Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 132, #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.

Many thanks to all the participants and thank you for stopping by to enjoy the poetry. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

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 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. I look for how closely you followed the specific syllabic form you used, your word and synonym choice, and lastly, your message.

I’m adding an Honorable Mention to the challenge with the intention of spotlighting other poetry that caught my eye. This week, Ethan Dale Eagar’s Haiga, “Varied,” seen below was another stunner. He paints his backgrounds in watercolors and then adds his poetry. Spectacular!


This week, I’ve chosen Jane Dougherty as the Poet of the Week along with her poem, “Stream.” Jane wrote a Shadorma poem which is a syllabic form consisting of two six-line stanzas or sestets.

I chose this poem because of Jane’s strong use of descriptive words. This is the perfect example of showing – NOT telling. Each line describes a different aspect of the stream. The brook can be a metaphor for one’s life journey or even more simply, describing a perfect mindful moment in time gazing at a stream.

I do want to draw attention to Jane’s use of punctuation. It is my personal opinion that the punctuation adds depth to this poem. The words don’t run on and I know where to breathe when reading her words.

Creatively, you could leave the punctuation off and allow the words to rumble along just like this stream does over the rocks. That is the beauty of poetry and entirely up to the poet.

Remember, punctuation is a personal choice but if you are going to submit your work for competition purposes, I would observe the rules of the contest. Some will specifically state that they are looking for punctuation. ❤


From its source

stream leaps for the light,



I taste darkness in its bones,

stars in its glitter.

Rushing wild,

tumbling with a child’s


no notion

of when, why, or tomorrow,

pool-plashed, sun-dappled.

© 2019 Jane Dougherty

CONGRATULATIONS! Jane Dougherty Poet of the Week: June 6/18 – 6/23


“Aware,” #Haiku by Elizabeth

my full awareness
a walk between the roses
transforming my day


“Stream,” #Double Shadorma by Jane Dougherty

From its source
stream leaps for the light,
I taste darkness in its bones,
stars in its glitter.

Rushing wild, 
tumbling with a child’s 
no notion 
of when, why or tomorrow, 
pool-plashed, sun-dappled.


“Ya, Think?” #Tanka by Annette Rochelle Aben

The older she got
OPINIONS meant less and less
She turned a deaf ear
Except to those who knew that
MONEY talks and bullshit walks


“No, Say!” #Etheree by Willowdot21

Have no
Sway over
Nature’s design
The way I see it
Is but my take on things
She will not be persuaded
I understand it is nature’s way
Holding our lives within her tight grasp
As mother her’s is always the last word.


“Comfort Zone,” #Tanka by Dorinda Duclos

My dreams to impress,

Became lackluster with age.

Now long forgotten,

Are the mad days of dazzling.

Enlightenment won over. 


“Gold,” #Etheree by H. R. R. Gorman

Gold –
Rub it
On your face.
Money’s the best –
Matches all skin tones,
Conceals all blemishes,
Confers impressions of youth.
Trade inner truth for leverage;
Wear your influence with outward pride.
Your gold will wear someone else when you’re gone.


“Influence & Perception,” #Etheree by Anita Dawes

Is sketchy
Of God more so
Imagine my shock
When I open my mail
An invitation to tea
I have something for you to do
What can I do, that God cannot?
The force of his words was simple, believe…


“Life Lessons,” #Haibun #Tanka by Sally Cronin

As I think about my life, I remember fondly those who have taught me important lessons. Their endeavours to mould me into a civilised individual. To domesticate and remove feral inclinations. To instil in me a sense of moral decency. How to enjoy life to its fullest. Imagine my surprise to determine, that the greatest teacher of all was a dog.

Their eyes have evolved
to look deep within our souls;
better to know man.
Little do we comprehend
how much they have to teach us.


“Unswayed,” #Tanka by Pat

behind those brown eyes
a sense of knowing – unswayed
by life’s indignities
she holds fast, mind still her own –
matter of independence


“Sway,” #Double Etheree by Scott Bailey

That I
Survey is
Under my sway
That is what they say
The evidence is slim
So I start to understand
How perfidious is the world
And the darkness begins to seep in
The entropy of hope, and dream slayer
So I must strive to remember the truth
My eyes are my window to the world
What dwells behind them in my world
My kingdom and my domain
So here I shall remain
That is what I say
Under my sway
In my eye
That is


“To Starboard,” Reversed & Mirrored #Nonet by Kerfe Roig

fly free,
altered by
what can’t be seen,
by the movements of
the horizon—turning
with the curves formed by shimmered
light—pursuing omens carried
on the wind by the wings of sea drift,
currents that keep changing their mind
like the clouds that decorate
the sky–tides scattering
the waves like fortunes
to be gathered
and harnessed,
blind, to


“A Traveler’s Wisdom,” #quatrain #haibun by Frank J. Tassone


strawberry moon

above the horizon

I come bearing counsel. Will you hear it? Aye, I’m a traveler, a stranger to you, and a woman, besides. No matter. You can have confidence in what I will tell you. Will you listen?

a flight across the leagues, I see

happenings near and far

to guide your steps upon your path

that lead you toward your star

Yes, it’s a fine thing, to have vision. If you don’t know where you going, how will you know when you get there? Open your eyes, then, and see what there is to see. Not what you want to see, but what is. Because you’ve been stumbling in the dark of your own making too long, haven’t you?

strawberry moon

cast by engulfing clouds

fresh shadows

Now, now, don’t walk away, just yet. Take no offense. You haven’t heard the last of my counsel, have you?

the heights and depths I fly to view

the actions all may take

through insight into what is true

your future can you make

If only life were about the knowing, right? Alas, if we are to truly live, we must act. Or not. And only when we make such choices with our vision in mind can we forge our path with confidence. Not certainty, confidence. Because you’ve blundered about questing for guarantees, have you not?

