My prompt for this poem was the Ten of Pentacles from Dana Driscoll’s Tarot of Trees. (Click here to see the card.) I tried to make this poem into a tanka but just wasn’t happy with the result. The syllables kept sliding into a different pattern, which I gradually realized was a variation on the traditional pattern (5-7-5-7-7). So here I give you a type of inverse tanka (7-5-7-5-5).
tenacious conifers grip
thin soil with woody
toes, their snow-bent, needled boughs
an elegant fringe
to the mountain’s cap