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Drifting Apart - Tanka


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.

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


Rinita Sen (author) on October 11, 2018:

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

raciniwa from Talisay City, Cebu on October 10, 2018:

I fell in love with your poem.

Rinita Sen (author) on September 11, 2018:

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 on September 11, 2018:

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. :)

Rinita Sen (author) on September 01, 2018:

Thank you, Joni. Appreciate your visit.

Joni Fletcher on September 01, 2018:

Such a beautiful poem.

Rinita Sen (author) on July 30, 2018:

Thank you, Rajan. Glad you visited.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 29, 2018:


Rinita Sen (author) on July 28, 2018:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 28, 2018:

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

Rinita Sen (author) on July 22, 2018:

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

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on July 22, 2018:

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

- hari

Rinita Sen (author) on July 20, 2018:

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

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 19, 2018:

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

Blessings my friend.

Rinita Sen (author) on July 19, 2018:

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

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 19, 2018:

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

Rinita Sen (author) on July 19, 2018:

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

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on July 19, 2018:

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

Rinita Sen (author) on July 15, 2018:

Thank you for reading, Clive.

Rinita Sen (author) on July 15, 2018:

Thank you, Mark. Glad you found this delightful.

Rinita Sen (author) on July 15, 2018:

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.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on July 15, 2018:

Nice, very nice

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on July 15, 2018:

A tanka delight

manatita44 from london on July 15, 2018:

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

Rinita Sen (author) on July 15, 2018:

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

Ann Carr from SW England on July 15, 2018:

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


Rinita Sen (author) on July 15, 2018:

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.

threekeys on July 15, 2018:

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.


Rinita Sen (author) on July 15, 2018:

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.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 15, 2018:

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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