Saturday, 9 December 2017

Right now- gender bias in The Guardian

I've been re-reading Laurie Penny's book, Bitch Doctrine, just lately. In it she claims that women and people of colour tend to write the most popular, most viral articles, even on news sites such as the Guardian, but they are not the most prominent or well paid.

I decided to take a quick snapshot of The Guardian right now, 8pm on Saturday 9th December, to see what it looks like.

I guess there's more sport because it's Saturday, but just looking at this has raised some issues for me.

First up, here's a summary of those most popular articles just now:

1) A story with a video about a polar bear starving due to climate change. Contributed by a woman. No photo of her.
2) A football story about Newcastle Utd vs Leicester City - the mens' teams. Written by a white man, photographed on his page.
3) A story about Bradley Wiggins not making it in rowing. Written by a white man, photographed on his page.
4) A story about a man held hostage while criminals raided his parents' home. Attributed only to the Press Association.
5) An interview with comedian Bill Bailey, written by a woman for whom no details are provided.
6) Live feed on the Strictly Come Dancing semi final, written by a white woman with a picture on her page, where it notes she is part of the liveblog team.
7) An opinion piece on Jared Kushner by a man of colour who is photographed on the byline.
8) A story about banking scams, focusing on a young woman victim, written by a white man, photographed on his page.
9) A story about a low level fight in a bar between male cricketers by a white man.
10) A piece on Johnny Hallyday's funeral in Paris by a white woman, photographed on her page.

So to summarise, of the ten stories, seven are about men. The only one focused on a woman has her as the victim. There is a fairly even split in the writers between men and women but male writers are far more likely to have their picture provided (and one even has it on the byline). White people outnumber people of colour.

The Guardian hasn't chosen these stories to represent it, of course, so I'm going to look at the top ten stories it has chosen to put on its website. It's now 8.30pm on Saturday night.

1) Boris Johnson is in Iran negotiating the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (White male protagonist, brown female victim). The writer is a white woman with a photograph.
2) Iraq has declared an end to their fight against Islamic State (lots of men, of course, but I am choosing to count this as a non-gendered story). The writer is again a woman, but no photo this time.
3) The story about Johnny Hallyday's funeral. (Male focus - white woman writer).
4) The starving polar bear (environmental focus - woman writer)
5) Airstrikes in Gaza after Trump recognises Jerusalem as capital of Israel. (Male focus). Story by a white man with a photograph.
6) The story about the cricketers bar fight. (Male focus, white man writer).
7) Michael Gove's latest comments on Brexit *shudder* (male focus) from the Press Association.
8) A journalist has been deported from Argentina. The journalist is a woman so it's a female focus(!) from a male writer of colour.
9) The story about the man held hostage (male focus, Press Association).
10) Roy Moore, standing for senate in Alabama, suggesting that Putin had a point about same-sex marriage (male focus, white male writer).

Do you know, the balance carries on between male and female writers, although still, the men are much more likely to have a photo on their page. And again the stories are all about men. Men, men, men, men, Sally Burch (she's the journalist), men.

Ugh, it's tiresome. And what obnoxious men they are!

Anyway, my snapshot suggested that it's a mix throughout the paper for who writes the stories, but it does seem like men have more investment in them, and the paper is really really really interested in what they do (even a man pouring a drink over another man, which is basically breakfast).

I keep hearing that if you can see it you can dream it, but at the moment all I'm seeing is a world run by men... I do hope the good people of Alabama don't elect that nutter.

What do you think? Is this a representative snapshot? And what are other media outlets like?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tanka Project #44: Secrets

This is the 44th tanka of the 44 I told you I'd write for the tanka project. I actually accidentally wrote 45, but the spare one will have to remain secret for now, you might find it somewhere in the future.

I need to get my head out of the tanka shaped space. I'm yearning to go longer, I'm getting excited about stories, although I am mainly finding ways to keep writing while the house keeps getting messed up (honestly it's as if five people and four animals lived in it), and I'm working at the library.

On that, I'm loving working in the library. It's such a fabulous place to be, even on days which are a bit fraught, like today. I am also incredibly impressed with how lovely my co-workers are. I've never worked somewhere like this before!

