Autumn Tanka


By Mathews, F. Schuyler, Field Book of Wild Birds and Their Music. . .,” 1922 [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



Red-caped cardinal

calls, tolls, each passing hour,

leaves and lives transformed.

Spring-green ages to red-gold,

golden curls turn to silver.



gentle breeze blows,

brushes a leaf tenderly,

a story revealed

in its frangible surface

life, beauty ephemeral




28 thoughts on “Autumn Tanka

  1. This was such a lovely post, which sent me into my past, Merril.
    Cardinals have played an important part of my connection from the beyond in my relationship with my grandfather as a child.
    Later, then visited by one on the day of his death, entrance into the spirit of the bird. From within every home or apt afterwards, I hear the song and feel his presence. I was the eldest of all the grandies and he always talked to me as an adult. I treasure his letters and postcards, too.

  2. I looked back and I painted the pair of cardinals for my Mom’s 85th birthday in 2013. Shows how the years fly by since I thought this was only a year ago, at first! πŸ™‚

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