Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 126, Poet’s Choice of Words

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.

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.

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown 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.

This week, I’ve chosen Sue Vincent and her poem, “Whispers,” as the Poet of Week. The first time I read her words and gazed at the image of the stone… I was smitten. Most people know that I’m a rock person. I can’t touch the stone in Sue’s photo, but her words seen as if she channeled a message from the stone itself. There is magic leaping from the stone and from her words.

This Etheree (double) mimics the image of the rock and is visually stunning. I would love to frame the poem along with the photo and gaze at it when I can’t think of anything to write. Immediate inspiration!

Whispers #DoubleEtheree
Visitors stare
Passing unaware
Of the long, slow heartbeat
The ghost of time remembers
Crystalline veins communicate
The coruscation of inner earth
The flickering flames of celebration
Honouring the origins of the stars
Reflecting ordered constellations
The ordering of the seasons
Past, present and future meld
In a time beyond time
Within hearts of stone
Wordless voices
World watchers
Sue Vincent

This week, I added an Honorable Mention for the Poem, “Bull Thistles” by Steven O. Young, Jr. Steven says:

“Despite having never tested my hand with an etheree, I’ve been too corrupted by experimenting with polyptychs to ease into the form. The gap is intended to allow the piece to break into multiple readings: a standard etheree, an inverted one, a straight reading, and/or a possible double etheree (if you’re willing to think of one as the consequence of the other). Regardless, read it as you wish and I hope you enjoy any/all of the possibilities.”

A polyptych is a painting, typically an altarpiece, consisting of more than three leaves or panels joined by hinges or folds. But, in this case, Steven created two Etheree’s that can be read separately each, or across. After a bit of research I found the term Parataxis:

It is also used to describe a technique in poetry in which two images or fragments, usually starkly dissimilar images or fragments, are juxtaposed without a clear connection. Readers are then left to make their own connections implied by the paratactic syntax. Ezra Pound, in his adaptation of Chinese and Japanese poetry, made the stark juxtaposition of images an important part of English-language poetry.

Make sure and check out Steven’s double Etheree poem below. It is quite special. I’ll have to ask him to write a piece for us on how he creates this literary effect.



The Poet, #Etheree #DoubleEtheree
I hear you
Baring your soul
Exposed to the world
Telling deepest secrets
Does anybody hear you
Take time to cipher out the words
Unravel your innermost puzzle
Learn the intimate secrets of your mind?
I think there is more there than people see
I pull back the multilayered words
Unravel the deep mystery
I accepted the challenge
I took the time to look
Found the lost meaning
And I found you
In plain sight
Trent McDonald

Inner Child, #Etheree
an inner child is playing and waiting
the wonder of possibilities
joyfully new beginners, dreams
the innocent side of youth
is plenty at the view
there is emptiness
to be filled, joy
until when
the time

Spring, #Tanka
in fits and starts spring 
trills whistles fills throats with song 
buds with white blossom 
unfurl flags leaf green swelling 
from hidden roots sweet sap drips
Jane Dougherty

Spring Hope, #Nonet
Hope springs eternal this time of year.
Winter lingers but have no fear
New life awaits to burst forth
Chill winds hover from north
Tiny buds grow
White, blue, golden
Spring is
Willow Dot 21

Elven Key, #Senryu
I Gaze At The Key,
Which Many Seek, Wanting To
Open Elven Vault…
The Dark Netizen

The Rain, #Tanka
drops float in the air 
a prism of light and color
held in a moment 
before they swim to the earth
bathing the colors of spring
Tina Stewart Brakebill

Thawing Out, #Etheree
I want the polar vortex to conclude.
Who knows if or when that will happen?
Is the groundhog's prediction right?
Is spring around the corner?
Will snow and ice soon melt?
Will it get warmer
with skies more blue?
Will plants bloom?
I hope
Abbie Johnson Taylor

New Car, #Senryu
Built of oil, steel, and exploits
Yet smells like success
H. R. R. Gorman

Chewed Up String, #Tanka
Sometimes I feel like
a long piece of chewed up string
that cannot ever
become straight and true again
the bends and kinks will remain
Robbie Cheadle

 "Shrove Tuesday," #Etheree
For today
Is a day to
Indulge your tastebuds
Eat to your heart's content
As today is Shrove Tuesday
Tomorrow its time to give up
All manner of luxuries for Lent
Start counting down to those chocolate eggs!

