka

girl in the Honda 
smoking as she shift lanes
she's listening to Drake 
driving like she doesn't care 
she’s thinking YOLO

Image: Dodgem cars, Luna Park, November 1952 _ photographed by Ivan Ives, c/- State Library of NSW on Flickr. Drake, is a Canadian rapper musician, who is currently the most streamed artist of all-time on Spotify, with his songs having been played over 46 billion times, as of April 2022.) He also popularised the saying YOLO (abbr. you only live once). A tanka after Drake Equation by British-Nigerian poet Gboyega Odubanjo

You’ll have to find your own Drake (just ask anyone under 40). Meanwhile here’s US bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding with her 2008 album Esperanza, (Youtube) maybe start with Samba em Preludio (Youtube)


don’t you just love how along a line
                        there’s a word that signifies
                        a lit fuse spitting in a milk bottle

watch out reader          stand away

this poem is about to        l a  u   n    c      h
into some parallels            unexpected               revelatory              (or dull) 

fresh takes on the familiar: car-crash, swan, a vase falling floorward 

do it
I'm so ready 
to be arrested by 
outré ways 
of looking 
at water
-birds &c.

Image: c/- Rijksmuseum on wikimedia commons. One of a pair of porcelain swans are small versions of the famous large porcelain birds from the Meissen porcelain factory. From 1749 onwards, the successful Paris dealer Lazare Duvaux had several pairs of similar swans fashioned into candelabra. This pair may have come from his shop. A bit of silliness inspired partly by Marianne Moore’s poem ‘No Swan so Fine‘ and this amazing construction.

And for music this morning, here’s West African (Burkina Faso) singer song-writer Amadou Balake (1944 – 2014) with Taximen (dedicated to all those drivers out there making their way through the streets of Ouagadougou ) (Youtube)

a daily tanka — 1 July


exercise chalked  

on the pavement

keep going ... nearly done ...

good job ... smiley face

Image: Physical culture class at the Bjelke-Petersen School of Physical Culture, Sam Hood photographer, c. 1934 c/- State Library of NSW on Flickr. A very determined quartet of athletes. Nothing profound this morning.

And for music, here’s Tibetan singer composer Yungchen Lhamo with her new album Awakenings (Youtube). I know I get carried away with these musical offerings but this album is one you really should listen to twice then go out and buy. Wonderful music to write poetry to and proceeds support the charitable foundation One Drop of Kindness – assisting people in Tibet, Nepal and India, in the USA, and in Ireland.

a bridal tanka — June 20

the bride barefoot

shivers on early sand 

— the camera guy

seeing how perfect the light

stands her in icy seas 

Image: Scott Broome on Unsplash. And it was freezing on the beach the other morning and there they were…

And for music this morning, some suburban banjo (!) – from Australian composer Andrew Tuttle – with his 2020 album Alexandra. The album is about Alexandra Hills, a suburb of Brisbane. (Youtubers)

“Andrew Tuttle grew up in Alexandra Hills, a quiet slice of rural life in Redlands, a city which lies 20km or so from Brisbane, on the East Coast of Australia. Or at least that was the plan. The reality proved to be somewhat different, the area changing quickly after his family’s relocation there, resulting in his home being quickly absorbed by rapid urban sprawl, leaving him in a limbo between nature and suburbia…”

a daily tanka—June 19

supermarket fruit

so upbeat    each luscious piece

a picture (of health)

— perversely tho     (like love) 

I hesitate to bite * 

* unless there’s a duck prepared to feed me berries while I sit in this blue tessellated sphere

Image: Hieronymous Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, detail c/- @BoschBot on Twitter.

And for music this morning, some cool jazz with Isreali born, New York based saxophonist Oded Tzur – with his 2022 album Isabela (start with the The Lion Turtle). (tubers). I’ll get off the jazz kick tomorrow, I promise.

mediocre tanka – June 16

the crescent moon
prows the rolling clouds
like ...  
         ... a ship ... 
                  ... in a storm ...
(tired simile founders 
                            in intermittent light)

Image: Moon through Clouds (detail) c/- Shinyphoto.co.uk.

Some days are just like that, some poems too… and moons.

And for music this morning, here’s some chill West African music: Ali Farka Touré collaborating with Ry Cooder on their 1994 album Talking Timbuktu (Youtube)

dactyl tanka — June 10

dawn's headland 
remnant of olden seas
silent — just wind, waves 
and overhead the beat
of huge leathery wings

Image: William Piguenit, Sunrise from the coast near Clifton, Illawarra, New South Wales, c. 1890. c/- Wollongong Art Gallery

And today’s music, here’s Swiss musicians Kaleidoscope String Quartet with accordionist Michael Zisman from 2021 with Five (YouTubers could only find this for you)

a daily tanka — 25 May

neon supermarket —
mums among avocados 
cabbages brilliant packs 
out back lobstermen clack
carapaces on the glass

Image: Young girl with cabbage, Firmin Baes (1874 -1943) c/- Wikimedia. After Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California, 1955

And this morning, some guitar for you from Spanish composer Antón García Abril (1933 – 2021) played by Francisco Bernier (maybe start with track 2 Evocaciones) (YouTubers).