Wednesday, October 29, 2014

each heartache Tanka

each heartache
is the science of claws…
dashing across
quiet ocean floors
shadows breed in my veins

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hero somonka tanka


to die a hero
gripping at the moon
to the gloom
children playing in the rain

when anger twinkles
and shadows breed in my veins
I hear this song:
I never meant to start a war
…just wanted you to let me in

Monday, October 27, 2014

sadness tanka

is the symmetry of balance…
it makes you hefty
in all the wrong places
because it knows you

he disappeared tanka

he disappeared
like a fragrance, while
I aged, lived half my life
in hollowed caves
unable to find my way back

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sam Smith - Lay Me Down (VEVO LIFT Live): Brought To You By McDonald’s

Submissions are open for the Third Issue of Undertow Tanka Review

Submissions are open for the Third Issue of Undertow Tanka Review

Kindly submit up to 10 previously unpublished  tanka, tanka art, &/or  10 sequence.
“Undertow Tanka Submission” to:

undertowtanka @ gmail . com

Or use Contact Form to the right

*** by November 30, 2014 / third Issue
to be online by December 6, 2014

At the end of your submission, please include your full name and country of residence. All rights revert to authors upon publication. Your tanka must not be under consideration elsewhere or submitted to any contest. Hopefully this will become a print Review in the near future. We accept submissions year-round.

Best wishes,
Sergio Ortiz, Editor

Saturday, October 25, 2014

i wish her a frail voice tanka

i wish her a frail voice
that says goodbye forever—
not even death
in a distant place
chases away my sorrow

sea debris tanka

sea debris
mixed with froth left
by the tide…
I reminisce on the joy
of rooms that smell like herbs

Friday, October 24, 2014

sea iris tanka

sea iris
fragile flower—
gulls drift
on waves like
paper boats

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pockets somonka tanka


my bitter life
a colorful concert hall
that took all my love—
there’s no such thing as stillness 
on a heavenly island

sea lover
under the darkened sky
with pockets
full of sage and calamus…
touch the heart that is under you

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

he knocked on my hotel door tanka

he knocked
on my hotel door and met me
with a smoke…
I took off the gray, my heart 
pounding in its bloated stall

Monday, October 20, 2014

I made myself a clan tanka

I made
myself a clan, and my clan
I watched starlings swirl
through layers of clear skies

I marry a ghost tanka

I marry a ghost
to slaughter him with love on
the lost child of a
desert continent where light
turns to what it touches

Saturday, October 18, 2014

my instinct tanka

my instinct
is to head for the gutter
and stomp
my foot in the puddle...
call it magic cutting me in two

Friday, October 17, 2014

again tanka

two stepping 
on your grave...
I take logic to bed
and rise beside a monster

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I watched you tanka

I watched you
undress that Indian summer 
and my guts tightened…
imagining the rain on you 
when there was no rain

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

alone # 2 tanka

thinking about the instant
I turned memory
into blissful sorrow and
let it marinate my heart

alone tanka

at the foot of my mother’s grave
beneath a morphine moon
I try to tell her I lost
the kettle to the well

Monday, October 13, 2014

I am tanka art

Street Art                                                 poem by Sergio Ortiz

I am your outlawed twilight tanka

I am
your outlawed twilight
your closed fist
filled with soaring silence  
my mother tongue is love

Sunday, October 12, 2014

a hearse turns tanka

a hearse turns
down the footpath of dust
and the cantor sings . . .
there is silence
a stripping of life forever

Iran tanka

we sleep our dreamless
you bulldoze our cemeteries
Nazi Germany? No, Iran!

Citation: Abdul-Baha, Secret of a Divine Civilization

Saturday, October 11, 2014

silence tanka

is no longer possible
in the color divide
of America—pain tips hearts
carving a groove in stone

northern whiteness tanka sequence

northern whiteness

a flight of angels
came to my bedside
it’s all in the sea,
they whispered…
the white sea of America?

she got the cold
white sea of the north
cold and greedy
concerned about somebody
stealing her lollipop 

Friday, October 10, 2014

embarrassed tanka

with nowhere to hide
accused of piling up
a rock wall when my windows
were already sealed

the faint sound of water tanka

the faint sound of
water running down the alp
reminds me
of another sunrise
tucked away in your arms

Thursday, October 09, 2014

silence tanka

piled up all week
like snow
falling on bare branches
yet I have not been muzzled

Citation: Bill Collins, Silence

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

open for submissions

Undertow Tanka Review is now open for submissions

We are also looking for Art and Photography.

Sergio Ortiz, editor

marriage tanka

a little time and a few tears
we are all equal—
larks in flight

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

black boys tanka

black boys
a rude anarchy
of song
dance and loving...
nomadic wanderings

Saturday, October 04, 2014

you're making the rounds

you're making the rounds
searching for words
clues to where I keep
the keys of my

you have time
on your hands now that aging
has carried you to the last shore
is he stealing,
can I trump him?

the envy
of a new identity,
the terrible envy
of a new experience
drills a hole in your heart

and I wake
with the full expression
of joy
the blissful joy of knowing
you search me out

you search all of  me
for a clue and find nothing
but the original
inspired by your hounding…
come, listen to wolf howl 

Friday, October 03, 2014

rescue a dog tanka

so much depends
on the grief I tote into
your house—
I was nothing but a bitch
& all the world was filth & sorrow  

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ebola tanka sequence


to the desert
where redemption is free ...
a faraway transparency,
a swig of blood, a touch?

West Africa
just sank into the sea—
held up the shredded  
faces drenched in tears

what comes next,
will we see the corpses flying
above our heads?
this jail inside a jail
inside a sinking desert

Ebola haiga

to the desert
where redemption is free ...
a faraway transparency,
a gulp of wind, a sneeze?

in the golden skyline tanka

in the golden skyline
sunset spreads
with such beauty— what am I to become,
a hopeful man in a room?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

fingers on my hand tanka

a child
lays his fingers
on my hand ...
the healing gossamer
of a gentle touch

Blog Archive