The Blatherskite, #Shadorma
quibblers are fluent
nigglers who
will nitpick’s best
to listen and nod

"The Words," #Tanka
I’m raging inside,
but my lips press tightly shut.
Breaking News: DAM BROKE.
The words spill forth rapidly
til energy ebbs to peace.
Holly Fister

Metanoia #Haibun

Mardi Gras arrives again. The revelers gather to embrace the excess that precedes the
abstinence. There is a time to feast and a time to fast. But there are no parades for us: no
thrown beads, no expositions, no chanting crowds of tourists. Our celebration is a simple
fried chicken filete dinner with broccoli rabe and polenta.

nightingale song
the deep cold before
the coming warmth

The revels end at midnight. Ash Wednesday then inaugurates another Lent, a liturgical
season of reflection and retreat. There is a time to break down and a time to build up. The
practice of letting go allows the mind to think clearly, and the heart to feel deeply. The
practice of living simply lets others simply live. Our small sacrifices of comfort allow us
time to serve others in their need. Our investing time in prayer and meditation draws us
closer to our God who is Love.

morning sparrow
the first light of another
lengthening day

There is a time to fast and a time to feast. There is a time to break down and a time to build
up. Knowing the time, and acting accordingly, makes all the difference.

another journey
new hope
Frank J. Tassone

Spring Fervor, #Haibun

Last night we had four inches of slurpy snow. This dawn, through the rhythm of the melt,
I hear the call of birds in flight. Wonder where they have been?

Last week I was on the hunt for spring in the garden. The wheat brown of winter holds fast.
Not much has changed there. The pointy ears of tulips are nowhere in sight. Nothing yet
rom vines that make their home on the fence.

There is some noticeable change to the pear tree though. The buds that dawdled during the
winter, are suddenly more robust. And the yearly co-mingling of the honeysuckle and grape
is unavoidable. They are lined up to do what they do - run wild. All caught up in the fervor of
march madness!

slurpy snow linger
on bare branches brooding
in the face of spring
Pat R

“Salting,” #Haiga #Senryu

Ethan Dale Eagar

"Barbed wire words," #Haibun #Haiku

Prone upon the self-imposed celibacy of a narrow twin bed, I lie awake each night, tangled
up in words that cling to me like bed sheets drenched in sweat. I peel them off my tender
exposed flesh, yet their sour stench lingers, fouling any possibility of sleep.

In my insomniatic stupor I seek to inebriate them with the splendor of my words, but even
in their drunkenness they cannot be dissuaded- until they disperse at dawn, leaving me
alone, abandoned, interred in the irons of exhaustion.

Barbed wire words, hold
captive more childhood dreams
then cold iron bars.
Violet Lentz

Unnamed, #Double #Etheree
a time
for sleeping
for lucid dreams
A time to forget
life and all its worries
to seek answers for life's woes
find another path to lead you
Discover all those hidden secrets
Then do not forget them all on waking
Don't let the truth disappear with the dark
Remember those newly found answers
For they will fight to fade away
Leaving gaps to mystify
Confusion and lost truth
why bother dreaming
leaving you lost
without hope?
Wake up
Jaye Marie

 "If Walls Could Talk," #Haibun

Eyes that listen will know a story. The wind whistling past limestone walls on an Ozark
bluff, through holes that once wore windows. Soot aging with the stone that wears it. A
cellar beneath ruins blanketed with snow. That wind again. Or are those voices from the
past, a gaiety that would be silenced by flames that leave the chill of death, even on a
summer’s day? Once the snow melts, there will be a rebirth, the forest green again. And
voices. Tourists gazing at those bare stone walls and listening for any sign of life.

stark and desolate
the only sign of rebirth
early budding trees
turkey vultures fly above
stone walls that speak to no one
Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr

“Bull Thistles,” Polyptych (Linked) #Etherees

Steven O. Young Jr.

Unnamed #Etheree
dreams burn
fall to ash 
my dark moments
lost to the four winds
They will be walked upon
carried to strange unknown places
I weep for the loss of time gone
I wake to dream, returning moments
where I hold you again, only in dreams...
Anita Dawes

Winter’s Obstinacy, #Haibun
This morning I wake to yet another grey still morning. When did we last revel in the bright
sunlight? Did I know then that the early spring promise would go missing for several weeks
hence? Surely not. Verily, I let the day go without so much as a backward glance.

