“Spring in Michigan” #Haiku Sequence, #NaPoWritMo

I missed a couple days of NaPoWritMo day 19 and my poem-a-day practice due to a packed schedule. I hope to make it up with a glimpse of my afternoon, seen from the upstairs window…

spring thunder
clouds, opaque and dark
sky grumbles

cold rain falls...
petal confetti
litters wet streets

redbird squawks
nest torn asunder,
day's labor lost

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Join me every Tuesday on for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 3

The April 2021 Double Ennead challenge is up at Carrot Ranch! Join in and have some fun writing syllabic poetry.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Happy April! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. As a guest of the Saddle Up Saloon, every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have an entire month to write your poem. No blog? Don’t worry. Add your poem in the comments below.

Check out the poems from last monthHERE

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are…

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Saddle Up Saloon: Double Ennead Challenge No. 2, Recap

Hello everyone! I’ve found an amazing group of poets at Carrot where every third Monday of the month, I host the Double Ennead Challenge as a guest at the Saddle Up Saloon.

Follow the link to last month’s challenge.

What’s a double ennead? The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

This month, I asked the poets to use the theme of “spring” to compose their double ennead poem.

Here are the poems from the March 15th challenge:

"Spring Sprung"

Sol sat solo, silent,
in his melting cell,
hatching his plan to flee his hibernation,
bring Winter’s reign down and
turn freeze into free.

Summer would soon follow,
(he would scorch the earth)
but a more compelling task was now at hand,
bring life to seeming dead
seeds in fertile earth.

‘Arise the Thor of thaw.’
‘Freedom’ did he cry.
He rent the prison’s icy bars asunder,
re-leaved trees in green and
set the waters free.

Doug Jacquier

Pristine snow spring melted,
Now a bubbly froth,
A Cerulean cascade down lush valleys,
Pebbled symphonic waltz,
A welcome deluge.

Arid lands guzzled dry,
Pure manna sullied,
And guillotined by man’s endless avarice,
A limping stagnant slush,
Meeting Mother Sea

Lost in wide blue chiasm,
Defiled drops looked up,
Warmed under the blue canopy of white clouds,
They Rose to be purged clean,

The IndieShe

Turkeys scratch, hunger led
still sharp, winter’s edge,
where frost yet clings, in the face of coming spring
Sun days, trees pulse with sap
icy winds end that;

swirling squalls, freezing cold
reigning season, bold
winter rages defiant, violent bursts
Tireless sun adamant;
winter, worn, relents;

gritty wet, grainy snow
muddy patches show
at last warmth sustained; emerging shoots, ground gained
Turkeys scratch, hunger led
spring’s sprung; they’ll be fed

D. Avery
A Different Spring Cleaning?
(Airing Out the Attic)

Sprang quickly at the dawn
In winter’s last chill ~
They began stripping the old roofs’ shingles quick
Prepping for more repairs;
One; Fan removal

Two; some minor chimney
Pointing and three one
Replacement skylight; bangs and squeaks assault ears
I may sneak out to shop
For some quiet time

And while they’re up there
Hubby’s got a plan
To add insulation in the attic eaves
Where once heat was leaking ~
Happy when all’s done!

"SPRING 2021"

For one winter moment,
one brief twilight still,
the snowline draping the sills of the far peaks,
the chill, dark and troubling,
I worry for spring.

In the depth of its dark,
the veil of its night,
the slight season stirs, stretches the coming blush,
the grace of its entry,
a repose of rain.

Each season has its way,
Its own gift to give.
Spring proffers change, rebirth, earth sprouting anew,
a courtesan of hues,
a bountiful bliss.

Bill Engleson
"Laughter Can Move Mountains"

I put out the bird seed
But the Squirrels come
I am mad as I refill the feeder again
I see one lovely finch
It makes me happy

The squirrels soon comeback
Breaking the feeder
I must purchase a new squirrel proof feeder
I fill it with more seed
Darn tree rats eat it

My feeder stopped nothing
One bird have I seen
Returning to the store I buy something else
I sit with my new gun
And wait for squirrels

Mr. Oh's Sideways View (from comments)
"The Swamp" (Double Ennead for Donna)

Springtime is now in bloom.
Down in Jacksonville,
Buttonwood, black gum, cypress on full display,
with moss hanging, heirloom.
(Land of no good will.)