Anyway, this tanka was something I wrote while drinking wine in front of the TV, binge watching Poldark (I finally got 'round to it, I am gutted that Ross and Elizabeth didn't end up together yet because they deserve each other, I am also dismayed at just how many books there are in the series). Anyway, I misheard something someone said about the sea, and this is where it led!

The Tanka Project: THE END

Monday, 27 November 2017

Tanka Project #43

Today's tanka is inspired by The Red Painting's song, 'You're not one of them' (as you can see - I stole that line). I love The Red Paintings, even though I think he might have said that 'time holds no bears'. My son shrugged at the lyric and said 'well, time doesn't hold snakes either.' The logic, my friends, is inarguable.

It's a good video too isn't it? If odd. 

Anyway... I am not really down with the whole binary thing, so I find the idea of 'us' and 'them' totally fascinating. Any binary division is bound to be a Venn diagram at best, a noose at worst, and really lacking in usefulness, in my opinion, so us and them, well, it's meaningless - we're all us, we're all them. It is all our fault and it is all our problem.

I know at least two people who definitely voted the way I totally think they shouldn't have done lately. Do I ditch them? No, they are us. People cannot understand my way of thinking if I don't speak out.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Tanka Project: Guests 10

All sorts of loveliness from today's guests post people, so let's not waste time.

We'll start this Sunday morning with Ruth Long's tanka of bacon, coffee, and kisses, because how better to start your day?

Next up are two tankas from Eugenio Saenz Jr, who has a rather luscious way with layout which I would like to steal. They are also full of wistful, haunting, romance.

Have you noticed that Eugenio calls this his tanka #17006? It rather puts my 44 to shame, eh?!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Tanka Project #42: a_e

My youngest's homework this week included a_e word spellings. We spent a lot of time with those words and so I did a homework tanka to try to use some of her spelling words too.

This may be the meaning of life. Or not.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Tanka Project: Guests 9

We're coming to the end of the tanka project. I never had as many people join in as had meant to - we're all living busy lives, that's ok, but it makes me feel really grateful for those who did take part, sharing their tankas with you lovely folks.

First up is Magaly Guerrero (previously seen here), with a fabulous tanka about using her weird. I love the celebration of using what we have and embracing it, and I love the enjambment in the penultimate line, which makes me keep coming back for more. (For non poetry types enjambment is just the way a line runs into another).

Next up is Sara from Mum Turned Mom, who is coming to the end of her Prompt series as I am nearing the end of this project. I will really miss the prompt, but I'm glad Sara is giving herself some headspace for what's next. I'll keep you informed of what I'm doing next too! Sara shared this tanka on her website here but gave me permission to give it one of my own backgrounds (all the Tanka Project graphic design on the Instagram feed is done in Desygner). to share with you all.

Last for this guest post is anelle, who collaborated with her unamed brother to create these two discursive tankas, simply presented.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Tanka Project #41: Truth

Fake news infuriates me. I can understand a foreign power wanting to destabilise a nation with lies, but I cannot understand the people in power in that nation lying to the people who have elected them, whom they want the votes of in future.

That slogan on the bus for Brexit? People believed it, and voted accordingly. And Boris Johnson keeps on telling the same lie again and again despite it being shown to be a lie.

My father in law tells me that politicians lie - that is what we should expect of them.

It is not what I expect.

I expect politicians to tell the truth about what their intentions are and then to do their best to represent the people in their constituencies while following the basic ideas of their intentions. Sometimes changes will have to be made and that's fine, but to lie just to get power, that's despicable, and no one who does such a thing should be allowed to keep their office.

There aren't just lies about the NHS millions though, there are so many lies which are used to divide us, to turn us against other people who weren't born here but need help to get here, to turn us against people who live here and are struggling because of unemployement or health. All these lies about swarms of refugees and scroungers. It's despicable and it needs to stop. It's partly politicians, but the media have been complicit, have even led some of it.

Tories, the door is just over there. 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Tanka Project: Guests 8

More! Yes, more terrific tankas from guests to the tanka project. I'm so thrilled to have these guys taking part in this project, so I'm sharing their work with you so you can love it too.

