“A Tanka Trio (11)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#31)

my exhausted faith
flows just as the drift ice flows
breaks and melts away
heaven’s reflection blurring
in the sea’s saltwater tears

…..

(#32)

I catch the water
dripping from the icicles
in a mason jar
as a gentle reminder
that I do not weep alone

…..

(#33)

moon paints snow angels
on forgotten midnight fields
only clouds can see
sleeping souls oblivious
to shy winter’s artistry

33 thoughts on ““A Tanka Trio (11)”

    1. Thanks, Kirsten. I had a general idea of what I wanted to say (icicles), but when I started writing, something completely different appeared–an image of an icicle dripping into a mason jar. It was so striking to me, so austere. Sometimes an image comes unbidden and forces its way onto the page or screen. I’m happy this one did. I really like it. I appreciate your kind words, Kirsten. Thanks as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much, Xenia. Like I mentioned to Kirsten above, the image was so vivid and alive, it sort of took on a life of its own and I just followed along. As a kid on the farm, I’d break icicles off the roof or tree branches and lick them like lollipops. We also used to make snow ice cream. I miss that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m happy you liked this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Mark. Here’s a boring anecdote for you regarding #32: Mason jars were a big part of farm life growing up. Every year, my mom would can all sorts of produce from our garden as well as fruit we picked from other places. I can close my eyes and still hear the pops of those lids as the jars cooled and sealed. It’s weird what old memories can inspire. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I’m glad you liked these. I’m fond of #32, and what I like about #33 is the sense of mystery, the secret life of nature that occurs regardless of if we humans are paying attention. It’s like a play made up of infinite acts that takes place behind the curtain, and only those attuned to nature can ever witness it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. This stunning collection grinded my heart with emotions, especially #32: “I catch the water dripping from the icicles in a mason jar as a gentle reminder that I do not weep alone.” Such a good relation with natural aspects. Beautifully pieced, Mike my brother. Well done. ๐Ÿ‘

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    1. Thank you so much, Lamittan. I found the imagery of the dripping icicle and the mason jar so simple and honest and profound. I’m so glad this one spoke to you. I always appreciate your kind reviews and encouragement, my friend! *tips cap* ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. those trios are so delicately crafted that I felt like listening a soft touch on heart strings…

    (31): Your faith is always in Heaven’s check. be it melt, break away…they are one.
    (32): your weep actually comes from your sweet childhood memories;
    (33): the “forgotten midnight fields” is actually where the “winterโ€™s artistry” is.

    Your world is such a delicate and beautiful one, which is your source of inspiration. You are blessed in more than one way.

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    1. Such kind words, as always. ๐Ÿ™‚

      (31): My faith seems to ebb and flow, rising and falling like the tide, freezing and melting like an ice floe…but in the end, it’s all water, just in different states of being. I wish it were solid all the time, but so many changes create a fluid state that continuously shifts. I suppose it’s all perspective, and acceptance of change being the natural state of being.

      (32): This made me ponder my childhood memories. My heart weeps for the loss of innocence, how there are so few good memories of childhood, but the ones that are good are almost painfully good, if that makes sense. A bittersweet quality, a fleeting purity… My heart weeps for all that was lost and all that could have been, and it certainly shaped my heart as an adult in that there’s a sensitivity that I put into my words. There’s a sweetness to those memories even though I must dig deeply for it.

      (33): I think about those cold, quiet moonlit winter nights of my childhood on the farm and imagine those distant fields in the silvery light. Anything is possible with the magic of imagination. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks for your thoughtful perspectives. They’re a joy to read. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. The winter blues are upon us and are trying their best to bury us. I can feel your words and resonate with the melancholy. It’s really difficult to rise above it. But then, winter won’t last forever. Beautiful ones, Mike. So perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Those winter blues… When I could hear normally, I loved playing blues music on my guitars as well as listening to blues artists. It’s embedded in my soul, I suppose.. I could likely find the melancholy in even the happiest of things (“Oh, look at that sad little kitten and that morose little puppy playing together so depressingly!”) ๐Ÿ˜€ But seriously, I’ve learned to let it run its course rather than fight it. Colors excite and inspire me, which is a big reason winter is so depressing for me in its dearth of hues. You just wait–come springtime, I’ll be the happiest poet on WordPress! (Or not. I can’t back that up with paperwork.) Anyway, I have fun with this even though it’s somber in nature. It’s therapeutic and such a thrill to create anything at this point. I appreciate your kind comments, Terveen. Thanks for being so supportive and encouraging. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thank you kindly, Diana! I’m sporting a huge grin as I type this–your comment really made my day. Moonlight is so alluring, isn’t it? Many years ago, I filmed a lunar eclipse with my Super-8 movie camera (yep, it was that long ago–circa 1980) using time-lapse to capture the various stages of the event. This, of course, meant being outside throughout the entire eclipse so I could periodically adjust the camera to keep the moon in the frame. The night was still, warm and quiet and had that unique scent known only to country summer nights. That event embedded itself into my soul and if I wasn’t a moon junkie before, I certainly became one that night. Such an amazing memory and definitely proof that there’s magic in midnight moonlight. I’m so glad you liked this one. Thanks for such a nice comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. That sounds like a wonderful night. I love those balmy summer nights and can imagine the eclipse was magical. I think moonlight is embedded in our dna after tens of thousands of years of relying on it. To think what the moon has seen.

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    2. This makes a lot of sense, actually. I live in an area replete with ancient Ancestral Puebloan (sometimes known as Anasazi) ruins and cliff dwellings. I’ve always wondered how these people viewed the moon and the long nights without any other light sources other than fire. I imagine, as you said, they and other early civilizations depended upon it to an incredible degree, hence the rise (pun intended) of various moon deities and rituals. As a town-dweller now, I miss those quiet country nights when everything was as it should be and the moon watched over me.

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    1. Thanks a bunch. I really liked the idea of hidden winter beauty. I remember as a kid being too bashful to play my ukulele for anyone, even though I wanted to show what I could do. Just too shy. So I kept my playing to myself. The image of winter drawing doodles on midnight fields that may or may not ever be discovered was an extension of this thought, I suppose. Shyness can be so endearing. I guess I do have some fondness for this season in a strangely sentimental way. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Oh wow, a ukulele! Two years ago I took up the piano again, with my stepmother as my teacher. I’m so bad – but one of the wonderful things about being 43 is that you no longer care how many people you have to torture to make yourself happy lol

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    2. ๐Ÿ˜€ I totally get the age thing. I feel like nowadays I just can’t be bothered by what anyone thinks anymore (however, my insecurities say, “What are you talking about, mister?”). ๐Ÿ™‚ Kudos on resuming the piano. I tried teaching myself when I was young but found it much more difficult than ukulele and guitar. Then deafness struck and that put an end to my musical aspirations. I still have my three guitars and that ancient ukulele. I’ll never part with them. Too many good memories. Enjoy tickling those keys! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. This is so kind of you to say, Aaysid! I appreciate it so much. Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with being alone for so long and being an introspective introvert. My mind latches onto an idea, image or concept and won’t let go until I’ve viewed it from as many angles as possible. I can certainly see the dichotomy or winter–its stark solemnity and its astonishing beauty. I can sense its depressive nature and its playful capriciousness. More often than not, the darker themes rise to the top, but now and then a more magical, positive theme will make itself known. Add in the fact that once I start writing something I don’t really have a roadmap of where its going to take me and that makes for a lot of different takes on a subject. Thanks again for such a wonderful comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

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