Kyoto Sakura Tanka

Andrew Lansdown


Rhiza Press

Capalaba, Queensland, 2016

Hardcover, 144 pages

ISBN: 9781925139419

RRP: $26.99 (here, $25.95)



Back Cover Blurb

Kyoto Sakura Tanka is a beautiful collection of poems and photographs that pays tribute to the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, during the cherry blossom (sakura) season.

This unique book takes readers on a fascinating journey through Japan’s heartland, introducing them to subjects ranging from birds, bamboos and blossoms to omikuji, origami and shishi-odoshi, in settings ranging from canals and gardens to castles and temples.

All the poems are written in a form traditional to Japan, an ancient poetic form known as tanka (or waka).

Kyoto Sakura Tanka is Andrew Lansdown’s fifteenth published collection of poetry and his first published collection of photography.




Sparrows at Kiyomizu-dera


Suddenly they come

and as suddenly they strike—

the flock of sparrows

tearing the blossoms apart

in the temple cherry trees.


        © Andrew Lansdown




To Their Surprise


The spring cherry trees

wave their pretty handkerchiefs,

beckoning the bees.

And to their surprise, humans

also come to gaze and hum.


        © Andrew Lansdown




Well Suited


Little but lovely,

Otsu’s Buddhist temple where

Basho is buried—

and well suited for one who

wrote the world’s littlest poems.


        © Andrew Lansdown





The Unheard Stags


Maybe it’s because

I walked with my beloved

that I never heard

among the herds of Nara

the lonely belling of stags?


        © Andrew Lansdown




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