Earlier this month, Michelle Barnes, of Today’s Little Ditty, interviewed poet Margarita Engle about her new book Orangutanka (Henry Holt, 2015). Margarita challenged Michelle’s readers to write a tanka, a traditional Japanese form with five lines and a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count.
As I was driving to work yesterday, I noticed a red-tailed hawk perched in a tree near the edge of a field. That sighting inspired this tanka:
Still as a statue,
keen eyes scan the field below,
spot a flash of gray.
Swooping down on silent wings,
red-tailed hawk scoops up breakfast.
Thinking about tanka brought Tonka trucks to mind:
By the Christmas tree
a shiny yellow dump truck
with wheels the size of
saucers, wrapped in a huge red bow,
waits for the boy’s shouts of joy.
© Catherine Flynn, 2015
Thank you, Michelle and Margarita, for inspiring me to write these tanka. And thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each day during the month of March and on Tuesdays throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.