A week in the life of Spider Boy: a journey in Tanka

I have long been a fan of Haiku, a poetry form that adheres to three lines of five, seven and five syllables.  This week, The Daily Post writing challenge has taught me about Tanka, which has two extra lines of seven syllables each! As much as I admire Haiku’s bite-sized brevity, it’s a wonderful luxury to be able to stretch out those thoughts with extra lines and syllables.

Today I have written five verses of Tanka, in an attempt to provide a snapshot of Spider Boy’s week.



His front tooth is loose

A wiggle and a grimace

When will it fall out?

Trying to eat an apple

The offending tooth stays put.


While eating hot chips

In his new karate suit

He spits out his tooth

A little lump camouflaged

by potato in his hand.


A glass by his bed

Tooth resting under water

Now in the morning

Gold coins and fairy dust

“Aarrgh! I’ve got glitter on me!”


Gap-toothed six-year-old

He holds my hand as we walk

Now at school drop-off

He drops my hand and swaps it

For playing handball with friends.


Must be child-friendly

The homework sheet warns parents

Of the song for “News”

That rules out Nirvana then

But he’s outgrown the Wiggles.







  1. Beautiful post! I love how this detail brings two worlds together!

    ‘Now at school drop-off

    He drops my hand and swaps it

    For playing handball with friends.’

    Nirvana would be fun though!
    Great Tankas.

  2. This was a great set of tankas! My son once wore that same toothy/one tooth missing smile and his white karate kimono, was this his p.j.’s or a robe or karate? Smiles for his fairy dust and reward! Such a wonderful little Spider Boy! (My boy is now 34, alas! but I have 6 ‘grandies’ that spread their love and adventures with me!)

    • Oh oh! I should have said my son just turned 33, my oldest daughter is 34. She turns 35 in March, 2015. They were my first husband’s and my 18 months apart children. My youngest is 28 and they all know those Backstreet Boys and we have a magazine with the photos of NKOTB group, I believe…

    • Thanks Robin, it’s his karate outfit – well, sort of karate – he does a martial art called Ji do kwan, which is a hybrid of Karate and Tae kwan do. Glad you’ve got the “grandies” now, hopefully I will one day too. Spider Boy is my only child so I have to be careful I don’t put too much pressure on him! Kids grow up quickly and while I love watching him grow, some days I miss the baby/toddler he once was, so it’s good that all comes back to us (hopefully, if we’re lucky) with grandkids.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s