Ancient Instincts

Bird in Leaves

Ancient Instincts

(A 5-7-5-7-7 Poem)

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As leaves change colors,

Bird’s thoughts carry far away.

Ancient instinct pulls.

Asking, is today the day?

Is it time to go or stay?

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Author Notes Don’t you just wonder what this bird is thinking, sitting there on the autumn leaves? I did. This is what came to me.


This poem is a 5-7-5-7-7 Poem, not a Tanka.

A Tanka poem must follow all the rules of japanses poetry, while a 5-7-5-7-7 poem dose not.

For example, Tanka consist of five units (often treated as separate lines when romanized or translated) usually with the following pattern of:5-7-5-7-7.

The 5-7-5 is called the kami-no-ku “upper phrase”, and the 7-7 is called the shimo-no-ku “lower phrase”.

Traditionally tanka has had no concept of rhyme (indeed, certain arrangements of rhymes, even accidental, were considered dire faults in a poem. Also, Japanese poems do not have capitalization or punctuation. They also have strict rules on how to format the poem’s title. So, that is why this poem is definitely not a Tanka.


The picture was taken by the author himself.

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Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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