Quotidian: a tanka, crowned, by Leslie Grollman

Tanka by Jessy Bissal

Each cherry blossom: a life, each
petal: an event. A zephyr wind
What will I know
of you when I touch one of yours?

Then I touch you.
Tears of sweat from your skin leak
what ebbed your pace.
A plea to Saraswati: to which song
do you refuse lyrics.


Do your lyrics refuse
the Sun? You stepped
on the sidewalk’s crack, threw rocks
into the wind, said longtail on the Isle of Man.
And, still.

Still, we, Katrina’s storm-clouds, drone.
We overstay our welcomes,
overcook the quince.
What boils in the kettle:
no match for our steam.


No match.
Destined for a glossary.
Briefly united by clicks
on a site for random nouns.
Cherry, blossom, pages apart.


Leslie Grollman’s work appears in Spoken Word Scratch Night, Writing Utopia 2020, Together: An Anthology, Thimble, Nailed, Pathos, From Arthur’s Seat, Spark, Write Like You’re Alive 2016 & 2018, and is forthcoming.

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