Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention, No. 154, #PhotoPrompt

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.

This is the perfect time to thank each of you for your participation in this challenge. Whoever thought we would have so much fun writing syllabic poetry? I’m grateful for your friendship and for sharing my love of poetry! Happy Thanksgiving.

Remember, I approve all comments and link backs to my blog. If you are a regular visitor, your link shows up, even if I haven’t approved it.

If you are new to my blog, your comment will have to wait to be approved. Depending on where you live, that could be an eight hour or more time difference from my location in Arizona. I schedule my posts around midnight so my followers from around the world have an opportunity to see them in a timely fashion. Don’t panic. I’ll get to all of you.

Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! I loved all your hard work this week! The photo prompt speaks differently to each of us and I enjoy seeing what you come up with.

After you’ve posted your poem on your blog, please copy your poem in the comments section of the challenge post. This way, we can find all the poetry in one place.

Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. If you can, please visit the poet’s blogs.

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.

The Poet of the Week

I had a hard time choosing only one or two poems. You’ve all gotten so darn good! So, here goes… This week, I’ve chosen Merril D. Smith, as the Poet of the Week.

You’re it, Merril Smith! You get to select the photo for the January 2020 photo prompt! Please email me with your selection at least a week before the middle of the month challenge. Thanks.

There’s nothing wrong with describing what you see in the image when you write your poetry… but, it’s often what is not seen that proves to be the most interesting. Think about how the image conveys a theme to you. Poetry’s focus on language and form should elicit critical thought, reflection, or emotion. 

Merril’s Shadorma trio sequence steps away from a totally literal interpretation. To her, the birds represent “the black-winged dreamers carrying all the befores and afters.” I like how open-ended that phrase is. There’s a magical quality to her words.

The sequence of threes is a favorite of mine because it allows the poet a beginning, a middle, and an ending for their poem.

With a Bang Comes Possibility

with a bang
comes the birth of worlds
and star songs
drift, falling
to papaya glow, rising
over barren rocks

then soaring
above burnished crags
the black-winged
dreamers fly,
carrying all the befores
and all the afters

landing here
where light and shadows
dance, holding
possibility aloft
for millennia.

©2019 Merril D. Smith

Honorable Mention(s)

Sue Vincent gets an honorable mention this week for her double Etheree. There is such great wordplay, here: “Of Light – Into Light,” “Being becoming,” and “A multiverse in human form…” Her words read like a prayer celebrating life. Also, notice which words she capitalizes. That technique adds another layer of meaning.

An Etheree is unrhymed but should display rhythm, meaning, imagery, and sometimes an underlying second meaning.


Of Light
Into light
Endless cycle
Being becoming
Opened to greet the dawn
Each heart a virgin landscape
Enduring and embracing life
Knowing the freedom of pure spirit
Assimilating the gifts of constraint
Each soul a mirror reflecting its Self
Garnering the fruits of existence
A multiverse in human form
Chiselled by experience
Sharing a pilgrimage
Enriches the Source
From light to Light

©2019 Sue Vincent

See you tomorrow for the new challenge post. I promise it will be something special!

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.

37 thoughts on “Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention, No. 154, #PhotoPrompt

  1. Very well done Merril D Smith and Sue Vincent for their spectacular entries. Many thanks as always to our magical host Colleen 💜💜💜💜


  2. I like how both of these treat the flying creatures in the photo; they have a similar otherworldly, universal feel to it, but the two are still very different!


    1. I agree. We don’t have to be so literal when we look at these images. It’s more creative to conjur up your feelings, memories, or thoughts prompted by the image. The color orange leapt out at me. A few poets picked up that theme too.


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