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Thread: Japanese Tanka Game Compiled

  1. #1
    in a blue moon amuse's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    between the lines
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    Japanese Tanka Game Compiled

    I'm so glad to see the contributions to this thread going strong! Such fantastic work!

    PAGE 1

    the tanka...was really popular into the 1500's...
    "The first three lines (kami no ku) usually present an image or thought and the last two lines (shimo no ku) shift the focus to a related idea. We might see this as similar to a sonnet's "turn." - from poets...arch_tanka.html >>>
    For our game this means a 5-7-5-7-7 format.

    for mine someone could have said "metal," "jewelry," "blood," etc... "difficult endeavor," "head holes"... you get the idea. And so I write thusly...

    Ten rings on a tray
    Barbells are hard to remove
    My ear is bleeding.
    A warm sting on my eyelids
    The x-ray passing over.

    Glaring sunlight

    Eyes blinded by light,
    Shading the sun from my face,
    See nothing clearly,
    The strange shapes keep passing by,
    Like I am not even there.


    Rivulets dazzle
    and dance down each other's backs,
    and my hair itches.
    Stamping the mud off my boots,
    leaving the beauty outside.

    the ocean in winter

    this deluge pounds, boards
    without leave, and freezing gales
    strip us of our warmth
    he loved without mercy i've
    always enjoyed winter storms.

    birds on telephone wires

    the restless species
    mumble, scream, whisper, converse
    through thinnest hammocks
    gently swaying with the dance
    of children in their dj's.

    beechwoods in autumn

    Silent sentinels,
    arms dripping with new copper;
    staring, not seeing.
    Old boots pick their way through the
    sunlight and soda-fizz world.

    the moon

    icon of madness,
    lovers special sun, beaming
    light into raw hearts
    fusing streamflows of dreamy
    feeling, chaotic passion.


    dank and lightless in
    this closet i burn my nails
    into walls, floors, hearts
    sun shines on dimmed lids black holes
    invert, spit me out deathful.


    White frost and dawn mist,
    The raw sky snaps blue candy,
    trees whisper with flame.
    Hard frost comes, we celebrate,
    Then heaven harvests the souls.

    Morning's tidy sky
    Sweeps me through busy London
    Dusting down the Sun
    Sending solar energy
    Snaking up and down my spine.


    to wake every morn
    we hear the annoying cat
    clamouring for food
    another dear `posession'
    don't forget the affection!


    he doesn't call her
    pipes are frozen the keys are
    snow banked far upstate.
    it's great fun when her frantic
    life slides slowly down her cheeks.

    framed picture(s)

    Staring from a box,
    False faces frozen in time,
    speckled with hard dust.
    Standing with hands to the wall;
    these faces won't stay level.

    Standing on a cliff.

    She stands on a cliff
    In a shawl, looks out to sea,
    Alone, lost in time
    This was my lovers picture.
    Now she sky-gazes seaward.

    PAGE 2

    a train journey

    Grey and grey and grey.
    The Alps are gone and here is
    dawn in Italy.
    A man from Amsterdam is
    sleeping in the lower bunk.


    Skin pricks, buzzes with
    this heady kaleidoscope.
    Arms of lamplight dance.
    Careening into bed as
    the sleeping pill takes affect.

    a locked door

    Every mind is like
    A locked door. Impervious.
    Except for keyholes
    That give a light upon the
    Internal world of others.


    Ascendency. Peaks.
    We always want to climb high.
    Progress. Growth. Success.
    Until the summit we reach
    Our pleasures still lie dormant.


    bitter you are like froth
    on the ocean but this deep
    water will soon sooth you.
    hate shaves away at your heart;
    war is just a boomerang.


    estuarine love
    of the sound of sails and masts
    flapping in a wind
    floating through the summer surf
    and coming home once again

    sea views

    We are stalworth oak,
    lashed and tarred against the world,
    cutting a blind path.
    We are sinking, creaking and
    bubbling to the bottom.

    sea views...

    Rumbling blue dips and
    swells, blindly ominous, to
    dash itself apart.
    My eyes caught in the rage of
    their roaring doppleganger.


    Weathered leather's best.
    Softly stroking satin skin
    Touching tender hide
    You pull me closer with eyes
    That shine brightly through the dark


    Children laugh at the
    Slightest thing. Repeatedly.
    And we who can still
    Remember laugh too. We know
    What we lost, what we've become.

    Loss of feeling

    Why do your eyes dance
    and glitter life in their pools...
    I cringe at the sight.
    It seems to me I knew once --
    It escapes me now. Oh well.

    facing a wall

    The sun beats down hard.
    My heels are sea-swamped.
    The beach drowns under
    Ceaseless pressures of water.
    The sea-wall falls over me.


    You were once an oak,
    Now you're an ant just like me,
    amid all the rest.
    Once two, we are nothing here;
    Snowflakes melted in water.
    Last edited by amuse; 06-08-2005 at 12:03 AM.
    the air and water have been here a long time, and they are telling stories.

