#TankaTuesday: #SynonymnsOnly for sanctuary & follow

This week’s TankaTuesday poetry challenge is synonyms only, using the words sanctuary and follow. I wrote a tanka using the word ‘sanctum’ for sanctuary, and ‘reflect’ for follow.

my inner sanctum—
a space for contemplation
psychic solitude,
where whispered prayers sent skyward,
reflect all good intentions


© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Life is always an interesting journey. After one week, I decided that working as a part-time receptionist in a salon was just too stressful. In some ways, I wanted to prove to myself that I still had it… which I don’t, which isn’t all bad.

I’d changed as a person. In the last few years, I’ve grown more introverted. After all, I’m a writer and a poet… maybe that is what I needed to prove to myself. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Just be YOU! Lesson learned. <3

“#Michigan #Gardening,” #haibun

I feel great satisfaction in the planting and growing of perennials. They become my offspring, a by-product of the energy I infuse into the plants to grow and become strong. Each season, I fuss over the fresh growth, thrilled that my plant babies survived another year.

day’s first blush
halcyon weather
eventide storms

Today, the humidity wrapped vaporous tendrils of fog around the trees in my neighborhood. As I labored in the garden digging holes, my sweat dripped into the soil.

dark clouds birth
crepuscular light
draws rainfall

By the time the rains came, my plants were tucked into the soil and my balance with nature was again restored.

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro


This haibun is an example of a prose envelope haibun (prose, haiku, prose). An explantation of the form is found on page 84-89 in the print book of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry.

This week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge was to pick synonyms for the words dawn and twilight selected by Gwen Plano. I used “first blush” for dawn and “eventide” for twilight. In the second haiku, I used “birth” for dawn, and “crepuscular light” for twilight.

Catching Up & a haiku

The last six months have been a whirlwind! We packed up and moved cross country from Arizona to Michigan in January—during a pandemic, no less. Once here, we tackled as many fixer-upper issues as we could in the new house. This will be a process. The dates we received from our contractor have us at Thanksgiving before the kitchen and flooring are done on the first floor. You know, with Covid and all the shortages of products and goods, you do what you can do.

I’ve no idea how I managed to finish Word Craft: Prose & Poetry during this stressful time. All I know was that it was important to write and publish the book. I felt like there was a need for all of us to learn how to write stimulating syllabic poetry. I want to personally thank every one of you for your poetry examples and your encouragement. If you’ve purchased the book, I thank you. I hope it opens the floodgates to other forms of poetry for everyone.

I also felt there was a need to publish a journal of syllabic verse. Many poets do not have the ways or means to publish their poetry. I thought this would present an opportunity for unpublished poets, you know, to establish some poetic credentials.

I also thought the proceeds from the journal sales would be a great way to fund a yearly poetry contest with cash prizes—that is, with a full disclosure of the journal sales figures. I considered asking a fee to enter the poetry contest, but that didn’t sit well with me.

I acknowledge there are many poetry journals and online magazines out there right now. Many ask for a fee upfront before you know whether or not your poem is even accepted. Others accept free entries and if your poetry is accepted, you pay $16 or more for a print version of the book featuring your poem.

Is this a form of vanity publishing? The Alliance of Independent authors discusses vanity publishing in the context of book authors:

“Dictionary.com defines the term as “a printing house that specializes in publishing books for which the authors pay all or most of the costs.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a publishing house that publishes books at the author’s expense.”

What is Vanity Publishing?

Vanity presses publish everything that is submitted by an author. The author bears the costs of producing the book.

In comparison, the Word Weaving poetry journal allows a poet three FREE entries. The entries are vetted. My co-editor, JulesPaige and I decide which poetry makes it into the journal. We will offer a low-cost ebook and print book for purchase. The funds from the sale of the journal will be used to fund a poetry contest with cash prizes (Amazon gift cards). There is no obligation to purchase the journal.

All rights revert to the respective author/artist upon publication. Word Weaving keeps the right to republish work either digitally or in print. No work featured in the journal may be used, copied, sold, or distributed elsewhere without the copyright holder’s permission. If your work is republished, we would appreciate a mention that Word Weaving was the first place of publication.

If you’re interested in submitting to Word Weaving click HERE. Submissions close after July 15, 2021.