First up is another awesome artwork from Joseph Massey (you've previously seen his work here), this one speaks to the world being rubbed out by November and reminds me of Thomas Hood's 'November' (set to music by the Art of Noise).

Elizabeth Bae-rett Browning does not enjoy the tanka, and I love that she wrote a tanka about it! It reminds me of the haiku written by the student who hated writing haikus but had to keep trying until they got it right:
Five syllables here,seven syllables in here,are you happy now?
I went to a poetry group recently and was chatting to a few people who could not get on with the haiku or the tanka AT ALL. Some people hate the syllabic constraints, and to be honest, my focus on tankas (I always want to write tankae) lately has shown me that I want to be freer in my focus too. So thanks for your candour Elizabeth.

A post shared by Tanka Project (@tanka_project) on

Last up is Eric Breitner, who also appeared in the first guest round up. This tanka from Eric speaks of grass growing on his skin and to me seems to be about the space around us that grows when we need it to, and even while it's growing, separating us from others, there is still a need to touch. 

Thank you so much to all the lovely people who have let me share their work on the tanka project. There is more coming!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Tanka Project #40: Super

Back in 2013 a quiz had me pegged as Batwoman (Batgirl? Surely not?) but I fancied myself as more of a Wonder Woman/Misfit/Sookie Stackhouse mashup, if I had to have super powers.

We have just been to see Justice League (which was OK, but would have worked much better as a TV series), so I'm again pondering my superpowers.

Now that I'm in my 40s, it seems to me that like so many women in films like Justice League (because we can't see them, ya ken?), my main powers are invisibility and inaudibility, with a heavy dose of empathy thrown in - not so that I can read minds or anything, not so I could send anyone to sleep or make someone afraid, but just so I will cry genuine tears for a sad advert.


Monday, 20 November 2017

Tanka Project: Guests 7

My apologies, it's been a while since I've put together a selection of the tankas from guests to the Tanka Project, and you can no doubt tell from some of the subject matter in these three, fabulous tankas.

First up is Brianne Bowman, with a Halloween inspired tanka which I adore because of the image she conveys of a book as a magical place of refuge, it reminds me of Julia Donaldson's 'I Opened a Book' ("I opened a book and in I strode./Now nobody can find me./..."), but with a gorgeous fairytale twist. I am currently reading Sarah J Maas' A Court of Mist and Fury, and would love to step into the book and discover the artist's quarter in the city of Velaris. Feyre and Rhysand can do the flying around, those dresses are never going to suit me.

Magaly Guerrero was rightly annoyed with me for not tagging her when I reposted this tanka with her permission. Instagram keeps dropping out my descriptions, which is driving me crazy, especially when it impacts on a lovely guest like Magaly, who I would like to give all the kudos she should have got before for this fabulous Halloween tanka. I love the turn in this, the way she starts with something a touch scary and makes it kind of lovely. Magaly is choc full of great writing so go check out her blog, here.

I'm finishing up with another tanka from the fabulous Kyelsang Choeden, who you'll no doubt recall joined in with the tanka project once before (check it out here). Kyelsang has crafted a wish for knitting which totally speaks to me as I have a drawer overflowing with yarn for a knitting project which I need to pull out and GET ON WITH! Now is the time, with the grey skies and all the Novemberyness, although December would do too.

Again, with this post I lost the description, which totally sucks, but you can find Kyelsang's amazing instagram feed here.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Tanka Project #38: Mist and Fury

I'm currently reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sara J Maas, because I am obsessed with the fairy tale of Tam Lin and will find him anyway possible.

TBH I'm very disappointed in his behaviour in this book, although it does make sense and provide a sound reason for Feyre's continuing story arc. Who knew? OK, so everyone knew, but still.

Anyway, I like to use first lines as a writing prompt from time to time. It is ridiculous how much thought goes into a first line, and some of them are utter genius (Patrick Rothfuss, I'm looking at you). This one is intriguing, but a little annoying and pathetic as well. It seems more like the sort of thing a teen might write in her diary than an opening line, so I thought I'd fudge it up a bit and go elsewhere from there. I am, being a raging goth, assuming that the darkness is a good thing. 

Here's the first line:
"Maybe I'd always been broken and dark inside."
And here's where I went with it:

Where would you go?

