Softest Whisper: A #TankaTuesday (on a Wednesday) #tankaprose

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The Spirit moves. Sometimes in the fiercest cyclones. Far more often in the softest whispers.


The story of Elijah experiencing the Presence of the Lord in the “small, still voice” comes to mind. The Spirit manifests in the gentle nudge that prompts us to the action–or inaction–best suited for the situation we face. When we pay attention, that is.


And that is why we need to turn down the noise. If we can’t be quiet, how do we expect to hear? If we don’t hear, how do we expect to listen? If we don’t listen, then the softest whisper remains ignored.


We then pursue our course to our peril.


We say what should remain unsaid: remain silent when we should cry out from the rooftops. We do, and do badly: don’t do, and important work remains undone.


Surely we’ve all witnessed enough consequences from those decisions.


When we listen to the softest whisper, we live like we write. We become still and let our subject rise. We align our intention to it, and act in harmony with that intention. We see what we’ve done, and adjust, if needed. Our life, then, becomes our poetry, and all our poems incarnations of our life.


If we dare to listen.


O Paloma

we prize you only in our


behold the sorrows we sow

from the lip service we pay



for Kiwinana’s #Weekly Tanka Prompt #Poetry Challenge – Week 108 – Paloma & Imagination


Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Of Poems (posted by Sumana)








20 replies »

  1. This is really thought provoking Frank. The last line “Our life, then, becomes our poetry, and all our poems incarnations of our life” could well become a mantra of mine. It says it all really. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sadly, for too many people, we have forgotten the art of listening to the world around us. As if, the static noise that we hear is , wasted breathe filled with hate and anger, to taken out on the people around us. I say this, as an abuse survivor, by a family member.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “When we listen to the softest whisper, we live like we write. ” very very beautiful . . . and we write like we live … so important to listen (though not always to obey–going beyond authority). Your poem so thoughtfully captures this–or should I say Haibun? The closing verse gave me pause, as I think you meant it to. Do I outrun my guide? I don’t know who Paloma is (and google didn’t tell me), but if I think the exclamation toward Polyhymnia, I enter the realm of the sacred. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susan! 🙂 When we listen, and act in harmony with our intention, the only authority we obey is our own conscience–hopefully a well-formed one. Kiwinana defined Paloma as “beautiful.” A wikipedia article identified it as a female name deriving from a Latin word for dove–hence, a symbol of peace. I personified peace in that first line. The poem, by the way, is a tanka-prose. Just like a haibun, save for having a tanka instead of a haiku. Thanks, again, for your kind feedback! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. to listen to hear, we must sit and make peace with silence – outdistancing the running and running on world, and then within our own “monkey minds” … but you have to be willing to listen to the darkness too … for then, you hear, know truths for light …. in the silence …. of these golden rooms ….

    and isn’t poetry just like this, indeed … and so is life … if we care to listen …

    I like how you’ve wrapped this all up together … forming the prose tanka thingy … (sorry, don’t know what to call that?)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This poem has such a meditative quality!! As I was reading it I was so absorbed that I almost forgot about my surroundings. I love the idea of poems being incarnations of poets. An amazing response to the prompt…..

    Liked by 1 person

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