Day lilies and Coreposis

Next, we get to my other passion… gardening. It’s warmed up here in Michigan. Today, I was able to work on the blank canvas of a garden the previous owner of this house left us with. I’ve got a lot more to do, but I confess that working in the soil made me feel reconnected to nature and to myself.

There are many out-of-control bushes in the front and on the sides of the house. I have a landscaper coming to get rid of those plants in the next week or so. That DirectTV dish will find its way in the trash pile as well. 😀

Now that I’ve brought you all up to date, here my poem for this week for Tanka Tuesday. It’s Poet’s Choice and a simple haiku gives me joy!

south wind gusts...
temperatures rise
meadowlark sings

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
Eastern Meadowlark

“Nectar of the Devas,” #BadgerHexastich

This week for the Tanka Tuesday poetry challenge we skipped a week… Yup, it was totally my fault. This week should have been a photo prompt. No worries, we’ll do the photo prompt on March 23rd.

In the meantime, our theme prompt came from Merril D. Smith, who suggested we write about immortality.

What is immortality? A state of deathlessness— a dimension of the mind where the soul dwells after reaching Nirvana? “Immortality is mindfulness occupied with the body.” (psy-minds.com/amrita)

Immortality—Life, death, rebirth, and the circle continues until Nirvana is attained.

"Nectar of the Devas"

soma—
sweet ambrosia
the drink of the devas
immortality gained
with a mere sip...
heaven

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The idea of immortality is ancient and goes far back into antiquity. Almost all religions have some concept of immortality, as well. There is much speculation about what this nectar of the devas (soma) really was. Could it have been fly-agaric? Or was it Cannabis?

How does a Pagan Buddhist view immortality? It’s a gift from the gods…

How to be immortal in real life

“Spring,” A Diatelle

For Tanka Tuesday – I tried the Diatelle… finally! End rhymes have never been my favorite. I prefer the subtleness of haiku or tanka with the revelation that grabs you! Truthfully, I found it difficult to find the right word, as the rhyme dictated my choices. However, I enjoyed the form and will work with it further.

The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an etheree, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

“Spring”

spring
sunlight
grows in might
darkness recedes
old winter wind’s harsh bite
melts the last snow airing new weeds
yellow heads releasing their fluffy seeds
who like the scarlet cardinal have taken wing
saffron forsythia blossoms now freed
tumble gently like star shine beads
new life, a welcome sight
as marsh hares breed
plants take heed
life’s creed—
spring

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“Day Dreams,” #tanka

The Tanka Tuesday poetry challenge asked us to write about “dreams” this week.

I wrote a tanka poem:

Image by Michael Grey from Pixabay

Day Dreams

 blue sky, cloud watching
 under the green canopy,
 opaque day dreams build
 poetry and story plots,
 fashioning magical worlds

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The tanka is one of the most popular forms in our challenge. Let’s review a few of the characteristics of the tanka.

The 5/7/5/7/7 syllabic form is written from the perspective of the poet. Japanese poetry has stricter rules than other poetry, although the tanka is the most forgiving of these forms.

The first three lines of your tanka should convey a specific theme. The last two lines of your tanka are usually where the pivot occurs. The pivot should change the course of your writing with an implied metaphor, or some kind of comparison. You want to link the two parts of your poetry so the reader can connect to your meaning in fresh ways.

Don’t end your lines with articles and prepositions. Always use precise language: verbs, adjectives, etc. Use your five senses when writing tanka poetry.

Compose, read, and write your tanka poems to be read forward and backward. Often, the meaning changes or becomes more impactful to the reader when read backward.

Have fun writing tanka poetry!

“At the Precipice,” #BadgerHexastich, #PhotoPrompt

This week, the Tanka Tuesday Ekphrastic poetry challenge asked us to write our poetry using the psychology of color. We can take the image at face value, or choose a specific color in the rainbow umbrella to write about, or we can write about the lack of color. However, we interpret this image is up to us… we just have to make sure to incorporate the psychology of color.

Notice the “gray” bland coloring of the waterfall in the image. Gray is an interesting neutral, stuck between black and white, neither good nor evil. This color signifies distance, remoteness, almost a cold reckoning. I used the Badger Hexastich for this image because the short syllable structure helped to convey my word choice. The first stanza accentuates the gray.

The second stanza zeroes in on the symbolism of the rainbow umbrella – diversity found in the colors of the rainbow.

This Badger Hexastich deals with opposites: alone, and with you. Check out the cheatsheet to learn more about this form. It’s updated on wordcraftpoetry. com.

