Tanka by Gabriel Rosenstock

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Pic by Scott Webb
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Gabriel Rosenstock’s Tanka Series – 8

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1.

if the bird is there
that is all i need to know
let it sing or not
     beloved, if You are there
     no ifs! – let me not say if . . .

 

Untitled, 1983 - Jagdish Swaminathan
           Untitled, 1983 – Jagdish Swaminathan

 

2.

he wants to break out
the Indian rhinoceros
go on a rampage
        beloved, I feel it too
        come and keep me from trembling
 
 
Tierpark Berlin-Frf 170-275. ( Bronze Statue)
                                Tierpark Berlin-Frf 170-275. ( Bronze Statue)

 

3.

i’ll take the last plane
or the last train, beloved
the last anything
       to see You, the last tonga
       hah! shall i crawl on all fours
 
                Vintage match-box art from India

 
 
4.
 
one minute a king
suddenly i’m a pauper
it is sheer havoc
      You are playing with me, my love
      i’m nothing but a puppet

 

              Vintage match-box art from India

 


 

About the Author

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). His website: https://www.rosenstockandrosenstock.com