Tanka #5

I have a list of tanka, just as I do haiku. But it’s a lot shorter. I didn’t know about this form until a few years ago and only recently has it caught my attention again.

Standing on the porch
the cold rain hesitated
shifting foot to foot
having yet to choose: linger,
or hit the doorbell and run.

Old House Porch BW small

Old house not far from where I live. It’s since been torn down.

17 thoughts on “Tanka #5

  1. I love the flow of this poem, as well as the imagery. I love the cold rain hesitated. (But I thought of kids daring each other to ring the doorbell at “the house.” In my mind, the kids looked liked the kids in To Kill a Mockingbird.)
    The photo is great–that house looks so creepy and mysterious. It could definitely be a prompt for many other poems and stories. 🙂

  2. Thank you. I’ve always liked the feeling of waiting on the porch after ringing the doorbell – it’s done and you can’t take it back, just wait…

    This house was near the PA 309 when construction was being done on the road and later was demolished. I couldn’t find much out about it – just an old house, now gone…

  3. Fantastic use of personification. It captures the Spring we just had perfectly, that hesitant strutting on a tightrope between leaving winter behind and teetering into summer.

  4. Yes. I am reminded of selling Girl Scout cookies, for instance, back in the 1960’s. I found it terrifying to have rung the bell and now anticipating facing some grownup and asking them to buy cookies. Still gives me the shivers.

  5. Yes, this poor house had a sad end, neglected and then torn down. I still go by the site and think about it – it’s just a clearing in the woods now, by the highway, and pretty soon the trees will grow over and no one will know!

    I did not know about tanka either until maybe a couple of years ago, when I stumbled on a mention of it, and recently I’ve gotten more interested in it. It’s a good length and I like the discipline of following the syllables.

  6. Thank you. I feel sometimes weather is quite capricious in how it makes it decisions and rain – well, I especially feel it toys with us. In? Out? Hmmm… Let me see…

  7. Indeed. I set out on a walk wearing layers I then peel off as the sun emerges from behind a cloud and then back on they go when the wind chills or the rain comes. It’s too much like Scottish summer weather.

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