tangerine antho
an ongoing anthology of short verse deriving from the haiku and tanka tradition 

           See page: 2 -  3 - 4 

Copyright 2002 by Winfred Press 

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Tanku, Tanbun, Tanka-Bun:
New Forms Based on Tanka

Michael Dylan Welch's commentary in
Volume II, No. 2 Tanka Society  of
America newsletter invited comments
from members regarding English-lang-
uage tanka, including the issue of ex-
perimental forms.  I would like to 
respond to his request by sharing with
other tanka poets a discussion Larry
Kimmel and I had on combining tanka
with either prose and/or haiku.  I hope
our informal exchange of ideas will
prompt other readers and writers of 
tanka to contribute their thoughts on 
this type of experimentation, as well as
sharing other examples that we might
have missed.

Perhaps the most familiar and least ex-
perimental link is to intersperse tanka
with poetic prose, sometimes with 
haiku, sometimes not.  A precedent for
this practice can be found in classic 
Japanese forms, most notably The Tale
of Genjii (c. 1000) by Marasaki Shikibu,
which links tanka with fictional narrative.
Despite this literary history, many 
modern definitions (e.g., David Cobb,
Blithe Spirit, September,  2000; Pat-
rick Frank, Point Judith Light II: 2, 
1992, 8) cite only haiku as the poetic
link to the text in haibun.  Bruce Ross,
editor of the haibun anthology Journey
To The Interior (1998), is an exception
in that he includes Masaoki Shiki's
(1867 -1902) diaries in his discussion
of haibun, as well as The Tale of Genjii.

Yet in modern, English-language haibun 
we seldom find tanka interspersed with 
prose, although a few recently-publish-
ed journals and anthologies are includ-
ing this form.  Sanford Goldstein 
coined the term "tanka-bun" for text 
linked with tanka, and his "Tanka Walk," 
published in 1983 (Northeast, III, 15), 
was likely the first to appear in English.
Lynx, edited by Jane and Werner 
Reichhold, has been publishing 
examples of this form from at least 1997
in their print journals and, currently, on 
their online magazine.  Some examples
intersperse prose with haiku as well as 
tanka.  Larry Kimmel's "Evening Walk"
followed this format and was published
in Point Judith Light, Spring-Summer,

More experimental than these forms is
Larry Kimmel's link using 31 syllables
or fewer written as prose text followed 
by, or preceded by, a haiku.  Larry's
submission of this type of prose/poem
to Frogpond editor Kenneth Leibman
in 1997 raised the issue of what to call,
or label, this distinct new form.  Larry
proposed either "tanbun" or "tibun" for
these tiny haibun.  Ken wrote to him say-
ing he had looked up "tanbun," and the
definition given was "a short piece; a 
short composition."  He explained that
the same dictionary gave haibun as "a
terse prose-poem."  Tanbun was
selected as the preferred name for 
Larry's submission, and four of these 
appeared in Frogpond, December, 
1997.  Since that time, several examples
of this form have appeared as short
haibun (without being designated as
tanbun) in Modern Haiku, and three of
these have been anthologized in The
Thin Curve (Red Moon Press, 1999).  A
timeless example from this group by

The Home Front

A lone bumble bee patrols a hole in the
ground.  Kill it and soon there's another.
How am I to finish painting the house?

              war and the rumors
                   of war--still the routine
                         of bee and clover

Other short haibun have been published
(see Jim Kacian's "Home," in Stone
Frog, 2000, Red Moon Press, and 
Alison Williams' "The Irresponsible
Poet," Blithe Spirit, September, 2000),
but the prose sections are greater than
31 syllables and evidently were not writ-
ten with tanka in mind, as Larry Kimmel 
has deliberately done.

A second way in which tanka is com-
bined with haiku is what I have called
"tanku."  This form presents a tanka
with 31 or fewer syllables written in
linear, rather than prose form, followed
by a haiku.  The shift that often is pre-
sented within a tanka occurs between
the tanka and haiku.  In my versions 
of this form, the tanka have varied 
from five to seven lines--another ex-
perimental and perhaps controversial 
presentation.  Here is a previously 
unpublished example with a five-line


a golden koi
aligns itself
beneath a fallen leaf
blown this way and that
they drift with a fitful wind . . .

