KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Tanka Verse: 122 words

Whisper Song

by Lynne Leach and David C. Rice
lending me a book
I learn more about my friend
from her margin notes
the noise of her opinions
a boulder in the flow

a whisper song
I can’t identify
high in the oak
what we don’t say
is even more important

our unsubtle world
we’ve forgotten the soft voice
the gentle touch
or dripping water on a wrist
to feel a deeper cool

spring melt
rivers overflowing
if I don’t keep talking
you won’t hear
what I don’t know

a persistent wind
has blown away the first
cherry blossoms
beware the man who can’t wait
to sing you all his songs

for a bud to open
is half the pleasure
I’ll keep this short
so you’ll keep listening

—From the forthcoming collection of responsive tanka verse, Lighting a Lamp: Twenty Years of Tanka Conversations (Skylark Publishing, 2017) by David C. Rice and Lynne Leach; appears here by permission of authors and publisher

Lynne Leach
Issue 6, Fall 2016

has been writing haiku, tanka, haibun, and renga for twenty years. She is a former vice president of Haiku Poets of Northern California. A transplant from London, England, she now lives in Larkspur, California with her husband. Her two sons and young granddaughter live nearby in the San Francisco Bay area.

David C. Rice
Issue 6, Fall 2016

has been writing tanka for twenty-five years. He is the current editor of Ribbons, the triannual journal of the Tanka Society of America. He is particularly interested in combining individual tanka into sequences of tanka verse and in writing responsive tanka verse. He works as a psychologist and lives in Berkeley, California with his wife. Three grandchildren live nearby.

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