Mujō – Change: Tanka set

Tuesday, I am privileged to be the Pubtender and Prompter for the Tuesday Poetics at d’Verse Poetics Pub.  It is getting to be (in spite of the heat!) autumn.  Subtle signs but there if you take the time to notice.  My prompt for today for our community and those who want to join us, is to, in 24 lines or fewer, write about change.  The Japanese word Mujō 無常 means “impermanence”.  It is one of the major aesthetics of the Japanese culture that all things change, nothing is permanent, and to embrace that idea.

I think this quote from Alan Watts says it all – about the culture of change, embracing it, and joining in the dance of change in our world:  “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”  Please come and visit us to read the discussion about changes, to join in, to enjoy the poems that will be linked with all the different takes on the prompt and to please, add your own if you feel inspired.  A video from my favorite group World Order is included on the post.  The slideshow illustrates changes in the lane and woods by my home – summer and autumn.  My poem is linked to d’Verse:

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Three Autumn Tanka
autumn knocks softly –
a long absent friend unsure
of being welcomed –
gold leaf against green back drop
summer smiling beckons in.

red carp scale clouds hang
in cool morning sky – heavy
dew pearls on thin web –
garden spider curled dead in
corner of its final web.

chill of soundless night –
faint light of crescent moon – time
has no meaning as
one gold leaf drifts down to the
edge of sleeping country road


27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. andysmerdon
    Sep 13, 2015 @ 17:14:15

    My favourite (although I enjoy all three) is the first tanka – I particularly like the personification of the seasons – very nice 🙂


  2. Forest Pirate
    Sep 13, 2015 @ 22:30:59

    Pure beauty of philosophy and nature in words.


  3. Mary
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 20:04:15

    You have created some beautiful autumn images. I like the idea of autumn knocking softly. Indeed it is questionable if autumn is welcome after a wonderfully warm summer. The spider curled dead in the corner of its web is a stunning image. All that work spinning…and then death. I guess that’s life (and how death happens) for all.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 14, 2015 @ 21:20:46

      That type of spider usually dies after summer, one of the ways I know fall is close. I’ll go out one morning, find an elaborate web, and the spider curled up in the midst of her magnus opus. Eggs have been laid and in the spring, I’ll see the series of new webs, busy catchjng bugs, and keeping my garden clear of mites and beetles. I’m glad you liked these.

      Sent by Outlook for Android


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 00:45:36

    I really like the three images, the autumn knocking gently, the dead spider in its web, and the leaf on the country road.


  5. Forest Pirate
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 01:10:00

    PS Anyone who is interested regarding haiku, the 4th Kukai ”Peace of Mind” will close at 10:00 PM (CET) on September 25th.You can send your submissions to
    Please write “kukai peace of mind” in the subject line.


  6. Grace
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 12:43:16

    I love all 3 tanka with the wonderful autumn imagery from gold leaf, spider to chill of soundless night ~ I too like the idea of autumn knocking gently like an old friend ~


  7. Victoria C. Slotto
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 15:27:26

    These are just exquisite. This time of the year is so perfect for the prompt. It’s hard to chose a favorite, but I’ll go with the 3rd one.


  8. Kathy Reed
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 15:51:34

    I like the red carp scales clouds and dew pearls. This is beautiful!


  9. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 17:09:43

    My favorite is the second one with /garden spider curled dead in/corner of its own final web/ We need to write Tankas for a MTB sometime; one of my fave forms. Your tanks, interestingly, seemed English translations of lines originally written in Japanese; probably just projection on my part; good prompt.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 15, 2015 @ 17:16:31

      Thank you Glenn. Tankas for MTB would be interesting and open to so many topics. I often do write my haiku and tanka in Japanese first and then translate into English so the English meets the Japanese rules. I’m always sad to see the spider dead in her web, it is one of those signs of autumn for me. Today on Poetics, maybe suggest Tankas for an MTB. I don’t usually prompt those.


  10. Sanaa Rizvi
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 20:03:59

    Oh! Such gorgeous images here 🙂 Lovely piece of work!!


  11. Bodhirose
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 15:11:04

    Beautiful tanka. I like how fall isn’t quite sure of being welcomed yet in your first one. Such love images in all of them. And while reading these I realized that fall can begin with one single, gold leaf falling…ahh.


  12. Linda Kruschke
    Sep 16, 2015 @ 16:02:24

    Autumn is right to be unsure of being welcomed at my house, as you well know. But that second tanka, with the expired spider, makes me glad for the autumn to come. Way too many really big spiders at our house this year. My son even got two of them fighting over territory on video with his phone the other day.

    Thanks for tending the pub and the awesome prompt. Peace, Linda


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 16, 2015 @ 16:03:53

      Thank you Linda. Spiders aren’t my favorite things either but in the garden, I don’t mind them eating the little stuffs that will mess up my tomatoes or beans.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 16, 2015 @ 16:22:51

      I just have to make another comment on this one because your beginning made me grin hugely. I’ll bet you have mat that says: Winter – boooo hissss! We’ll split the year in half and you take the warm/hot part and I’ll take the cool/cold part. Again, thank you so much for your awesome poem about change.


  13. kaykuala h
    Sep 18, 2015 @ 09:51:02

    Gold leaf amongst the green which eventually drifts down on the country road. Brings the whole perspective rightly into an Autumn’s showcase



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