Tanka by Okada Miyuki (岡田美幸)

They ran away
from a tower
called school


Wanting to be a genius
the science kid
built a robot
and named it
after his mother


Melon bread
does not contain
melon juice
Reading a novel
I can’t shed tears


NOTE: These poems originally appeared in the Japanese literary anthology Musica, vol. 2 (2015).


Six Tanka by Kinoshita Shunsuke (木下竣介)

being alive
a little longer
than I
my clone goes
to the sea today

* * *

when they’re born
I will name my children
whatever names
are most popular
that year

* * *

I am marrying someone
who has carried the burden
of not fitting in with the times,
and the ceremony will be
before the first snowfall

* * *

I’ve often dreamed
that I owned a pet dolphin

but even after
I let the dolphin die
my dreams were very long

* * *

so many
memories are slaughtered
by needs

get me up
in five minutes

* * *

if you come
of course
I’ll be happy
and if you don’t come
I’ll still be happy




いるかを飼う夢をよく見た いつだって死なせた後からが長い夢だった

こんなにもたくさんの思い出を屠殺する必要がある あと五分たったら起こして


Note: Poems originally published in the Japanese literary anthology Musica, vol. 2 (January 2015).

Six Tanka by Sato Manatsu (佐藤真夏)

a drop of water
softly broke
on my fingertip
into my band-aid
loneliness soaked

so that it can
disappear entirely
from this world
inside your breast
the new moon sleeps

the feeling
of touching
a cold window
in the middle of the night
kiss and cry (repeat)

when it’s time to go
my sense of security
is thrown into confusion
this is what we wanted
our ending given shape

just so you’ll
forgive me
I hold up my hands
in the flames of war
I hear a music box

that morning
was fragile like the flame
of a candle
tightly holding on
recklessly flickering







NOTE: All poems originally appeared in the Japanese literary anthology Musica, vol. 2 (January 2015).