Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 108, “Afraid & Grave,” #SynonymsOnly



Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY! Except for the first challenge of the month ~ then, the poets get to choose their own words. <3

I hope you will support the other poets with visits to blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.


PLEASE NOTE: This challenge is for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, and Cinquain, and Etheree poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. <3


NotedPlease note: We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!

The most meaningful change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in various parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on deciding the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your work.

I sponsor this challenge to help poets learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are sending your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them.

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first-person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first-person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain ALSO: Check out the Cinquain variations listed here: Cinquain-Wikipedia These are acceptable methods to use. Please list the form you use so we can learn from you. 

Etheree The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree Syllable Count: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree Syllable Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have IRONY present. Click the link to learn the meaning of irony.

haiku vs senryu

Image credit:

(Currently, free-verse prose poems are NOT part of this challenge)

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables 

This site even has a link so you install the extension on Google Chrome.

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.

I don't get it


I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain links to the participants.


You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A.

This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the Recap I publish on Monday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words. Choose synonyms from those words for your poetry. You, the poet, now have more control over the direction of your writing. Follow the rules carefully. Don’t use the prompt words.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Recap published each Monday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Senryu, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree

I have also been sharing your poetry on my Facebook Page here: Please follow me so that I can tag you in my posts.  FOLLOW, LIKE, & SHARE from my page. ❤

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:


Here are the TWO prompt words for this week’s challenge: “Afraid & Grave,” #SynonymsOnly

Have fun and write some Halloween poetry!

zombie colleen Hurry up and write some POETRY before the Zombies get you!! 

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on
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  1. The hat suits you, Colleen. It goes well with the smile! 😉

  2. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 108, “Afraid & Grave,” #SynonymsOnly | willowdot21

  3. Loving the new look Colleen. Going to come back with my share for this week.

  4. Pingback: #Tanka Tuesday: Afraid & Grave – Jane Dougherty Writes

  5. Here’s a very un-spooky butterfly cinquain. Sorry, but I refuse to be drawn 🙂

  6. Pingback: A Halloween Adventure #haibun #tanka | Trent's World (the Blog)

  7. Hi Colleen. I wrote a Haibun with a Tanka for this Halloween edition of Tanka Tuesday:

  8. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge… #Etheree | anita dawes and jaye marie

  9. Armed and ready. My double etheree is coming out tomorrow in time for Samhain. <3

  10. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge Afraid & Grave | Annette Rochelle Aben

  11. My short link in case the ping back doesn’t work

  12. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    It is that time of the week when we all get our syllables in a line or 5 or 10 to participate in Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Challenge. If you don’t see me for a while, you will know what I am up to…

  13. Hey Colleen! 🙂
    Here’s my take on this week’s challenge:

    Happy reading! 🙂

  14. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Challenge #108 – Afraid & Grave #MicroPoetry #Etheree | But I Smile Anyway...

  15. Pingback: The Undead | Willow Poetry

  16. Pingback: Once Upon a Halloween Horror: a #TankaTuesday #TankaProse – Frank J. Tassone

  17. Pingback: Dying To Be Alone (Etheree Poem) – ethan dale eagar

  18. Pingback: #Halloween #Poetry Challenge #Tanka Tuesday - Trick or treat

  19. Happy Halloween,Colleen! You look cheerful with that smile and hat. I tried to figure out how you took that photo with the fog. Have a great time at Sally’s party! <3 I'll be back with the entry. <3

  20. Pingback: Lies Silent – #Tanka – Let Me Tell You the Story of…

  21. Pingback: Folly | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  22. Pingback: Dream – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  23. I think I did a companion piece to Jane’s. She did the blue horses; I did the deer. 🙂

  24. Pingback: Black Midnight Sky – Charmed Chaos

  25. Pingback: Smorgasbord Poetry – #Tanka for Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 108, “Afraid & Grave,” #SynonymsOnly | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  26. Pingback: Nothing to Fear (Tanka) | Darkness of His Dreams

  27. Pingback: Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Afraid & Grave | The Showers of Blessings

  28. I’m back, Colleen. The pirate image is so cute. I went with a youth group as a teenager to visit an interesting pirates’ cave by a harbor.
    Here’s my entry. Have a wonderful weekend.<3
    Hi, Colleen, I'll do the book launch next Monday, November 5. <3

  29. Pingback: Halloween | Mucky Boots and Flawless Paws

  30. Pingback: “A Norse Halloween,” A #Tanka – Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer

  31. Pingback: Friday Fun Poetry Challenge: Afraid and Grave (Synonyms Only) | Abbie's Corner of the World

  32. Pingback: Tanka Tuesday – choice | Twenty Four

  33. Here is my entry Colleen which I posted on Halloween but forgot to link back to your post:

  34. Pingback: Solemn Moment | Stuff and what if…

  35. Hi Colleen. Halloween in over, so I went with a different theme.

  36. Pingback: Calling on (Better) Angels | like mercury colliding...

  37. Pingback: COLLEEN’S WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY NO. 108, “AFRAID & GRAVE,” – The Secret Letters to Timbo

  38. I don’t exactly know what should I call it, so, I am just leaving it to you, Colleen.

  39. Pingback: Poetry Friday ~ Afraid & Grave | The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

  40. I love your witch costume, Colleen! Thanks for hosting another fun poetry prompt challenge! Have a wonderful weekend!
    <3 xo
    Here's my contribution this week!

  41. Pingback: Possibilities | method two madness

  42. Pingback: Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday: AFRAID and GRAVE – Afterwards

  43. Pingback: Vita – Aweni

  44. Hi Colleen,
    Another lovely challenge😊. Thank you.
    Here’s my entry

  45. Pingback: Future – thehouseofbailey

  46. Pingback: Future - Scott Andrew Bailey

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