Tanka Poetry

Tanka poetry is basically an unrhymed poem of five lines with 5-7-5-7-7 syllables respectively. It is one of the main categories of Japanese literature and is a form of haiku.

This page features Pepper’s own adaptation of tanka coupled with his admiration for nature and human emotion. As we become more aware and appreciative of our natural environment, the closer we become to it.

When you have finished this page, here are some more poems for you:

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Morn and evening skies

are about the same as far

as the basics go—

all in all, that is to say,

like the bookends of a day.


I hereby attest

while these lines were being writ

midnight came and went,

and an old year died in grace

as a new one took its place.


On this very pond,

skaters glide on winter eves.

Fireflies are out

dancing in the warm moonlight.

There will be no ice tonight.


I woke up this morn

with the grand ambition to

count all brand-new blooms

blossoming in their first sun.

Gladly, I am still not done.


They were a delight,

flitting round the very same

flower in the sun.

Butterflies, when chance decrees,

are a joy in twos or threes.


Cloudy morns and eves

often clear up, letting the

sun or stars shine through,

and, in doing so, show us

patience still is virtuous.

On a sunny day,

when the leaves are shimmery,

colorful, and bright,

it is clear to all who see

trees are lovely in the breeze.

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tanka from the book,

Sweet Gentility.

Delight In More Tanka Poetry...

Raindrops on a pond

on a still, gray morning seem

more like falling tears

than just water from the sky.

Even clouds must sometimes cry.


In the winter cold,

spring seems like a miracle

waiting to occur.

Meanwhile, we can, once or twice,

walk on water, thanks to ice.


When we fell in love,

something like a bell then rang

only we could hear.

And it echoes even still

in our hearts. It always will.


When a star is high

overhead and right above

where my feet may be,     

I consider it all mine,

for that moment in earth time.


Gazing toward the peaks

from a distance is a long

way from looking down

on the flatlands far below.

Both are awe-inspiring though.


Shadows, they are now

getting long because of eve.

It has been ordained

by creation this should be.

Earth is turning perfectly.

If you build a bridge,

make it strong so it will last.

Then the world will know,

with each crossing, evermore,

someone came and went before.

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