                        over his heart
                        an American flag pin
                        made in China

Yet another experiment is to combine
31 syllables or fewer written as prose 
(as with Larry Kimmel's tanbun), but
linked with a linear tanka, rather than
haiku.  Larry agreed that this too should
be considered a form of tanbun.  
Editor Dorothy Howard published this
poem of mine in Raw NerVz Haiku,
VII:3, 2001.

Medical Breakthroughs

Rebecca, just recovered from having
one breast sliced off, phones to tell
me about preparations for her next
stage of treatment . . .

                   like perpetrators
                   of Holocaust
                   they tattoo tiny black marks
                   on surgically-scarred flesh
                   targets for radiation

Tanbun, tanku and tanka-bun seem to
have potential as distinct forms, yet are
able to retain the imagistic style tradi-
tionally practiced in haiku.  Further, they
offer expanding opportunities for link-
ing with other poets, as well as using 
juxtaposition of nature and emotional
elements.  Less serious or satirical
aspects, such as might be found in
kyoka also work well with these poems.
Additionally, classical elements such 
as pivot words or phrases, puns and
seasonal, cultural or literary allusions 
can find a place in these experimental 
combinations.  I encourage tanka poets 
to heed David Elliott's caveat in his 
recent essay "Formal Convention" 
(Frogpond, XXIV, 2, 2001): "there is 
a danger to the setting in .... uniformity 
can be stifling ... let variety flourish."  
Yes, for tanka too.

Linda Jeannette Ward
Tanka Society of America,
Volume II, No. 4 ~ Winter 2001
(by permission of the author,
Linda Jeannette Ward)
© 2002 by Linda Jeannette Ward


October Morning

High and motionless, the hot-air balloon seems painted
on the October sky.   Its flame, the distant roar of a
Chinese dragon.

so vivid -
her fresh

Larry Kimmel
© 2002 by Larry Kimmel


The Doe

As the headlights touch her, her legs fold to unfold on the
far side of the fence where she isn't . . . having vanished
into thin dusk . . .

gone -
but the wonder
of blood and spirit

Larry Kimmel
© 2002 by Larry Kimmel

Haiku Sequence

melting into pure water the snow buddha
temple yard the sound of stone buddhas
high tide the sand buddha scattered into a million waves
Stanford M. Forrester
© 2002 by Stanford M. Forrester 

Two examples of tanku:

pug dog hugged tight to his chest
a white-haired white man
in aloha trunks
marches through the surf line
purposefully . . .

                            third miscarriage ~
                            the weak flutter
                            of a white butterfly
                            on the beach

Linda Jeannette Ward
© 2002 by Linda Jeannette Ward

you notice 
a feeling of irritation
then notice
the ladybug creeping along
the top of the monitor

                           designing a website ~
                           a fly butts and butts
                           the window pane

Larry Kimmel
© 2002 by Larry Kimmel

Tanrenga & Art
by Carol Purington,Larry Kimmel,
art by Merrill Ann Gonzales

lining honeybees -
a forgotten orchard
of remembered fragrance . . .          
          quick the synapse
          from sweetness to longing     


empty afternoon . . .
the teacher says I must not
divide by 0                                                                    
                   between hopscotch and geometry  
                   I draw a blank            

shadows of deer
drift through shadows
of twisted old trees                          
           a spill of apples
           down the cellar stairs           

text © 2002 by Larry Kimmel & Carol Purington
art  © 2002 by Merrill Ann Gonzales


A featurette of legends, cherita, gembun, short haibun & art images by ai li

all poems & prose copyright ai li 2002 all original art work copyright ai li 2002


on the road again

say i'm running for the bus down the boulevard scattering blossoms after the fall of decades 
you forgot, what lies would you come up with to pacify the ticking clock of solitude, rooms 
out of ash wednesdays?

the hour to come, fruit in still lifes dulled by pewter light & brush.

ai li
copyright ai li 2002

Legends is a 51 word titled short story about Life, Love and Loss written as prose.  Please count all 
hyphenated words as one word.

Legends was inspired by Brian Aldiss's `Mini-Saga', owes its beautiful name to Larry Kimmel, and 
was gifted to ai li from muse on 16 August 2001.

