she weaves penstemon
around four twigs
tosses her craft in the lake
such a small raft
for the climate storm
At the preliminary hearing, the Supreme Gaia council ordered everyone to reduce their carbon footprint thirty percent from pre-Covid levels. The defendants argued the order was draconian and unnecessary because, during the pandemic, by voluntarily sheltering-in place and limiting travel, we loosened the noose around the earth’s neck, watched the biosphere breathe again, and would never re-cinch.
The plaintiff’s lawyer demurred: the risk of green-to-smog recidivism is higher than a hawk’s flight. Without the order, we’ll re-attach the jesses and rein in the young peoples’ hopes again.
granddaughter on my lap
we watch the alpenglow
her climate inheritance
clouds my view
served as editor of the Tanka Society of America’s triannual journal, Ribbons, from 2012-2019, and has been writing tanka for 30 years. He is the author of The Grandfather Poems (tanka sequences, 2016) and Pilgrim on the John Muir Trail (tanka verse, 2019). He is co-author with Lynne Leach of Lighting a Lamp: 20 Years of Tanka Conversations (2017). His responsive tanka collaboration with Autumn Noelle Hall, Tanka Quartets (four-verse sequences), was published in August 2020.
Lost Bird: Reward, tanka prose by David C. Rice in MacQ-2
Learning My Part, tanka sequence plus Author’s commentary
in Issue 6 of KYSO Flash (Fall 2016)