At the Precipice

Alone—
cold reticence
blending in with the crowd
playing it safe, balanced
turbulently
detached

With you— 
diversity
embracing life's choices
happy together in
our unity
as one

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The first double ennead challenge is up at the Saddle Up Saloon at carrot ranch.com. Join in and learn a new form HERE.

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“Melancholy Autumn,” #Haiku

This week’s theme for our poetry challenge is a haiku written by Sue Vincent:

clouds cover the moon, 
beyond dawn's pale horizon 
sun rises unseen  

©2020 Sue Vincent

The idea is to use Sue’s haiku as inspiration for your own syllabic poetry. Remember, in this challenge we can use any of the following poetry forms:

Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Renga, Solo-Renga, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and Shadorma

Image by imagii from Pixabay

silver mist conceals
shadows of past and present
cleansed by icy rain

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Let’s Talk About Haiku

HAIKU IN ENGLISH: Traditional Haiku in English is written in three lines with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the last line: 5/7/5, for a total of seventeen syllables written in the present tense.

Haiku do not rhyme, nor do they contain metaphors and similes. The use of an implied metaphor is acceptable.

The current standards for creating Haiku in English suggest a form with three lines and syllables of 3/5/3 (11 syllables). Even the more abbreviated haiku version with three lines and syllables of 2/3/2 (7 syllables) is now thought of more favorably than the traditional 5/7/5 format. Hybrid haiku are written with seventeen-syllables in one or more lines.

Most haiku are written about nature, the seasons, a beautiful moment in nature, an emotional experience while in nature, or change. A haiku should share a special moment of awareness with the reader.

There is often a seasonal word used to explain the time of year, called a kigo, which is a seasonal description, such as: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and New Year’s. There should only be one kigo per haiku. It’s up to the poet to decide if they want to include a kigo in their poem.

Most haiku do not contain titles.

The use of punctuation is optional in the creation of the haiku.

Three or more haiku written together are considered a series or sequence.

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

“The Rebirth,” #Tanka

The Tanka Tuesday #PhotoPrompt challenge for this week explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Diana Peach from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge, seen above.

“The Rebirth,” #Tanka

the forest's womb holds
my reflection in limbo—
grief cleanses my soul
saying goodbye, my tears fall
another rebirth awaits

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Life is often a series of starts and stops, followed by many new beginnings. I’ve embraced the change. <3

WEEKLY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | #Synonyms Only: Annette rochelle aben

It’s HOT in Arizona! How are you staying cool?

Welcome to this week’s poetry challenge stars! Jules picked some interesting words for us all to work with this week for our #SynonymsOnly challenge: Circled and Squared.

At first the words intimidated me… but not for long. Thesaurus.com listed plenty of words.

Circled synonyms: encircle, rotate, surround, loop, etc.

Squared synonyms: balance, fit in, jibe, fix, pay, buy, conform, etc.

Remember the idea behind the synonyms only challenge is not to use the prompt words. That is the challenge part. Search for synonyms on thesaurus.com to use in your poetry.

Thanks to everyone who took part! You did an outstanding job tackling those words. Here’s everyone who joined in courtesy of Mr. Linky:

1.kittysverses10.Kerfe Roig19.Sue Vincent
2.Padre11.Goutam Dutta20.Colleen Chesebro
3.Kim12.Jude21.Vashti Quiroz- Vega
4.Trent McDonald13.s. s.22.Sally Cronin
5.Elizabeth14.theindieshe23.Merril D. Smith
6.Jules15.Marsha Ingrao24.Linda Lee Lyberg
7.willowdot2116.Christine Bialczak
8.Annette Rochelle Aben17.anita dawes  
9.Traci Kenworth18.Donna Matthews  

I selected Annette Rochelle Aben to pick next month’s synonyms. I got a chuckle from her senryu. All the elements are there, irony, humor, and she chose an awkward moment in life making the human, not the world around them (the natural world) the subject of her poem. Excellent!

Congratulations, Annette Rochelle Aben, it’s your turn to pick the synonyms for next month’s #SynonymsOnly challenge. Please Email me your choice at tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com before next month’s challenge.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“Old Dog, New Tricks”

The troglodyte thought
I’ll give it a whirl, why not
Learn to disco dance

©2020 Annette Rochelle Aben

source: annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!