Monday, October 10, 2016

Carpe Diem Special (2nd guest) Kala Ramesh #2 "tangled thoughts . . ." (tanka)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the second Carpe Diem Special by Kala Ramesh. In the first CD-Special by Kala I shared haiku written by her with you all, today I love to share a few tanka by Kala with you.
Kala is not only a gifted haiku poetess, but she also writes beautiful tanka in a very nice and personal way. Her tanka are mostly a reflection of daily happenings like for example "children trying to stretch their playing time before going to bed".

As you all know I am not such a great tanka poet, but I love the form. Let me tell you first a little bit more about tanka, for those visiting here who not know about tanka.
Tanka is, like haiku, an ancient Japanese poetry form and it derived from the waka and maybe partially from renga . Maybe you have heard from tanka and waka or maybe you are familiar with "The Tale of Genji" (a wonderful classical piece of literature in which the poetess used waka).

Scenes from "The Tale of Genji"

Back in 2013 I once created a Carpe Diem Distillation episode about "The Tale of Genji" and I love to share here the waka which I presented there again:

mishi hito no
keburi o kumo to
yuube no sora mo
mutsumashiki ka na

the evening sky itself
becomes something to cherish
when I gaze at it,
seeing in one of the clouds
the smoke from her funeral pyre

© Murasaki Shikibu (11th century)

weeping willow

Here at CDHK we have seen several posts in which I shared waka by classical poets/esses, maybe you can remember this one too. It's a waka by Saigyo and it was the inspiration for a well known haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

along the way
where water is running
in the willow shade
I have stopped to rest
for a little while

© Saigyo (12th century)

And this is the haiku which Basho wrote after reading this waka by Saigyo:

one patch of a rice field
when it was planted I left
the willow tree
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
Waka ... an ancient but beautiful poetry form from which the Tanka derived. Tanka is a short poem with five lines following the syllables count 5-7-5-7-7 (or in Japanese sounds, onji) and mostly the first part (say the "haiku" part) brings up a scene, but by putting the second part (say the "response" part) towards it that scene changes. The "pivot" of the tanka is the third line mostly. Tanka is a nice form to work with and as you know next month November 2016 we will have a Tanka month here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai created around "Teika's Ten Tanka Writing Techniques".
Kala Ramesh
Okay ... back to Kala Ramesh, our 2nd guest this celebration month. Last week we had the first special by Kala with haiku and today I love to share a few of her tanka.
an evening
of tangled thoughts . . .
through branches
even this rugged moon
looks tattered at the edges
© Kala Ramesh
These tanka are in my opinion really nice, but I don't know if I am capable to say such a thing because I am not such a good tanka poet. Of course I tried to create a new haiku or tanka in response on this CD Special by Kala Ramesh:
the days shorten
the colorful leaves
Ah! what a sight
mysterious moon
behind thin clouds
leaves falling
tears fall
this autumn day
has gone by
such sadness
without the full moon
© Chèvrefeuille
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 14th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, knitting wool, later on. For now .... have fun!


  1. Careful, your tanka might be better than your haiku! Kala's are wonderful.

  2. Carpe Diem Special Kala Ramesh # 2:

    cold nights
    crickets and katydids
    no longer sing
    wearing flannel
    and socks to bed

  3. Hi,

    Just a quick note to say , these two tanka are NOT WRITTEN by me:

    how much rain
    can a little cloud hold
    the overspill
    of resentment
    her only identity


    the crows
    are vanishing
    at twilight
    my child stretches
    the end of play


    An evening of 'tangled thoughts' in my tanka.

    1. Sorry for this mistake, I found them listed under your name so I thought they were written by you. Sorry again. I have removed them. Now only your own tanka is in this episode.