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Tanka Project #37: Enough

Sara at Mum Turned Mom is ending The Prompt.

I know. I'm gutted too.

But you know, all good things and all that, so here I am taking part in the last one, because I missed the first.

This tanka is inspired by Sara's prompt - ENOUGH - and by a conversation about endings and beginnings I had recently.

Perhaps for every ending there isn't a beginning, but there is space. That space can hurt sometimes, but it is a space for possibilities. I think. I might be wrong. Endings can hurt so much that it's difficult to notice the space, sometimes the space is covered in rubble, and it can take a long time to slowly, gently, clear it away.

I know Sara will find things to grow in the space The Prompt leaves, and I hope her ideas enjoy their space to bloom.

the last one!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Tanka Project #39: Purpose

This is inspired by a prompt from Sara at Mum Turned Mom. One that I almost missed, so it's appearing out of order - sorry!

The prompt was - PURPOSE - which made me think of all the things we use for something other than what they were made for and what a joyful thing that can be.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Tanka Project #36: Cindy Sherman

Time magazine brought out a great issue in September, with interviews with lots of successful women. One of them was Cindy Sherman, whose artwork I remember studying at university. A quote from her was highlighted on the page:

"Of course we're all feminists, right? We all want women to be seen as equals."
 Of course we are. I thought that was obvious. I mean, what's not to like about equality (barring my comments from yesterday)? But then I thought it was obvious that we Brits wouldn't be stupid enough to vote for Brexit and my own mother did, I thought it was obvious that America was about to get its first woman president, and Jeezo, let's not go there. 

For many and various reasons people go against their own interests all the time, so no, we're not all feminists...


Oh, and this is what a page from my notebook looks like (when I'm lucky enough to have things I can tear up and keep).

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Tanka Project #35: Equal

There is a school of thought that says that feminism is simply the belief in the equality of men and women. It sounds reasonable, but...

...we started from a position of patriarchy - men were in charge and they got to do the most valued things, women had to do the rest, and anything which women did was devalued either because it was devalued first and so women did it, OR (and this is really important) women did it and they were of less value in a patriarchal system (I mean this literally - men were people, women were property), therefore the thing done was less valued.

We are well on our way to breaking out of the patriarchal system now, barriers are being removed to women entering the roles that men traditionally did. We have lots of women in power. Most of those women are childless, and this is really important, because women's traditional roles in looking after people, raising children, all that nurturing stuff is still undervalued because of patriarchal hangovers. Until the value of this work is seen we cannot have equality, because women are still doing it, and men are only just starting.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Tanka Project #34: Dark

We drove home late the other night, and the moon was late rising, so it was really dark, and for once the Scottish sky wasn't full of clouds, so I could see the stars, and search for constellations, trying to remember just how they worked. All of this while my husband was driving so I had the luxury of just gazing up at the stars. It always makes me wonder who else is gazing up, and where they might be.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Tanka Project #33: Parkin

The best parkin I ever ate I ate in Haworth, where we used to go on the train because we would get these awesome train passes which let you go pretty much anywhere in the Yorkshire conurbation, and you could get as far as Haworth.

Haworth was really important to me as a teen because I wore clogs, Walkley's clogs, made to the shape of my feet and then sprayed silver with car spray, finished with metals to kick up the occasional spark, make a fantastic noise (a lot of noise, there's no creeping in clogs), and let you slide around corners in supermarkets. You can't walk in snow though. Sorry.

Haworth also had a fab occult supplies shop called Spooks, the Bronte parsonage, for all your cultural needs, the cute old fashioned chemists at the top of the hill for present buying, and some rather special cafe's.

As you've no doubt gathered, I grew up in Yorkshire, and the moors are where I feel at home, and we all know that Heathcliff lives on the moors (apart from when he disappeared). I spend a lot of time thinking about Heathcliff. He is ridiculously sexy despite being a very bad human. I don't do the bad-boy thing, I don't like to expect little of men, nor expect women to pander to them, yet still, I find Heathcliff sexy. Why?

Partly I think it's because women were for a long time not supposed to be sexual (which is odd when you think that in Victorian times that was the very part of their nature that they were supposed to repress), and so a man who would force himself upon her would remove her need to consent. That is obviously tied up in the whole abhorrent rape culture thing, but hey, it's culture, and at least if we can see it we can know it's abhorrent.