Sunlight settles, diffused.
Hear claws scrape on bark;
be they lizards on the prowl, or a swamp owl,
no missed step is excused.
(Don’t be caught past dark.)

This ain’t no tourist trap;
best be passing through.
Gator rules roost, prehistoric land seduced.
Is this place on a map?
(Being bait just won’t do.)

Michael Todd (2021) from comments
"Spring Forward"

honeybees busily
mingle with flowers
a menagerie of pink, white and blue blooms
reminders of springtime

and warm sunny days
the wintry days of life
a mindset chiller
yet seeing those first flowers raise our spirits
as we seek renewal
our thoughts flow humbly

golden nectar sweetened
by nature herself
as spring flowers pop out of their winter homes
their joy reaches our soul
sunshine fills our hearts

Eugis Milieu
"A Seasoned Fighter"

The leaves changing colors;
An incoming chill.
Nothing cold as the ice flowing through his veins.
Opening days of camp,
Peak at the right time.

While snow falls to the ground,
The gym’s windows steam.
The heavy bag’s softened with strikes like pistons.
He could do this all day,
Strength in stamina.

The freeze begins to thaw;
Springtime brings showtime.
Prizefighter pollinate the cage with violence.
His cardio proved king;
Off for summer fun!

MMA Storytime
"The Spring Music"

The earth gently opens
to show frail patterns
of leaves, green and purple, basking in their poise
before pulling back to
guard their sibling blooms.

Quails chatter in a calm
extinct birds’ language,
showing off their tanned wings to partners, hushing
at the delicious spray
of dew on their beaks.

Huge mountains and plains still
while oceans whisper,
as skies pour down, drenching tiny and huge lives
soaking the brownish sand
in colors of joy

"The Stirring"

It’s hard to be patient
While looking for growth,
After the dark, dismal, bareness in Winter,
When nothing germinates
And all seems shutdown.

As the sky lightens up
The warmth of the sun,
Encourages the very, first buds of Spring,
Green shoots stretch and poke through
And all seems hopeful.

Buds bloom into flowers
With tender respect,
Producing plentiful fruits throughout Summer,
Then, crops for the harvest
And … all seems at rest.

Laura McHarrie
"Spring On the Farm"

Notice the outside temp
Turn off the furnace
Lift up the windows, let the fresh air blow through
Hear the geese honking by
Snowbanks are all but gone

The fat sheep are lambing
Kid goats bound about
Spindly leg foals stick close to their mama’s side
Pollywogs will soon be
Swimming in the pond

The robins have returned
Goldfinches yellow
The rooster struts around his harem of hens
The calves bleat loneliness
Tis spring on the farm

Sue Spitulnik from comments
"Spring has Sprung"

looking out the window
I gazed in wonder
a carpet of blue stretching out beyond view
a blanket under trees

it took my breath away
this blue tapestry
trees standing tall, arms outstretched giving them shade
a fantasy playground 
on the other side

I could feel the magic
beauty, spellbinding
down on their level, were they hiding in there?
the fairies must be there
just not visible

Ruth Scribbles

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this challenge. Your creativity is inspiring! Writing poetry makes us better writers! As Rebecca Hussey says in the BookRiot article entitled, An English Professor’s Perspective on Hating Poetry:

“…Poetry is about experiencing language more than understanding it, it’s about playing with language rather than mastering it, it’s about creativity and expression rather than knowledge…” Hating Poetry

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on Monday, April 19th! Join in and get your syllabic poetry on!

Happy 36th Anniversary #Tanka Prose, #NaPoWritMo

Ron & Colleen – Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, April 16, 1985

Love is not as straightforward as candlelight and roses… we forged our love from the hard times and the good times. It’s the day-to-day living, the time given to each other, and the times spent with open arms and a giving heart. Love and friendship are the special gifts we share.

