Colleen’s 2019 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 121, “Work & Slow,” #SynonymsOnly

Welcome to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Recap featuring the work of poets from around the globe. If you would like to participate in this challenge, you can learn the rules in the menu item called Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: Don’t forget to count your syllables. Use this site: howmanysyllables.com. Click on the workshop tab. Then, copy and paste your poem into the box, and click “count syllables” at the bottom.

Each week, I like to highlight a poet who I call the Poet of the Week, who has shared an exceptional message, or shown an impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do.

Poet of the Week for Jan 29 – Feb 3: Merril D. Smith

The Poet of the Week will be published in the 2019 Poet of the Week Anthology, which everyone will be able to grab as a PDF in January 2020.

You have no idea how difficult it is to choose only one poem to highlight each week. I put a lot of work into this post each week, so as a thank you to me, please take notice of the poetry, visit the other poets, and share this post to the moon and back. ❤

This week, I’ve chosen Merril D. Smith, and her double Etheree called, “Sojourner.” This poem is the embodiment of assuming a persona in order for your reader to feel the words. The syllable structure allows powerful dialogue, a technique that makes you connect with the prose.

I’ve read this double Etheree numerous times, and like fine wine, it gets better every time I read it. It’s the smoothness of the writing… each line flowing into the other, that tells the life of this woman in 10 lines. Remarkable!

"Sojourner"

She
labored
one of many
enslaved humans.
“Ain’t I a woman?”
she asked later, challenging
stagnant thoughts about gender
as well as race, believing she
deserved the same rights as any man.
Infused with holy spirit, awakened,
she sojourned, orating and proclaiming.
She had been beaten and abused, but
she escaped, then helped others flee.
Change soars like a bird in flight,
falls like an autumn leaf.
Yet once a woman
stood tall, speaking
of justice,
telling
truth.

©2019 Merril D. Smith

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR THE POETRY CHALLENGE USING SYNONYMS FOR “Work & Slow”

ORDER: title, type of poem, followed with the name of the poet, and the link back to their post, and the poem.

Dig and Delve: #Cinquain
Worms dig 
the cold earth moles 
badgers delve unhurried 
galleries in the eternal 
darkness.
Jane Dougherty

Impaled #Haibun #Tanka
The epitome
Of naivety lingers
Only long enough
To hone the fated spike -
with which youth is impaled

A car pulls up alongside the bench, on which I’m sitting. He
rolls down the window, smiles, and asks me if I’m ok. I tell
him yes - not realizing my youthful demeanor betrays me -
he knows I am alone, and have no place to stay.

I get in the car and we make the necessary small talk. Just long
enough for the inevitable proposition to be made. And even
though I know all along it’s coming, it takes a moment for me
to translate what he’s saying.

I do my best to answer nonchalantly - to act as if I do this every
day. I tell myself, ‘Just shut up and do it! You need the money.
There IS no other way.”

Triumphant! I check into the room, I can afford now. I feel like
god! - until I am alone behind the door.

By necessity
forged, of molten circumstance
Sexualities
misguided invocation-
Casts a formidable too
Violet Lentz

Storm, #Tanka
the storm is coming
unhurried willing moment
lightness in the air
letting go of any task
only being here and now
Elizabeth

Life 😉 #Haibun #Tanka
The alarm is shouting at me. I roll over, fumble for a moment,
putting in far too much effort for the simple chore, but finally
hit the switching, shutting up little bully. I wrench a leg over
the side of the bed and then force the other over. Ugh. I am
sluggish, more than a bit dull and feeling lazy. Coffee. I yawn.
I need coffee. I struggle my way up the steps to start the day,
but before I am able to get into the refreshing, reviving shower,
before I can have any life-giving coffee, something in my brain
does move at a glacier pace and causes me to ponder:

I want to stop here
Leisurely enjoy my life
Living for right now
The world makes me labor on
Are we defined by our jobs?
trentpmcd

Duh - #Senryu
Lackadaisical
Attitude towards the new job
Was not received well
©2019 Annette Rochelle Aben

"Labor and Leisure," #Nonet
Breath pushed into your lungs is enough.
After so much labor of love,
At last we’re allowed to meet.
I count your ribs, your fingers,
Enjoy sweet perfection.
Grow with leisure,
Age with love.
You’ll leave
soon.
H.R.R. Gorman

Attainment #Haiku
A leisurely pace
Attains the impossible
Rising to the task
Sue Vincent

Snow Follies: a #TBT #TankaProse
The lethargic movement
of snowplows
Where will I park tomorrow
with glaciers filling the lot?

A fine layer of snow covers the driveway. Frank and I would
have shovelled it clear, but the forecast calls for more tomorrow.
Why waste the effort?

And yet, come tomorrow, I will walk across the iced-over
snow. Crunch, crunch, will go my footsteps– if I am lucky.
If not, I may find myself on my back, the wind knocked
out of me as I gasp for breath. Or my trust in the vaunted
Asymetrical all-wheel drive of my Subaru Legacy may prove
misplaced, as the sedan skids helplessly in place, unable to
move.

