KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Tanka Prose: 139 words [R]


by Jenny Ward Angyal

I step into the silent forest. Beside a signpost for the Appalachian Trail, a flimsy plastic sleeve lies crushed into the damp earth. I pick it up and puzzle over the bit of frayed, blackened clothesline tucked inside it. Then I read the water-stained message, carefully printed in pencil:

HIKERS This is the Bloody rope that was tied to the collar of a Ten year old boys Dog at Devils Fork Gap. where he lived. And let to Sams Gap and got loose and was run over in the road. If a dog comes to you please rock it away. They live here. dont let them follow you Please. this is the third dog in two months.

the harsh cry
of a blue jay...
one red leaf
in a sea of green
trembles and falls

—One of two Honorable Mentions (unranked) in the 2015 Tanka Prose Contest (A Tanka Society of America Fifteenth Anniversary Special Event); republished here with permissions from the author and the Tanka Society of America

Note from the Tanka Society of America (TSA):

Last year we celebrated TSA’s 15th anniversary with a special event, a tanka prose contest. Each submission to the contest included a title, a prose portion not exceeding 300 words, and one to three tanka. The noted writer and editor Bob Lucky (also a KYSO Flash contributor) selected first, second, and third prize winners and two honorable mentions. All five works are republished in this issue of KYSO Flash. The results and contest details are available at the Society’s website.

Jenny Ward Angyal
Issue 5, Spring 2016

grew up wandering woods and fields in Connecticut and wrote her first poem at the age of five. After attending a one-room schoolhouse, she spent a number of years studying and writing about biology, and a number more teaching nonverbal children how to communicate. She lives on a small organic farm in Gibsonville, North Carolina, with her husband and one Abyssinian cat. She began writing tanka in 2008 and finds it to be the perfect vehicle for exploring the relationship between the landscapes that lie within and without.

The poet’s blog: The Grass Minstrel

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