Toukon (The Fighting Spirit)

Wounded but alive

The asp strikes heart ache,

Toy angst suns hide tears of one,

Taut abs sigh, heave, arch,

Taste ash soup, hot, toxic; one’s opus,    

Toils at sea, harsh; taunts one oar


My attempt at Tonka for dVerse





16 thoughts on “Toukon (The Fighting Spirit)

  1. ladynyo says:

    First, I was struck how masculine this tanka is: usually we read less physical poetry, and this one reminds me in spirit, the Samurai Death Poems…..

    I was taken with the power and ‘otherness’ of the poem, but especially these words: “taunts one oar”.

    I looked at that excellent first painting, and the survival/woundedness was so specific, that this ‘taunts one oar” came to mind: a rising above pain, woundedness?

    But in any case, a truly unique run at our tanka form.

    Lady Nyo

  2. With out resorting to metaphor you nonetheless employ the poetic form with the alliteration of the “t” and “a” words (and until I just wrote that I didn’t go there..hmm and maybe haha). Asps angst abs ash at sea…all feelings one experiences with longing, heartbreak and loneliness. You’ve layered well this pearl of a poem set in an autumn Japanese garden. Beautiful and excellent.

  3. the beautiful images and background are the perfect accompaniment to your words, Henry. you acheived far more of an oriental/original feel to your poem than i was able to. wonderful!!!

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