Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 61 – “STARK & TRAP”

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First, thank you, my dear friends, for the opportunity to take part in NaNoWritMo this year. Although I ran into some unforeseen circumstances and didn’t finish my novel, it gave me the opportunity to learn more about my writing journey (or lack thereof…). Let’s just say; I will be working hard this year to finish my second book and get it published. ❤

In other news, I would like to leave a special thank you to Jane, Reena, Kat, Annette, Ritu, Trent, Sue, Linda and quite a few more of you for participating in every challenge while I was gone. I appreciate your help in keeping the challenge running. I loved reading your poetry! Thank you!

I want to say a special THANK YOU to Annette Rochelle Aben, who just published a brand new book of Tanka Poetry called, A Tanka Picture Book. I am humbled and honored to find the book dedicated to me which had me blushing and then jumping over the moon for joy. That is what inspiration does – it makes you spread your wings to try something new. Congratulations, Annette. I wish you much-continued success in your future poetry endeavors. ❤

Please note: We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!

The most meaningful change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in various parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on deciding the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your own work.

The main idea behind my sponsoring of this challenge is to help everyone learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are sending your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them. Check the rules by clicking on the links below. ❤

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku should speak about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.


Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have some sort of irony present.

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(Currently, free-verse prose poems are NOT part of this challenge)

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.


I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.


How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A. This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two prompt words to use as the starting point in the writing of your poetry. Follow the rules carefully.


LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Synryu, #CinquainPoetry


You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: STARK & TRAP

Don’t forget; you must use synonyms, not the prompt words. ❤


Looking for a fun Facebook group? Join us in the Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club for informative posts about writing, poetry, and a place to stay in touch with other bloggers and writers. Click here to join:

Published by Colleen M. Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

66 thoughts on “Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 61 – “STARK & TRAP”

  1. Glad to have you back, Colleen. It’s a great achievement getting this far with your book. Remember, the race is against yourself… in that vein, you’re a winner, all the same.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, of course. I did well. The skeleton I created is developing nicely. Good point. There is no real loss. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t understand the point of it beyond the fact that it encourages people to write regularly and maybe finish something that is dragging on too long. Last year I remember one guy wrote 50000 words in the first day. Why? So he could say, I finished before anyone else? It isn’t a race, and if the 50000 words you’ve written are crap because you were just churning them out against the clock, you’ll have to throw them all away. Daft. Good for you getting a skeleton!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I felt that way, too. I was in such a hurry that I didn’t plan where I was going. I’m a planner and detail person. I should have known better. I don’t think I will participate again. I don’t work well under stress. LOL! ❤

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I did it two years running. Last year it was to finish a story I was already 42k words into. The year before it was the same. I got two stories to the end, not finished, but a first draft. I could never sit down and write 50k of a story I didn’t already know. Like you, I have to plan it out.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Colleen, if you got some writing done and learned something, then NaNo was a success for you. Thank you for all you do. Though i couldn’t participate in all of the November challenges, I’m going to try to get to this one.

    And congratulations to Annette!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Merril. Time is at a premium, especially in December. Only do what works for you. Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ritu. Your support means much to me. I’m proud of you! ❤


    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m sending you some hugs. I received so many it only seems fair to share. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll add you to the post tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got a doctor appointment. Don’t worry. I’ll catch you. I’ve already scheduled the post. 😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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