Poetry #4: A Tanka Poem for the Pacific

Driving home today from Trader Joe’s, the ocean rose up and struck me. It takes your breath away. All my life I have lived near this ocean. I am grounded in it. While it can be wild, it has the power to calm me. Maybe there is something to its name.

On Wednesday, I will be going to Catalina Island with my fifth grade class. Crossing that 26-mile expanse can be cold and rough. It is a channel that large container ships pass through. It is deep and filled with the wonders of the ocean. I am awed by it. I respect it.

To honor that deep blue, majestic expanse, I tried tanka poetry. In the Japanese tradition, a tanka poem follows the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7.  Read more about tanka poetry here. Interestingly it was often written as a gift and one inspired by love. I think that is a fitting form for my feelings about the Pacific.


Sea sparkle beckons,

enchanting, mesmerizing

draws, and pulls at me

smooth sand, then a stinging smack!

Unfathomable trickster.


Thank you fellow poet bloggers who are reaching  for more in their lives and in their teaching. It’s nice to journey together. Check Leigh AnneMichelleMargaret, Kevin,  Mary Lee, and Cathy’s blogs for more poetry inspiration.


4 thoughts on “Poetry #4: A Tanka Poem for the Pacific

  1. Ah, the ocean, so mighty and free. Your first line invites me in. What a privilege to live near the ocean! Thanks for sharing and for the shout out!

  2. It’s fascinating to me how landscape gets into our core selves. It’s wide open prairie that does it for me, not ocean.

  3. Love this Julienne. I initially find the ocean to be so inviting, but upon entering, my body is bitten by the cold and the salt stings. It is a trickster!

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