Loved and unloved #tanka prose

Loved and unloved #tanka prose

To think I thought I knew you. To have shoveled all my doubt to the furthest echelons of mind and memory. And then to lock it away. And to trust. And to love on…

the gifts once given
times my joy would come from yours
bonds of happiness
the phone by which you waited
the lamp by which you wrote me

A girly girl if ever there was; you were irresistible. With a mellifluous laughter that swooned me into submission, and a refinement which had me spellbound. You had it all; the deft curtsy, the twinkling blush, and the arrousing flirt. I fell willingly; addicted to you.

only yesterday
changing seasons brought wonder
until love was spent
and this life became mundane
and doubt kicked down its prison

Since then I have dialed the number to that girly phone beside that princess lamp; remnants of our love. As I listened I recalled; the vodka we’d drink through late nights beside that very phone, and the lace we’d leave behind on our way to a lover’s boudoir. It was once our lovedrunk voices that answered but now it is only yours; yours and another’s that say, “sorry we are not home. After the tone, leave us a message.”

bitter and battered
these sayings of modern youth
true until disproved
‘she’ you love is never yours
it is always just your turn

copyright judeitakali.

I was hanging with some friends recently, including some married ones, and we all seemed to agree through reminiscence and some retellings that indeed, “she is never yours, it’s only your turn.” I wonder what you think; about the tanka prose poetry, and this theory.

for Sadje’s whatdoyousee photoprompt

Colleen’s tanka tuesday syllabic challenge

My debut novel on Lulu.

71 responses to “Loved and unloved #tanka prose”

    • No, I don’t think so, not in love at least. Though slave labour has indeed evolved to fancier ways of owning people. It is these modern sayings of ‘my’ boyfriend, ‘my’ wife where the last phrase originates.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jude, stunning tanka prose! As far as “belonging…” I’m a romantic at heart. I’d like to think that we all have our soulmate, that person that helps to complete us in a circular way—together we are more than two separate beings. My husband and I will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary on Saturday. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Punam. It is just this trend in East Africa(not sure about rest of world) that more young people usually sort of sell out to the higher bidder. it begs so many love questions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds more like a transaction and less like love. There is always a give and take in all relationships but when it entails more take and less give, love begins to wane. Sigh…one can go on and on…


    • i have to ask, what of belonging to each other? If both live in this way, then it’s soulmate love. If only one does, hence assuming another feels the same, then people say that they are wrong for doing so.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree it has to be mutual to work. But too often in my experience the man wants to control the woman like she is his property. I don’t associate soulmate with belonging to someone at all. A blending or merging of lives perhaps, but belonging doesn’t enter into it for me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Here my generation have a saying that if she doesn’t scare you, then she’s not the one. Women run the homes and men are their purses. It often feels like naturally women own the men but guys usually know what they signed on for and accept it. I asked somewhere in this thread; isn’t the concept of faithfulness rooted in this ‘belonging’ to someone? and belonging is of the ‘heart’ not mind nor all of someone, though home is indeed where the heart is, the rest often come 2nd.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You always raise good points Jude. We are all shaped by our experience. I think faithfulness is necessary for trust, and without trust, you don’t really have any foundation for a relationship. Once that trust is broken it’s very hard to mend. (K)


  2. You can’t own a person, you can’t change a person and love isn’t always reciprocated… but one day it will be. At least, that’s what the romantic in me believes. Beautifully and cleverly expressed, as always, Jude.💜

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know Eugi, and my amorous heart agrees fully with you. I am happy to get feedback from friends on this post and wanted to engage many in these comments. There are things even true love can’t weather. And yet someone finds another love and it feels true as well. I’m talking about things like cancer, covid, death in general.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not believe Faithfulness comes from belonging… faithfulness is anchored deep within one’s own internal strength of purpose… and the truth of it is exhibited long before the heart swims in the warm ocean of love…

    Belonging speaks of a commodity… and its owner… a mere hierarchy of relationship, where one thing occupies a rung above, or below another…

    Everyone is an individual who is weighed on the scales of truth, and trust… love can intensify one’s relationship, when fertilized with commitment… which would render negative impulses… impotent…!

    Liked by 2 people

    • All true, I agree. And yet, so many always seek to belong somewhere, and if it’s not a place, then it’s a person. Belonging in terms of ‘meant for’ and not ‘owned’

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had my share of ‘false starts’…but I think true love can happen and last. If getting on over forty years in a marriage is any indication 🙂
    I would rather remember those good times with my spouse than the few that did not make the ‘grade’ with those who left me or I left.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is beautiful writing, Jude. I think…. we constantly should be trying to “deserve” our partners’ love (it works both ways, of course) precisely because neither partner belongs to the other.


    Liked by 1 person

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