Tanka

Kala Ramesh

 
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I spend months   

       learning to tune

my instrument …

a fakir down the street

is one with his ektara

illusions ride
on a fast fading rainbow
somewhere there
I let go of my childhood ...
I must have

Happy Boy
Dog pulling on leash

my family wept
over our dog's death
I weep
for those days I grudged him
his early morning walk

I walk

into the forest

          barefoot

    my soul

in touch with roots


        the shell

        of my understanding

        breaks open

        on autumn shores

        I feel the chill

[A Tanka doha fashioned on the couplets (with 24 sound units) of Kabir, the famous saint-poet of the 15th Century]

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Fruit tree.jpg

does the shadow move

with the swing or the swing

with the shadow

interlaced, my shadow

rides on time


          mother laments
          being old and bent
          I see her
          as a curved branch
          laden with fruit

[A Tanka doha]

 
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Kala Ramesh, a Pushcart Prize nominated poet, is the Founder and Director of Triveni Haikai India, and Founder and Managing Editor of haikuKATHA Journal. Author of ‘haiku!' for children (Katha Books 2010); ‘Beyond the Horizon Beyond’ (Vishwakarma Publications) shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize in 2019. Her collection of poetry, ‘The Forest I Know’ (HarperCollins) was launched at Jaipur Literature Festival, March 2022. She has been experimenting with a fusion of japanese poetry and dohas (couplets with 24 sound units) of 15th Century saint poet, Kabir. The end-result is beautiful Tanka dohas.