koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017

Dru Philippou
Taos, New Mexico, USA

Caramanian Mountains

A tale, as told by my father, concerned a plague of locusts. He saw them early one morning over the horizon, a churning black cloud from the direction of Karpaz Peninsula, where the fair people lived in houses carved out of stones. The insects landed on father's artichoke bushes and devoured them to the roots. They laid waste to the thyme mother loved to crush between her fingers. When the sky filled again with their rustling, wild donkeys brayed, rousing partridges from the undergrowth. The swarm settled into a neighboring farmer's cornfield before the winds of Asia Minor carried them west.

so close
almost within the touch
of my voice
these legendary heights
shed their shadows

I repeated this story to my school friends, almost believing it really happened. Repeated it at every opportunity. I lingered over the word Caramanian because of its exotic sound. I told them other stories, too, as if my father had a huge presence in my life.



|contents page | next tanka prose |

koi sidebar r