Purple Iris — Tanka Poem

Purple iris photo taken from my garden

I thought I had the perfect photo subject for this month’s purple theme in the Life in Color photo challenge, with this purple iris from my garden. It was difficult to get a decent shot with my phone camera. The sun was so bright that my screen looked black, and it was hard to tell what I was framing. After several attempts, I captured these two.

Yesterday, on a whim, I wrote a haiku about a tree on my street. After doing some reading on other Japanese poetry forms, I thought I’d try a tanka poem about my iris. A tanka poem has this pattern of syllables, 5/7/5/7/7.

Majestic and robed

in purple, the emperor

stands, dwarfed by his bright

entourage of attendants

brilliant in their regalia.

© 2021 Susan Joy Clark

We grow some Japanese varieties of iris, and it would be great to pair those with a Japanese poem, but they are not in bloom yet.