Obituaries (revised)

obituaries s

the language of gone–
a call without a response,
so loud it can’t be

heard—a silence entombed in
itself—on the other side

My poem “Obituaries”, is one of the responses to Joaquin Torres Garcia’s painting, “Pintura” (below), posted on The Ekphrastic Review today.  The three poems on this post were composed from parts of it.


Frank at dVerse challenged us to write some 5-line Japanese form poems.  I must confess that I like the 5-7-5-7-7 form of the tanka, now considered by purists to be false.  Whatever you call it, I still think it works well as a way to focus thought and express feelings.

the language of absence
language of gone
the before of never
silence entombed
the language of death

obituaries close up 1s

The new definitions for writing tanka and haiku confuse me, and I have no idea how to write something that will satisfy the powers that be, although I keep writing 3 and 5-line poems.  And although I recognize a well-written gogyohka, and understand the single line-single breath idea, I have difficulty naming anything I’ve written with that label as well.

a response
of absence

obituaries close up 2a

But and so…in my continued pruning mode, I’ve taken the posted poem (which was itself severely pruned several times) and turned it into three 5-line poems.  Hopefully they fit the dVerse prompt in some manner.

My thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for once again featuring my work.  You can see my poem “Obituaries”–the original from which these 5-line poems were taken–and read all the other responses as well, here.

38 thoughts on “Obituaries (revised)

  1. Congratulations on your poem in The Ekphrastic Review. I think I like that one best. Though I like all of yours here, especially the second one.
    I’m also confused by the new forms of tanka and haiku. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your ekphrastic tanka poignantly portrays the subject matter brilliantly! I like how you fluidly embrace the the breath as a measure of the five-line forms.

    If your poems naturally adhere to a 5-7-5-7-7, then do so, as the beauty you convey is apparent to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ” The language of gone” is such a poignant line. I really liked these variations on a theme. I find it very difficult to express thoughts sometimes because the come in layers difficult to extricate from one another. I hadn’t thought of putting haiku to that particular use – your poems give me a new tool to tackle this with. I also appreciated the diversity of the art, which is also a variation of a theme. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christine. I just recently started doing this to my poems and I find it helpful for focusing. I tend to be wordy, so learning to pare things down is good for me..


  4. The shorter poems give me the most trouble and it isn’t at all clear what is proper or not and opinions vary so maybe there is no proper way of them? You keep writing and I’ll keep reading. Congratulations on your being published in Ekphrastic Review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your original is the best, K! I also enjoy writing/reading ekphrastic poetry. Why should talking about death be taboo? Gotta face reality, right? “The language of gone” gripped me.

    Liked by 1 person

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