Tanka in gratitude for a glacial erratic
This quartz was lifted
flew slowly here borne by ice
to cure writer’s block.
Sat here while we invented
alphabets, and now these words.
Matthew Wright, lowercase paradise
Matthew is a fellow Vermonter and Friend. His poetry speaks to me strongly so I wanted to share it with you. If you are not familiar with it, a tanka is a form of ancient Japanese poetry similar to a haiku. It’s syllable count is 5-7-5-7-7
This poem is incredible in its use of the concept of time, space and the inter-relation of human and geologic time. Plus it’s just so clever!
A glacial erratic is a large stone left behind by a retreating glacier. You can find them here in Vermont nestled in the forest, or setting in the middle of fields, undisturbed for millennia. I painted this meadow, one misty autumn day, with a glacial erratic in the center foreground.
Once again a beautiful image followed by beautiful words. Thank you for both and the explanation.
I can only take credit for the image. Thanks to Matthew for the inspiring poetry.
Thanks, Roger, for defining glacial erratic and that poetry form, tanka, which I wasn’t familiar with. Did you paint your picture after reading Matthew’s poem? I love that idea of pairing poetry and paintings. I enjoyed his verse as well.