Tankatrumps and Haikuhats

This timely conversation in haiku and tankesque forms emerged from a class taught by Stephanie Barbe Hammer through the Inlandia Institute. While Lady/Liberty/Lit is dedicated to publishing work by women-identifying writers, we are happy to welcome two male allies in the eleven voices here.

When the women marched

it became fashionable 

Wear a pussy hat CLSF

Oh, Cat in the Hat,

Please put on your pussy hat.

Now's the time for that! Get Sally and her

brother, and your big red box.

Thing One, Thing Two rock!

They'd wear pussy hats

While flying kites in the house!

What will mother say? RF

My mother'd say "fine. Still pussy's a prissy word, despite James Bond films;

Cunt's a lot stronger: our best cuss words are Saxon. I've always liked them Vaginas aren't cats. Once ladies _had_ to wear hats. Don't knit me one-- thanks." SBH

Don’t knit me a hat

knit your arms together with mine

Wear all black and we’ll storm the gates KA

sharpen axes like claws

sweet ninja cats

let's climb the walls tonight JCK

My cat has her nerve.

She surreptitiously slips

out the closed screen door

Feigning innocence,

but revealed by the claw marks

she leaves on the screen.

She doesn’t know why

the Coyotes howl at night 

But I know it is 

For House Cat Tartare JOH

Kitty exhibits

certain kinds of sweetness, then

her gaze: sharp as claws. SC

That's what they want, right?

Kind, sweetness, in a woman,

Not me, I'm salty. MM

Salty like potato chips.

My words make those who indulge flatten their lips into thin lines. I can see the fury inflating

their heads like balloons.

They're ready to fly. MS

Opinions, free press

salt, sour and bitter tasting

because words matter JCK

One day words mattered

alt facts new rule of law

now they don’t KA

“Alt” means “old” auf deutsch.

Our senators look grey, worn;

Most speak a strange tongue: A language of less, no, none.

Still the stock market rises. SBH

Stocks rise like the tide

In surrealist paintings

Like brine in their booze

And sailors squeeze limes

Into their seaweed

Like starfish

Like Man of War, not

The sleek, long-legged beauty.

But the one with the rapturous 

Tentacles, the one

that remains, when the poisoned

ocean refuses to ebb 

and flow. JOH

He has tentacles

Like an octopus he grabs

All the vaginas If you look closely

His tiny hands have suckers

On each fingertip

Don't let him touch you

His hands may stick to your skin

Also he might kiss you

He can't help himself MM

Trump is not my god.

He won't dictate what kind of

person I will be

There are fights to fight

words to say, marches to march,

but I won't bow down

to any mortal

flawed, imperfect, misled man.

An imperfect man

A many fights to fight man

A mislead marcher

With a marchless heart that leads

us to many mortal fights RF

I am caught in the grasp of

greedy octopus

news. Enervated. Stuck Meanwhile, the plumber recites

a poem he wrote

the summer of his divorce

"The Rat and I" - lonely guys

sharing a berry pie NN

combine flour, salt, desire, tears

cut in butter, anger, despair

roll vigorously, until smooth and calm until her smile dissipates, until her face fades,

until her words no longer penetrate the aorta

add berries, sugar, corn starch, irony

bake until pain subsides AS

until the pain subsides

keep moving forward

in a walking meditation like Basho KA

Move forward in light

Unafraid to stand up tall

Never fear the fight MM

Roots grow deep in soil 

While branches stretch ever up

The sky is falling CLSF

Poets: Khadija Anderson, Sara Callor, CLS Ferguson, Rich Ferguson, Stephanie Barbe Hammer, Jane O’Shields Hayner, Judy Conibear Kohnen, Mandy Manning, Nancy Norton, Andy Seiple and Melinda Smoot.