WEEKLY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | Photo Prompt #195: Trent MacDonald

Lisa Thompson’s photo selection sure set off our imaginations! There was a fabulous amount of poetry and all of it was different. I enjoyed reading and commenting on your poems. ❤

Congratulations to everyone for joining in and writing poetry! Here’s who joined us via Mr. Linky:

1.willowdot21 10.Elizabeth 19.Linda Lee Lyberg 
2.anita dawes 11.Jules 20.kittysverses 
3.Padre 12.D. L. Finn 21.Marsha Ingrao 
4.Kim 13.theindieshe 22.Colleen Chesebro 
5.Trent McDonald 14.Dolores 23.Ruth Scribbles 
6.lisa thomson 15.s. s. 24.M J Mallon 
7.Reena Saxena 16.Donna Matthews 25.Pith & Piffle Poetry
8.Myforever. blog 17.huwanahoy   
9.Cheryl 18.Goutam Dutta   

I called this challenge Ekphrastic, because it explores writing inspired by visual art (photographs). What this means is that we use the photo to inspire our poetry.

When you use a photo for inspiration you should ask yourself questions about the photo. What does it remind you of? What is it? It’s your perceptions that matter when you write your poem.

For example, a toadstool reminds me of magic! To someone else, it could represent poison, or the evils in the world. Your poetry should speak to some sort of connection (or experience) you had with the art work. Brainstorm ideas and write them down. Use those initial responses to craft your poetry.

Remember the Japanese Poetry forms have definite rules to follow when you choose those syllabic forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, and tanka prose. Refer to the poetry cheatsheet HERE if you are not sure of the rules. Some of these forms are difficult but don’t let that hold you back. Keep practicing. That’s how we learn and get better.

The American syllabic versions: cinquain, and cinquain variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma have much looser rules to follow, but nevertheless, they also have rules. The cheat sheet is the best way to go.

This week I selected Trent McDonald’s haiku. He explored the three haiku forms: traditional (5/7/5), current (3/5/3), and the shorter of the current (2/3/2). When you write haiku, you don’t have to write your poem in all three of these forms. We sometimes do it for this challenge as a way to show the evolution of syllables compared to the traditional vs. the more current versions. It shows how easy it is to write a shorter form version of a haiku.

Remember, the shorter syllable forms (s/l/s) are usually what poetry journals are looking for. This is because they believe the shorter forms most closely match the Japanese forms. It all has to do with sounds in Japanese. vs. English. The Haiku in English form (5/7/5) is much longer than the Japanese ever intended the haiku to be written.

Congratulations, Trent McDonald, its your turn to pick the photo for next month’s Photo Prompt Ekphrastic challenge. Please Email me your choice at tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com before next month’s challenge.

a bit of fungus
a tower in fairyland
both visions are true


fungus rot
fairyland tower
point of view



©2020 Trent McDonald

source: https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/15/toadstool-haiku/

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

36 thoughts on “WEEKLY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | Photo Prompt #195: Trent MacDonald”

  1. I love Trent’s distillation.

    I’ve been moving and offline for awhile and hope to get back into things this week. I did do a map poem and will post it at some point…time has gotten away from me, even further than usual. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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