Posted in Shahai

Edwin Lomere’s Moonlight


I enjoy the pacing of the tanka, the images “rock fence” “moonlight” “road” and of course the image of the cat! This is called shahai, which combines a haiku/tanka and an image. The image usually does not directly correspond to the haiku/tanka, but connects to it subtly. And Elomere did this wonderfully.

There is a connection between the rock fences and moonlight in color, and both seem timeless. Though both seem rustic, they are still majestic and stark. The connection between the two parts, however, seems more intuitive than intellectual.

The sense of sound in the tanka is wonderful, with connecting “r” sounds and “i” sounds, which separates the two parts even further. The last line comes as a surprise and makes us want to read the tanka a few times.

The ending image can mean many things. Moonlight in Zen philosophy can mean enlightenment or oneness or the self. Moonlight in other circumstances can mean sadness or contemplation.

The connection between the two parts or two statements is subtle and a bit of a puzzle. This is something that marks a fine tanka and/or haiku.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)



Meditator, writer, editor, musician.

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