Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Triptych - Three Tonkas

Thank God for Lewis Turco's The New Book of Forms that I still have from one of my college courses in poetry. Tonight's poem is three little "tonkas". The Tonka is a Japanese form that is basically a haiku with two extra lines of 7 syllables. The first is the result of a conversation with a friend tonight, the second is my response to a guy who was yelling outside my open window while I wrote the first, and the third is my reflection on what I usually do in a really difficult conflict (like what I think I'd do if I was this guy's daughter, for example), which is to shut down. I have terrible memories of being imprisoned in my own silence, and no longer knowing what to do.

So. Here they are.

triptych - three tonkas

Too many "maybes".
I want to release myself
from my own judgement,
to wake up tomorrow free,
with clear eyes, facing forward.

There's a man outside
cursing at his family. Why?
He takes an axe to
the root of his own tree. His
words will never be erased.

There are silences
that kill things. I have been trapped
in these silences,
mouth full of cotton wool, ears
deaf, eyes closed, heart cold, love gone.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Lovely, Moff.

I, too, have semi-fond recollections of Lewis Turco and _The New Book of Forms_, though I don't think I still have my copy.