September 2016


UHTS collected works

Editor's Choice Tanka

the tone
going up instead
of down—
she still understands
my morning greeting

Ruth Holzer

For one of my Editor’s choices, what a wonderful tanka by Ruth Holzer from the USA, in keeping with the spirit of Japanese court poetry. Lovers perhaps? We don’t know for sure but what we do know is that something during the night has spurred a different tone of voice for the “morning greeting”, and that it is understood by both parties. With the bonus of a perfect short, long, short, long, long tanka rhythm as well.

—UHTS cattails principal editor an'ya, USA

settle on my skin
still colder
this consistent touch
of unfulfilled desires

Rajan Garg

For my next Editor’s Choice, this fine tanka composed by Rajan Garg, is once again in keeping with that spirit of court poetry. Juxtaposing the feel of cold dewdrops to the consistent touch of unfulfilled desires is brilliant and the rhythm is once again commendable, especially the last line being the very longest. Nice work by this well known author from India.

—UHTS cattails principal editor an'ya, USA

by the river
having a life talk
while two
great blue herons soar
past us showing the way

Leslie Bamford

Another well written Editor’s Choice is this tanka from Leslie Bamford of Canada. Something in nature “showing the way” to a couple “having a life talk”. Not to be redundant, but again but the s, l, s, l, l rhythm (not syllable count) here is important in order to distinguish that it is a tanka rather than a short poem. The words “life talk” set this tanka apart, and the visual of great blue herons soaring is striking as well.

—UHTS cattails principal editor an'ya, USA

all over my garden
but vases at home
are still lost in dust

слънчеви лъчи
из цялата ми градина
но вазите у дома
все още са покрити с прах

Vessislava Savova

For this Editor’s Choice, I’ve selected this tanka by Vessislava Savova from Bulgaria. Nothing lost in translation here and a very bright image of “sunbeams” and “daffodils” juxtaposed with the grayness of “vases lost in dust”. We are left only to imagine why and what kind of metaphor this author intended. Thank you Vessislava for sharing this one with our readers.

—UHTS cattails principal editor an'ya, USA

divorce date
a red rose fades
between us
how sharp the thorns
of unspoken words


David He

For my final choice, this "real life" tanka from David He of China that many can relate to. Ultimately a failed marriage fading in juxtaposition with the color of a once bright red rose, albeit the thorns are still sharp, like "unspoken words". Nice work on this one.

—UHTS cattails principal editor an'ya, USA