#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 244 | Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt (Happy Birthday Tanka Tuesday)

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars’ celebration. This week’s challenge was to write a poem using the lithograph selected by Merril D. Smith using one of these forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo renga, chōka, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, Abhanga, diatelle, the Kerf poetry, and any of the syllabic forms from the Poetscollective.org.

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Harmony Kent9.Goutam Dutta17.sangeetha
2.ladyleemanila10.​ Ruth Klein’s Scribbles18.theindieshe
3.Reena Saxena11.Tricia Heriz- Smith19.Jules
4.willowdot2112.Colleen Chesebro20.Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr
5.kittysverses13.Gwen Plano21.wildchild47
6.D. L. Finn14.anita dawes22.Annette Rochelle Aben
7.Cheryl15.Kerfe23.Merril D. Smith
8.The Versesmith16.D.G. Kaye 24. You’re next!

This lithograph inspired some great poetry this week, and it brought in some new poets to the challenge. Welcome all! This challenge has a been a huge part of my life for the last five years! Can you believe it? Five years…


Happy fifth Birthday to Tanka Tuesday! I started this challenge on September 27, 2016, hoping to fill a poetic void in the poetry community here on WordPress. There were plenty of “haiku” challenges, but nothing for tanka. Most challenges gave the participants two words to use in the composition of their haiku.

I started the #TankaTuesday challenge the same way until I realized that everyone’s poetry sounded the same. That was the beginning of #SynonymsOnly where the challenge was in selecting synonyms for the two words. From there, the challenge expanded over the years, offering various syllabic forms for poets to choose from. Look how far we’ve come!

I’d like to thank each of you for being part of the WordPress poetic community here on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry. We’ve sure had fun through the years. I can’t wait to see where the challenge goes next. I’m always open to suggestions. Just send me an email! I want to continue growing this challenge through the years ahead. Here’s to many more years! Cheers! 🥂🍾

This week, I chose Sangeetha’s (Mindfills) chōka poem to feature. I like the story she found in the image:

truth hit me like rain
lashing at my mortal skin
naked, unguarded
leaving red weals of wisdom
as the end begins
washing away yesterday's
into a new earth
I stand still, soak it all in
as you leave the place we lived

© Sangeetha

This is a good example of reading between the lines and finding inspiration from an image. Sangeetha describes nothing we already can see in the image. The themes of endings, death, and rebirth all play a part in her poem. The last line of her poem connects to the lithograph with no description needed. This is what I’m talking about. Let the image tell its story to you. Then, write it.

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

Jules and I are excited to share the cover of the First Edition of Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse. The Kindle copy will be available for preorder on September 1, 2021, for delivery on October 1st, 2021. The print edition will release October 1, 2021. The proceeds from this journal will go to fund a Poetry Contest on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry to be announced at a later date. Click HERE to preorder.

Stay in touch! Follow Word Weaving on Twitter @word_weaving.

Happy Birthday #TankaTuesday

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.

39 thoughts on “#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 244 | Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt (Happy Birthday Tanka Tuesday)

  1. Happy birthday Tanka Tuesday!
    Kudos to Colleen for being such an amazing mentor and keeping up the challenge week after week….

    A challenge that we all enjoy and look forward to!


    Liked by 4 people

  2. Happy Birthday! I looked back and the earliest tanka Tuesday I could find was December 9, 2016. But almost there from the start.

    Sangeetha’s poem is wonderful. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, my gosh… I think you, Merril, and Jane were in at the beginning. So many of you started with this challenge. Quite a few moved on, but that’s normal. I can’t believe we’ve been writing syllabic poetry for five years. LOL! That’s longer than I’ve lived in certain places. LOL! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy Birthday Tanka Tuesday!!! And to all who over the years that participated. I do not recall when I first joined the prompt – but I am delighted with the challenges and keep coming back for more!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A most Happy Birthday to Tanka Tuesday!

    As you know, it takes interest, passion and absolute dedication and determination to consider hosting prompts – so kudos to you Colleen 😊

    And of course, a site that continues on, growing, changing, with people new and old, is also a huge part of the hosting, and growing a community. So cheers to all for helping to build such a welcoming place. Indeed, coming together to learn, share and challenge each other in a warm, friendly place is special.

    May Tank Tuesday continue to evolve for many years to come!

    And what a lovely choice – fascinating and intriguing interpretation of last week’s prompt. Kudos to Sangeetha 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy birthday! As I came in late I have just assumed you’ve been here forever. My first Tanka for your prompt was #52, so I guess I celebrated your first birthday as well. Here’s to the next five years, one syllable at a time. Cool beans, Colleen.

    Liked by 2 people

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