There, you’ve heard my counsel. Do with it what you like.

fresh shadows

an owl’s flight caught

in moonlight

(Quatrain defined: A quatrain is a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines).


“Influence & Perception,” #Tanka by Marjorie Mallon

The pressure’s growing

To find a perfect venue

A decision soon

Be it big, or small in size

Carry on… up the pub dears!


“Through My Open Window,” Double #Etheree by Linda Lee Lyberg

through stormy 
clouds drifting by 
as trees sway in the 
summer breeze, a feeling 
rushes in when the sweet song 
of the mockingbird floats on air 
Through my open window, I recall 
as tears fall those first beautiful moments 
when our eyes met, and we fell into love 
finding our home, never to wander 
far from one another again 
where our souls belong, entwined 
weaving a love so strong 
with tendrils that cling 
and dreams that bind 
our two 


Ethan Dale Eagar

“Varied,” #Haiga by Ethan Dale Eagar


“Opinions, Not Facts,” Double #Tanka by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

When your soul is bared

the judgment of others is

so often unfair.

Don’t let their opinions

control the way you reason.

You’re criticized by

what makes you unique––

opinions, not facts. 

You know you’re doing something

right when people are talking.


“Planting Seeds,” #Tanka by John W. Leys

Consciousness causes
Curiosity to stir
Observing begins
Accumulating knowledge
Seeds of wisdom are planted


“Imprinted,” Haiku by Merril D. Smith

Imprinted at birth,

visions of beaks and feathers

sail on river breeze


“Influence & Perception,” #Tanka by Ritu

Constantly aware 
The impact I have on kids 
Feeding their knowledge 
The power of a teacher 
Helping children understand 


“Influence & Perception,” #Tanka by Bobby Fairfield

Fingers on the glass

without any persuasion

can provide insight,

with ambiguous answers

to all the sitter’s questions


“Wasps,” #Tanka by DJ Ranch

wasps enticing thought
I study their diligence
thunder rumbles long
earthy scent of petrichor
settles me into the night


“Embrace Change,” #Haibun #Haiku by Colleen Chesebro

Beneath a sapphire sky, our Jeep cruised along the road toward home. The desert shimmered in the heat and ribbons of light danced above the asphalt reflecting a myriad of rainbow tints. The air conditioner blasted away, struggling to erase the heat of the day.

“Look,” said my husband, pointing to the left side of the road. He slowed the vehicle and we gawped, mesmerized by a bit of beige colored fur scurrying across the road.

“A coyote,” I stammered. “I’ve never seen one in their natural setting.”

Upon reaching the other side of the road, the coyote, as if hearing the awe in my voice, paused and looked over his shoulder. Our eyes met, and a feeling of mutual understanding passed between us. My new friend pulled back his lips in a tight grin.

Approach a balance-
between wisdom and pleasure.
You must change your ways!

Coyote spoke with the foresight of a spirit animal. But what about Crow? Certainly, I could have two animal totems, I reasoned. Suddenly, it all began to make sense. Crow had brought me wisdom and now, Coyote had given me the strength to change.


This week, I shared links on how to write Haiku in English. Take some time and refresh your memories.

Don’s FORGET!! The UHTS “Fleeting Words” Tanka Competition is On!

GENERAL: Please email your submissions in English in the body of an email (only) directly to, with the words “UHTS “Fleeting Words” contest” in the subject header, and include your name, country, and email address.

Do “not” use the cattails Submissions guidelines for contests.

Submission Period and Deadline: May 1-August 15 of each year.

SUBMISSIONS: There is a 10 poem limit on the number of submissions. If more than 10 poems are submitted, only the first 10 poems will be entered. Entries must be the original work of the author, be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere for the entire time period it takes to complete the judging. If a submitter discovers after the fact that a poem has already been published, let us know and we will pull the poem from the contest. No revisions or replacements will be accepted. This contest is not themed and is open to all age groups worldwide.

FORMATTING: If a poem is submitted in more than one language, we will be delighted. Please put the poem in English first, and then below that, put the poem in the other language. (Do not put the poems side by side). This will greatly facilitate the recording of your poems by the contest coordinator. If you have any problems sending your submissions by email, please let our contest coordinator know.

NOTIFICATION: The winners (only) will be notified. If you do not hear anything back from us by October 1, your entries are automatically free for you to submit elsewhere.

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.

30 thoughts on “Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 132, #SynonymsOnly

  1. Great collection of beautiful poetry, Colleen. As I mentioned last week that I just came back from watching Autumn. It turned out that I also got sick. Anyway, I felt better yesterday and wrote a haibun today. I knew I couldn’t meet the deadline but I wrote it anyway (I didn’t do the pingback).

    Congratulations, Jane! The poem is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This week got away from me, so my followup is sadly delayed – but I really enjoyed the collection of imagery this week! Wonderful pieces, so very inspirational! And I am very flattered that you mentioned mine in such high praise. Thank you Colleen, these challenges have kept me writing when I normally would have let my creativity wane. I just love Jane’s use of “yearning”, her poem was marvelous!

    Liked by 1 person

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