Leaves drip autumn sun
As twilight falls from branch to branch.

A rosy sky spreads the horizon.

I sit watching,
The eternally grateful observer


© Copyright 2014, 2018

(edited, reposted!)


Moons – (A Tanka)

Birthing (A Tanka )- April 17 2018 - comets fragments - hubble

Moons full blown and free
Cascade the gossamer nights
As if in free-fall

Veils part before their grounding
Clarity awaits the day


Copyright © 2018 Robin McShane


Continuing my journey with poetry types and formats…


An unrhymed poem consisting of 31 syllables (representing the Japanese kana).
English Tanka may come in three basic forms:
1) 5 lines of 5/7/5/7/7 syllables.
2) 5 lines of 31 syllables or LESS, following the short/long/short/long/long form.
3) 5 lines of 31 syllables or LESS, letting the poem dictate the line length.

Tanka, in English, is relatively new, so there are not as many guidelines as with Haiku and Senryu.  For example, seasonal words (kigo) may be included, but are not as necessary and, while Tanka may use many of the same elements such as juxtaposition, concrete imagery, and is usually centered around nature, it is a less constrictive form. Metaphor, simile, a more personal and emotional viewpoint and many other devices, generally not used in haiku or senryu, may be included.

Life Returning (First Summer Storm)


Life Returns (First Summer Storm) - Sept 30 2017-morguefile-file000312041166-cropped

The first summer storm rips overhead,
Cannon clouds clap,
Light sizzles a momentary vacuum,
Ground shudders,
Bricks rattle,
Cement cracks,
Air roars as energy abounds,
Loosely thrown around.
In the pause,
Silence gives birth to confetti rain,
Soaking soil revelling in running tides and streams,
Blasting the droughted desert beneath our feet.
Life returns.


© 2017 Robin McShane

Spring Returns – After Summer Begins!

Spring Returns - September 24 2017 - The Crab Nebula - Hubble


Ah! Spring returns with a fresh morning nip,
Summer abates with its burning hot tip.
A short reprieve? Or a cyclic return?
Cool, cloudy morns replace sunrise first burn.
‘Tis an abnormal load nature now brings,
To a table so changed the death bell rings.
The moments we cherish slip fast away,
We speed through our lives, our minutes, our days.
What was before doesn’t seem to exist,
Yet still we hold on, our thinking persists
To make it what was, zone comfortable,
And keep it the same, rock tight with our will.
Yet it cannot be so, weather predicts,
Spring, summer, fall come at Gods own edicts.


© 2017 Robin McShane

Note: following my previous posts regarding the early arrival of summer, today, all change again!

An African Spring


Following on Friday’s theme…

An African Spring (2)


Spring lasted six days this year,
Blowing on the embers from summer last,
Lifting spirits, hopes, desires,
The usual annual promises.

Then flames flared and summer hit with force,
Temperatures flew, soaring with eagles,
Rain stayed away, drying in the ground, flooding other landscapes,
Spring’s promise left forlorn, withering on vines and stalks.

African blue skies thrived on cloudless intervention,
Trees scorched, bushes burned, life languished
As heat drove thought from mind and strength from body,
Like a broom sweeping clean, leaving nothing but silence in its wake.


© 2017 Robin McShane

The African Bush

Bushveld - June 13 2016-20160527_160533

Day breaks early
Softly in the veld
Another night survived
For those who did.

Day feeders open the eye
Night feeders head to ground
A hand over of sorts

Soaking natures silence
Wrapped in sunlight clear
Voices dapple through the trees

Leaves burnt orange and falling
Weave mulch carpets
Where prints may leave a track

Days spent in sentient splendour
Far from city noise
Allow absorption of air so still

Soul nurtured through the scene
Until night feeders break their cover
And bed becomes my ground


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

The Seas Pull

wild-ocean_1920 x 1440 - takopix

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 25 (to prompt – see below)


I must go down to the sea again,
It pulls my heart each day;
The swish of water around my feet,
The sand, the sun, the spray.

I used to watch the sailing ships,
Sketch the seashore line;
Sails spread wide on tall, straight masts,
Wakes spread out behind.

Then, close to shore, the reel of rods,
Men trying to catch their lunch;
With the surfers and the swimmers,
Always ready to take their plunge.

On warm bright days, the air so clean,
Deep breaths and strolls a pleasure;
On blustery days when the waves pound in,
Nature taking measure.

I must go down to the sea again,
To watch the dolphins play,
Yet doubt they’ll see me very soon,
I live too far away!

© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


Prompt: “Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it……The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original!…..any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore. Happy writing!”


Okay, so my starter line is actually only half the first line from Sea Fever by John Masefield and not the full line – plus I have taken the more commonly anthologised version from ‘The Collected Poems of John Masefield (using the singular ‘sea’ rather than the original
‘seas’) but I hope you’ll come with me and enjoy this anyway! 🙂


English Haiku – #14

For NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016 – Day 22 (to prompt – see below)


planted in raw sun
through ravages of turns
now resplendent power


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


The Prompt: “to write a poem in honor of Earth Day. This could be about your own backyard, a national park, or anything from a maple tree to a humpback whale. Happy writing!”

April Showers – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 2 (not to prompt)


April springs through salty showers,
Dams March’s drought, destroys the flowers,
Cold seeps through in every vein,
Chaucer speaks in opposites again,
Let flow go, beware of speed,
As veggies die and go to seed,
Wonder not this time of year,
For seasons change with nary a tear,
Grateful for the chance we get,
To spin the wheel with no regret,
Keeping to the straight and narrow,
Accepting freeze through bone and marrow,
Happy to be here at all,
Shoulders back, standing tall,
Distance not a space to go,
As life goes by, now fast, now slow.