Shadorma 290, Tanka 169

From the collection The Immediate and No Sooner, published in 2021.

Shadorma 290

Dried-up bush
crying out thirsty
no answer
staggers stiff and slow to scorched
dead. The hot wind blows.

Tanka 169

Crazy little boat
on a turquoise jewel sea
polka-dot sail breathes
in and out in and out and
crazy little boat surfs waves

16 thoughts on “Shadorma 290, Tanka 169

    • Thank you. You’ve given me a new way to think about these. Since I don’t have the ability to see images in my mind ( a thing called aphantasia I have only recently learned about with a shock because I thought everyone was like me, apparently seeing something in your mind’s eye is a real thing not a metaphor like I thought). Anyway, I tend to associate feelings rather than scenes, or maybe other senses, such as how the wind blows and what sound it makes. I did not think of these as being scenes you could see. Hmmm

      • Oh, that’ so interesting. I think the novelist Mary Doria Russell also said she doesn’t see the images. But no, I always see scenes in my mind with everything–even the test items I write. It’s so strong that sometimes I think I’ve seen a movie, but I actually only read the book. I also associates feelings and senses, too, and as you’ve probably seen in my poetry, they sometimes blend. 😏

        • I have learned that most people are more like you, and to be honest I wonder how people cope with it (even though everything I read about aphantasia focuses on it as a deficit, not a normal state, or even desirable, and that your situation is to be preferred. I’m not saying you’re saying this, but that it’s what the information I have read seems to have a bias toward, which I think is interesting. It makes me think of autism and the autism spectrum and how it’s treated by popular and scientific opinion. But I digress). I think my head would overload. And, since I never see a scene internally, or very little of one, maybe just impressions, I don’t relive thing,s involuntarily or not, by seeing them again, for which I am very grateful.

        • I suppose one gets used to it either way if that’s all they’ve known. My son-in-law had no idea he was color blind until he enlisted. I guess he was 18.

        • That is amazing it was not picked up earlier. But, I totally understand how he would of course never question the evidence of his own senses, if no one else did!

        • He did not have a good home life, so I imagine lots of things were overlooked, and he said he had teachers who thought he was lying or not doing his work. . .

        • Yes (sigh). A familiar story to many of us who differ from the “norm” (which is really all of us, just depends on the degree and situation, I guess…)

  1. I love the way these two poems are counterpoints to each other: one is about a parched landscape and one is set in abundant water. The first poem makes me think of a creosote bush. The second poem makes me think of the relaxing effect of the wind and the waves, the way those movements mimic our lungs breathing in and out to centre ourselves.

    • Yes, I have thought of a sail in the same way, breathing. And you are right, they are both poems about water and what it means in a context.

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