A Warming Tanka

As the weather dips to cold temperatures in my corner of the globe, I am sharing an old post as an encouragement to remember the homeless and poor in this holiday season. Happy Holidays to all my blogging friends around the world!

white blankets the earth

frigid air through forest blows

my child with bare legs

while plants sleep tucked under snow

your pants I warm by the fire


On the coldest days of the year, please remember that someone in your town is homeless.

Words and Photography ©2016 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

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Cherita #10

“butterfly” banned

winged insect breaks through chrysalis
and drips dry

its first flight, a girl points, delighted,
and says,
“Look, a flutterby”


Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry cherita.

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The Barbarian’s Fiddle

I sat in a room
with a noisy crowd
who hated all things “Asian”
haunted, they were
by world war ghosts
communist libations
they speared the Barbarian-Yellow Goldfish
in their community pond
siphoned the living waters
leaving sandy bottoms –
the dried grains of bigotry
kicked and whipped
into a blinding storm

Their Dust Bowl creation
ever threatens to choke the next generations

I made two strings sing
that mimicked the human voice

The room fell momentarily silent

I played on


until, interrupted by an old man
coughing up affected phlegm
that he spat into the Dust Bowl
slightly settled through his falling tears

I paused

He inquired as to what beautiful instrument
had seduced his soul to
An erhu, I sighed
It is Asian –
otherwise called the “Barbarian’s Fiddle”
Its two, long strings carry the vibrations
of generations of tears splashed down onto the collective pool
by those you persecute by referring to them as
“slanted-eyed Chinks”

He snorted and laughed
He kicked some dirt in my face

I played on


an endless tune carried in the vibrato of two Asian strings


Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse. Bookmark the permalink.