This poem is spillover from the April 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by discussions with siege and kelkyag following the poem "lacquerware." It belongs to the Edopunk science fiction series Lacquerware. This particular piece was based on the abacus, an ancient calculating device. The tanka form is native to Japan.
a tea tray figures,
now carrying more than tea:
gravity draws beads along
wires -- behold, counting tray!