Tanka by Gabriel Rosenstock

Pic by Min


Gabriel Rosenstock’s Tanka Series – 10



to the very end
learning the grammar of love
my only duty
            examine me, i’m ready
            i have burned the midnight oil





i’m a mad fruit bat
trying to gobble up the sun
You’re beyond my reach
           shall i fly into the dusk
           or will You come to my aid





dark night of the soul
it lasted a thousand years
too many false dawns
              suddenly out of nowhere
              a voice shattered the shadows





is it from the east
or does it come from the west
where does it come from
             it comes from here and from there
             cicada’s song – everywhere


Cicada illustration from Churui Gafu (1910) by Morimoto Toko. Digitally enhanced from our own original edition.


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. His latest titles are free volumes of ekphrastictanka, Every Night I Send You Flowers, and The Road to Corrymore, published by Cross-Cultural Communications, New York, and EDOCR: https://www.edocr.com/v/ox5ekdgm/gabrielrosenstockbis99/EVERY-NIGHT-I-SEND-YOU-FLOWERS

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