Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the Poet of the Week and the honorable mention poetry that spoke to me. 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.
Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! I gave you all some tough
Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. Stop by and say hello! ❤
I will publish the Poet of the Week and Honorable Mention Poets in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone can 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. You may not feel the same way about my choice. That’s okay. Perception is different for all of us.
This week, I’ve chosen Frank J. Tassone as the Poet of the Week for his Ekphrasic Haibun/Tanka poem featured below. Not sure what “Ekphrastic” means? Click HERE.
The first time I read this poem, I felt goosebumps! Words have power and this poem fairly sings! So, is Haibun prose considered an ode? I find many similarities. Just remember, our rules allow any other syllabic form with a Haibun, not just a Haiku.
An ode is a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms (MeriamWebster.com) Sounds like Haibun prose to me!
DL Stewart of Haibun: Poetic Journey shares:
WHAT IS HAIBUN?DLStewart.com
Haibun is a combination of prose strong in imagery and at least one haiku. The prose in a haibun is trimmed to its essence just as a haiku is composed of few words chosen for their particular meaning. A haibun relates a journey, whether the travels are a physical exploration of the world or an internal journey of discovery. Often haibun contain a revelation or epiphany obtained through experience. The prose can reflect fragmented thoughts or complete sentences, but the sentences are tight with all the words serving a purpose. It is important to note that a haibun is not a short story.
What was it like, Francis? To experience the wounds of Christ?
How did you do it? You were another noble-aspiring Merchant’s son, fighting for Assisi in another of the Italian city-states endless wars. Was it the illness you endured during your captivity? Did that brush with death open your eyes to the Truth?
How did you have the courage to do it? Cast aside your priviledge, your protection, your future? And did you really strip the clothes off your back in the city square?
Whatever you did, you followed a small, still voice that guided you to make poverty your Lady, to attract in joy others to beg for their daily bread and rebuild the Church. Whether it was the old ruins of one outside Assisi, or the entire Roman Catholic institution.
For in a time of incessant corruption, your simple purity turned Ecclesia upside-down. Even a pope could not deny you. Your charism recognized, your order of Friars legitimized, you continued your revolution of simplicity.
Then, in the winter of your life, you had your ultimate encounter: One last apparition of your savior. And the marks of his crucified life you bore afterward, for the rest of your own.
Now, every fourth of October, the Catholic Church celebrates your sainthood. As foliage begins, people bring animals to mass on your feast day for your intercessory blessing. Fiery red and sungold yellow maple leaves adorn your statues in gardens everywhere. And even as days shorten, the painting of your legendary homily to the birds comforts souls everywhere.
But it is the stigmata that still captivates. That Miracle of miracles, given to you, whom many consider the saint closest to Christ.
What was it like, Francis?
another hollow shadow
across the expanse
the difficulty of loving
with nail-scarred hands
©2019 Frank J. Tassone
Vashti Quiroz Vega, submitted an amazing Etheree this week. I thoroughly enjoyed her lead-in discussion called, “Calling All Weirdos.” To be clear, that section of her writing is not considered Haibun prose.
Can you see the difference between Vashti’s and Frank’s prose? Vashti has a frank discussion of what the word weirdo means to her. These are her personal thoughts. It’s obvious that her discussion inspired her Etheree poem. So what is the difference between Frank’s prose and Vashti’s?
Let me know what you think in the comments.
If you describe someone as a weirdo, you disapprove of them because they behave in an unusual way that you find difficult to understand or accept.
Well, some people may feel that way, but this is not my definition of a weirdo. In this day and age, it’s weird for someone to be their genuine self. It’s strange to speak your mind, regardless of others’ opinions. In these times, when so many people pop pills in order not to feel, it’s strange for someone to wear his or her emotions on their sleeve. I like weirdos. They’re my kind of people, honest, open, free thinkers. They don’t fear to be unique. They think outside the box and go with their creative flow.
It’s refreshing to be with people who are not numb to the world around them but instead embrace every emotion that makes them human.
Sometimes I’m surrounded by so much apathy and hate that it becomes unbearable. Why are there so many desensitized people? Stop popping pills every time you’re in danger of feeling something. Be a weirdo and feel. It’s normal to be sad when you lose a loved one. It’s okay to feel angry, scared, unsure, insecure sometimes. Deal with it because that’s what makes you human.
I understand that there are people who genuinely need to be on medication, but there are too many folks out there taking medications they shouldn’t be, and this has a dehumanizing effect.
I’m tired of being in the presence of cyborgs. I want to be around real people. Being a genuine person comes with a price, though. Not everyone will like you, but then not everyone should matter to you. Calling all weirdos!
in this dark place.
Oh, my vacant life
there’s no happy surprise.
I pop a pill the moment
I realize that I’m alive.
Then I’m hollow, no feelings inside.
There’s only this disguise of constant lies.
©2019 Vashti Quiroz Vega
My last choice for this week was from Willow Willers. There’s great emotion expressed in this Tanka and not only one meaning comes to mind from her words. Also, read this poem in reverse to find another meaning.
Filled with nothingness
The void is a vast expanse
We travel alone
Each locked in hollow feelings
Spent, expired in the dead zone
©2019 Willow Willers
You ready to write more poetry? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Ekphrasic (Photo) challenge picked by last month’s winner, D. Wallace Peach. If you dare!