Kenichi K. Yabusaki captivates the human condition with his collection of Tanka Poems

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Profound, inspiring and reflective describe During the Pause: A Collection of Tanka Poems by Honolulu-based Kenichi K. Yabusaki.

Tanka or “short song” poetry began in seventh-century Japan and follows a simple 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern with no rhyming or punctuation thus lends itself to an economy of words and is an eloquent vehicle for emotional expression. Like a mathematical equation, there is more to a Tanka poem than what meets the eye by having an “affecting” bent and thus reflecting the time of day, a thought, or an event thereby captivating the Human Condition. 


The title of this book comes from Albert Camus’s famous essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. Greek mythology describes Sisyphus as a cunning king of Corinth (ancient Greece) who despised death and twice escaped from Hades. The angered Gods returned Sisyphus to the underworld and face a futile nemesis, that of pushing a massive rock up a mountain, only to have the rock roll back down just before reaching the summit and repeat the task forever.

Camus likened modern man’s daily life was like Sisyphus’s perpetual struggle. What most intrigued Camus was the “pause” between Sisyphus almost reaching the summit and returning to his rock as a time for reflection. Says Ken, “My poems come from emotions via select photographs or experiences and observations during the pauses of my life”.

A poem on a “Survival”

A Trout Eats a Fly
So To Survive The Next Day
Then Why Is It That
Human Existence Thrives
On Murderers and Murderees

Poem for “Mountain Patience and Wisdom”

Patience and Wisdom
Pure and Simple in Nature
Embrace a Mountain
Feel the Patience of Seasons
And Wisdom of Standing Still


Kenichi K. Yabusaki

About the Author: 

Kenichi K. Yabusaki was born in a concentration camp during World War II. He is a retired biochemist with an interest in philosophy and uses poetry to portray thoughts on the human condition. Although his family’s experiences of racism and internalized oppression affect much of his poetry, his love of the natural world keeps him sane.

He is an avid fly fisher and lives with his wife in Hawaii.

During the Pause: A Collection of Tanka Poems is available on, Google’s “Goodreads”, Barnes and Noble, and Kindle




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