Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 131, #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.

Join us every Tuesday for Tanka Tuesday!

First, before we begin, I want to thank all of my poetic friends for their continued support and all the lovely poetry that has been written this week. I’ve missed you all!

When I began this poetry challenge a few years ago, I did it with the intention of sharing my love for syllabic poetry. I had no idea that this challenge would prove to be so fulfilling for me and so many others. I want to thank you all for your participation and friendship. To belong to such a talented group of poets is beyond amazing! Thank you. ❤

My dining room is finished!

WordPress has not made it easy for me to share your poetry. Text didn’t want to center on images and it was frustrating to fight the editor. If your poem is double spaced or written in header fonts – each line becomes a separate block and must be worked with separately on this recap post. I don’t want to use the “verse” block because it doesn’t do well accommodating the Haibun prose. I had a hard time adding link-backs to your poetry, as well. At a minimum, it took two tries for each poem to get the editor to accept the link. As usual with WordPress, we are still a work in progress. ❤

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 FREE 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 MJ Mallon as the Poet of the Week with her Tanka, “Field of Bright Tulips.” Tanka poetry is one of my most favorite forms. Written in the first person, Tankas give the reader an intimate look at the poet’s thoughts, which MJ’s poem clearly did.

I also like the mental imagery of a field of tulips which could be a metaphor for anyone’s happy place. This is a great way to show and NOT tell.

Fields of Bright Tulips,” by MJ Mallon

With every dawn

Inspiration finds a way

To bloom in choice words

Until exhausted, I dream

Fields of bright tulips.

© 2019 MJ Mallon

CONGRATULATIONS, MJ Mallon – Poet of the Week: 6/11 – 6/16.


“Hurrying Human Tides,” #Cinquain by  Vashti Quiroz-Vega

New York

The Big Apple

Fast walkers devour streets

My leisurely Miami pace



“Tethered,” #Etheree by Violet Lentz

ate up by
youths hormonal
cocktail, the pieces
of me I had always
accepted as missing, or
broken are forming a core. a
root system that seeks to tether me
to a life I was once ready to leave.


“Unfolding,” #Haibun #Haiku by D. Avery

I witnessed a bold emergence, a radicle reaching for earth; the primary root. It took hold, the hypocotyl unfolding, the cotyledons sloughing off the protective seed coat, the cotyledons’ energy expended as the embryonic leaves turned towards the sun. The sun was then devoured, absorbed, transmuted, until, miraculously, it took the form of a tree, in the spot where once I saw this bold emergence from a winged seed. 

miracles unfold


“#Haiku on Time,” by John W. Leys

Time devours all
From the roots to the branches
Nothing can escape


“Tanka Tuesday, #Tanka by Chelsea Ann Owens

My paper curls

‘Round rising action arc-lines

Too green, yet, to burn

Too fresh for first-part fires

They smolder, forever young.


“Beginning & Consume,” #Tanka by Jane Dougherty

rising sun consumes 
tender shadows of the night
fierce fireball 
live-giver and taker lights 
our beginning and our end


“Devourer Of Planets,” #Senryu by The Dark Netizen

Once I Start Eating,
I Don’t Stop Till I Devour
The Entire Planet…


“Preparations,” #Tanka by H. R. R. Gorman

My heart palpitates –
My work in its inception 
Is long and risky.
My anxiety depletes,
But my success can restore.


“In the Beginning,” #Nonet by WillowDot21

When it all started there were just two
All sparkly, wonderful and new.
They had eyes for each other
Such joys to discover
Snake then wriggled in
Try this apple
It’s good, she
Ate, too


“Time”, #ethree, #double-ethree by Trent McDonald

A start
So much hope!
The day unfolds
Now we have our chance
The future lies ahead
With a smile, we move forward
Knowing we have time to achieve
No worries since we are at the start
Fulfill our dreams in that infinite day
We have used up too much time already!
What, it can’t be past noon already….
We must hurry and finish up
Those grains of sand drain away
The clock devours the day
Where does the time go?
We just started!
No more time


“Waiting,” #Tanka by Sue Vincent

Summer devours spring

A passionate appetite

Fallen petals mourn

In the heart of yesterday

Tomorrow awaits its birth


“Melting Pot of Love,” #Triple-Shadorma by Linda Lee Lyberg

peace as the canvas
on which to
paint a fresh
new beginning of hope and
joy for all mankind

Devour the
lush watercolors
a landscape
a landslide
of unconditional love
flooding the planet

Bright rainbows
love is love is love
for others
for brothers
for sisters in all colors
melting pot of LOVE.


