“Blue of Pure Mind,” chōka & hanka

Image by Peter Lomas from Pixabay
the blue throat chakra...
a nexus to the divine
blue hues of heaven
serene, calm, tranquility
found in a blue sky,
slow down, make time to be still
listen to your voice
obey the stillness within
blue the color of pure mind

uncluttered by thoughts
in silence, one can perceive
blue—the purest mind
open wide... the throat chakra 
your seat of creativeness

© Colleen M. Chesebro

This week for #TankaTuesday, I asked everyone to select one of the seven chakra colors to feature in their poetry. Color is a powerful poetic tool, and when used in poetry, it helps to convey our thoughts and feelings.

I wrote a chōka followed by a hanka (tanka) according to the cheat sheet:

The chōka (long poem) was the storytelling form of Japanese poetry from the 1st to the 13th century. It is unrhymed and written in alternating five and seven-syllable lines that end with an extra seven-syllable line. The early form consisted of a series of katuata joined together. (A katuata is 5-7-7 (19) onji, or 5-7-5 (17) onji) and is required for your poem. It is composed of any number of couplets made up of alternating 5-7 onji (sound syllables) per line. In English, we can only treat the onji as a syllable. A nine-line chōka is 5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-7 or 5-7-7-5-7-5-7-7-7. Chōka often were followed by one or more short poems called hanka, or “envoys,” summarizing, supplementing, or elaborating on the contents of the main poem. Often, a tanka would serve as an envoy.”

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About Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.
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  1. This is beautiful.

  2. Love it, and thank you for introducing us to another form <3

  3. Peaceful. (K)

  4. I love this, Colleen! I felt myself breathing a bit deeper while reading it. Great poem! 🙂

  5. Oh, Colleen, this is beautiful! I love the form and yes, a poetry book about chakras is a great idea! 💛

  6. I love how you’ve touched upon the positivity of blue color Colleen… creativity at its best! Thanks for introducing us to a new form.

  7. Serenity and pure beauty Sis <3

  8. Pingback: Word Craft Poetry#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 283 | #TastetheRainbow, Chakra Color Poetry

  9. Wonderful poem, Colleen. Toni x

  10. This beautiful and calming Colleen 💜

  11. Ah…. yes deep breaths and wonderful sighs before home repairs and then after.
    I am looking forward to putting mostly everything back in its place and continue to ‘downsize’ so there is less to worry about. 😀

    • We’re done! Finally! Then the cable went out for 3 days! That’s fixed now. 😊 Shhh… 🤞🏻

      • I can’t imagine living in an area that has rolling blackouts… you’d have to really becareful then.

        Even though we live in an area where the stuff is under the ground… there are neighborhoods with stuff above. So if a pole gets jimmied, fried or bumped into we can have an issue. Last month we were down for about three hours. But it was at night – so it wasn’t so bad.

        • No rolling black outs here… the cable box was replaced, and it was defective. It took 3 days to get them to replace it. Our cable and electric are all under ground—thank goodness. We’re in the same situation. In January, a train took out a Cable tower in some high winds. We were without cable for 3 days so they could repair the tower. It’s always something, isn’t it? LOL!

  12. Colleen, this is a deliciously soothing verse 🙂

    BTW, a quick question – what are the rules for the hanka?


  13. Gwen M. Plano

    Amazing and beautiful, Colleen. ❤️

  14. This is lovely, and has the chakra at its heart, which makes it especially apposite.

  15. Lovely poem, Colleen. So serene. I drew in a big blue breath while reading. I like this form, mostly because I get to use lots of syllables. Lol. The responses to the prompt have been wonderful. <3

  16. A peaceful poem. But then, that the nature of blue, isn’t it. Thanks for sharing.


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