In secret

we all hope for fire,

for the relentlessness—

that whirling mystery we believe to exist

in the proper arms.

This is our private, unanimous crusade.

This is our unjust war

and we are tearing down cities

in a frantic search.

Yet in true Crusader fashion,

we will name no reason

nor waver.


(c) Marie KR 2014


Asian Form Poetry

Day 7:

So my HIP teacher handed me an article about a poetry journal called Canadian Zen Haiku, and suggested I submit something. The journal only submits Asian poetry forms (Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, Renga, Japanese form poetry). I decided, why not, and looked up how to write Tanka. This is what I found:

Like haiku, its shorter cousin, tanka usually is well-grounded in concrete images but also is infused with a lyric intensity and intimacy that comes from the direct expression of emotions, as well as from implication, suggestion, and nuance…The tanka aesthetic is broad and all-encompassing. You can write on virtually any subject and express your thoughts and feelings explicitly.

Tanka is a 5-line poem which can be composed in 5-7-5-7-7 form or free-verse, so I chose free-verse.

Tanka traditionally has no title, but this piece was inspired by my experiences cliff-jumping on the St. Lawrence River with my family. Finding yourself suddenly in the middle of a breath-stealing nothingness is mind-blowing, and certainly makes you feel a bit different afterwards…


long summers spent awaiting

the turnaround point where

we are recreated

leaping into sunlight

and letting go


(c) 2011 Marie KR