Twelfth Annual International Tanka Contest 
Sponsored by AHA Books

Tanka Splendor 2001 Award Winners

Pamela Babusci   
marianne bluger
Jeanne M. Breden
Marjorie A Buettner
Margaret Chula x 3
Claudia R. Coutu x 2
Cherie Hunter Day & David Rice
Dennis H. Dutton
Amelia Fielden x 2
Suzanne Finnegan
David Gloss
kirsty karkow
Doris Kasson
Michael Ketchek x 3
David Kirkland
Angela Leuck x 2
Thelma Mariano x 2
Laura Maffei x 2
Matt Morden
Carol Purington x 2
Bruce Ross
Grant Savage x 2
John Sheirer
Rodney Thompson
Michael Dylan Welch


The Award Tanka

(Placed in the order of the number of points each tanka received. Authors' names which are underlined indicate that you can directly email that person your thoughts or comments and you are encouraged to do so.)



from Europe
your daytime calling
my deep night,
our voices making love
along the sea bed

Amelia Fielden




whether it's the wind
or the length of your silence
that brings this chill
I watch another leaf
fall from the autumn sky

Thelma Mariano




Kindle of Green
Cherie Hunter Day 
David Rice 

the creek in the park
dry most of the year
rushing with winter rain
             I stop on the footbridge
            instead of just walking across

maneuvering my cart
down the grocery aisle
past potted hyacinths
            in heavy perfume
            my impulse to rescue them

fish hatchery
salmon leap the ladder
to the holding tanks
            upstream a large dam
            our instinct to change the world

just when I thought
I was unapproachable
you move closer
            then everywhere
            the sudden kindle of green

your open heart
full of invitation
is easily accessible
            doesn't a flower-fire
            sweep through the hills each spring?

out of nowhere
a certain sweetness stretches
towards us
            we must drop everything
            held in our callused hands




even the stars
are caught in the glow
of tonight's moon
how long will it last, I wonder -
my standing here alone?

Thelma Mariano




early sunlight
pours through the window
dripping gold
she eats a mango
at the kitchen sink

kirsty karkow




on the bed
in the empty spot
where you used to lie
nothing to embrace
but spring moonlight

Grant Savage




marianne bluger

where shoots
have pierced the leafslick
in the din
of a snow-melt brook
we mouth our vain shouts

makes me feel - like that
pink  worm
the robin is stretching
out thin in the rain

phoenix heart
cracks her speckled egg
and sinks claws deep
in my bony back

sunblind - I too
stumble dazed
through the crowds
of winter-pale strangers

the market
is bustling again
but where
is the gnarled farmer
who sold me squash last fall

from the new vendor
one flat of mauve alyssum
& change
for a ten
from my twenty

just water - these tears
in the rain
while the earth is
turning green

my nipples
in the late spring wind



my father
in Critical Care
three time zones away
all day the wind releases
dead branches from the trees

Margaret Chula




a baby cries
in the raspberry fields
as I pick
the crimson fruits
are splashed with my milk

Amelia Fielden




because of what
men do to each other
in the garden
the little stone Buddha
dappled with light

Bruce Ross




invited at last
to meet his parents
i find myself
wondering which me
i should wear

Doris Kasson




in the language
of the old country
that I can't read
letters my father kept
from his long dead friend

 Michael Ketchek




the way you look at me
while I rub your arms --
you are the painting
I have never painted
a thousand times

Michael Dylan Welch




shaking the drops
from her bright red umbrella
this friend
with troubles in her past
meets me by the train

Laura Maffei




after the rain,
she finds puddles
to jump in -
my child, knowing nothing
of the storms to come.

Dennis H. Dutton (Karma Tenzing Wangchuk)



By dawn and by dusk
deer nibble the fallen apples
of October
This, at least - that I have not lived
on yesterday's sweetness

Carol Purington 




even after twenty years
of married life
in the breeze
a hint of spring

Michael Ketchek




my sister
on the porch of her new house
and between us
the snow-covered walkway
nearly impassable

Laura Maffei




Midsummer's night -
a wanton Gipsy moth
takes its leave;
will you be so inclined
once the flame goes out?





how we have aged
you and I like spindrift
along the shore
until we are carried off
by tides of a greater sea

Marjorie A Buettner 




the scars
on the minister’s wrists
only visible
when he lifts his arms
above his head in prayer

 John Sheirer




A lone saxophone
cries out on the street corner.
Sweet, sweet intrusion!
Grim-faced commuters rush past -
no time for amazing grace.

David Kirkland




unable to sleep
in this deep autumn chill
my son comes to bed
with an offer to share
his comfort blanket

Matt Morden




A quiet storm
soft flakes reshaping each angle
of tree and field
    How  the lightest touch
    of a stranger's glance changes me

Carol Purington 




The blue heron cries
white capped waves search for the    shore.
We walk hand in hand
finding gentle harmony
shaping a life together.

David Gloss




We felt rejected
it seemed veggies and flowers
were more important
than our hot little bodies -
then Dad turned the hose on us

Jeanne M. Breden




windfall apples
I cut away bruises
worms, skins and seeds
now I know what it means
to be rotten to the core

Margaret Chula




I missed out
on the strawberries this year
no jam
enough sweetness from you
for a year of mornings

Claudia Rosemary Coutu




in the cemetery
talking about the dead
and dying-
how strange, this sudden
longing for a baby

Suzanne Finnegan




old man
with Alzheimer's
gets no visitors
having outlived everyone
even himself

Michael Ketchek




kept behind glass
his mother's collection
of porcelain dolls
didn't I notice
their painted on smiles?

Angela Leuck




in an empty lot
the pale purple flowers
of thistles
you have hardened your heart, but
who can say what yet might bloom?

Angela Leuck



a bamboo trellis
for morning glories...
oh, indigo wind, who will
climb my womanly vines? 

Pamela Babusci   


full moon rising
through the cedars
it was like that
short glimpses
then fullness

Claudia Rosemary Coutu




parents and in-laws
moving toward senility
there's no one
I need to impress

Margaret Chula




your third transfusion
each night
a little longer
each  day the sun
a little weaker

Grant Savage




clink and tink
of father sifting bolts
his father sifted
thick forefingers
ingrained with grease

Rodney Lee Thompson


AFTER WORDS by Jane Reichhold

Poems and text are Copyright © Designated Authors.
Tanka Splendor Awards Copyright © AHA Books.


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