All for the want of a little extra comfort, and the habit to
procrastinate such necessary tasks as snow removal.

starless night
the labor unexpended
until the next day
Living the suburban dream
of property ownership!
Frank J. Tassone

Lollygagging, #Tanka
lollygagging mode
adrift to the days of old
a sense of well being -
recess bell spawns youthful dash -
dusty school yard - smell of rain
Pat R

 "Duel", #Tanka
Clear this idle deck
I’m to force friends to duel
Planks won’t walk themselves
When laggard swords aren’t talking
Love pains me to be shipwrecked
Ethan Dale Eagar

Withered #Tanka
Her destiny swayed
In between the hands of clock
A labor of love
Awaiting leisured sun rays
Dried unrequited roses
Ponnz

"Harvesting" Double Etheree
Hark
small bird
land softly
and soundlessly
on the sluggish hound
unknowing of your task
to obtain the precious fur
from beneath his shaggy rough coat
and if deft he will not feel swift tugs
that skillfully pluck those wisps of fine hair
Now fly swiftly away to your small nest
and weave that soft down between the twigs
that form the cradle for your eggs
then hasten back to the source
to steal a few more strands
and if luck should hold
and hunger strikes
you may find
juicy
fleas
Sally Cronin

 "Be Heard" #Tanka
To remain quiet
Shows reluctance, in myself
I must endeavor
To become a voice, be heard
And dare to be different
Dorinda Duclos

My world  #Tanka
I can't operate
In sedate environments
Ultra busy days
Filled with interesting jobs
Keep my world going around
 Robbie Cheadle

Work & Slow, #Etheree
 Run
for your
life, it's time
Just keep running
the black dog is slow
His hunting days are over
he wants to follow you now
Find a warm home, food, and comfort
To sleep, dream by a warm, lazy fire
You left food out, now he's found his way home
Anita Dawes

"The Ploughman" #Tanka
Following the ox
in a cumbersome progress
over rough pastures,
he wears, but we share, the yoke
as from dawn to dusk we toil
Bobby Fairfield

"Perseverance", #Haiku
measured maneuver
trial in perseverance
triumphant labour
Hélène - Willow Poetry

“Lighter Fluid”, #Tanka
nudged and dragged, sluggish,
from murky waters of sleep,
eyelids droop… COFFEE!
flame ignites an inner light,
a blaze that consumes the toil
Holly Fister

Work & Slow, #Haiku
sloth endeavors trip
leisurely taking each step
with a pleasant smile
Holly Fister

Marvel, #Butterfly #Cinquain
Marvel-
pollen laden
lethargic honeybees
endeavor to gather a sweet
array
of each fragrant flower’s essence
to create a complex
flavor infused
nectar
Linda Lee Lyberg

Work & Slow #Haiku 
words raced fast as snails
across the page left slick trails 
the task ahead - sales
(No post...) D. Avery

Sojourner, #Double #Etheree
She
labored
one of many
enslaved humans.
“Ain’t I a woman?”
she asked later, challenging
stagnant thoughts about gender
as well as race, believing she
deserved the same rights as any man.
Infused with holy spirit, awakened,
she sojourned, orating and proclaiming.
She had been beaten and abused, but
she escaped, then helped others flee.
Change soars like a bird in flight,
falls like an autumn leaf.
Yet once a woman
stood tall, speaking
of justice,
telling
truth.
Merril D. Smith

Time Management, #Etheree
On
the job,
I could not,
Heaven forbid,
keep a plodding pace.
I had to move quickly
from one task to another,
stopping only for breaks and lunch.
Now, I’m my own boss, keep my own pace,
decide how and when to use all my time.
abbiejohnsontaylor

Ben's View #Haiku
Window on the world
Dogs employed herding sheep
Farmer strolls behind
Ben, Munro buddy and budding dog-poet

Lifelines, #Haibun
How do you feel about fortune tellers? Palm readers? Horoscopes?
I absolutely adore the idea of being able to look into the future! To
see what’s not yet. Plan and prepare.

What scares you?
Spiders and lizards?
Or rather,
something else,
stories and conspiracies,
crawling through your thoughts

But alas, lines etched on our palms are just that…lines. And the month
we were born? Awfully presumptuous to believe all us Aries are cut
from the same cloth. There is, however, One that knows the number
of our days and the color of our tomorrow…but He’s stubborn in
His requirement of Faith. And Love. And Today. These are our lifelines.

Beware the
cunning distractions
instead, fight
declaring
all vicissitudes be damned
your labor of joy
Donna Matthews

Time, #Tanka
Time creeps up on us
A leisurely assassin,
Unrushed to pass us
Like a steadily pasted chore
Sloth speed, caught up in the toil.
WillowDot21


A Meditation, #Tanka
I function my best
when my day germinates with
thoughtful quiet time—
and like the lotus I spin
cleansing my chakras anew.

©2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

To be Woke, #Shadorma
we burden
ourselves by caring,
by serving
others, while
apathetic morons quell
all hope in the dream
Kat

Valentine, #Senryu
lethargic lover
roses are too much effort
last year's card revived
Piglet in Potrugal

Slow & Work, Reverse #Etheree
Celebration and mourning all at once, 
a journey of mixed emotions 
and a long flight home,
 stressed and saddened,
hard to get over jet lag.
With no demand of job,
I took time to let
my body find its
 way back
to old
self.
Miriam Hurdle

Navigation, #Tanka
hindered by clouds, I
struggle to translate signals
revealed by dark sails—
the sea paired with hidden winds
disturbing the horizon
Method Two Madness
Navigation, #Tanka
hindered by clouds, I
struggle to translate signals
revealed by dark sails—
the sea paired with hidden winds
disturbing the horizon
Method Two Madness

Are you looking for more writing/poetry/photography challenges?

H.R.R. Gorman has created a comprehensive list on his blog. Click HERE to learn more. ❤

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

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