Mati Hari – A Tanka

The prompt words for this week’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge are “enchant and shape,” from which to find your synonyms. For enchant, I used “bewitched,” and for “shape,” I used “symmetry.”

The words came to me in a flash and I knew I was to write about the most notorious female spy of World War I… when inspiration strikes I don’t question the muse. 😀


Image Credit: Mati Hari on Wikipedia

Unconfined allure –

possession of souls her vice,

corruption her game.

With bewitching symmetry

her promises she couldn’t keep.

© 2018 Colleen M. Chesebro


Mati Hari in 1906, wearing only a bra and jewelry; Image Credit – Wikipedia and quote below:

“Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod (née Zelle; 7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I[1] and executed by firing squad in France.[2]

true storyPoetry! Get busy and write some of your own! ❤

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.

28 thoughts on “Mati Hari – A Tanka

    1. Thanks, Ritu. Isn’t it crazy the stuff that pops into my mind? LOL! Actually, she’s quite lovely, I think. A shame she was such a demon! LOL!


  1. It’s interesting that the words led you to this. She must have been bewitching. I don’t know enough about her, but it doesn’t sound like she was a demon to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She aided the Germans and faced a firing squad for her choices. She knew what she was doing. She was a double agent. People died because of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful poetry. Veey befitting. She’d be proud…..I think😁. Not really seen her this way before. She was indeed bewitching. No wonder they fell at her feet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. She was an interesting character study figuring out her motivations, etc. Great for character prep. 😀


    1. History is fascinating isn’t it? I read so many interesting books and articles. The words flowed on this one. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. My brain is forever churning with information and research for this or that. I guess I’m eclectic! LOL! ❤


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