Drifting Apart - Tanka

Updated on July 15, 2018
Senoritaa profile image

Rinita is a creative writer, with focus on poetry. She delves into several forms including Haiku/Senryu, Sonnets, Free Verse, and Prose.


Tanka is a form of poetry that follows the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure. They may be about nature, or human emotions, or both of these combined. Traditionally Tanka are written as individual poems of 5 lines, but here I have strung together 4 Tanka, and created a larger poem. My attempt here is to express a relationship (between any two people) that slowly breaks into pieces over the course of life, while at death these two people unite, and finally realize they were not meant to drift apart at all.

Ice cold
Ice cold | Source

The Poem

Close under lights dim

Shadowed till melting crimson

Bright broken daylight

Paths forked into wilderness

Hands slowly drifting apart

I hiked across rain

And snow-capped peaks of ranges

You swam to the seas

A foot on pale yellow sand

Minds slowly drifting apart

Blue toes sank on ice

Hardened with a lonesome chill

Miles deep from the sun

Where you lay in turquoise blue

Hearts slowly drifting apart

Laid in a casket

They joined our hands forever

In death we held on

To a togetherness lost

Souls that would not drift apart

© 2018 Rinita Sen


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    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      23 months ago

      Thank you, raci, for your heartfelt comment. Welcome back once again.

    • raciniwa profile image


      23 months ago from Talisay City, Cebu

      I fell in love with your poem.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Li-Jen. It is great to see you, been a while. I am glad you enjoyed the changing scenes in the poem. My tanka are honored. Hope to see some more of your work soon, my friend.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      2 years ago

      Hey Rinita. A bittersweet poem. I didn't think that those who are not meant to be together will end up being together in death...that's interesting. It's like the sadness isn't sadness after all...I like the change in scenery, from snow to land. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Joni. Appreciate your visit.

    • Joni Fletcher profile image

      Joni Hooks 

      2 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Such a beautiful poem.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Rajan. Glad you visited.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.


    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Bill. Appreciate you giving this a read.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A beautiful tanka. The image of the casket at the end was eloquent.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Hari. Glad you liked the connection between blue and cold. Thanks again for reading.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      2 years ago from Bangalore

      Coldness and blues has an amazing relation. You have used them to give a beautiful poetry. Loved it. Fantastic rinita.

      - hari

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Shyron. Glad you visited, and liked the imagery.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Rinita, this is beautiful. I can just imagine Icy moors to trek across for freezing feet.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      You visit is always appreciated, Frank. Love that you loved this line.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      blue toes sank on ice.. yeah very creative line love the work.. awesome

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Yes, Verlie. The mystery around human relationships is such that no detective can solve. Thank you for visiting today.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Rinita, deep mystery in your deft weaving of the strength of human bonds, in life and afterlife.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for reading, Clive.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Mark. Glad you found this delightful.

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, manatita, for reading. Yes, often we don't value relationships when alive, and awaken in death, when nothing can bring back what is lost, apparently.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      Nice, very nice

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      A tanka delight

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      An exquisite and deep poem or Tankas. They held on in death, eh? Cool!

    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Ann. Glad you visited and found depth in the story.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      I love this, Rinita. It has depth and mysticism as it tells the story.


    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Threekeys. One of the intentions behind Tanka is to have the reader connect emotionally with the idea behind the poem. Your comment sounds like this group of Tanka was able to achieve that. Humbled and glad that you visited.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This was surreal, sad, beautiful flushed with relief at the end.

      The Tanka form is nice and I like how you adapted so you could tell a fuller story Rinita.


    • Senoritaa profile imageAUTHOR

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Thank you, John. This was my first attempt at Tanka, too. I felt they were a bit less challenging than Haiku, because you get two extra lines to tell your story, but imbibing a pivot in the third line is what I found most challenging in this form. Happy you enjoyed the story, and awaiting your Tanka. I am certain they would be brilliant! Thanks again for reading.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      These are wonderful tanka formed into one beautiful poem, Rinita. I like how you effectively told the story in so few words. I have written a number of haiku but never attempted a tanka. This may inspire me to do exactly that. Thank you.


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