I long for the bright blue endless sky. Sunshine on my face. Warmth on my skin.
Instead, we remain under cover. A damp, stifling layer of winter’s obstinacy.

different’s deceit
lulls into wishing away
the present moment
Donna Matthews

March Hares #Etheree
known for
its bounty
of spring flowers
high winds and mad hares
has come barrelling in
blowing the cobwebs away
from the window sills and our minds
intent on pushing the winter gloom
back into its cave for another year.
Sally Cronin

Sensational #Haibun #Tanka
She entered my life as a burst of starlight on a winter’s night, igniting my senses. The sky
is now bluer and mown grass more fragrant, while autumn leaves laugh and crackle under
foot. Our walks in the forest inject my heart with joy and - with soft steps - I dance, trying to
catch moving shadows on the path. Here, verdant trees - swaying in the breeze -
filter sunlight.

When she goes away, as she sometimes has to, a despondency numbs my senses and then
a grey mantilla shrouds my life. I am reminded of lines from the poet, Yevtushenko:
“ The colours in my eyes will fade, when your face sets.”

Though - of course - being a dog, my senses will be extinguished when her smell is gone.

Her smell fading now
Each moment a crying shame.
Disrupted, my world –
Like neglected flower heads -
Drooping, lifeless, sees no sun.

Ben, Munro buddy and budding dog-poet

The Bird Tree, #Etheree
Stands tall
Birds convene
Boisterous chirps
I shudder in fear
Daring to pass unscathed
Mad dash to escape ‘fall out’
Covering my treasured java
Hand outstretched protecting sacred brew
Wondering how long til my luck runs out
D.G. Kaye

Barn Owl, #Mirror #Cinquain
White wings
carrying souls
listening to shadows
navigating the deepest night
ghost owl
navigating the deepest night
listening to shadows
opening worlds
Kerfe Roig

Woman, #Shadorma
Woman, Stand
tall, dare to challenge
tyrants who 
lack compassion for mankind
-Be the grace we need.
Linda Lee Lyberg

Women, #Tanka
Firm boss lady
A nurturing mother
A woman can wear many hats
with love
Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Crow #Haiku
Crow on the trashcan
Watch ducks swim a muddy creek
Glide into the sky
John W. Leys

Love and Joy# Etheree
A utopian dream that could be true,
Deluged with an ecstatic rapture,
The verdant lands with ardor lush,
A blizzard of hope abounds,
Fountains of passion gush,
Redolent and soft,
Ambrosia sweet,
Quenching thirst,
Of souls,


The Sisters of the Fey, #Double #Etheree
We are a circle within a circle
with no beginning, never-ending.
Connected by invisible 
threads of love which carry us
when we're most defenseless
and supports us when
we're strong. Sisters
spinning our
Air, Fire,
and Water,
guard our spirits
on this full moon night.
Bind us with powerful
love and healing light
to guide us on
our journey
to save
Colleen M. Chesebro

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. ❤

This time change is killing me!

Catch up on your sleep so you can write some syllabic poetry!

59 thoughts on “Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 126, Poet’s Choice of Words

    1. I wish I could touch it! But, maybe that’s not allowed, so as to do wear away the natural beauty of the rock itself. Rocks speak to me even more than the trees. This image, and your words really captured my soul. ❤


  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    This week’s submissions to Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge are diverse and superb… A great opportunity in a relatively small amount of syllables to tell a story and have fun at the same time.. Some familiar names amongst the poets including D. G. Kaye, Sue Vincent, Ritu Bhathal, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Jaye Marie and Anita Dawes and a fabulous double Etheree from Colleen Chesebro too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent poems this week. Congratulations to Sue and Steven!
    Steven’s poem is what I’ve written as a “cleave” or contrapuntal poem–except that each part is also a form poem. Wow–well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked for it as a “form” poem also, Merril. I love the visual impact, but with the new editor, much of this gets lost in the translation. You have to make it an image so that it comes over correctly. I love the term, cleave poem. It really is a creative endeavor. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve written some form poetry (one about the spider’s web using the words to make the shape of a spider) but never one like that. It’s so creative. That’s what I hope this challenge does – give you all the inspiration to try new and different things.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Dorinda, I received your email. It’s the blocks and the structure of the new editor. If I’m not careful blocks get deleted. I have to add them a certain way. I’ll add your poem to the recap. Don’t worry. It’s the touchy WP editor that is to blame. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

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