Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 123, #SynonymsOnly

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.

I am so thrilled about your poetry. It was a tough job to only pick one poem this week. Your Haiga poetry is outstanding and I am always drawn to the images and their messages. You are all amazing poets in my book! ❤ ❤ ❤

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 Violet Lentz and her poem, “Teacher,”  a Haibun Haiku that took my breath away! I love poetry that shares a message or lesson about life. I don’t know much about Violet, but her blog says it all: Thru Violet’s Lentz.

I love the intimacy of Haibun poetry. It feels like you’ve read someone’s diary. That connectedness to the poet is rather divine as if you have stepped inside their mind and have the ability to see through their eyes. Not all Haibun contain a lesson or miraculous discovery, but when they do, it’s like receiving a gift.

“It is then that I realize, I lack their singleness of vision. I am so busy 
struggling to have it all, I have nothing.”

Violet Lentz

That particular acknowledgment ties this entire piece together. The location, the oneness of the dogs, all of these word images contribute to that single thought! It is an experience that brings the reader to a mindful spot of contemplation. Brilliant!

The Haiku at the end talks about feelings more than nature. However, the “…icy arctic air…” is considered to be a seasonal word phrase called kigo. ( shares more about kigo). If you use Kigo in your Haiku it one way to differentiate from Senryu.

Poet of the Week for Feb 12 – Feb 17: Violet Lentz
"Teacher"  #Haibun #Haiku

I go for the Aurora Borealis. I think witnessing such grandeur will 
infuse color into this black and white existence I have called a life for 
way too long. I am not prepared to lose my heart to a bunch of mixed 
breed dogs tethered on 12 foot chains, overlooking little wooden 
houses, encircled by hard packed yellow snow.

As the sled pulls into the kennel, the tethered dogs oneness of vision is
glaringly evident. They howl and dance and run and jest, “Pick me! 
Pick me!” they cry out- as a lump forms in my throat, and tears come- 
I feel their lust.

It is then that I realize, I lack their singleness of vision. I am so busy 
struggling to have it all, I have nothing.

As I settle into the sled, and feel the magnificence that is attained by the 
singular vision of ten mixed breed dogs pulling together, I know, 
alas- I have found my teacher.

Icy arctic air
alone, cannot obscure what
I have come to learn.

Violet Lentz

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK Using Synonyms for Meaning & Passion

Mr Frowning Tree, #Haiku/Tanka
An expressive face
Full of such feeling
Carved in wood. I pause.

Mr Frowning Tree,
Stops me on my way to work,
With his cheeky frown,
Little devil what a tease,
I doubt he’s really that sad!
Marje @ Kyrosmagica

Ben's weekly poem #Senryu
Our joint desire
Heartfelt union of a pulse
Definition - love.
Ben, Munro buddy and budding dog-poet

Dukkha, #Tanka
Suffering exists
And it can be overcome 
The message is clear
See the source of suffering
Follow the path to freedom
John W. Leys

Fortune, #Nonet
One's fortune should not be chains of gold
nor glittering diamonds or a
jewel encrusted chalice,
But rather sweet desire's
nuance on rose lips
a luscious potion
of fervor
bathed in
Linda Lee Lyberg

An unnatural death, #Tanka
His excessive zeal
For all life had to offer
Was unnatural
We missed its significance
Until the drugs stopped him dead

Robbie Cheadle

My Everyday Valentine, #Tanka
Our love made no sense
But your kiss was medicine
Now you own my heart
Your warmth was what I needed
Your lips deserve my kisses
Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Thirsty Words, a #Shadorma, a #Cinquain, and a #Senryu 

 I'd lost words
But with keen intent
Regained them,
In each breath,
Paroxysms of purpose
Direct gusts of wind,

Form and feeling,
Gaging, voicing, signing,
Gist in sagacity’s ardour

I dare not end this
Sentence for thirst of its sense
Until breathless still.

Comfort, #Haiga


Secrets - #Senryu

My heart beats so fast
What ignites this keen craving?
Your hidden secrets?

Let me uncover
The essence of your power
And relish in it.

By gaining your trust,
I become vulnerable,
Naked, and open.

My heart beats so fast.
What ignites this keen craving?
My spilled secrets?
H.R.R. Gorman

Waiting for the fire, #Etheree
At the wind’s mercy, we watch the clouds pass, 
from the east with Siberian chill,
the north with Arctic snow and ice.
Birds, essence of misery
hunch on still-black boughs, rain-
wet and stark, waiting
for the sun’s 
ardour to

Jane Dougherty

Equalize Her, #Etheree
First, she
Thought too much
About other’s 
Opinions of her
It meant the world to
Be liked in spite of flaws
Then, one day, she realized 
Everyone had flaws of their own
There was plenty to like about them 
She learned how not to care what other’s thought
©2019 Annette Rochelle Aben

"Sweet Bliss,' #Etheree
Of love’s true heart
A beating rhythm
Racing to a frenzy
Until the excitement ebbs
Leaving us spent in a sweet bliss
And the moment lingers quietly
As we lie safely in each other’s arms
Dorinda Duclos

First and last, #Double #Nonet
Fall in love for the very first time
Prey to romantic fantasy
Crucifixion of the heart
Hopes are raised and blighted
Dreams unrequited
Deeper truth
No longer grasping
Giving, not possessing
The heart flies free of its cage
Joy becomes the essence of life
When you learn to love for the last time
Sue Vincent

Alienation, #Nonet
What is this lust for blood in debate,
this need for vile retribution,
love for self, and not for man?
Differences be damned.
Brotherhood is key.
That we should think
makes no
Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr

Proposal #Senryu
Much more than a hint
Showing my feelings for you
Will you marry me?

