Category Archives: Tanka

Nuance

There is no mystery In an onion—tear away All the tissue-thin Layers one by one. You’ll find Nothing irreducible.

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Looking for Lilacs

June 5—butter stays Hard on the table— I’d go looking for lilacs— If I could find my long johns

Posted in Climate Change, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Lilacs, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Science, Tanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May, Clumsy as Always

May fumbled slowly Through another night last night Against dark, cold earth The first magnolia opened I know I heard silk tearing

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Take it to the Bank, Cassandra

Downtown in April From high in a ragged spruce In the bank’s back lot Like an unheeded alarm A fledgling crow’s lonely squawk

Posted in Capitalism, Corporate Capitalism, Crows, Delusional thinking, Hunger, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Malnutrition, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Political Commentary, Poverty, Protest poems, Social Commentary, Spring, Tanka | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Spring Ditches

And now springtime comes Casting its green illusions As the south wind gasps The pussy willows waver In damn ditches already

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The Long Dark

The Long Dark* At night, on the lake, The ice becomes a steel drum Rapid, thready pulse Counterpoints a wolf’s tenor Saxophone wavering near *Everything is writing fodder. The Long Dark is a survival videogame set in the northern Canadian … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Creativity, Hinterland Studio, Hunger, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Process, Tanka, Video games, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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How often in March Counting the lengthening thaws Between ice and snow Do you listen for wild geese Straining against the moon’s weight?

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Language, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Spring, Tanka, The Moon, The Sky, Time, Tropes, Wild Geese, Wild Geese in Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Roadside Assistance

February ends The moon’s a blown-out tire, flat Slapping on asphalt The bent rim rolls on and on Trailing sparks across the night

Posted in Art, Art is lies, Art is theft, Cosmology, Hank Williams, John MacKenzie, John MacKenzie Poetry, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Space, Tanka, Tanka, The Moon, The Sky, Time, Winter | Leave a comment

Now as the Larches

Even the asters let their petals fade and fall, succumbing to frost now as the larches ignite the thin flames of their needles.

Posted in Asters, Autumn, John MacKenzie, Larches, Micropoetry, New poems, Poetry, Tanka, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Darkness Settles Early

Darkness Settles Early The end of August. The turning wind edges north. Though darkness settles Early now, the evening crows Find their way home. Where are you?* *Tankas really are country songs.

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Autumn, Country music, Crows, John MacKenzie, Mary Gauthier, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Tanka, The Wind, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another Night Done

Weaving home through crowds— another night done in this bagsticker July below clouds like torn, piss-stained sheets under the turnt up moon

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A Conceit of Insects

Of all my poems not one’s as piercing as the cicada’s cry—* *’round these parts (luckily for me) it’s mostly crickets

Posted in Art is lies, Haiku, John MacKenzie, Micropoetry, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Tanka | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Midnight Finds Me Digging (a country tanka noir for Michael Leon)

Midnight Finds Me Digging (a country tanka noir for Michael Leon) What I plant tonight blossomed in red sprays today, the scent thin and sharp— waves of it in my nostrils, salt and copper as the sea We left the … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, John MacKenzie, Michael Leon, New poems, Noir, Poem tweets, Poetry, Richard Stark, Tanka, The Moon, The Sea, The Sky, The Tibaldos, Twisted Tanka | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

South Wind on a February Morning

As an idle child wanders the house rattling fingernails on teeth, so the south wind fitfully taps rain against the windows

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Low-hanging Fruit

Just because the moon, yellow and ponderous, sags half-full in the east tonight—tempting, ripe—is no reason not to reach for it

Posted in Art is lies, Charlottetown, Cliches, John MacKenzie, Micropoetry, New poems, Parochialism, Poem tweets, Poetry, Tanka, The Moon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Moon Through Thin Gauze

It’s January— I peer through thin gauze curtains of cloud at the moon dancing alone, white and full, as you once danced in this room

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January’s Crescent Moon

Look, January’s shallow hammock of moon swings slow, bright in the dark— come with me and let’s climb in together, sway through the night

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Boy, with Skates

His scarf glittering with ice condensed out of breath trailing thin, gray wool past his shoulder in the wind, he sits watching the pond freeze

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Homeopathic Gravy

Remove roast from pan, drain all fat and scrape away all tasty brown bits. Add water. Add more water. Then add more water.* *For best results, you’ll want a pan—that’s, oh, about Solar system-sized— filled with water for every molecule … Continue reading

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Before the Long Night

A hasty double tanka. Before the Long Night Mid-afternoon moon, half-full, standing stiff-postured high in the southeast— before the long night is done you’ll be slouching west like me, sway-backed, slope-shouldered, and inclined to laughter at our attempts to slow … Continue reading

Posted in Art is lies, Cosmology, Death, Gravity, John MacKenzie, New poems, Poem tweets, Poetry, Tanka, The Moon, Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment