Tanka Diary

C. Mikal Oness

1 After the Virus Hit

    The price of eggs went
Through the roof, then the bird flu
    And inflation sent
Them higher. Now five dollars per—
Just what my chickens charge me.

2 Here and Elsewhere

    The toes of a whole
Flock of sparrows pocked the dust
    In front of the coop
To look like a pond rippled
By wind. Rain does this also.

3 In This Day and Age

    I sleep late and spend
Most of the day reading, most
    Of the rest writing.
No way to be a farmer!
No way to get what you want.

4 Renee the Cow Lived on Grass Alone

    I imagine her long
Life at another farm, her
    Questions answered with
Plenty of grain. I could not
Manage to love her that way.

5 Easy Chair

    When I go I hope
I die in my chair; I like
The feel of it, but
    More importantly, I find
It too unnerving to fall.

6 Been There Done That

    A young person
Getting executed might
    Quake and shit his pants.
Most old folks will find the whole
Affair overdramatic.

7 Time Tanka

    I screw up every
Conversation with people
    I don’t know; but why
Is the answer not to get
To know them better? No time.

8 Surreal Tanka

    Coyotes visited
Last night, bayed at my window.
    Today I found eight
Or so fingers in the yard.
I don’t know when I dropped them.

9 Coyotes

    A group of them sat
Only an acre away
    Facing the house. My
Son lies half dead. How to live
Under such scrutiny now?

10 Another disruption

    My two souls fight yet
Again. One wants to relax
    Under the walnut,
The other wants to cruise Main.
I need them both to make lunch.

11 Cultured

    ‘It is what it is,’
The used car salesman said, not
    Realizing he
Quoted humble Master Issa.
He walked away swatting flies.

12 Your Choice

    Would you stab your eyes
To drain the roiling black sea
    Behind them? Would you
Pierce the heart of a child if
That demon stood behind her?

13 Good Morning

    I wake, and something
Slightly hellish in the world
    Gets out of bed. It
May or may not put on pants,
Never eats, but drinks coffee.

14 Complaint

    My wife shuffling
Papers, my son heating soup,
    Dogs pawing the door,
Shopping bags folded again—
That side of my hermitage.

15 Suggestion

    Cherry blossoms lilt
One way to the honey bees
    And panic the hive.
Swarmed, then, to the clover, they’re
Assured of their role in grass.

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Image by NoName_13 from Pixabay