Tanka Tatting

nature’s lace makers
shadows made by rustling leaves
spider’s silken web
once empty spaces glisten ~
like memories easing pain

spider-web-with-water-beads-921039_1920

Gayle is hosting Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets and we’re invited to post a poem of our choice. I’ve been lace-knitting a shawl lately and have become obsessed with the way making lace is all about creating empty spaces and joining them together. Making emptiness beautiful. Hence this tanka today!  A Tanka is a 7 line poem with the following syllabic form: 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. There is supposed to be a shift from the natural in their first 4 lines…to something personal / human in the last line.

48 thoughts on “Tanka Tatting

  1. kanzensakura August 24, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    I Love this tanka – making the empty spaces beautiful It’s all part of wabi sabi.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian August 24, 2017 / 5:06 pm

      Oh Toni…..so nice to read your comment here. I’ve been struggling with this tanka for the past 3 hours….literally! Sometimes we struggle most with the shortest poems —
      I do think that as we age, our memories of loved ones gone, past experiences, can fill in our emptiness and bring smiles to our faces rather than the pain of the empty space beside us. At least, that’s what I was trying to get across.

      Like

      • kanzensakura August 24, 2017 / 5:16 pm

        And you did get that across. The longer poems allow us to la-di-dah along until we get across what we are trying to say. the short forms you have to get right in the first few lines or words – no second chances. The tanka is truly lovely. I watched a spider today outside my kitchen window spinning a web. I hope he gets it done before the storm and manages to snag herself a fly!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Adda August 24, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Wonderful! I will never look at a spider web the same after reading your tanka. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 24, 2017 / 8:04 pm

      Well, I enjoy spider webs much more when I can see their beauty in the mist…perhaps after a morning dew, when their beauty is apparent — rather than having one catch me in the face as I’m walking under a tree….or seeing one with the spider on it, and its prey caught too.
      Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

  3. Waltermarks August 24, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    Spiders spin a wonderful lacey home. It’s too bad their guests aren’t in the mood to enjoy the view, lol. It looks like something that would require hours of close work

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:50 am

      Tatting, knitting lace shawls, and weaving a silken web….yep…attention to detail and in reality, linking empty spaces into beautiful patterns. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Grace August 24, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    They are indeed lace makers; I am always cleaning them out in the corners, ha ~ Love the tanka Lillian ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:51 am

      I like to come across them when walking in a park or woods….not so much in our house! 🙂

      Like

  5. ZQ August 24, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    Whew! Right on. That was a very good read for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:52 am

      Weaving designs by connecting empty spaces….it is indeed lacey….beautiful….but I’d rather not have them inside! Or walk into them! 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the tanka.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bodhirose August 24, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    I think you accomplished what you set out to do with your ethereal tanka. I love the title first off and then love how you describe creating something with emptiness…and then that haunting last line. Well done, Lill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:53 am

      Thank you! I remember my mom, even many years after my dad died, taking comfort in a cup of coffee with her old photo album open on the table. His emptiness filled by her memories….it helped her at times.

      Like

      • Bodhirose August 25, 2017 / 9:25 am

        That memory must be a sweet one for you too, Lill, and comforting as well.

        Like

  7. Glenn Buttkus August 24, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    Oh nice–tanka perfection. I love the form. It has more meat on it than a haiku, I like to mix tanka in with free verse & haikus & American sentences; a rich collage of styles. Your last line is a clincher; visceral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:54 am

      hmmmm I shall have to try the mixing of forms you mention here. A poetic patchwork! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:55 am

      Glad you enjoyed. It’s always tricky for me…to find that switch in perspecive for the last line.

      Like

  8. MarinaSofia August 25, 2017 / 5:51 am

    The shortest poems are the hardest, especially when you want to emphasise what’s missing… Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:55 am

      Thank you! It’s true….to be succinct we many times first have to be obtuse! Then edit edit edit edit!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. kim881 August 25, 2017 / 6:02 am

    Tanka tatting! The title really caught my attention and imagination! A magically spun tanka,Lillian, that would make Ariadne proud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 7:57 am

      Thank you, Kim. I truly appreciate your comment and am so glad you enjoyed 🙂 I’ve had tankas on my mind lately…I belong to the Tanka Society of America (anyone can join) and so enjoy their publications. 🙂 That switch in perspective in the last line is the challenge for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 August 25, 2017 / 9:06 am

        I wonder if there are haiku and tanka societies in the UK…

        Like

  10. Janice August 25, 2017 / 6:09 am

    This is inspiring Lillian… how your lace making became a meditation and beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Colin Lee August 25, 2017 / 10:16 am

        No, no, no … Thank YOU.

        Like

  11. memadtwo August 25, 2017 / 7:19 am

    “once empty spaces glisten”–yes, they do. And now I will know what words to use. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. merrildsmith August 25, 2017 / 7:30 am

    This is lovely! I love the idea of seeing the empty spaces–like listening to silence.
    (I bet your shawl is going to be beautiful!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 25, 2017 / 8:00 am

      Just finished blocking the shawl yesterday. You soak it in lukewarm water for 20 minutes, gently squeeze out extra moisture, wrap it in a towel to take out last excess moisture…then put it on what are called blocking mats (they have lines on them so you can be sure to get it symmetrical). Then you stretch out / open up the lacing and pin it to the board to dry. It’s quite the process but it really opens up the spaces and the lace pattern becomes obvious. As opposed to the spider who just weaves it and it’s done! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane Dougherty August 25, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Garden spider webs are beautiful, especially after rain or dew. Filling in the spaces with beauty, it’s exactly that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 27, 2017 / 7:49 am

      So glad you enjoyed this one….some photos of webs are particularly beautiful!

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty August 27, 2017 / 1:53 pm

        They are. Such a shame we tend to be terrified of the creatures that weave them!

        Like

  14. whippetwisdom August 25, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    A beautiful tanka Lillian and I love the idea of spiders as ‘nature’s lace makers’ :o) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 27, 2017 / 7:50 am

      Thank you! So glad you enjoyed 🙂 I’m learning “lace knitting” and thus have become slightly obsessed with how lace actually “joins” empty spaces and makes those voids quite beautiful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 27, 2017 / 7:50 am

      Smiling I am….glad you enjoyed!

      Like

    • lillian August 27, 2017 / 7:51 am

      Memories can truly be a comforting “filling” for emptiness 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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