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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 1, March 2013


M. Kei
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA

Under the Eaves of the Storm

The following is an excerpt from my journal. It is a copy of an email I sent to someone at the time.

Something very peculiar happened with my tanka today . . .

I was driving through a squall to pick up my kids and writing tanka while driving. It's hard to keep both hands on the wheel and write down tanka at the same time, but I never let that stop me . . . anyhow, I wrote the following verse:

with a groan
like the breaking of a man's heart,
the chokecherry tree
comes down in a white fury
of lightning and blossoms

When I wrote it, it was fiction. I invented the lightning-blasted chokecherry tree. About ten minutes later I drove out from under the eaves of the storm, and there it was . . . lying shattered in a field. A big old chokecherry with a lightning-blasted trunk in a green heap on the ground. It must have been hit just about the time I was writing the poem.

Isn't that weird? My daughter has now forbidden me to write poems about people dying.

June 10, 2006



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