  2. #2
    in a blue moon amuse's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    between the lines
    Blog Entries
    PAGE 3

    the countryside

    Endless rolling hills
    Nature's green, rapeseed yellow.
    Everything so slow
    People moan of how things change
    Crazy old-fashioned people


    prometheus lit
    a blaze you arrived when i
    was busy elsewhere.
    if my car hadn't broken
    down, if you hadn't passed by...


    Sundays, deathdays, days
    Of general celebration
    Marriage days, burial days
    The bells sound out loud
    A lost language, long since dead.


    The black leather couch
    Lends me its ceaseless embrace.
    But time matters not,
    For all who enter this realm
    Experience nirvana.


    Silence surrounds me,
    Cool and soft and breathable.
    The weight hovers light.
    Whisper-drunk with the stillness
    of my grey before their dawn.

    a familiar stranger

    The sunlight glistens,
    Dancing on the water's edge.
    A feeling so foreign.
    Now here we are, face to face,
    The light and I, strangers now.


    Malthus will prove right.
    When the oil runs dry, we will
    Let more people starve.
    This overloaded planet,
    Where our blindness procreates.


    caramba my dog
    n me on the road
    what mischief today, me look at him
    he just smiles n say
    you did it last time, now is my turn

    one day flower

    The petals emerge,
    No longer afraid of light.
    Delicate moments.
    The night will bring the end, though,
    As this beauty cannot last.

    moving (away, from one house to another...)

    i smell the curtains
    "oofff.. no we r not taking these"
    "is there anything we r taking?"
    Death, he take me whole
    am moving to his beguiling mansion


    Sink into the dark
    soft whiteness of a cool bed
    stiff joints come undone.
    Not the sun's dawn, but the moon,
    Refreshes my dying soul.

    faking confidence

    the wind southerly
    i stand along the footpath
    grin, a cyclist
    kernel of life opening by
    i have to do, i will do

    now what?

    I came here for you,
    Standing before the abyss
    Will you catch me if...?
    I ran here with my eyes closed
    You alone know what comes next

    Being lost.

    hanging some wet clothes
    i sing an old song awhile
    went down memory lane
    a wind lost its way back home
    wet my soul, dry all the clothes

    PAGE 4

    what someone will do with a tissue paper

    Picking up pieces
    of hard and slippery rind
    Pavement splashed with wax
    A light rain falls, white streamers
    hang soggy on dead branches


    Rotten and crum'bly
    The nasty boiled egg smells.
    And makes me vomit.
    My mother always makes eggs,
    But thats why she is a ****.

    Bone Surgery

    i am not going
    a heart gift-wrapped lie here
    my girl’s birthday bash
    pulled out his rib for her
    an apple for a precious bone


    My mind holds the brush
    The darkness is my canvas....
    I... am history.
    I am like those before me...
    My mind the the devil's playground.

    innocence lost

    In Stealing Beauty
    The girl in her wisdom seeks
    The perfect time to
    Unburden herself of her
    Pristine stifling innocence


    The unreachable
    There, just beyond my view
    I know it must be
    My gaze fixed, I'm still going
    Don't look back. Don't look inside


    From the inside I
    Create a tension, vacuum,
    That holds together
    All that the world sees as me.
    One day it will all collapse.

    storm at sea

    Calm blue slides and sinks
    To plummet into the trough
    Cruel, gnashing jaws
    Eyes rage and drown all they see
    The mind, like a wave, stands still

    leaves opening on trees

    i come, go always
    forget to watch life in-out
    it is spring here now
    cherry blossoms allover
    let life blossom in me soft

    your mother

    My mother abroad,
    A Jekyll and Hyde woman.
    I like this distance
    That separates us from one
    Another. It lets me breathe.


    razors shoved up my
    spine twist...and deaden, burn; they
    numb my world. i fall.
    demolition abounds - so
    desolate where he once played.


    Unending cycle
    Scratch the itch is all there is
    Heal it up again
    Taunting cancer deep inside
    Won't heal into nice white lines

    PAGE 5


    In her wheelchair
    She asked me who I was. Where
    Upstairs was. I do not try
    To explain. I understand.
    Forgetting is her illness

    Choking on a smile
    Heart crushing in a vacuum
    Perpetual descent
    The one you love is not me
    But I'll wear her mask for you

    deep water

    spanish doubloons wink,
    rooms invite, i wander in -
    my tank is empty.
    will i ever breathe again?
    tears pour, old loves suffocate.


    The metal bird soars,
    Carrying me back homewards,
    To my former life,
    Nothing is the same anymore,
    I can no longer fit in.


    you changed the topic
    me thinking what to write
    cursor not moving
    oh life stops still sometimes
    my roots replanted, fail


    Is what you might call world-soul.
    but such soullessness!
    To think of the unity
    That connects you to killers

    modern art

    Shiney red rhino
    Random placement, sans meaning
    Stoic and static
    I don't understand at all
    These pompous pursuits in paint

    I looked up skywards
    Saw the solemn harvest moon
    Move in the darkness
    As if waltzing with the stars
    Like a dancing banana

    Aerial Bombing

    There's life in this house,
    Trembling like the thunder
    Falling from the sky.
    Short eulogy for the dead:
    "The bad guys have parties, too."

