Tanka

The way the very elderly
cling to any handhold
in a world gone strange,
this snow
on the daffodils.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

8 Comments


  1. When I am old, and totter, may I be happy standing still, and rooting happily in snow or sand, mud or grass.

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  2. Very nice.

    I cling to those daffodils and their promise of summer light every year.

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  3. Whew! This inspired me to go off and try my hand at tankas, which resulted in the worst poems I’ve ever written — and that’s saying a lot. I think I’ll leave it to you and the Japanese courtiers. (Have you ever wondered why you have such an affinity for various kinds of court poetry? Some sort of Jungian shadow, Dave the effete aristocrat? :-)

    This is a lovely poem. And I have just now a keen sense of how difficult.

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  4. Teju – Glad you liked.

    Zhoen – That’s a good wish. I hope I’ll feel that way then, too, if I get that far. Inshallah.

    loren – Thanks. Again this morning that summer light wears a coating of snow here.

    Dick – I hear ya.

    dale – Thanks! I’m going to have to add your comment to my growing file of back-handed and unintended compliments: I’m very honored that something I wrote could inspire you to such a frenzy of creation, which sounds downright purgative in its effects.

    If I occasionally manage to sound like the ancient court poets, I suppose it’s because I like to wallow in similar sloughs of melancholy at the fleeting nature of joy and beauty.

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