Choking down, or: Tingles

A Tanka

an awkward horse pill, whereas
a warm bodily tingle
that numbs my self-awareness


For Tanka Tuesday, Colleen encourages us to write a tanka.


  • Syllabic: most commonly 5-7-5-7-7 (in variation the lines are best kept with odd numbered syllables);
  • Usually five lines;
  • Defined by content and style more than the syllabic prescription (but there is still a pattern of short and long lines);
  • Written as a personal or emotional expression of themes such as natural beauty, love, the impermanence of life, the activities of the common people;
  • Composed with the priority of โ€œto be touched by thingsโ€ and use of concrete images.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

37 thoughts on “Choking down, or: Tingles”

  1. I still feel funny sometimes when saying thanks for expressions of appreciation for my writing. It is an uncomfortable feeling; I get that. Dissatisfaction is like a knife piercing the soul. I was always taught you should say nothing if you couldnโ€™t say something nice. Itโ€™s all about learning to deal with praise and criticism, but also being secure in who you are and what you believe. This was a really thought-provoking tanka, David. Well done!

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