Weekly Poetry Challenge Stars | Theme Prompt #175: Merril D. Smith

Hello, everyone:

Many of you participated in NaPoWritMo, the National Poetry Society’s writing contest where you’re asked to write a poem a day during the month of April. Let me congratulate all of you who took part. In fact, many of you didn’t miss this challenge, taking part in both at the same time! You all deserve accolades for your hard work.

Elizabeth, from her blog, Tea & Paper, picked this month’s theme: “The Day After.” This theme seemed tpo resonate with everyone. I believe I’ve read some of the most emotional poetry since the beginning of this challenge, all in one week!

Here are a few that stirred my soul:

“Blessed,” Annette Rochelle Aben

“The Day After,” D. G. Kaye, Writer

“The Day After,” Kim Blade

Yet, this one image and the accompanying poetry brought me to tears. Poetry is funny like that. It touches your soul in unexpected ways.

I first saw this image taken by Merril after she shared it on Facebook. The photo captured the aftermath of raindrops falling into a puddle. Notice the circles radiating outward, how they interlock and connect. In those circles I felt the past, present, and the future of humanity hovering within those raindrops. It was a profound moment.

On Sunday morning, Merril shared the Shadorma sequence below and the photo. In the particular Buddhist tradition I follow, the Bardo is the place between death and rebirth where one dwells for a time before they choose their fresh life, or if they ascend into Enlightenment. I was so moved by Merril’s words; I shared this poem with my husband.

Congratulations, Merril D. Smith, it’s your turn to pick the theme for next month’s challenge. Please Email me your choice at tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com before next month’s challenge.

Image Credit: Merril D. Smith


And after,

do the birds still sing–

the bardo


past and future, everything

rippling, light circles

to before,

the after, before

time begins,


waves humming—the sound of dreams–

forever’s spindrift.

©2020 Merril D. Smith

Source: Circles – Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

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 Poetry.com 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.

23 thoughts on “Weekly Poetry Challenge Stars | Theme Prompt #175: Merril D. Smith

  1. Congrats to Merril – a perfect photo to accompany sobering words. And yay, I’m glad my poem stirred your soul Sis ❤ xx


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