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Books & Poetry

Poem: Short Seasons, Adelaide, tanka style

Books & Poetry

Michele Slatter utilises a classic form of Japanese poetry in this Poet’s Corner contribution.

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Short Seasons, Adelaide, tanka style

Indian Summer
Festivals fireworks
crowds colour passion laughter
reflection surprise
Altweibersommer is here
old women’s summer bounty

Puffing up Horse Hill
air autumn-charred spent leaves dry
the slope a challenge
I know that winter’s close now
the steep descent to darkness.

Angry winter howls
drums its heels on the tin roof
storms all around us
we chill in gales of laughter
cocooned by timespun friendship

Spring pavements glisten
in the labyrinth of streets
as my journey ends
Ariadne’s silver threads
guide me home at snail’s pace

Sand sunscreen Schoolies
snakes storms sport shopping Santa
schmaltz smoke sparks sirens
shattered SES stalwarts
sweltering scary summer

Editor’s note: Tanka is a classical Japanese poetry form comprised of, in Western terms, five lines with a syllable count line by line of 5-7-5-7-7, making it akin to the more well-known haiku form of 5-7-5. Ariadne was a Cretan princess of Greek mythology who gave her lover Theseus a ball of thread or glittering jewels, to mark his path to escape from the Labyrinth. Altweibersommer is the German expression for what otherwise is referred to as Indian Summer. It is composed of three words, alt (old), weiber (women), and sommer (summer).

Michele Slatter lives in Adelaide. Educated in the UK at Durham University and University College London, she is a semi-retired law academic who has written extensively in her professional life and continues to undertake consultancy and research. Now, however, she also has time for the adventure of writing, both prose and poetry, purely for enjoyment. She is a member of several active writers’ groups, online and face to face, and regularly reads at Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.
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