Winners of Where Tanka Prose Grows 2016

Where Tanka Prose Grows 2016 was held during the months of September and early October. The contestants of the challenge  rated all the entries except their own (as per rules).  Contestants had to award the tanka prose entries on a scale from 1 to 3. For the benefit of those new to tanka prose, this is a form of Japanese poetry blending tanka with prose.  You will find resources to tanka and tanka prose on the right hand panel of this page/ site.

Congratulations to the winners of this round of Where Tanka Prose Grows 2016. And a big thanks to all those who contested. Susan Burch and I are, as always, very grateful for your support. To our delight, there is a tie for First Place. In order to make an overall fair decision, I asked my readers for the best course of action: The winners will split the winnings between them.  Therefore the First Place winner will be awarded $10 and Certificate each. In light of a tie, there will be only an additional Honorable Mention entry, unlike a Second or Third Place.  All other entries that are not mentioned here are free for publication elsewhere. 

First Place- 11 points each

Entry 1: First love…

by Urszula Funnell, U.K


Within hours of meeting him, I became his garment of choice, worn in all the ways that a woman could be. After a while, I tried to backtrack, introducing the rules that I’d assumed we’d be playing by. I should have known things didn't work that way.  



in summer’s haze

I dive headfirst

into the ocean

unaware of the riptide


Unwittingly, we began a contest to see who could gather the most notches—his carved on the bedpost, mine cut into my heart.  I won, but it was of no consolation. Over time, my body grew thin yet my defiance expanded at a rate that surprised us both. 


a fine line

between the fires 

of passion and hate,

I tread carefully

over the embers


The final showdown played out quickly. He arrived drunk, making demands. I tested the theory of gravity on his PlayStation.  With the stakes running high, he crossed numerous lines, but it only served to strengthen my resolve.  It was the end game and we both knew it. The next day, his apologies flapped in the breeze. I packed his things and sent him off with a smile on my face, thankful that finally I’d regained all that I'd lost. 



for love’s harsh lesson,

I nurture

each tender shoot

as if a prized rose



Entry 2: The Maple Relation

by Aparna Pathak, India

The maple leaves changed its colors and now the tree is standing bare. Even though it is said that maple is not a good tree to have in your yard; I have no regret for it. I knew it was not strong enough to face the storm hence I have prepared myself to see it falling too.Once you own a thing, you should be ready to watch all the seasons with it.We wanted a maple, we had it-

for all the things

said and unsaid

you and I 

reach where 

we ought to be



Honorable Mention: Love Story

Christina Sng, Singapore

9 points


We've always had a tenuous relationship, despite it being love at first sight, for me at least. But when you moved in with me, it soon became clear that you love someone else more. You only have eyes for him, racing to the door when he comes home, and curling up in his lap, staring at him adoringly. It is appalling to watch. Still, we live under the same roof. I, cherishing the rare moments you show me love and affection, and loathing the moments when you lash out at me, unprovoked, drawing blood. It doesn't help that you wear the face of the one I loved and lost.



to see the cat

lying by my feet

our earlier quarrel



Once again, thank you for your enthusiasm and support. You make it possible to encourage and share our love for tanka and tanka prose through your participation.  Watch out for the next friendly challenge in March, followed by the next Annual Tanka Contest in June, here at Mandy's Pages.