Tanka by Gabriel Rosenstock

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Gabriel Rosenstock’s Tanka Series – 2

 

1.

the hummingbird is away again
in a flash, beloved
where did it go
                   teach me never to stray
                   far from Your radiance

Hummingbird and Passionflowers – ca. 1875–85 – Martin Johnson Heade

 

2.

to see You, beloved
through other eyes
eyes of a different kind
                    eyes of extinct species
                    beings we have yet to know

Cranes – 1780s – Nagasawa Rosetsu

 

3.

is not each hour
a preparation
for the final hour
                      Your name on my lips
                      what else could it be

A Successful Hunt -1906 – Henry François Farny

 

4.

ah! store You away
as the squirrel stores its horde
or enjoy You in the now
                                empty hazelnuts of long ago
                                only their emptiness remains

Squirrel Eating Chestnuts – 1887–92 – Kawabata Gyokushō

To read more Tanka by the same author click here

About the Author

Photo: Jim Berkeley.

Gabriel Rosenstock is a bilingual poet (in Irish & English), haikuist, tankaist, playwright, novelist, short story writer, essayist, translator, writer for children and champion of ‘forlorn causes’ – the phrase is Hugh MacDiarmid’s. He is a Lineage Holder of Celtic Buddhism and a member of Aosdána (the Irish academy of arts and letters). Among his awards is the Tamgha-i-Khidmat medal (Pakistan) for services to literature. Gabriel’s most recent volume of poetry is Glengower: Poems for No One in Irish and English (The Onslaught Press).