Three Spring Haiku and Three Spring Tanka


 Three Spring Haiku

Dogwoods are blooming
The crucifixion appears
White moths in the night.

(Dogwoods are a Southern tree here in the South.  White blooms
having the form of the Christian Cross, with nail heads.  They bloom in the spring right before Easter. They are a symbol of Christianity in Nature.)

Under the dark moon

I awaited your return

Only shadows came.

The moon, a ghostly

Sliver sails on a jet sea

Wild dogs howl beneath.

 Three Spring Tanka

The sound of frog-calls,
In the pond floats a pale moon
Fresh life is stirring
An early owl goes hunting
Wise mice scatter for cover.

Thin, silken breezes

Float upon a green-ribbon

Of spring—pale season.

Scent of lilies, myrtle, plum

Arouse bees from slumber.

Restless and confused,

Birds cry out, sky darkening

Rain lashes, flooding

Freshly planted fields drown

Wind sails red tiles from roofs.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, 2012

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26 Responses to “Three Spring Haiku and Three Spring Tanka”

  1. Heaven (@asweetlust) Says:

    I like the spring haiku and tanka ….specially

    Scent of lilies, myrtle, plum

    Arouse bees from slumber.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Heaven! Thank you so much. I am so sick of my own poetry, I had to dig deep for this one, of last year. LOL!

    I don’t have a twitter account…..but I will look for your blog tomorrow so I can read.

    Bless you, Sweetie…and thank you again.



  3. brian miller Says:

    i like all these little slices….the second haiku is rich with feeling..only shadows came is a great line…the first tanka on the other hand is full of life…and i love that too..


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian,
    You are right…these are little slices…my haiku tend to be light…I read Basho and I realize how much more they can be, but that is Basho, not I~

    But there is a concentration in haiku that is difficult, to maintain a clarity but also perhaps a mystery? Or perhaps that is more a western concept. I just don’t know.
    I do know that I have put aside my reading of tanka and haiku and especially the Man’yoshu and I miss it. There is something that balances one with these things…and to be away from them, these forms, well, you know.

    Thank you, Brian for reading these with such sensitivity.



  5. sunmoonstar Says:

    My favourites were the first two haiku (mysterious and moody) and the first of the tanka, but they were all very good and so picturesque, I could picture them all in my mind while reading. So much vivid imagery. Lovely!


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hi N.!~~~
    I am so glad you commented on these….for years you and I have had an interest in these forms, and when we wrote them, they were such mysterious stuff for us! Do you remember?

    Well, dear friend, I have felt such a lack of these forms lately. I feel isolated and adrift, lost …when I don’t read tanka and haiku. You know me better than most…there is something so satisfying and complete….when we delve into these forms, regardless of the outcome I think…they are a mental shift, preparation, etc…for life perhaps.

    When we can get these little slices, as Brian Miller calls them, right….they are good in the mouth, and better in the soul.

    You are a painter yourself, and you know, feel the process from the mind to the heart…and we just paint with words. I think we can’t do anything else really because of our earlier wiring. LOL!

    Thank you, dearest of friends….for reading these and your comments. You already know how much they mean to me.



  7. hannah Says:

    Goodness, it takes me all day to write just one, and you treat us to six.
    I’ve only just become acquainted with the tanka format, and really like it.
    Very satisfying to complete the haiku with an additional two 7 syllable lines.
    Yours ‘tasted’ of Spring. I loved them all.


  8. Elizabeth Young Says:

    It is very difficult to get to know someone, so I’ve never presumed to know someone through their poetry. For the first time today though, I felt I truly did. It’s almost like the essence of who you are is embodied throughout your wonderful poetry Jane.


  9. tashtoo Says:

    You have tackled everything from religion to the turning of the seasons to the magic of the moon…how could I not absolutely adore each and every presentation. Wonderful word weaving Lady…


  10. bajanpoet Says:

    I tried my hand at haiku and gogohka before, but not tanka yet… I love them all … the first one was deep … Christianity in nature… I liked it 🙂


  11. Gay Reiser Cannon Says:

    All beautiful captures. I love nature in the south. It is almost ethereal this time of year. A fairyland of color that takes one’s breath away. First yellow, then pinks, then whites, then then redbuds and the giant magnolias, the tulip trees, the wisteria, the other flowering vines. In Texas one only has glimpses of it; here you condense that beauty, that transportation in your six poems – all well delivered, and gorgeously wrought!


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Gay….and for the first time, allergies have hit hard this spring. Yes, it is beautiful, it is ethereal, but with the pollen count near 10000, it is almost deadly, too.

    Thank you for reading and your lovely comment.



  13. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Bajanpoet!
    I highly recommend you try your hand at tanka. It is the most wonderful form. You will just soar!

    Lady Nyo


  14. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Tashtoo!

    Haiku and tanka lend themselves so readily to these topics, and they are short enough they can give a punch in this.

    Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment.



  15. ladynyo Says:

    Dear Elizabeth!
    That is probably the nicest compliment I have ever received! I hope it is true. I believe that poets spill their soul all the time, but it is only especially sensitive other poets that pick up on this. You are in that category for me.

    And I agree with you, Elizabeth. It is very difficult to get to know someone. But I think our poetry reveals our essence…good and bad!

    Thank you, again, Elizabeth.



  16. marousia Says:

    You are the mistress of wabi sabi – love these – so poignant


  17. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Marousia….for some reason, your commment made me laugh! LOL!

    I guess better than being the mistress of wasabi! LOL!

    Thank you, Marousia….for reading and your very kind comment. Short forms sometimes say more than longer ones.



  18. bajanpoet Says:

    Will research it! Thanks for the push!


  19. ayala Says:

    Beautiful, Jane. 🙂


  20. Chazinator Says:

    I think these are very powerful haikus. The spirit of nature, that oneness with its processes is so strongly evoked. I have my favorites, but all struck me as so true to the form I love so much.


  21. ManicDdaily Says:

    They have a wonderful depth and simplicity at once. K.


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, K. Tanka and haiku tend to lend themselves as forms to this I think. They force you con concentrate words and sentiments.

    Lady Nyo


  23. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Charles. I have to confess: haikus are harder for me than tankas. It’s a crapshoot most times for me, but reading something of Basho last night brought some clarity into these forms. I think it’s a process of depth and simplicity, which takes some time and effort to develop…but I agree….these forms make us stronger poets.

    Lady Nyo


  24. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! Ayala!



  25. Eve Redwater Says:

    I love the Dogwood haiku! Perfectly described. 😀


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Eve, for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


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