#Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Stars Theme Challenge No. 227

Happy Memorial Day. As a veteran and the wife of a 100% disabled veteran, I like to honor my fellow military brothers and sisters who lost their lives serving our county in the line of duty. True patriots never forget!

brave Americans
who served... died to keep us free
Memorial Day
honor the true patriots
be true to democracy

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Memorial Day 2021

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to write your poem using the theme of travel/journeys using one of these forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo renga, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, and Abhanga poetry.

In Japanese syllabic poetry there is no capitalization on the first word in each line of your poem. Most of the American forms do not use capitalization either. Why? Syllabic poetry is written in breathy phrases, not sentences.

On the first of the month, you can write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below).

I do this for a couple of reasons. It requires those of you who would like to enter contests or to submit your poetry to literary journals the opportunity to learn how to follow their rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenging part. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.ladyleemanila 9.TJS Sherman 17.Ruth Scribbles
2.Cheryl 10.kittysverses 18.theindieshe
3.Selma 11.Susan Joy Clark 19.D. L. Finn
4.Padre 12.Jules 20.Kerfe Roig
5.Trent 13.s. s. 21.Anisha @crazienerds
6.Eugenia 14.Gwen Plano 22.Sally Cronin
7.willowdot21 15.Elizabeth 23.
8.Annette Rochelle Aben 16.The Versesmith   

The theme of travel seemed to appeal to many of you. I loved all the creativity! Well done!

This week, I was captivated by Jules’ haibun and haiku sequence, “Fractured Traveler.”

She stayed true to the haiku form with no first-line capitalization. The haiku leaves one with the feeling of loneliness, and we sense the journey is a private pilgrimage. The first and last haiku establish the kigo (season word) which designates the time of year. This sequence actually comes full circle, repeating the first haiku at the end which is a great segway into the prose portion of the poem.

The prose is not overstated or flowery. We learn the story of the un-monk, or un-nun, who in the Buddhist tradition carries a begging bowl on their journey to reach enlightenment. In much of Thailand, the monks and nuns own no possessions and must beg for their meals. In the Thai tradition, the men in the family are required to serve in the monastery as a rite of passage which also honors his family.

I liked the internal argument and subsequent answer in the prose: “it is the journey…” and the goal of reaching enlightenment that keeps this individual on the straight and narrow journey. Notice how true to human nature this piece is. The last line: “Whether the goal of enlightenment is reached will be debatable” makes this haibun something we can all relate to.

“Fractured Traveler”

flower moon
skylark’s melody
wistful tune

opal stone
talisman, to pet

with each passing breath
time passes

slow pilgrim
walking; a deranged
dull silence

rice bowl hung
on a course rope belt

flower moon
skylark’s melody
wistful tune

Miles to trod with staff in hand, course hooded robe, barely sandaled feet. An un-monk, un-nun, under duress, stressed yet obligated to attempt to gain sanity by following a saint’s trail through an unfamiliar territory. A vow of silence ensures only internal arguments with oneself. Repeat, “it is the journey…” Eventually the destination will be achieved. Whether the goal of enlightenment is reached will be debatable.

© JP/dh

This week, I’ve asked Jules to choose the theme prompt for next month’s challenge. Please email your selection to me at least a week before the challenge to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. Thanks.

Don’t forget to connect with the Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com to learn the theme of this first journal.

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

20 thoughts on “#Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Stars Theme Challenge No. 227

  1. Thanks to all those who have served, came home, those who did not (may they rest in peace) and are still serving.

    Thank you Colleen for your enjoyment of my traveler. I’ve sent you an email with my theme. 😀

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