Night Air

I slip outside, the
night air invigorates me.
Beyond the awning,
I find a gray sky. No stars
shine their light from the heavens.


One thought on “Night Air

  1. This is my first tanka, which, as I understand it, is a pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. It’s a little rough, because it did not flow effortlessly. I took an experience and tried to paint a picture within the framework of the pattern.

    I remember when I first started doing haikus they flowed effortlessly. I never bothered with any formal syllable patterns. I just sort of emulated what I saw Ryokan and Issu, among others, had done. But using my own experiences, feelings, thoughts and words.

    Not sure why I am bothering with patterns now. To meet some sort of a challenge? Maybe it is part of the maturing process for a poet. We start out, ignoring the rules (not that there are any rules anyone can long enforce in writing), but over time we become more disciplined, more focused, in our expressions.

    Rules aren’t there to be blindly followed. They are there to guide, not control. If a rule fails to aid or assist, throw it out! But every painting must end at the edges of the canvas, or the wall, or the rusty old train car – whatever the surface is – where the surface ends, the painting ends. It can suggest a continuation, but it can not really continue. Knowing where the edges are helps the painter aim their brush. It also helps determine where the viewer’s eye will be drawn. Maybe that’s also how it works with the syllable structure in haiku and tanka.


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