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  • Sensei


    Twisted, bound, and clipped
    Conscripted in meager plots
    Flowering bonsai
    Cramped uniformed schoolchildren
    Studying kata kana

    Sensei eats white rice
    Reposed in bamboo cloister
    With broken chopsticks
    Passed down from great grandfather
    Who sat on same mat

    Newborn cries for milk
    Puckered lips find swollen breast
    Sensei's young geisha
    Has her mother's piercing eyes
    Sensei's slender hands

    Cries come from classroom
    Bees swarm through open window
    Gentle rain outside
    Mimics geisha's sullen tears
    Lamenting stolen childhood

    Sensei slowly stands
    Arthritis stabs at old bones
    Piercing eyes stab heart
    Geisha wishing for his death
    Laced his rice with cyanide

    Two steps to the door
    Sensei collapses face down
    Students rush to see
    Geisha's daughter, just thirteen
    Carries Sensei's unborn child

  • #2
    Guess that self control didn't extend to all areas, hmmm? Wow MHenry - wonderful tale in tanka form - you've been busy as the proverbial bee with this one! Great job!


    • MHenry
      MHenry commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the look and the like, RLW.

      Maybe Sensei forgot his lesson and misinterpreted self-control as feed thyself and control helpless others

  • #3
    This is an impressive tanka string, MHenry: kudos for the virtuosity! The situation involves a classic Henrician turn, although there was a bit more forewarning of this one than is often the case. If you lived in Shakespeare's time, you would be writing tragedies of renowned starkness.


    • MHenry
      MHenry commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, grant, as always, for your kind and laser-like perceptive comments. I spent some extra time on this one in an attempt to fulfill lofty ambitions, but the effort does tire one...