New Year Tanka 2016

It’s a fresh, new year
Now awaiting your input
To lay in its course;
Will it be a different one,
Or the same as last year’s was?


© MMXVI Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.

I wrote this piece last week over on the Golden Pen Writers Guild’s brand-new blog, Blogs, Bits and Banter. Be sure to hop over and visit sometime to see more writing by my fellow authors.

Tanka – Autumn – 秋

Now the light grows dim
Earlier than it once did
Only days ago;
Glowing beams that filter down
Warming, though the air feels crisp.

*   *   *

Ruby-red and gold,
Orange, yellow, russet brown,
Leaves from high above
Settle on the woodland floor
Like a rug of jeweled tones.

*   *   *

Smoke from burning leaves
Wafting through a bright, blue sky
Inky to the eyes
Now wakes up a different sense
By evoking scents of fall.

 © MMXV Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved

Haiku/Tanka, April & May 2015

Even though I’ve been otherwise occupied for most of this year and not devoted as much time as normal to writing, there’s always time for haiku and tanka—one of the reasons I love them. It really doesn’t take much for one to pop into my head, and I’ve actually been using them quite a lot in Instagram posts—they’re perfect for the purpose of accompanying a photograph.

*     *     *

Just when life grows dim
And it seems there’s nothing left
But a downward trend,
Suddenly flow through my pen
Words of comfort from my mind.

Written as a piece for my return to activity at the Golden Pen Writers Guild in April after a long absence.

*     *     *

Cool, refreshing morn
After an unpleasant night
On the Southwest Chief…

Looking out my door
Pouring rain is what I see
Yet the sun is out.

Yesterday was rain,
But today on waking up
SNOW is what I find!

Written during my spring trip to Flagstaff, Arizona and attached to various photos and video clips I posted to Instagram.

*     *     *

Flowers in a pot
Stand in humble tribute to
Loved ones who are gone.

Memorial Day 2015 at the Veterans Historical Plaza Park, Saugus, CA.

*     *     *

© MMXV Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.

Haiku/Tanka, August & September 2014

Footsteps crunch along
on a path of broken glass
in my worst nightmare

*     *     *

The pale moon yet hangs
In the bright blue sky above
Wooded mountain peaks;
Sentinel of ancient days
O’er the center of the world.

(Written on occasion of the Center of the World Festival, Pine Mountain Club, CA, August 16, 2014. It was about 11:00 AM as I was driving up the mountain, but the moon was still large and high in the sky.)

*     *     *

When do seasons change
In southern California?
One can hardly tell.
But we natives know the signs,
Subtler than in other states.

*     *     *

Looking at the sky
Pondering today’s sunset
Fading now to pink,
A warming glow falls ’round me
As the day comes to its close.

*     *     *

© 2014 Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved.

First Visit to The Getty Center (and Something New…)

Yesterday (July 22, 2014), I finally made a trip to The Getty Center in L.A. I can’t believe it took me so many years to finally get there!

Steller: First-Time Visit to the Getty Center

It was a convenient ride down on the bus—which meant no driving/parking hassles and costs—and I basically spent all day there. It wasn’t, however, nearly enough time to even begin to do the place justice so I will definitely have to return.

I also took the opportunity to use a new service/app called Steller to document my visit. It’s pretty nifty, allowing you to combine words, photos and video easily into a sort of storybook format. So far, it seems that it’s only available for iOS devices, though you can view the resulting stories in a web browser on any computer. Click the photo or this link to view my story, including 3 original poems I wrote while there (two Tanka and a Haiku).

It was a great and inspiring day!

Tanka – June 2014

In the light of day
many things are clearer now—
I can see their shapes;
but it isn’t just my eyes
that I’m using to perceive.

*     *     *

If you were to seek
something outside of yourself
with an open mind,
you might possibly receive
insight that you’d always sought.

*     *     *

(The following three Tanka were composed during a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona June 23-26, 2014)

On a summer day
strolling unfamiliar paths
of a college town,
Suddenly came flooding back
thoughts of my own eighteenth year.

*     *     *

A cool breeze through trees,
the scent of Ponderosa,
wildflowers too—
nature’s vistas open up
filling me inside with joy.

*     *     *

Bright and colorful
masterworks of agèd hands
old-time Kachinas
lovingly reveal a past
when gods helped their people thrive.

*     *     *

On June 18, I gave a brief presentation and reading on Tanka poetry at The Golden Pen Writers Guild and then we took it on for our weekly homework. I used my first Tanka above as an example of the form. — dpk

© 2014 Douglas P. Kendrick, all rights reserved