Scenes from a Moving Vehicle: Five Tanka


She sings her screw-loose rhythm and blues

in worn out tennis shoes.

with a flame that will set the Midwest ablaze,

I trace the maze of capillaries and veins

back to her arteries.


We wait for the moment to pass,

finding beauty in the rain;

softness between steel.

The road bends—her lips curl.

Hands steady. Eyes on tar-marked Asphalt.


Turning off the radio she says:

“that even rain has a melody

that forces us to harmonize.”

I laugh. She frowns. I smile.

“this is Nature’s Jazz.”


The rain is the sound of serendipity,

accompanied by random percussion;

it’s layers of complexity we can’t think of;

it’s a love we can’t force,

we just have to let happen.


Raindrops against the windshield;

an elegance I won’t soon forget.

Rhythmic phrases I will lose in time;

harmonies that will fade with age

but I’ll take memories of you to the dirt.


Thomas Dunn

*** A portion of tanka #4 was published on Twitter and Tumblr.****