Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday Recap: #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention, No. 155, #SynonymsOnly or #ThanksgivingTheme

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.

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Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants!

Please visit the challenge post comments HERE, where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry along with many of the poems. 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.

H. R. R. Gorman has kindly volunteered to update the Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention poetry from the weekly recap into the PDF Compilation that will be available around the middle of January 2020. If this works out, I will consider continuing the Recap and PDF for next year. I’ve received great feedback about the recap and how the comments have helped poets perfect their own poetry. I think this is a great way to share all the great poetry from the challenge.

I believe I could compile the PDF into a Kindle version that would be free from my Amazon page. What do you think? Poets would have to complete a signed release of your work before I could publish the book. I would include link-backs to your blogs. It would never be for sale – only a free download. Tell me what you think in the comments. It’s only a thought… I’ve not considered the legal ramifications.

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

This week, I’ve chosen Pat R., as the Poet of the Week for her Thanksgiving themed Haibun Tanka. I love all the sensory details in this poem. From the grocery list to the unknown woman, we learn that amid the Thanksgiving chaos of life, nature reminds us of our own human fragility.

The “self-talk” portion of the Haibun is especially enlightening. The Tanka at the end brings you back into the moment. I like this style of writing. It feels real and unpretentious. Sometimes, the mundane becomes poetic.

“Great & Small,” #Haibun #Tanka

It is the day before Thanksgiving and it seems everyone is out picking up last-minute items. People are everywhere and the traffic is crazy as impatient horns blare.

I reach into my pocket and her list, handwritten in pencil, is crumpled around my keys. I fish it out, smoothing it as I squint to read:

Red peppers
Green peppers
Greatnut ice cream

Bizzy, she makes tea from this. “Good for the knees,” she says while rubbing it. I still have trouble figuring out which of her home remedies are mostly old wives’ tales. That matters not, though. It’s what she gets from it. I suspect they have more to do with her refusing to just give up. Or, to leave her fate in the hand of another.

Arthritis is taking its toll. That right knee is markedly larger than the left. So it can’t be comfortable. And she has given up on doctors. “They’re not doing anything for me, they’re just rifling through my insurance,” she complains. And soldiers on.

At age 87, she is still a warrior!

sparrows in a ruckus
above the roar of traffic –
how’s this possible?
I pause – from atop street light
an unlikely burst of nature

©2019 Pat R

Honorable Mention(s)

Merril D. Smith’s Etheree gets the honorable mention for this week. She used synonyms for the prompt words instead of a Thanksgiving theme.

I like the analogy of nature hovering “on the edge” between autumn and winter. When reading, I felt those “cold north winds sigh and moan…” The phrase, “…blowing time forward…” signifies change. This is how to SHOW and not tell.

This Etheree is also powerful because of the use of imagery. Try to use your senses when writing poetry. Share your thoughts and emotions with your readers. Poetry is a connection!

“On the Edge,” #Etheree

the edge–
fall to winter
burnished gold now
fading, almost gone.
Cold north winds sigh and moan,
Blowing time forward. Squirrels dart,
scamper over oak’s bare branches
gathering acorns for tomorrow
and tomorrow—till spring bursts into bloom.

©2019 Merril D. Smith

Remember, books make for good retail therapy! Help support independent authors. Many of our poets are also authors. Please check out their books HERE.

Are you a regular participant of this challenge with a poetry book for sale? Let me know in the comments. I’ll add your book to the list!

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.

34 thoughts on “Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday Recap: #Poet of the Week & Honorable Mention, No. 155, #SynonymsOnly or #ThanksgivingTheme

    1. I like the Haibun with any other form but the rules allow for Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka. The addition of prose really helps to share your thoughts. Give them a try and see what you think. ❤


  1. Hi Colleen.. I think perhaps a pdf free from your blog would be better than a free kindle on Amazon, it will get you out of a lot of red tape on copyright issues, particularly with Amazon..and since you are not going to be charging for it, you might as well use to bring more traffic to your blog. Also less formatting issues conforming to Amazon’s new standards. Just a thought… thanks for all the hard work that goes into keep the challenge so vibrant. ♥♥


    1. I’m hunting for a free plugin that I can use for the free PDF download. I tend to agree that a free PDF will work fine. The App: Send to Kindle, will allow folks to upload to their Kindle’s so that should work. The new Kindle Create Program is easy to work with. I had few issues with it the last time I used it. Let’s hope it is still easy to use. Thanks for your thoughts. ❤


  2. Wow! Thank you Colleen, I am honored. So glad you like it. Thanks for seeing it as worthy before I did:)) I told all my family, they knew immediately who I was talking about:)). Thanks again.



  3. Congrats to you Merrill, my favorite lines

    “Cold north winds sigh and moan,
    Blowing time forward. ”

    I could hear it! Nicely done.



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