koi sidebar
koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 1, March 2016


Tim Gardiner
Manningtree, Essex, England

Between Storms

After the sudden shower, dappled sunlight returns to disorderly rows of strawberries. Straggling vines coil themselves around my young mind, these afternoons seem to last forever. It takes an hour to fill my basket, extracting the best strawberries for dessert tonight. A brown grasshopper hops between the leaves, the occasional chirp signalling his amorous intent. Not all the best strawberries reach the basket, every so often one disappears down my dry throat.

a blue butterfly
lands beside me . . .
thoughts drift
to my most recent stay
in the children's ward

Working quickly, for the sun is starting its downward path, I finally manage to fill the basket to the brim. Trudging wearily along the rows and weaving between the vines, I reach the unkempt hut. The old lady, a friend of the family, weighs my basket with a familiar sigh. Handing over a few coins, I hang the scarlet cargo on the handlebars of my BMX. Pedalling slowly down the sunken lane, I’m in no rush to get home as a waning moon rises in the glass sky. Anvil-shaped clouds gather to the east; a distant rumble betrays the evening’s intent.

down Warren Hill
dodging potholes
this emptiness
waits for no-one



| contents page | next tanka prose |

koi sidebar r
koi sidebar r