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)

a tanka sonnet — August 2

as sun leaves the wall
spider gets busy 
sowing sails and vacancies
scaled to her prey 
in hopper legs and fly husks 

how like this this is — 
line on line and beauty
bent round purpose 
like a bonsai cypress 
framed by chicken wire 

and how wrapt we are
beguiled by gravity 
stuck, barely able 
to remember the door

Image: A favourite wall in Wollongong, rear of the Bridgestone Tyres outlet, McCabe Park. A bit of play with forms today (apols to any tanka purists, the syllable count doesn’t work either).

And for music this morning, here’s another piece from favourite US soul guitarist Shuggie Otis, Live in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) from 2014 (Youtube).

tanka — 23 July

i wrote poetry
in the morning     bright
dew on tranquil lawns

— it’s afternoon already
and i’m re-writing    still

Image: Night Scene, from Camping at Culburra, NSW 1937, Max Dupain and Olive Cotton, c/- State Library of NSW on Flickr.

And for music this morning, here’s American jazz dada-ist composer Raymond Scott (1908-1994) with some soothing sounds for baby vol 1 . (Youtube). Maybe start with Sleepy Time (Youtube) Yes, there’s another two volumes (!).

tanka on the first wattle bloom — July 22

still frost rules...           

(tho
rumour is 
that spring’s
been sussing rentals
hereabouts: 
house-cat 
sea-views
garden 
needing 
tlc )

Image: a coastal wattle (Acacia sophorae) on this morning’s walk. And in the Dharawal calendar (on whose unceded land this tanka was composed with respect) we are just entering time of Wiritjiribin – cold and windy time when the lyrebirds’ calls ring out through the bushland as he builds his dancing mounds to attract his potential mates.

And for music this morning, here’s Soviet-Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin with Unsent Love Letters (uncollected on Youtube but start here)

tanka on Cameron Smith’s victory at the British Open, 17 July 2022

every morning
my usual breakfast
cereal, fruit
and eighteen wild swans
lifting over the water

Image: Tho it’s still winter, the bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is blooming here in the suburbs. A piece in tribute to the mullet haircut of Cameron Smith, professional golfer who recently won the British Open. In case you missed it, here’s a patronising piece on Cameron from the Daily Mail – ‘you can take the boy out of Brisbane, but you can’t take Brisbane out of the boy…’

And for all those suffering in the heat, here’s some very cool retro R&B soul from New York band Nuyorican Soul with their self-titled 1997 album Nuyorican Soul (Youtubers).

a found tanka — 14 July

stopped i await
her coming in the night
what a treasure
she watches me. I say: 
‘was it you?’       and she answers... 

A found tanka after Russian romantic poet Anna Akhmatova and her ars poetica poem, The Muse (1924) in belated celebration of her birthday on June 23 1889.

This daily tanka is taking a short break to catch up on some housekeeping and wander by still pools. Back in a little while.

For music this morning, here’s Portuguese fado-iste Anna Moura with her fabulously successful album Desfado (Youtube)

predictive text tanka — July 13

thistle wind up here 
thistle and thunder the park 
with sun sun shining 
already bell park near me 
I can see ringingly

Image: my image of a park near me with the thistle wind blowing. Some days you need to let the computer do what it wants…

And for music this morning, Transfigurations, recent work from five Canadian composers — Alexandre Grogg, François Vallières, Marjan Mozetich, Caroline Lizotte, and Kelly-Marie Murphy. (Sorry youtubers- looks like the whole album isn’t there yet – this search resulted in most tracks – you can also search on the composers’ names)

Here’s the promotional video of Transfigurations – and if you’re interested, here’s a piece about La Folia – the tune which underlies Alexandre Grogg’s variations, the first three tracks of Transfigurations.

at the club tanka — July 12

at the club
expanse of 80s carpet
we joke about 
my funeral — 'no poets
they’ll kill the vibe'

at the bistro
shared pud + icecream 
rosettes – how quickly
the glaciers retreat
to a moraine of crumbs 

the roast and two wines
for the woman dining 
alone by the window 
— one for him long gone
remains untouched

Image: Decorative wall, The City Diggers Club, Wollongong. Diggers refers to Australian soldiers. The club still has some commemorative functions along with the poker machines and bistro.

And for music this morning, here’s US composer and vocalist Caroline Shaw with percussion group Sō with their album Let the Soil Play Its Simple Part (Youtube). Maybe start with Lay All Your Love on Me (a halting interpretation of that ABBA song) (Youtube)