a tanka response by Genie Nakano and Susan Rogers…*
Hill top deer yearns for a pine branch the bough softens leans and bows a golden sunset glows bathed in gold the hills sing a ballad of light everywhere she turns divinity shines under pine trees matsutake mushroom reveal their fragrant scent a secret offering she kneels among pine needles giving gratitude for each blessing she has revealed hunters somewhere in the distance as twilight stills her muscles twitch the scent of blood is near in deep quiet cries of the fallen are arrows in her heart she slows her breath listens vibrations deeper louder faster she leaps into air with strength soars earth cannot hold her down high above pines Orion beckons piercing the dark with stars she rises to meet him A tanka Response: By Genie Nakano and Susan Rogers.Genie is in black print and Susan in Italic purple print. First published in "Storyteller" tanka by Genie Nakano, 2014 "The Heian era of 794-1185, is considered Japan's Golden Age in literary history where women writers were the predominant geniuses." (The Ink Dark Moon, Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani). Tanka response or courtship and friendship tanka was developed and shared among lovers and friends. The Golden Deer is an example of a "tanka response".