    [as Al Franken:] L-L-LIES!

    **"The bad guys have parties, too"
    There's the communist party,
    And the nazi too.**

    words melt in their ears; lovers
    coo new melodies.
    who'd've known he'd be kissing
    different mommas hi today?


    Planted by the wall
    the bitter grapes for sweet wine
    need warmth and shelter.
    Mother is resting near by
    head turned towards the sun


    chrome and men destroy
    [optic] nerves. i buy gucci,
    dior, in sheer terror.
    dollar store shades promise to
    reveal my inner ostrich.

    ice cream
    Last edited by amuse; 06-08-2005 at 12:02 AM.
    the air and water have been here a long time, and they are telling stories.

  3. #3
    Good morning, Campers! Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Czech Republic
    I deleted the 'topic', 'next' and the alike before the topic theme, hope it's ok?

    page 6

    ice cream

    Hazelnut parfait
    on her tounge melts to delight-
    icecream alchemy
    Words, cold, clumsy when I speak
    From her mouth, her warmth flows sweet.


    Not all waste products
    Are wholly without value
    Sometimes we don't see
    The aesthetic in nature
    That's hidden by the mundane


    Wellspring of pilgrims
    Victim of Oedipal scorn
    Neon signs, old stone
    Eating trends out of the hands
    of its mutated child


    US like a cloudburst waits
    For the perfect time
    Days eat the seams of our lives
    Life economic
    Our fears make us weary, tired
    We sleep alone with our dreams


    The rain has passed
    We talk about the old times-
    skinned head and hate
    He says “I am free now and
    it is so easy to breathe”


    In ancient landscapes
    Celebration could live well
    In citizens minds
    They drank with pleasure, adored
    Sensation, knew ways of love.


    It brings the sky down
    this pond here in my garden
    mirror blue and white.
    Contemplating clouds in grass
    I reflect pond reflect sky.


    A conversation
    between the computer screens.
    The distance cannot
    protect us from the anger
    that lures in our hearts and souls.

    "Dying language"

    Kernow lost its tongue
    Some two centuries ago
    Singing sea shanties
    Voices from the harbour told
    Of a language they once lived


    Sixty-six they say
    The ‘authentic miracles’
    Performed at the shrine
    Millions have attended
    Might as well play lotteries


    The sun is shining
    Life forces its way through earth
    towards the divine light.
    In a few days all of it
    will be burnt and dead . Desert.


    My biology
    Says go for it, while you can!
    My psychology
    Agrees. My society
    Frowns. To whom should I listen?


    I'll pick seeds today
    of plants that will be gone soon,
    as will I be gone.
    But my children's children shall
    plant them when there's peace in world.


    Away with the sword,
    the dragon, and the damsel
    Come away with me
    over seas of white and blue
    and mountains of candy cane

    I have a plan: attack!

  4. #4
    in a blue moon amuse's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    much better! what a good idea; thx, Jay.
    the air and water have been here a long time, and they are telling stories.

  5. #5
    Good morning, Campers! Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Czech Republic
    page 7


    The wreckage, the loss,
    The pain, the vacuum, the waste.
    The things that remain
    Remind us of sorrows past
    And hopes that are now living.


    rainbow hued figure
    eights rest horizontally
    above laden vines
    a small miracle is this,
    no, compared with blissful days?


    So what is gender?
    A physical attribute?
    Social condition?
    I would like it to be known
    That I'm an individual.


    White feathers, clear sky
    blue letters on white paper
    to paint the picture
    all reverse and far from true
    yet in your mind a gull soars.


    Colour happiness
    Paints a beautiful disguise
    To the beholder:
    Mind cosmetically lights up
    Nature's esoteric face.


    sounds of glee do float
    enchanting the infant me
    a smile broadens
    to splash upon the ears of
    elevated clowns dancing


    She suspends a hook,
    Floats just below the surface,
    A smile is her bait
    Her well-rehearsed elegance
    Soon catches the compliment


    Clamour from afar
    A mysterious punch of
    Sounds that do dispel
    The notion of solitude
    In a room without windows


    The screech of metal,
    Ching ching ching...the machine moves,
    Heartless at best and-
    Under a complete logic,
    Nothing should be a problem.


    Bare feet move with grace
    An accordion holds you
    As you silently
    Stride across the busy stage
    An object of lost desire


    Consuming fuel
    To give rise to man's ill-thought
    Creations of doom.
    Delusions of grandeur; God
    In the spark of matchless light.


    In the doctor's,
    He looks distrested and fearful,
    Then he says those words-
    "You have had a a miscarriage,
    I'm truly sorry." Sorrow


    Wipe optical lens....
    Steady the arm and hand now...
    Press the smooth trigger...
    The bullet screams through his eye
    Scarlet and white, light, darkness.

    a modern piece of architecture

    Wide swoops of plastic
    Of no apparent structure
    Giving question to
    Our former meaning of form
    Illogical spanse of art.

    I have a plan: attack!

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