Online internet courses by Call of the Page

Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku; tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.

Please email Karen or Alan at our joint email address:
We will let you know more about these courses.

Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tanka Prose aka Tanka Story - prose narrative with tanka 5-line lyrical poems

Tanka Story
A small tanka prose (tanka story) description:

Tanka are five line poems well-grounded in concrete images yet infused with lyric intensity, with an intimacy from direct expression of emotion tempered with implication. They contain ingredients of suggestion colored by shade and tone, setting off a nuance more potent than direct statement. Almost any subject, explicitly expressing your direct thoughts and feelings can be contained in this short form poetry.

Tanka Prose is similar to the prose of the haibun, but a little more subjective perhaps, and emotive, as influenced by the tanka poems themselves. 



Not just any steps, but Covent Garden underground tube station when the lifts don’t work.

It’s not just the slow rumble of different sole thicknesses
absorbing the trains as we climb:

It’s more than humanity, it’s those bloody steps,
those stairs are in love with us, they must be, don’t you think?

the moon
at my shoulder
a child cycles
across the Sea 
of Tranquility

Alan Summers
Publication Credit: Blithe Spirit 26.2 (May 2016)

Covent Garden Tube Station:

The stairs and steps of Covent Station:

The station itself:


Sky Fishing 

When there are fish that drop from the sky, they are not necessarily dead, just visiting.

I know this woman who waits for fish to die. Mary is not mad; she is just not a fish killer. 

She tells me she hangs around for them to dive
from cars, aeroplanes, or from tankers in busy shipping lanes. 

Once a fish fell off a cliff, and Mary was driving
an open top bright green Volkswagen round and round. 
There’s always a plate of salad on the passenger’s side.

I look even now to see if there’s a fish flapping in a lay-by. 
A soft-top car isn't good in a city full of crime but it can be good for fish dropping in. 

this black hole
in my coffee
I fold the dirty laundry
back into myself
window-rattling a moon

Alan Summers
Publication credit:  Blithe Spirit Vol. 27 No. 2 May 2017

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