No sails at the horizon


footprint in the sand
with every wave it’s fainter —
sea-gulls overhead
call to mock my lonely wait
no sails at the horizon

American Horizon by Jane  Wilson

American Horizon by Jane Wilson


Today Toni tells us about Tanka as pubtalk on dVerse. Come and discuss Japanese poetry. You can share one of your own, or just hang out. There is no linkup, just a friendly chat. Also don’t miss the interview with Toni on Poets United today. Also linking to Tuesday Platform at toads.

33 responses to “No sails at the horizon

  1. This is wonderful. I so like the same line used for beginning and end. It ties it all together and repeats the poignancy of the lines. This is just perfection.

  2. On the one hand, I’m picturing someone waiting for his/her spouse to either die or come out of a coma. On the other hand, I’m also wondering why there is only one footprint. For that to happen, someone would have had to begin walking out of the sea, only taking one step onto the sand, but then backing out into the water again. Maybe a sea woman. So I think the speaker is a man, staring at her one fading footprint after she’s gone, wishing she’d come back.

    “sails” is an anagram for “I lass,” which could also turn itself into “eye lass.” So close to “eye glass,” but not close enough. The g is missing. And I always see “g” as representing sex + funk … I can’t explain why. 🙂

    “sea-gulls overhead” is very close to “seek-alls overheard”

    I LOVE what you did with the last line: [The word/answer] “No” sails at the horizon. Her eyes on. “No” sails at thee, her eyes on … So her answer is no, and you can’t see her anymore. But maybe you can feel her watching you.

    “with every wave its fainter” … Ooh, or what if “wave” means waving “hello”? Sometimes the more someone talks to you, the less you see them. Does that make sense? I think talking is a way to cover up rather than reveal.

    I watched a movie called Words and Pictures last night, and this “conversation” makes me think of that. The art teacher in the movie says that words are all lies, which I tend to agree with, but that art (as in, painting) is always truth.

    P.S. I love tiny poems, and tanka is my favorite form.

    • Ah – you always find those little gems.. The one footprint was indeed quite intended, I changed it back and forth but ended up with a single one. Indeed I thought it was a she who’s waiting… But the separation is there for sure.. Just like waiting,

  3. I admire the third pivot line of sea gulls overhead ~ And the idea of waiting hints at the season ~ A beautiful tanka Bjorn ~

  4. I’m smiling again, Bjorn. 🙂 So nicely written, clever and cute.
    You wait there for me
    I’ll be sailing by soon now
    Right after Christmas
    And I could pick you up then
    Or bring you some food, dry clothes
    ..

  5. Oh, thought I had commented already. I meant to – to say it’s lovely. The tanka is one of my favourite forms.

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