The Storm

freckles wind

The wind flirts, tangling
hands in my hair — you lift your
finger, test the breeze —
as I smile. “Speak to me,
weatherman, of the coming storm?”
The rain starts, pouring
Over our bodies–washing us
clean, feel the wetness–
as we collapse, whispering
“Lover, the storm indeed came!”
Thanks to a new poet friend, the weatherman, for the response portion of this poem.


The somonka is a Japanese form. In fact, it’s basically two tankas written as two love letters to each other (one tanka per love letter). This form usually demands two authors, but it is possible to have a poet take on two personas.

A refresher on the tanka: If a haiku is usually (mistakenly) thought of as a 3-line, 5-7-5 syllable poem, then the tanka would be a 5-line, 5-7-5-7-7 syllable poem. However, as with haiku, it’s better to think of a tanka as a 5-line poem with 3 short lines (lines 2, 4, 5) and 2 very short lines (lines 1 and 3).

While imagery is still important in tanka, the form is a little more conversational than haiku at times. It also allows for the use of poetic devices such as metaphor and personification (2 big haiku no-no’s). Like haiku, tanka is a Japanese poetic form.

(For more on the tanka, see: for more on the somonka: