Thursday, March 6, 2008

Once More by the Lake

[A tanka sequence first published in 1999 in Lynx, a journal of Japanese verse forms.]

shades of green
a twig tells of your step
behind me
this sound once more by the lake
and your petals unfolding

a whirl of skirt
follows your proposition
through the screen door
scented spring twilight
rolls down the nape of your neck

knowledge of change
fish break the silver surface
with liquid desire
sparrows call as stars rise
through quietly tossed hair

moonlight on water
a blossom floats on the white breast
to become a nipple
my head rests in your lap
crickets speak of this moment

a single kiss
lips have no words
for their mating
ripe love under stars
speaks only in tongues

two branches
the silent lake uncaring
if they are tangled
wet glory of spring
that water cannot hide nakedness

(Picture: public domain)


Jo said...

I am very impressed, some beautiful imagery here.

SandyCarlson said...

Beautiful, Billy. I wonder if you'd consider sharing this with the folks at The theme this week is change, so this would fit right in!

Billy said...

Thanks, Jo! It's always an honor to have you stop by.

Sandy, I'll take a spin by the site. Thanx.

Mariacristina said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, and for your kind words. I'm off to take my son to guitar lesson, but I'll return to read your work later. :)

Janice Thomson said...

OK this is the fourth time trying to post my comment LOL
I really like these and in particular the second and fourth tanka.
Love the line 'Crickets speak of this moment'
Excellent work William

Marja said...

I so beautiful I love how a twig tells of your step and how fish break the surface with liquid desire. You are a great poet

Roswila said...

Wonder-filled series. I particularly like:
sparrows call as stars rise
through quietly tossed hair

Strong in feeling, but delicate just the same.

Billy said...

Mariacristina, thanks for stopping by!

Janice, yes, I think those are the strongest tankas of the sequence. As for blogger, I have a lot of problems posting responses sometimes. Maybe it's the flippin' italics letters that are so hard to read. Sometimes I think the system just gets "hung up." Either way, thanks for making the effort. Much appreciated. :)

Marja, thank you. I am flattered. I don't know about "great"--but I guess I have my moments sometimes LOL.

Roswilla, I think that's my favorite line too--the stars in the hair. Thank you so much !!!

Casdok said...

Simply beautiful!

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent series, I do like tanka...

Billy said...

Casdok, thanks for dropping in. Complimentary coffee is in the sidebar LOL.

Juliet, much appreciated :) Hope you don't mind I linked to Crafty Green Poet.

Charles Gramlich said...

A few years back a couple of buds and me would go eat sushi, drink Japanese beer, and write Rengas. we had a lot of fun, although we never came up with anything outstanding.

This piece is very nice, both visually and meaningfully.

qualcosa di bello said...

this is incredibly beautiful & it makes me long for the early days in my marriage when we lived in a cabin in the woods.

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow...where was that picture taken? Stunning!

lluvia said...

new words for the eternal song of love...beautiful!

Bernita said...

"sparrows call as stars rise
through quietly tossed hair"
My favourite too.
Billy, I like so much how you celebrate women and relationships.

writtenwyrdd said...

Another lovely poem. I'm still waiting for the chapbook, Billy!

ChristineEldin said...

I was going to say what Bernita said. It's so refreshing to read poetry that celebrates relationships in such a hopeful way. I love this poem. My favorite line was also 'crickets speak of this moment.'

Billy said...

Charles, I've only done a couple of rengas--very time consuming when done over the net. But they're fun. Thanks for the kind words as always.

qualcosa, thank you. Such kind words. Do come again. I shall visit your blog as well -:)

Lana, thanks. My inspiration must come from the invigorating northshore air. (Is the paper mill still operating in Bogalusa LOL.) That was some bad stuff to beathe!

Iluvia, thanks again. I'd like to link your blog to mine. You have some great poems there -:)

Bernita, thanks--a friend of mine once said I either wrote about God or women in my poems. I've always had more female friends than male. Maybe that accounts for it :)

Thanks, Written. As for the chapbook, I have become a political junkie and can't stop watching campaign coverage LOL.

Thanks, Christine. So many people write about the angst of bad relationships. I was in one years ago, and I think many of my poems come from looking to be healthy again.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

I enjoyed how the lake is both involved and uncaring in this dance of love ... lots of lovely imagery in this poem. Peace, JP/deb

Billy said...

Thanks for stopping by, deb, and the lovely comment. Do you mind if I link my site to your poetry?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Billy - I'm honoured that you've linked to my blogs btw...

Lane said...

I'm not familiar with the Tanka form.

This is lovely. Such a beautiful flow.

Billy said...

Juliet, you're welcome--it's my honor!

Lane, tanka is usually only five lines, but some poets began to string them together. Haiku actually grew out of tanka when a 16th century poet named Basho felt that 5 lines was too long (!), so he began the traditional 3 line haiku by knocking two lines off the tanka. (The test will be open book on Friday LOL).