Heathcliff though. Betrayed by those who should have loved him, and taken away ostensibly to be cared for, but never to be as good as the others around him, not even to the woman he loved. No wonder he was furious.

Today is Fraggle's birthday. He wore clogs too. I've lost him now, but hope he has a happy birthday.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Tanka Project #30: Lost

Once a month I get to go to an amazing poetry group at the Glasgow Women's Library (which is also an amazing place). This is one of those things that you do and it feels like the universe has gift wrapped it just for you. I get to work with brilliant women and it is totally inspiring.

This month we were looking at a gorgeous poem by Dana Gioia, Nothing is Lost, which someone else has shared here. In it Dana imagines a coin once held by you as a child coming back to you as an adult, and the different ways that you'd understand it at the different times. There is a call there to pause and reflect on the little things and there is also a nod to the things that end up in pockets.

As a parent, pockets and bags can be filled with weird things, things that not only you chose for their shape or look or oddness, but other people's little hand-holdy things.

The other day I had a blue dinosaur in my pocket. It probably wasn't the one I had in my pocket in my childhood, pulled out from a cereal packet and squirrelled away. It probably wasn't the similar one in the Charlie and Lola story. But it had the same long neck, the same pleasing bumpiness to caress in the pocket.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tanka Project #32: Remembrance

There are so many pat things that we all say about what life is like, we have heard them so often that we sometimes just nod along. It can take a jolt to make us question them, like Dany, breaking the wheel (for you GoT fans).

The other day I heard a bunch of older men speaking, they were all nodding at each other about how the nature of life was conflict - in whatever way, that conflicts arise and are dealt with and so another arises, and so it is and so it is and so it shall be.

I think there's something peculiarly male and patriarchal about this idea, and I hope that as the structures of patriarchy crumble (they are crumbling, it's not pretty), so this notion can be questioned more. I don't believe there is anything truly warlike naturally within men, nor that there is anything intrinsically peaceful within women, but it has fallen to women in patriarchal society to do the emotional labour of bringing people together, which has been seen as part of their motherly role, women forge life and so protect it, while men are more expendable. Such ridiculousness. Let it end.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Tanka Project #31: Coffee

This morning I hid real live human beings in drab, contained their hair, but whispered that I knew they were still in there, and I sent them to their undercover work as schoolchildren.

This morning I wrestled electric cats into a fairy faraday cage, and took them to the torturer, who weighed their hearts and found them wanting.

I rubbed magic potions onto the electric cats gums, and we widened our eyes to each other.

This morning I cornered the laundry monster and labelled its parts. It still lives, but the first of its limbs has been wrestled into submission.

This morning I bargained with the weather gods and won, for a while, and took the tribbles out to work their way across the grass.

And then I stopped for coffee

and while I drank the coffee I wrote a tanka on a scrap of paper I've now glued in a notebook and shared it with you.

What have you done this morning?

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Tanka Project #29: Art

I love it when people use small things to make a big impression. The flower in the snout of the gun, little acts of yarnbombing, murals to brighten up our world. We can use these things and a million more small acts. They might not seem like much to do, but the tiny roots of these acts of beauty can make structures crumble.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Tanka Project: Guests 6

I have been so lucky with guests over on the Tanka Project Instagram feed, here are three more of their wonderful tankas.

First up is Melayne Bowden with a gorgeous tanka about wanting and love:

Next it's Kyelsang Choeden, with a lovely tanka about pausing, which is really what I should be doing. I promise I'll do that after this post!

Finally, for today, an amazing tanka from Joseph Massey which I was telling my aunt about just last night. It's so interesting the way he uses words to craft something about the constant art of creation. Love this.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Tanka Project #28: Not here

Today's tanka was inspired by something someone said on Instagram, that they were not really there on that day because they were really upset. They said it on a day when I was not really there either. Does everybody get that? Sociability waxing and waning?

