Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 117, First of the Month – Poet’s Choice of Words

Sorry for the late publishing. I had problems scheduling this post. ❤

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the work of poets from around the globe. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t forget to count your syllables. Use this site: Click on the workshop tab. Then, copy and paste your poem into the box, and click “count syllables” at the bottom.

This was the first week of using the new submission form. I’ve made some changes on the challenge post going forward so please read the instructions carefully. ❤

This challenge is not for free-verse poetry. ❤

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown an impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do.

The Poet of the Week will be published in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone will be able to grab as a PDF in January 2020.

This week, I’ve chosen Trent McDonald as the Poet of the Week, for his Haibun/Tanka, “Dawn of a New Year.” His poem is the first featured below.

I love the way Trent’s words lead in with winter, stressing how summer’s glow is long gone. When he sneaks in the part about where he is missing “her” as well, this Haibun/Tanka takes on a romantic vibe. Winter represents the death of seasons and relationships. Yet, he brings us back to the new year with the hope that once again the seasons will change and bring his love back once more.

Trent McDonald January 1-7, 2019
"Dawn of a New Year," A Haibun using a Tanka 
**Featured Poem of the Week**

I am walking alone down a dark path. The pale December sun 
fails to illuminate, casting a cold, golden sheen over the land. 
I pause and look out over the world. 

Stark shadows, crisp lines prove that summer is a distant memory. 
As are you. They say the new year brings new light and new 
hope. I smile, knowing that although colder days are ahead, 
the light will increase and warmth will return.

Shadows in pale light
Darkness of the dying year
You, my sun, are gone
A new year brings much more light
Perhaps it brings you as well


HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 117th POETRY CHALLENGE: 1st of the Month – Poet’s Choice of Words

(Don’t see your poem here? Please submit your poetry for this challenge using the submission form on the challenge post. I no longer grab your poetry from the linkback) ❤

Shadow voices
drifting slowly closer.
Seconds crackle, shiver, collapse.

Carol J Forrester
New Year Etheree
There is fog in my face, mist in my mouth,
a chill chases shivers down my spine.
Cat’s paw, cold as the North Sea, sharp
as claws raking hardened earth
exposes worms and grubs
for famished birds. Light
dims early here 
in winter

Jane Doughtery
Creativity, A Shadorma
A rebirth
of new ideas
around hope
vision, and innate talent -
thus born to create.

Colleen Chesebro

Hypothetical Enigmas, A Haibun Tanka
A single leaf flutters across the neighbor’s yard. I see it
through the reflection in the mirror facing me–the one
that reveals the view through the bay window
of my office. The breeze that set that leaf fluttering ceases.
All is calm, but not bright as the dimming light yields to
the growing afternoon shadows that stretch out across
the neighborhood.

They are not so unlike the shadows of the past. And like
two-headed Janus, the Roman God guarding the portal
of time and space, I can gaze back at those shadows
and catch the contours of what might-have-been.

In one other life, I trusted my distrust of the suburban
administrator that betrayed me. I stayed at Kennedy,
instead of leaving NYC schools for the enticing
lure of a suburban, Rockland County school district.
But what then? Did I learn the humility so necessary
to stay effective in education? What of Kennedy’s
inevitable closing?

In another life, I chose not to attend the centering prayer
workshop that I madethe Saturday after September 11, 2001.
I never learned how to sit still and know that God is God
by consenting to his presence and action. But what then? How
did I sustain myself through the trials and tribulations of
unemployment, a return to NYC teaching, the vicissitudes
of raising a family under those circumstances?

I could ask Janus to show me the rest. But the deity remains
stubbornly silent. There is no knowing with certainty what
lies behind the door left unopened. All I can know for sure
is that every decision that I made has brought me to the
moment in which I stand. The next decision will bear me
to the next one.

That is enough. It has to be.

first day
the lesson of kenosis
in the brook’s roar
a glimpse of a smile unseen
as I let myself go

Frank Tassone

“New Year” Haiku
New year means new paths
Go in any direction 
Create your story

Christina Herd
Haibun/Haiku - Arbitrary...or Not?
An arbitrary mark in the earth's rotation around the
sun - 100% man-made. Another example of us trying to
control and wrangle the most uncontrollable
and the most unwrangleable of them all - TIME.

Yesterday - today - tomorrow

Merely made up words, concepts; meaningless if you
sit too long alone with them.

But what isn't just a concept, nor arbitrary...are your seeds,
your gardening, your crop, your remarkable handsels
to humanity at this very moment. What you
toss about, in your activity, your words, your efforts will
bloom in time. Maybe not in the man-made morrow but
perchance, sooner than you anticipate.

