Monday, September 15, 2014

The Way It Is: Tanka Sequence--By John Daleiden--United States

The Way It Is: Tanka Sequence

you resist my touch,
reject me,
nevertheless—admit it
you are more than excited!

with joy I leap
out of the frying pan
into your life
consume me with raging flames
until our ashes are one

is it possible
tomorrow, our son will wed?
am I dreaming?
yesterday we discussed
if we should have children

emptiness reigns,
only my footsteps echo—
this mausoleum,
the niche where your ashes lie,
contains my empty urn

John Daleiden is retired from 43 years of teaching Language Arts in Iowa Public Schools. He now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He currently serves on the Editorial Board and Submissions Manager of Four Chambers: The Heart of Literature in Phoenix, Arizona  ( From 2006-2012, he was an editor and webmaster of Sketchbook: A Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms (


  1. John, I love how you weave a life out of the 1st verse and explode so gracefully into the finale. A beautiful love story of many years carved out herein and weaves a wonderfully full life. Great reading you here at Whispers! Sheri /

  2. John I certainly enjoyed the read. What a wonderful love story. Thank you for sharing a delightful poem well written.

  3. John, "The Way It Is" is beautifully written all around, from first to the last verse. I especially enjoyed the third stanza, "yesterday we discussed if we should have children." Very creative and unique. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  4. John, I enjoyed reading this tanka reveals your creative mind as a poet of high calibre, especially the last poem. Thanks for sharing. Warm regards.