Legend of the Black Rose

 Tanka Tuesday #203

My first (accidental*) haibun.

photo prompt:

https://pixabay.com/users/barbaraalane-756613/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4043207

 

The carrion birds are circling.  Something lays dead in the forest.  Alarmed by the

stranger thrashing through the underbrush, trailing flame, the stags, unaccustomed

to humans, only raise their heads to watch.  Soon the birds will land, joined by

other scavengers.  Coyote, fox, vulture, raccoon.  The insects appear. Cockroach,

fly, ant, scurrying black beetle.  Bones are carried off, one by one, to be

cracked by jaws for their sweet greasy marrow.  After the snow flies, after the

snow melts away, no trace is to be found.

 

The legend will tell

Blossoming in the clearing

A single black rose

 ©2020 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

 ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁  ⦁

 *In looking at the image I couldn't stop seeing these circling crows or ravens. Combined with the black flowers and the fleeing woman, I took a darker route than some.  I also forgot this was Tanka Tuesday, and needed to be syllabic!  So, I first wrote it as a free verse, which I am posting below.  I like the originalbetter, if only for the last line. Plus I like the word "fable" better than "legend," but needed two syllables.  It also has a different title.

 

A Murder of Crows

The carrion birds are circling. 

Something lays dead in the forest.

Alarmed by the stranger thrashing

through the underbrush,

trailing flame,

the stags, unaccustomed to humans,

only raise their heads to watch.

Soon the birds will land,

joined by other scavengers.

Coyote, fox, vulture, raccoon.

The insects appear.

Cockroach, fly, ant, scurrying black beetles.

Bones are carried off,

one by one,

to be cracked by jaws

for their sweet greasy marrow.

After the snow flies,

after the snow melts away,

no trace is to be found.

In a fable we would find

a single black rose

blooming in the clearing.

 

This isn’t that fable. 

 

 ©2020 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

 

 








Comments

  1. I love both versions! It's really fun trying to get those adjectives to fit into the correct number of syllables. I always say this type of poetry is a like a puzzle. The brevity of words also holds power. Great job! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I really can be difficult. But, as you say, fun, once I remember to do it!

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful poem. The original one is really excellent. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. How interesting that you did two of them. Comparing the two was fascinating. Well done on both counts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I didn't have a choice but to rewrite the original, as I forgot it needed to be syllabic!

      Delete

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