Anyway, it inspired me to write, so here you go.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Tanka Project #27: Avatar

Most of the time I do my writing in the living room. Sometimes, before I'm done, it will be invaded by small people. When I wrote this it was invaded by small people who were watching Avatar, an episode where they were in caves and had to find their way out in the darkness, letting love lead the way.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Tanka Project #26: Capture

It has been ages since I've joined in with Sara at Mum Turned Mom's regular Prompt. It's on my list, but my list has got out of hand lately, so I was delighted when I got a reminder from Sara in the form of her very own tanka, go check it out here.

Her theme this time was 'CAPTURE', and this is what I came up with:

I'm joining in with The Prompt. If you're quick you can join in too!


Saturday, 4 November 2017

Tanka Project #25: Apocalyptica

Today's tanka arose from an image that turned up in my head. I don't know what her name is, or the kid's, I don't know what's happened (although a patriarchal apocalypse springs to mind), nor what she's going to build. But I know she will build it.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Tanka Project #24: Them and us

I generally avoid watching or reading stuff about wars. There is nothing that I can do about men in power sending young men to die and to kill people for whatever reason they've thought up. We hear about 'heroes' who have killed lots of people on someone else's orders. Often people who were trying to kill them on someone else's orders.

I do think that sometimes something needs to be done, but I really do believe that too many men in power send too many young men to kill each other, to brutalise others, and to brutalise themselves, to the damage of us all.

I also believe that people in power rule by division, the Tories are an excellent case in point - destroying the livelihoods of the poor and then somehow managing to get them to blame other poor people for their situation. The divisions they have fostered have given them power, and done huge harm to our country, particularly to the poor who have had their marrow sucked while the rich have plumped their feathered nests.

Even so, the division is false. There is no them and us. Even the Tories are us. 

My husband has been watching a massively depressing series about the Vietnam war, about the lies those in power told to keep the war going, about the huge waste of lives in Vietnam and in America, and about the young people of America who bravely opposed their government's warmongering - the true heroes - some of whom were shot down in their own country. Somebody interviewed was talking about how the government had reacted to the young people's demonstrations by making out that they were trouble-makers, by trying to turn their parent's generation against them. Sometimes they succeeded. But some saw that they were seeking to rule by division. Drawing a circle between them and us, a circle that gets tighter and tighter as it fails.

Division still works - we are going through Brexit, we have a Tory government, in the US Donald Trump is president, yet still we are all us, we are all them. All the evidence shows that most people are good, even if we look different, think different, vote different.

We are finally coming to the time when some aspects of patriarchal rule are crumbling, with unacceptable behaviour being called out, at last! Of course, there is some backlash against that, the division of the genders has worked brilliantly for centuries to keep patriarchal structures in place, but the shift is happening and I am delighted. Perhaps one day we will be beyond the cock waving competition of many wars. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Tanka Project #22: Symmetry

I am coming to the end of a period of what I was inspired by Henry Rollins to call 'breathing out' - when I put my work out into the world. Soon I will start the 'breathing in' where I focus in on the creativity, writing and rewriting for me, to let things flourish and grow.

I will keep the tanka project going until I reach 44, which is my age, twice as many as I'm at now, and also a number I love because I love repeating numbers. At that point I don't think it will die, just maybe breathe in.

When I am busy sending my work out into the world I sometimes start to believe that a rejection means it's not good. It sometimes gets to you, especially when someone keeps hold of it for months on end only to reject it. All that time when you could have nurtured the thing and instead it was held by someone who didn't even love it.

I can't judge myself or my work by other's standards (apart from the standards of my boss at the library where I now work, and I'm thrilled when she likes what I do). I have to do what is right for me, and that's not always going to be right for someone else. Someone else might even think it's rubbish. The important thing is that I don't. That's kind of what today's tanka is about.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Tanka Project: Guests 5

More lovely people have shared their tankas on the tanka project - please do join in if you're up for writing a tanka yourself. The syllable structure is 5/7/5/7/7, you should have a turn in the poem around the middle, but that can just involve thinking of something a wee bit slant. Give it a go and join in.

This was Tina's first go (and it's amazing).

I was first drawn to Jamarow's tanka below because of the fantastic handwriting - I wish I could do that! But the words of it too - if Shakespeare wrote tankas instead of sonnets...

Last up for today is this tanka about pain from Kastephany, which illustrates the experience so incredibly well. I know I'm not the only one that loves this.