Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenges No. 114, 115, & 116 #SynonymsOnly


Hi! I’m going to take some much needed time off to celebrate Yuletide, starting today, December 11 – December 31st, 2018. There will be NO challenges or recaps until January 1, 2019.

However, I know some of you will want to continue writing your weekly poetry. So, I’ve listed out the challenge words for the next three weeks.

12/11/18: Try & Life

12/18/18: Fly & Sing

12/25/18: Belief & Joy

Remember your participation is optional. I won’t be doing any more recaps for this year.

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

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

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


Please 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:

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

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

Nonet The elements of the Nonet are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of 9 line stanzas.
  2. syllabic, 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 syllables per line.
  3. usually unrhymed.

Shadorma The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables.

When writing a Shadorma I would concentrate on a specific subject. The brevity of syllables is perfect for that kind of structure.

A poem may consist of one stanza or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas).

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.

Image credit:

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 challenge participant’s poems.


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 from the previous week, on the Recap published 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, #Nonet, #Shadorma

Visit Robbie Cheadle’s Poetry Sharing Group on Facebook! JOIN TODAY!

Robbie Cheadle has set up a public group on Facebook called: “Poetry Sharing Group.”  If your blog has a Facebook share button, I will be sharing your work in Robbie’s group. I’ve noticed that your posts get lost in the abyss of posts on Facebook. I think this is a great way to share our work with other poets. Please click the link above to join this group. Remember, sharing is caring! Thank you. <3

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:

I want to personally thank each and everyone of you for making this challenge such a huge success. I look forward to seeing your creativity each week. May you all be blessed with love, luck, and great happiness. See you in 2019. <3

Hugs & Love, ~Colleen~

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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  21. I’ve been so busy, but I really wanted to write something creative. Thank you for leaving a prompt. 🙂

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  34. Hi Colleen! Enjoy your holiday break. You deserve it. Thank you for providing the prompt words. <3 xo

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  40. Have a wonderful totally well deserved break. Thank you so much for all the encouragement you have given a dog poet and his person this year. We both hope you have the most joyous Christmas and New Year. Love Ben ❤🐾

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  43. Well, once again I’ve tried something new, thanks to Colleen! 🙂 This week I’ve tried the Haibun form. These challenges are certainly good for me, as I’ve been used to simply writing poetry ore or less in a free-flow style, although I’ve maintained a somewhat identifiable rhyme scheme. But anyway… Happy Christmas to one and all!

  44. Happy Yule Sis. Good for you taking a break! We all need one eventually 🙂 <3

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  46. Happy Break to you Colleen. See you next year!

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  48. Happy holidays, Colleen. I think I’ll take a break also. See you in the New Year. 🙂

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  51. Thank you for the word combo’s, Colleen. I will share the posts I see. Have a wonderful Christmas. Hugs.

  52. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Colleen Chesebro is taking a well earned break for the holidays from now until the New Year. Kindly she has left some challenge prompts for those who would like to continues with the “Synonyms” only prompts… Happy Holidays Colleen..

  53. Enjoy the holidays! A well deserved break. See you next year😚


  54. Have a great break while we think about the tasks you have set

  55. Have a wonderful, relaxing break! Many blessings of the Winter Solstice! Happy Yule! <3

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  57. Enjoy your break, Colleen! <3

  58. Cheers, Colleen !

  59. Enjoy your break, Colleen. Happy Holidays.

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