KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Tanka Tale: 130 words [R]


by Claire Everett

They say it’s morbid, this fascination with death, this impulse to pick over the past, to pare things to the bone. They don’t see that I also have an eye for baubles, but not so much to take, as to give; if someone pays me heed, or offers me a crust of kindness, I’ll bring treasures to their doorstep, but only the most discerning will take the pebble to their altar, or burn the frond as incense. Rare are they who cosset a limping fledgling, quieting her gape with titbits gripped by chopsticks. And rarer still, the one who years later, knows her for her cinder wings, her rasp of greeting.

for fifty years
their caws have awakened me
you’re alive!
whose else but their footprints
around my eyes

—Previously published in Atlas Poetica 23 (October 2015); republished here by author’s permission

Claire Everett
Issue 5, Spring 2016

is the founding editor of the Skylark tanka journal and tanka-prose editor for Haibun Today. She is the author of two tanka collections: twelve moons and The Small, Wild Places. She is co-author of Hagstones: A Tanka Journey with Joy McCall, and Talking in Tandem with her husband Tony Everett. Claire served on the editorial team for Take Five Best Contemporary Tanka (Volume 4, 2011), and in 2015 she edited the Tanka Society of America’s Members’ Anthology, Spent Blossoms.

She is mum to five children and step-mum to two and likes nothing better than to be cycling through the Dales with Tony on their trusty tandem Tallulah, or walking on the North Yorkshire Moors.

Skylark Publishing

Skylark, a tanka journal

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Hand-me-downs: tanka-prose tribute from the poet to her son Owen in Contemporary Haibun Online (April 2015)

2015 Tanka Prose Contest Winners: A Tanka Society of America Fifteenth Anniversary Special Event, judged by Bob Lucky, author of Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and content editor at Contemporary Haibun Online

Talking in Tandem, haibun by Claire Everett in Contemporary Haibun Online (October 2014, Volume 10, Number 3)

An Interview with the Gifted Haiku and Tanka Poet, Claire Everett by Robert D. Wilson in Simply Haiku (Autumn 2011/Winter 2012)

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