skin and bone

beneath a thin grey blanket

my life waits

huddled on a gurney

outside your hospital room


Ribbons, volume 7, no 3, Fall 2011




Dad’s personal effects

his coat still smelling of rain…

in the inside pocket

closest to his heart

my sister’s photograph


Ribbons, volume 7, no 3, Fall 2011


I was delighted to learn that the second poem(above) was ‘The Back Cover’ choice for this issue of Ribbons, The Tanka Society of America journal, edited by Dave Bacharach.




8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kirsten Cliff - Swimming in Lines of Haiku
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 03:45:20

    Beautiful poetry, Claire. Well, so much more than beautiful. You have ploughed the depths of your soul and then gifted it to us via the written word, and for that I thank you.

    Congratulations on your back-cover! I’ve recently been accepted to Ribbons for the first time and look forward to seeing your work in there first hand 🙂


  2. Brian
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 05:51:51


    What an artful shock the last line of the first tanka gives us. To care is to make our emotional lives contingent on the lives of others. How powerfully your little shock brings the enormity of that home to us.

    his coat still smelling of rain…
    There could have been no poem in “Ribbons” more deserving of the cover than the one that offered up that extraordinary line. Congratulations.


    • Claire
      Nov 17, 2011 @ 19:44:24

      Brian and Kirsten,
      Thank you both. I’m humbled by your comments. Both those poems came from the very depths and the one about my Dad waited so very long to speak to me and I found it very healing. Some things, buried and deemed forgotten, find a way of emerging that has its own beauty, like desert flowers when the rains finally come. To have friends, such as you two, to stumble upon these moments of blossoming, is a continuing joy.


  3. Kirsten Cliff - Swimming in Lines of Haiku
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 21:12:05

    Bless you, Claire.


  4. Margaret Dornaus
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 02:06:03

    Beautiful work, Claire. Congratulations! Have you already received your copy of Ribbons? I’m jealous!


    • Claire
      Nov 18, 2011 @ 12:38:10

      Thank you, Margaret! I am not yet subscribed to Ribbons…am due to in the new year, so haven’t been able to submit to the tanka cafe etc. I got hold of the last couple of copies from Lulu. Not being a member yet, I didn’t enter the TSA awards, but I was delighted to see you won the grand prize and with such a beautiful tanka! So my congratulations to you, too!!!


  5. Margaret Dornaus
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 01:36:31

    Thank you, Claire! I haven’t been able to make the announcement yet, though I’ve known for months–and was in shock for quite a while after receiving the news. I can’t wait to see the issue and read the commentary . . . When I saw your post, I thought, oh my, perhaps I’m not on the mailing list for some reason. Then I figured you must have gotten your copy from Lulu, as I did with my first copy (and back cover), because the subscriptions have not been mailed yet.

    Anyway, hooray for Ribbons! Hooray for tanka! Hooray for being in such good company! Your tanka and your voice is always an inspiration to me! I feel blessed and humbled to consider you my friend.

    Warmly, Margaret


    • Claire
      Nov 19, 2011 @ 10:01:38

      I do hope I haven’t let the cat out of the bag there!

      Hear, hear! I wholeheartedly agree with all that you say and find your work and your friendship an inspiration and a joy…

      Blessings to you, my friend.


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