Two other new short verse forms to be found on these pages are the "cherita" and the "gembun," both 
creations of ai li, the founding editor of still and now its independent e-zine offshoot dew-on-line. 

Cherita is the Malay word for story or tale. A Cherita consists of a single stanza verse, followed by a 
two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse. It can be written solo or with up to three partners.  
The Cherita tells a story. 

A Gembun is made up of either a one-word first link or anything up to one sentence, to be capped by 
a haiku of up to four lines.  The Gembun has to include an element of suggestion in either the opening 
sentence, the haiku or both. 

For more information and examples of these new short forms click  for: still: home of short verse.


on my way home

the early signs of neon
everywhere & nowhere

from within
you carve another heart
give it night heat



playing solitaire

          candle flame
          and the breath
          of night



dividing her jewels

the velvet
darker with pearls

we make coffee
sweet tea for the living
as we forget her









here we say goodbye

                my gaze torn
                by barbed wire       boundaries
                rusted into memory



notes into night

rooftop aria
the sky another purple

you lie
in an attic room
without her




the game
of sweet remembrance

i cut the pack
with blue smoke
your leaving train

                          [for Larry Kimmel]


Hacienda horsewoman.  Her mantilla lace holding the gaze from her green eyes.  He washes 
by the fountain, the sun on his hardness.  There is no soft place for her to lie on, the shade in 
deep pleasure.

courtyard rendezvous
the tinkle of ancient water
he tames a nipple
frees a breast
bougainvillea screaming its red

all poems & prose copyright ai li 2002
original art work copyright ai li 2002

Three Cinquain
Kathy Lippard Cobb
© 2002 by Kathy Lippard Cobb

The Artist's Garden

Still life.
A half smile spreads
across her pale pink lips.
He repaints the change of light on
her breast.


All That Remains

You left.
Yet, my heart beats . . .
I wake in your shirt, then
scan the obituaries for
your name.


His eyes:
a stonewashed blue
tearing down walls I so
carefully built...I'm left naked


The cinquain should need no explanation here.  It has been around since 1915, and there are 
a number of excellent  on-line magazines publishing the form, such as Amaze: The Cinquain 
Journal, edited by Denis M. Garrison.  Jane Reichhold at AHA Poetry! also has a good history 
and explanation of the form.

Haiga, Sequence & Haibun
sheila windsor
Haiku Sequence
   hand in hand    down the lane
we traced the scent    wild honeysuckle

snuffed candle smoke
scenting the dark, stars
beyond the skylight

over and over    thru fireglow
   to the wind's    whistling moan

My mother's imploring. . .I'm not listening
I am sensing danger, revelling. . .thrilling

It could be god calling, I'm not coming in

I am in my element:
the flow
of energy
in thunder and lightning
unfurling the arms of a child

sheila windsor                                 
art & text © 2002 by sheila windsor

Haiga & Haiga-Haibun
Merrill Ann Gonzales & Larry Kimmel



The other morning I went out to get my mail and there was a winter wren caught in my
porch.  It was almost exhausted from trying to fly through the windowpane.  You should
have seen it make a beeline for the door once I got it headed in the right direction.

trapped wren
in its cage
my beating heart

I almost want to end this with my feathered heart.

Merrill Ann Gonzales
© 2002 by Merrill Ann Gonzales



art © 2002 by Merrill Ann Gonzales

text © 2002 by Larry Kimmel
art  © 2002 by Merrill Ann Gonzale

a winter day in Coney Island

the amusement park closed -
out of the tall weeds
a dog's bark
roller coaster ruins - in a winter sky black birds twist and turn
inside the arcade carousel music - wind across Mermaid Ave.
Stanford M. Forrester © 2002 by Stanford M. Forrester


Two Haiga
Angelee Deodhar & Larry Kimmel


text © 2002 by Larry Kimmel
art  © 2002 by Angelee Deodhar





"Hast du Feuer?" 
shying away she leaves her sly smile
                         but not her name
 . . . a 


in the misting air . . .



Larry Kimmel
© 2002 by Larry Kimmel
of segments
forms & poems
small and golden
separate and yet
so much a part of each other
[comment from ai li: copyright ai li 2002]
in the process of becoming . . .

See page: 2 ;  3 ;   ? ;  4