In the tanka below, you can see why the form is so enduring, and lends itself to any occasion. The first example came about when a friend provided morning tea for one of the writing groups I attend. It was ginger crunch, one of my favourite slices, but alas, it wasn’t to be. A tooth on my dental plate came out, but to be fair, it had been loose for ages.
the ginger crunch
came with a warning
my sweet tooth the victim
of the very first bite
This second example also screamed out when seen.
a fiery orb
behind a pink sky
so much brilliance
to herald a new day
The book’s name KOI comes from the following tanka and is typical of the author’s work.
in their kimono
About the Author:
Ken was born in 1949 and spent his formative years in St Albans, on the outskirts of Geelong, Australia. He is the second of five children and attended the local technical school before leaving at the end of 1964. He was unable to settle down afterward and worked at a variety of jobs before being seconded to work in the wool sheds of South Australia.
Since those days he has travelled extensively, including a brief stint in the RAN, working in places as diverse as other woolsheds: meatworks, car factories, fishing boats and mines of WA. He finally settled down to work as a gardener and took up writing soon after; something he had nurtured since youth; his former life coming to the fore as a resource to draw upon. Verse and ballads followed and then finally the longer novel form, mainly in the Sci-fi and Fantasy genres.
It’s not hard to see why he embraced tanka so readily when it was introduced to the Geelong region. It is a complete story in five lines, and another way for the writer to express himself succinctly without reverting to lengthy prose, or if it does, as in prose tanka, a way to express the sentiment in both forms.
Since retiring, Ken finds he has even more time to pursue tanka and other forms of writing when the muse takes him.
You can see some of his works at www.armchairpublishing.com.au