Changing Skies: Three Tanka

I
a gray day,
low dreary clouds hang down;
smoky air
clings to the earth —
all is close; nothing moves

 

II
tall puffy clouds
drift across the sky
like ship’s bridges,
moving in armada
through skies, calm & blue

 

III
a blue dome,
unblemished by clouds
if not for birds
looking to the sky
would stop the world

Three Kyōka of Animal Aggression

I
three monkeys
look down from a high branch;
one throws a pit;
a tourist dodges left,
right into the pit’s path

 

II
a goose struts,
then wheels about – wings flaring –
Karate Kid,
but standing on both legs —
feint with foot, jab with beak

 

III
a llama
spits in some poor girl’s face
as if she
were Hitler or Kim Jong-Un
classy, Llama, real classy

Three Rolling Hill Tanka

I
granite domes
bubble from the flat lands,
earthly zit, or
beauty marks written
in topography

 

II
the foothills
spread from the mountains
like ripples,
echoing from
the cordillera

 

III
four horses,
standing on the hilltop,
as if meeting,
but with no common
vision or purpose