"Ron & Colleen"

on this day, April 16th,
now forever remembered
a precious moment 
when our lives became defined
by our love for each other

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro   

“Freyja—the Goddess,” #Double Inverted Nonet, #NaPoWritMo, #Folklore Thursday

I was doing some research, and suddenly the Goddess Freyja called to my muse. This is a fun way to write a poem. I used the word, hunt for search, and the word past for lost, as part of my Tanka Tuesday syllabic poetry challenge. This poem will work for my poem-a-day April challenge and NaPoWritMo, as well.

One of my favorite Twitter hashtags is #FolkloreThursday. If you love anything paranormal or mythological… including faeries, check out the posts on Twitter. I hope they understand that the syllables and word choice limited my poem.

"Freyja—the Goddess"

souls hunt—
rose quartz heals
an offering 
to Freyja, goddess
of love, war, and beauty;
riding a chariot pulled 
by two cats, along with a boar,
she wears a cloak of falcon feathers
Freyja rules o'er her heavenly field...
half who die in battle stay with
her, the rest to Valhalla
A Vanir— seer of
the approaching times
valkyries trust
the mistress
of Norse

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
One down… One to go!

“Spring Sunbeams,” #haiku, #NaPoWritMo

It’s day 14 of NaPoWritMo and my Poem-a-Day practice. I’m sure you’re tired of seeing these white pear tree blossoms, but they are so spectacular. My camera does not do them justice. I think I caught a faery glimmer in the trees. Do you see it?

spring sunbeam...
white blossoms sparkle
in the blue sky

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

My neighborhood is alive with color! Those clouds are bringing in a cold front. Snow tomorrow! I’d much rather have rain, but moisture is moisture.

“White Blossoms,” Day 13: #NaPoWritMo, #haiku

My neighborhood glows with white blossoms from the Bradford Pear trees that line our streets. It’s spectacular! The ground is covered in a white skiff of petals, and it looks like it snowed!

This afternoon the wind grew cold and gusty… just like a typical Michigan spring day. I’ll take some more photos tomorrow. For now, just use your imagination.

cool winds gust...
white petals cascade
lacy spring snow

©2021 Colleen Chesebro

Colleen’s Book Reviews | “A Diamond for Her,” by Mark W. Sasse; “Lockdown Innit,” by MJ Mallon; “Joining Don & Wen,” by Stuart France & Sue Vincent

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’m still playing catch up on my reviews. I hope you enjoy this eclectic selection of books. ~Colleen~


This book releases March 23, 2021

He loved her enough to build her a baseball stadium. With a tip of the cap to the works of W.P. Kinsella, A Diamond for Her is a historical and magical story of love between two people—Raymond & Rochelle—and two grand institutions—America & baseball.

In 1920, railroad man Raymond Blythe had a series of disturbing dreams—giant creatures with Greek names playing baseball. Determined to discover their meaning, he sets off on a bizarre quest to find a connection between Iowa, Theodore Roosevelt, baseball, and his deceased father. While searching for answers at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, he meets a young librarian named Rochelle Christy. This meeting sets him on another quest—to win her hand in marriage, even if it means he has to establish his own baseball league in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains.

If you love baseball, this is a story you will never forget. From the creative genius of Mark W. Sasse, this fictitious history of the Winasook Iron Horses, the founding members of the Allegheny Independent League from 1921 to 1955 comes roaring to life.

“A Diamond for Her” chronicles the lives of Raymond and Rochelle Blythe told through the eyes of semi-retired doctor Charles “Shoeshine” Henry, who narrates the historical record of the Blythes and their remarkable team the Winasook Iron Horses sharing a sweeping view of American history seen through the steady eye of America’s favorite game, baseball.

Raymond Blythe remembers going to a baseball game with his father when he was just a boy. That experience causes him to have a series of dreams where enormous creatures are playing baseball. He knows there’s some kind of explanation for these odd dreams, so he sets off on the quest of his life to connect the dots between Iowa, Theodore Roosevelt, baseball, and his deceased father.

