T is for Thorns and Tanka

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge this month, and today's letter is T.

I have spent the past year-ish taking pictures of Maine vanity plates when I saw them.

I am writing a poem for each one, and this year the poem form begins with the same letter.  I found 6 Maine vanity plates for today, and chose to do a Tanka for THORNS.

Tanka is a classic form of Japanese poetry related to the haiku with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)

The 5/7/5/7/7 rule is rumored to have been made up for school children to understand and learn this type of poetry. For an in depth description of Tanka, please visit the Shadow Poetry Japanese Poetry Tanka section.


Sweet the rose in bloom
Its misty fragrance rises 
Sharp the thorns hidden
Dutifully keeping safe
Royalty in the garden

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

More Maine Vanity Plates:

As you can see T is a popular letter.


  1. So many T license plates! That last one is super cute. I enjoyed your poem, as usual. Nice post. Melanie's Stories

  2. Love your Tanka! And the vanity plates. 😁

  3. Love your Tanka! And the vanity plates. 😁

  4. The royalty in the garden- indeed she is.
    A beauty of a tanka.

  5. Your poem affected life?! Yes, you can share your lovely poem and its great "after story" with the world... Submit now on LifePoemsProject.com


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