Regardless of what the calendar or the clock says.

A new year; first day
Arbitrary mark in time 
Still, reap what you sow

Donna Matthews
"Butterfly", a Shadorma
With colorful wings
Against wind
Swept away with the current
Returning in spring

Dorinda Duclos
Gin,  a Shadorma
No longer the drink
of old men
trendy, cool
fruit infused
makes me eloquent and fun
'till I pee the bed

Huginn and Muninn (Haiku)
Two ravens fly out
Watching all under the sky
And returning home.

John W. Leys
No Stone Unturned
I flip unturned stone;
Soil cleaves to jagged bottom.
Did I disturb it,
Wake the stone from peaceful sleep?
Or rouse it for a new day?

H. R. R. Gorman
Waiting - A double Etheree
Still, let
Fate walk in
Fortune in hand
No coincidence
Providence whispered
Your karma paid in full now
Destiny sent this chance to you
It’s serendipity in full swing
Doom lay buried beneath last years cold ground
Fortunes change so step lightly this New Year
The year of the pig will bring good luck
Shiny coins in pockets jingle
No fluke that chance smiles on you
Wear new shoes the first day
Let your steps be light
Chances knocking
Open the door
Sit back

Anita Dawes
Slipstream of Dreams: A Shadorma
Human dreams
Floating so freely
In slipstream
Of visions
To shape new reality
From heavenly cream

Noble Themes
Create and Intoxicating - A Shadorma
The freedom
and time to create
written words
to be read
by those open to our thoughts

Sally Cronin
"Drawing Blanks", An Etheree

the tip
of pencil
leaning over
my unfurnished words
soaring to embrace her
emptiness grips this paper
forlorn delights of torn graphite
splinters collide into tender lines
despondent mischief in a new year’s eyes

Ethan Dale Eagar
"Grace," A Tanka
Pray, from East to West,
Our Father Sun, Fairest Moon
To the North and South
Aurora Borealis
Magnificence grace my life

© 2019 Hélène Vaillant
Morning , A tanka
Through the shade I see,
Patterns of light in colors,
The monochrome dreams
Slip through the words I let free,
The morning freshness captured

Edinburgh's Bright Lights - A Triple Shadorma

It calls me
This Scottish City
Lights twinkle
Edinburgh’s dark shadows
Perfect time and place

Your buildings
Adorned like parcels
Pink in blue
They twinkle
My home from home forever
The best gift of all

I see you
Bright castle hiding
Beyond trees
Magic night
Such a blue sky highlights you
Nestled on a hill

Marje @ Kyrosmagica
Wine Bottle, an Etheree
Red or white
Even rosé.
Light or full bodied
To tantalise taste buds
Glass container of liquid
Open with cap or pop the cork
You have the power to raise spirits
A joy to behold a bottle of wine

Winter Mist, a Haiku
sepia morn dawns
hoof prints on snow capped ground
winter mist shadows

©2019 Linda Lee Lyberg
Ben, Munro buddy and budding dog-poet, A Haiku
Pledges old and new
Forging ahead, onward call
Mountains still to climb

By Ben, the dog poet
My Wish For You, A Tanka
This new year may you
realize your fondest dreams
recalling each and
every blessing with joy
and gratitude in your hearts

Vashti Q
"Echoes", Tanka
crow calls, beckoning,
rosy-robed sun arises,
new day awakens
with murdered conversation,
echoes in black-winged flutter

Merril D. Smith

Stay tuned for the challenge post tomorrow… Happy poetry writing.


  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    It is Monday and time for the recap of the entries for Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday #Poetry Challenge, and being the first of the month, it was poet’s choice.. A wonderful “Dawn of a New Year,” A Haibun using a Tanka **Featured Poem of the Week** from Trent McDonald.. and you can read all the entries in the post, thanks to the new submission method..#recommended.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having all of the poems here on the post makes it easier to read – great idea for how to do it 🙂 Thanks for featuring my poem! Feels special for it to be in the first week of the year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Trent's World (the Blog) and commented:
    I try to always write a poem for Colleen’s challenge each week. Starting this week she made it easier to see all of the other entries by posting the poems in full in the recap post. It is easy to find mine this week since I had the honor of being this week’s featured poet 🙂 Take a look and read some of the other fabulous poems!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Splendid post, Colleen. Surely it is a lot of work for you to put all this together on the one post. What a great idea, making it much easier to read and appreciate all entries.

    Congratulations to you Trent for a wonderful haibun/tanka. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Oops. I replied to the wrong comment. Lol. To clarify… Yay! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
            I just wrote an etheree for your challenge that I’ll submit tomorrow. Sigh. Ha ha.

            Liked by 1 person

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