Tanks or Tankas

A tanka is a verse form of five lines following the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. This poem consists of nine tankas that deal with the question, “Does might make right or does write make might?”

Tanks or Tankas?

It is such pleasure
lying in my morning bed,
I forsake those “shoulds”––
pool aerobics and the gym––
save them for another day.

As I exercise
that switchboard of all muscles,
the marvelous brain,
ideas are pumped like barbells
to create a well-toned verse.

Iron man or sage––
which will win and which will lose?
Is it brain or brawn
that moves our species forward
to survive this crazy race?

Our laptops used for
what––as pens or weaponry?
Which serves us better
in this age’s lethal match
for survival, power, wealth?

Which moves us forward?
Philosopher? Iron Man?
Poet? Soldier? Jock?
Which insures our progress toward
a place as Darwin’s fittest?

Physical fitness
in contemporary thought
wins most of the points
to insure a lengthy life
(and a husband or a wife).


They also serve who
sit and wait upon their bums,
writing out their odes
by recording just what comes.
So now you need to tell us

which of these will win:
the muscle man or soldier
or the poet’s pen?
If muscle is your power
If you think that it will win,

please now consider:
the leg may be the longest
of your muscles, but
the largest strongest muscle
is the one you sit upon!


For Colleen’s Tues. Tanka prompt–poet’s choice.

This entry was posted in Poem, Uncategorized and tagged , , , on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

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