“Make-Believe,” #Tanka by Ethan Dale Eagar

Genesis of dreams 
Is she really make-believe?
I tremble to think
Her cruel tricks devour me
Augmenting reality


“Fields of Bright Tulips,” #Tanka by MJ Mallon

With every dawn

Inspiration finds a way

To bloom in choice words

Until exhausted, I dream

Fields of bright tulips


“Queso,” #Tanka by Donna Matthews

you alone the source
of dietary delight
my stomach growling
eager taste buds sing your praise 
anxious to devour queso


“Dawn,” #Etheree by Merril D. Smith




pitcher in hand,

she waters with dew

the earth as she rises,

leading the way for the sun–

the god in his chariot glides–

swallowing night in his golden blaze.

But to where does rosy-fingered dawn fly?

On feathered wings, she dances with the stars,

creates new life with passionate embrace,

cares for her incandescent steeds,

(though careless with her lovers)

she beckons and woos, then

sleeps to rise again–

saffron-robed and





“distances” #shadorma by Kerfe Roig

stand on the
threshold or vanish
into the
outer edge–
wholly alive, everywhere
at once, endlessly


“Shero,” #Tanka by Annette Rochelle Aben

It took a moment

For the truth to DAWN on her

She was finally safe

She had not WASTED her time

She was just finding her strength


“Old Soldiers,” #Double-Etheree by Sally Cronin

pack away
their uniforms
place treasured medals
in velvet-lined cases
proud reminders of their youth
and the onset of the battle
when fear threatened to devour them
as comrades fell to the sand at their side
Many a tear will roll down wizened cheeks
now this anniversary has passed
and although khaki and merits
are returned to their boxes
the memories remain
etched upon their hearts
their minds and dreams
where comrades
haunt them


“Crossing the Bridge,” #TankaProse by Frank J. Tassone


and the threshold awaits

that crossing

all the preparation

and still the fear

The bridge awaits. The River, so placid today, indifferently reflects the rising arc of the joined stones. I shudder before the threshold. The bystanders at my back stand their ground. This is my journey, to commence with my first step upon the stones.

What will I find on the other side? What will any of us? The bridge awaits, but I can wait no more.

The first step falls.

still morning air

another slice of life

to devour

crossing the ultimate

threshold, at last


“Now to Grow,” #Tanka by Robbie Cheadle

A decision made

releases my captive mind

and eradicates

unproductive reflections

initiating new growth


“Breaking Bonds,” #Tanka by Robbie Cheadle

Finding happiness

may require breaking the bonds

that devour freedom

allowing for conception

of spirit releasing plans


“The Truth Will Set You Free,” #Double-Reverse-Etheree, by Debby Gies

It has been said – the truth will set us free

It hides in plain sight in silent voice

Our eyes divulge the unspoken

Peeking out behind our tears

Burning deep in our souls

Distorted by lies

Etched in hearts

Disguised in hate

Speak now


Not lost

Light not dark

Guides us to truth

The awakening

Beckons ears to listen

No longer time for silence

Time to evolve and comprehend

Silence and hatred won’t save the world

Take heed, lest we’re devoured by untruth


“Beginning & Consume,” #Etheree by Ritu

The start
Of the year
All I wanted
Was peace and quiet
They listened and left me
At first, I revelled in it
Then the loneliness slowly came
The silence ate away at my mind
I begged them to come back, but no one came


“Cosmic Messages,” A Haibun/Tanka by Colleen M. Chesebro

This morning, as the sun warmed my back, I gazed at the stark beauty of the Sonoran desert spread before me. Thick-trunked Saguaro cactus spread their arms to the sapphire sky as if showing gratitude for another day of being.

Verdant green Palo Verde trees filled with saffron blossoms waved to me in the breeze, welcoming me to my new home. I stood in awe, dumbfounded at how I had stumbled into my personal Shangri-la.

My moving quest dawned
with gnawing apprehension,
my plans doomed to fail.
Yet, the universe led me
to a rewarding finish.

In due course, I surmised, when the cosmos speak… it is always wise to listen. Welcome home.


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. ❤

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.

57 thoughts on “Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 131, #SynonymsOnly

  1. Every time WP attempts to update their editor all they accomplish is making it harder to post – this is why I only use their classic editor.


    1. I’ve been told the classic editor is going away, so it was better to use what they offer. Today I’ve noticed that all of my share buttons are gone… 😦


  2. WordPress needs to get its act together, or could there be a good reason for all these annoyances?
    Didn’t see our name on the list, so we probably got lost in all the confusion. Not to worry!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Colleen- A little secret I discovered about the new editor- I usually input my poems into ‘Verse’ first and then convert the block to ‘Paragraph’. It works really well! I actually like the new editor a lot- you can create reusable blocks, which is a handy tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been doing the same thing Linda. Most of the time it won’t let me switch the poems to a paragraph. I’ve had to cut and past straight into the paragraph. Also, for me, it’s the links that take two tries each! I’ve used the Gutenberg Editor since it became available. It’s great for normal posts, but our recap… not so great.

      Liked by 1 person

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