I’m not a sports fan… much to my ex-pitcher husband’s dismay. However, this isn’t just a novel about baseball. It’s also a love story and a historical saga that chronicles the beginnings of baseball, including the quest to solve a mystery. The ending caught me by surprise, and I marveled at the author’s creativity. I’m happy to report that I fully enjoyed the book!

Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

“Lockdown Innit – Poems About Absurdity” is a collection of poetry about the third wave of lockdowns in the U.K. because of the Corona Virus pandemic. Seen through the eyes of poet and author M. J. Mallon, not everything is as it seems, and we should take nothing for granted.

The Coronavirus has brought much of the U.K. and Europe to their knees, while here in the U. S. they’ve taken a more lackadaisical approach to the pandemic. Mallon shares the trials and tribulations of her life in lockdown through her poetry.

Her poem, “The Face Mask Rolls” left me with the haunting image of a discarded mask rolling down the road, clearly a metaphor for the despair this virus has wracked upon humanity.

This is a short, poignant collection that will forever remind us of a time when no one had control over their lives. A must read!

“Open up and get out of the way.”

This is the watchword, the only guide that is needed in order to engage with the land… the planetary being upon which we live. To let go of all preconceptions, to let the ego slide into abeyance, to listen for the whispers on the wind and pay attention to the odd, synchronous events that will happen if you choose to follow the breadcrumb trail…

This is the second book in the Finding Don & Wen two-book series. This second book continues to explore the adventures of two friends through letters as they scrutinize the mysteries of ancient Britain’s (Albion) medieval churches. Sue Vincent and Stuart France are the co-authors.

The writing is poetic and almost spiritual as Don and Wen venture out into the English countryside, visiting the many churches that dot the land. They explored the interiors, the stained glass, and slowly they interpreted the symbolism of the medieval church’s secrets. That is where the stories unfold… on the stained glass they found dragons on hilltops and trolls guarding streams.

Their quest is a journey for knowledge, the chance to let go of all preconceptions, ignore the ego, and pay attention to the synchronous events around them. I was in my spiritual element. There was symbolism represented in the nine kites flying overhead and the sacred number three.

Sue Vincent says it best:

“It was a day of pure magic and the land, no matter where we found ourselves, would never again be silent. By simply paying attention, it was as if the earth was illuminating itself from within, whispering secrets it had been longing to share for millennia and laying before us so many layers of history, story and myth that we were as excited as children in a sweet shop.”

France, Stuart ; Vincent, Sue. Joining Don and Wen (p. 5). Silent Eye Press. Kindle Edition.

They filled the book with correlations between Christianity and Paganism, Odinism, the part the Vikings played in the development of British history, and yet, there were some connections that went much farther back in history to Egypt.

The deep affection that is so clear between the two friends adds another layer to their story. Savor the books and read them together. Here’s my review of book one, Finding Don & Wen.


 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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“Sweet” #Abhanga, #NaPoWritMo

When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do, after I kiss my husband good morning, is to grab a cup of coffee. Then, I go to Facebook to see what lovely photo Merril D. Smith has shared for the day.

Today’s photo was spectacular! I was so inspired I had to write this abhanga poem. This is an Indian syllabic form written in a 6-6-6-4 syllable count with an end scheme of x, a, a, x, where x is unrhymed.

sweet blossoms fall like rain
a ground cover of white
blooms stir as if in flight
perfume lingers

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

My poetic version of Spring Break!

“Spring Again,” #haiku, #NaPoWritMo

Well… I blew it! I missed yesterday for my Poem-a-Day practice along with NaPoWritMo. But I have the best excuse. It was a beautiful day, and I spent much of it outside with my husband enjoying the weather. Sometimes it’s better to live in the moment. So, I offer two haiku today to catch up.

My neighborhood has exploded with blossoms! My friend Ruth looked up what kind of tree this is… (I did not know). Apparently, it’s a Bradford Pear. These lovely trees line each side of the street.

spring day
dark clouds release

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
a shower—
white petals adrift
on wet pavement

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

After this week’s warmth, we return to a more seasonal pattern. And, at long last, we finally have an appointment on April 15th, for our first Covid shots!