Just a Wish, #Haiga

Ethan Dale Eagar

Love Story - A Tanka
no explaning this
deliberate attraction -
am still being pursued

through the autumn of our years,
precious gift, ardor unmatched

Thrive In War #Senryu
Words Cannot Define,
My Intense Ardour For War.
In Battles I Thrive…

the dark netizen

Tanka Tuesday #123, #Shadorma
we are the
essence of longing,
fragile hearts,
for hints that we are worthy
of love’s ecstasy

 Kat Myrman

“Essence,” Haiga/Haiku

Hélène – Willow Poetry

Love, #Etheree
is fire
burning hot
your soul captured
lust vanquished by warmth
substance, value, drift in
pure spirit emotion takes hold
senses high, fire all cylinders
love is firm footsteps on solid ground
love is time, motion, fair winds at your back...
Anita Dawes

Toward, #Nonet
now—the cold
transforms sunset
clouds with furied
winds—far away you drive
distances, all bearings lost–
here alone, I wish for headwinds
to turn your wheels around—back to me

Ardor, #Cinquain
Fury unleashed,
Ebbing and surging waves,
An allusion to unlit zest,
A storm.

Reasons for the Seasons #Haibun

How boring life would be without those famous candy hearts on
Valentine's Day, thank you, Saint Valentine, for your message of love.

Who doesn't enjoy that green beer on St. Patricks Day, 
♫ It's not easy being green ♫ ♫ ♪; tell that to AOC.

The warmth of Spring brings Easter, a new bonnet and basket full of
colored eggs, bunnies; peeps too! The Lord has Risen proving He,
Jesus Christ, IS God. Ah! Easter, God, is good.

Merry and joy, lights, decorations are here. Its Christmas, His
Birthday and yet, we get all the presents. Just think if He never came
to us, no reason as they say, for the season. 
Any of the Seasons!

Powerful is God
We delight—remember all
Believers or not

Romance  #Etheree
a man
and woman
reach out and touch
one another's souls
with open heart and mind
it draws them into a place
that brings their lives significance
with mutual empowerment and grace
enough to sustain their desire through life
Sally Cronin

Ubuntu, #Haibun #Shadorma
It’s Valentine’s Day and you’re either in love with the day or you’re a
curmudgeonly eye-roller.

Me? I’m an introvert. Specifically, an ISTJ. That T…it’s the thinking
component. The long and short of it is that I tend to be more rational
than emotional. And to an outsider, I’m often misunderstood. I’ve been
accused of being cold, uncaring, distant, and unapproachable. And
truth be told, romance isn’t my forte. So Valentine’s Day? Eh.

But here’s the thing about us introverts…this one in particular…this
analytical, goal-oriented, dependable, and overly direct human is a
soul that loves deeply, is fiercely loyal, and will fight to the death for
her people. All day, every day.

millions of people
all with dreams, seeking purpose
universal bond

Donna Matthews

Magical Protection #Haiga #Senryu

Colleen M. Chesebro

Tanka Tuesday #Tanka
True desire for life
It consumes like a fire
Urging the senses
To devour and embrace
Lust for the definition.
Willow Dot 21

Are you looking for more writing/poetry/photography challenges?

H.R.R. Gorman has created a comprehensive list on his blog. Click HERE to learn more. ❤

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!


  1. I am honored that I have been chosen from amidst such a distinguished group of poets. Thank you Colleen..

    As a footnote, I would like to add I have accepted a position at the Black Diamond Resort in Healy Alaska for the summer, that will put me less than 20 miles from Denali National Park, which is home to some of the hardest working sled dogs in all of Alaska as they patrol and help maintain over one million acres of wilderness, and an equal distance from The Wolfs Den Kennel, owned and operated by Mike Santos and home to his his amazing team of dogs who have participated in the Iditarod since 2011.
    It is my sincere hope that this summers adventure will open the door to a whole new way of life.
    I know now the truth in the wise adage attributed to Buddha, “When the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear.” first hand..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s fabulous, Violet! And, yes, you are being offered a great opportunity to connect to yourself and source! What a fabulous enterprise. Your poem stuck in my head all week. Your lesson became my lesson. Excellent! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Congratulations Violet. You wrote a magnificent piece. You are now ready…and your new job has appeared…follow your truth, be well and love those dogs.

      Liked by 2 people

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