Four Tanka

by Ram Krishna Singh

Awaiting the wave
that will wash away empty hours
and endless longing
in the dead silence at sea
I pull down chunks of sky

The mirror swallowed
my footprints on the shore
I couldn’t blame the waves
the geese kept flying over the head
the shadows kept moving afar

Naked children crowd
as I pass through the alleys
between smelly slums:
dogs bark to alert them to
the presence of a stranger

I’m no river
floating toward the sea:
I must find my way
asking strangers in strange places
sensing soul, using insight

From the book I Am No Jesus and other selected poems

Ram Krishna Singh, born, brought up and educated in Varanasi (U.P., India), has been writing poetry in English for about four decades. He has published over 160 academic articles, 175 book reviews, and 17 collections of poems, including the latest I Am No Jesus And Other Selected Poems, Tanka And Haiku (English/Crimean Tatar, 2014), New And Selected Poems Tanka And Haiku (2012), and Sense And Silence: Collected Poems (2010).

Appreciated for his tanka and haiku, Dr. Singh's poems have been anthologized in over a hundred books. His poems have been translated into Japanese, Greek, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Romanian, Crimean Tatar, Bulgarian, Slovene, Croatian, Farsi, Arabic, Serbian, Esperanto, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, and Bangla. A member of several literary bodies and editorial boards, Dr. Singh is currently Professor (HAG) at Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad 826004 (India).