Tanka and Haiku Sequence
The street lamp was our
only star, its splattered light
the sole barrier
between our frissons and that
heavy night of back alleys.
Down where the subway
should have been, silence trickled
on unseen rail tracks.
On and on and on
they went, like faery children,
They were on a sacred quest
encrypted in their bone marrow.
NaPoWriMo day three. Today’s prompt was to go ahead and pen an epithalamium, but I just wasn’t up for the task, I’m afraid. Today was not a day for celebration. So I went and played with another form of poetry instead, the tanka, a traditional Japanese form that requires the poem to have 5 – non-rhyming – lines measuring 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. Here is my first attempt at such a thing (in my own interpretation of the original form, of course):
The fire was cackling
Greedily, watching his work.
He climbed the slick walls with ease,
Pleased with the towers of smoke.
I have no idea where this poem came from, actually, but as I was writing it I was thinking of Stefan Grabiński‘s dark stories about the agency and sadism of fire.