Tanka #1

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”?) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.

I find this quite embarrassing as I am not sure weather my efforts are any good, but these poems are constructed from the heart and fuelled by the frustration I feel due to living with a disability in modern society.

My first attempt was written while alone in my bungalow without care whilst my nose was gushing blood. I had to sit with my face and clothes covered in blood until my next PA arrived three hours later – but the council saved £30 by not covering these hours, so who am I to complain?

The starting gun sounds

I am no where to be found

Missing in action

Searching for direction home:

The race rages without me

A great start to 2017…



  1. A very fine start to your ‘tanka journal’, Nathan! I really like the way you have summed up that personal situation whilst also making it into something we can all identify with. As the voice of your tanka-person I feel obliged to point out that the last line has 8 syllables instead of 7. It is perfectly ok to use punctuation, so you could put a colon at the end of the 4th line and cut out the word ‘while’ in the 5th line, which would bring it down to the 7 syllable mark. Hope you don’t mind the advice! Your whole experience reminds me of when I had a climbing accident. I have a titanium plate in my head as a result. After one of the operations to re-set my nose I had a terrible nose-bleed and a neighbour had to drive me to hospital with a bath towel wrapped round my head. I hope you have recovered from the bleed now? Cheers, Ted

    1. Cheers Ted. I certainly do appreciate the advice and will make the necessary changes now. I will only improve with the help of an experienced mentor such as yourself so I appreciate the notes and hope for more if and when needed.

      Nose was bleeding again today – five days on the run.

      Hope you enjoyed the seasonal palaver.

      Speak soon


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