Pink Petal Bokeh Shimmer and a Tanka Experiment

pink petal bokeh shimmer
fragrant season’s glint
sky gazing usher
conducting sunbeams
teasing every shade of grey

blossomsoriginal photo by Paribus

Once upon a time when I was just a young girl of about 8 or 9 years, I discovered poetry. Rhyming words…well, it just rocked my little bobby socks off.  I wrote my first and only tanka poem and haven’t really dabbled in poetry since.  That is, until Joanna Young challenged me with a group writing project, encouraging us all to explore the possibilities of writing this month.

I used to enjoy exploring writing this way but like many things, I forgot how much fun playing with words could be. Sharing a poem after so long makes me a little uneasy because like visual art, reading poetry can be subjective, and either really good or really, really bad. I know I will look back on this tanka  and wish certain words away. But I’m happy to be posting it anyway, because I had fun writing it and in particular I was able to draw upon some tips Joanna has taught me through her Confident Writing blog over the last couple of years.

To make the seemingly impossible possible again took a little courage, a little reflection, a little planning and a little influence . After researching the structure of tanka and reading some examples I realised it would take a little time to prepare. However it wasn’t difficult to find subject matter for this writing challenge. It’s nearly spring here and the blossoms look just amazing, both on hazy overcast days and sunny afternoons where our big blue sky provides the perfect backdrop.

I set about observing trees in blossom this week, on the way to school drop-offs, in-between swimming lessons and running errands. Why do they capture my attention each time I see them? What’s so special about them? Why do they seem so resolute and full of possibility? Then finally I had some time to jot down some keywords on paper. I started with small steps. Once written the words seemed to pair together and I was able to rearrange them into a little ditty that I liked. Do I use the word ‘arms’ or  ‘hands’ or ‘fingertips’? And which words convey a moment of time best? I wrote and re-wrote it a couple of times before settling on the poem you read above. I hope you enjoyed the end result!

You can read more about tanka, get some tips on writing it find tanka on Twitter and even  submit your tanka poem to a website via DM

Thanks Joanna for once again issuing an enjoyable and rewarding writing project, and encouraging us to explore new possibilities!

cherry blossom
original photo by TanakaWho