mountain stream talking to myself
birds gone south
with their soliloquies
the mountain stream
and I talking
I personally prefer the haiku, but I think this might be a pretty good tanka. “Soliloquy” is one of those ten-dollar words that one wouldn’t necessarily want in haiku, which to my way of thinking should stay fairly colloquial. By the same token, I changed “stream and me” to “stream and I.” Writing tanka originated with the aristocracy, and even after it filtered down to everyone, retained a more refined feel than the haikai tradition, which is so closely identified with the urban middle class and the demimonde.