Poetry Friday: A Trio of Tankas

The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for this month is to write a tanka in response to or conversation with a poem written by one of the other sisters. Kelly wrote a fabulous article about tankas. Who doesn’t love her analogy that “a tanka is a haiku pulling a trailer?!?” To get ready for the challenge, I’ve written a trio of tankas. I’ll share them without images, because I’m hoping the words themselves are enough to paint a picture in your imagination. The orb weaver and the buck live in Central Ohio; Rae’s house is in the dry high plains of Eastern Colorado.

Tanka for Rae’s House

Beyond the window:
extravagantly green lawn,
bountiful garden.
In the unwatered pasture
dry grass crunches underfoot.


Tanka for the Eight Point Buck

sun low behind trees
morning air carries fall chill
eight point buck sees me
freezes so majestically
you forget he’s in the street


Tanka for the Orb Weaver

Above our front door
hangs a ferocious hunter
alarmingly large
seeming to stand in thin air.
She owns the porch. I concede.

all three ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Denise has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Dare to Care. Our Casting for Recovery retreat is this weekend, so I’ll read and comment next week.

13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: A Trio of Tankas”

  1. No photos necessary, Mary Lee. All three tankas are terrific. I especially like the final line in the buck tanka. The buck being in the street was an unexpected surprise. 🙂


  2. Love these, I fell into every perfect moment you described. Smiled at the ferocious hunter in the last poem. We are inundated with them so I’m in a constant state of concession . . .


  3. Yes, indeed, those do put images in my imagination. I see the buck, the patch of green surrounded by the dry unwatered landscape, and that orb weaver. You have shed light on your feelings about spiders, I think. This made me smile: “She owns the porch. I concede.”

    Thanks for the tanka samples. I always look forward to what your group writes.


  4. Love it all… especially smiled at “I concede.” Rae’s house poem reminded me of the lodge we just visited in WY… dry grass crunched!


  5. oh these are wonderful! Each one delivers a surprise at the end – the crunch of dried grass contrasting with the lawn, the moment when we learn the buck is standing in the street, and when you concede the porch to the spider. Delightful!


  6. I love all of these, and especially your wise concession to the spider. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  7. Mary Lee, it took a while to make it to your blog post but I am so glad that I did. The trio of tankas speak volumes even without images. I love the definition, “a tanka is a haiku pulling a trailer”, and your poems certainly fit the description.


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