Tomorrow’s Dust #tanka #haibun

I walk along, breathing the frosty late autumn air. Leaves rustle, speaking as they are moved aside by my feet. But then I pause, silencing their death rattle. Is there another sound? I listen. The trees, some still wearing a wispy shroud of yellow, brown and orange, whisper to me. What secrets will they share?

I am told that the adoring crowds had called his name. He had stood, proud, chin up, condemning all who disagreed as sad losers. His followers chanted back his very words. Is the wind echoing these throngs? Are the words still alive, speaking to condemn all who he perceived as an enemy?

No. A senseless babble about how in the years too many to count, the span of the life of one man is meaningless is all that I hear. He is silenced now, and the words forgotten. Not even the wind will remember.

Wind whispers through leaves
Does the tree grow on a mound
Its purpose long lost?
The mighty king ruled the land
Now is just forgotten dust


This was written for Colleen’s Poetry Challenge. This is week 200! This is a theme week, and the chosen them is The Illusion of Power. My mind went two ways – the graveyard scene in Hamlet on the one hand, and our current politics on the other. Of course, there is also Halloween coming up… Put together with recently read words about hundreds of grave barrows of forgotten kings, well… I chose to write a Haibun with a Tanka at its core.

16 thoughts on “Tomorrow’s Dust #tanka #haibun

  1. FineTest

    Hmm, how naïve that all seems in hind sight… Maybe gone, but still highly audible, screaming continuously, hate and lies repeated back by the throngs, destroying what they claim to love. Democracy in this country may never heal….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Tanka Tuesday Weekly POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | Theme Prompt No. 200 | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

  3. Colleen M. Chesebro

    Trent, this haibun is excellent. I like how you tied Hamlet and the current sad state of American politics together. Well done. Let liberty and justice prevail. For once, I hope those of us who feel we have no voices find vindication. <3

    Liked by 2 people

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Robbie. All things fade away. Even the deepest scars can heal, given time – we may cause great harm, but from a geologic point of view, it will heal, even if we as a species are not around to see it… I know some people hold grudges from a thousand years past, but at some point, they must fade.

      Liked by 3 people


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