Blog

Featured

WORD CRAFT: PROSE & POETRY, THE ART OF CRAFTING SYLLABIC POETRY IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK

I’m thrilled to announce that the print version of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry is now available on Amazon. The last week has been a wild ride! I did my best to keep the costs low enough for everyone to purchase the book. Please enjoy! ❤

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

Let’s celebrate!

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Life is Like a Mosaic,” by Sally Cronin @sgc58

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Welcome to my weekly book review. This week, I had the privilege of reading Sally Cronin’s newest release!

From the Author:

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.

An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.

In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams, and loss.

The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?

At the end of the collection, there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits, and love of food!

Amazon.com

Writer and blogger, (and I would add “POET” to that list), Sally Cronin, has compiled a stunning collection of syllabic and freestyle poetry in her newest book. Cronin says, “my intention was to share aspects of life and nature that we experience on a daily basis, but also can sometimes catch us by surprise.”

Through images and poetry, the author invites the reader along on a delightful journey filled with wonder and awe. Each piece begins with an image that delivers the first meaning. However, it is when you read the poetry that accompanies the photo that you discover a more meaningful interpretation from the combination of the two. Therein lies the surprise!

Nothing is mundane to this author. What looks like a bit of fishing gear washed up on a beach finds new meaning in the poem Washed Up, “where even the sea’s rejects provide us with beauty.”

Cronin explores the human condition with love, understanding, and humor. Some of my favorite verses were the rhyming prose poems that unfolded like stories sharing the author’s childhood memories growing up in Ceylon. Another favorite was called Farewell to Colourful Friends, which had me howling with laughter. All women of a certain age will completely understand.

Many thanks to the author for gifting me a pre-release copy of this book. I enjoyed the poetry so much; I had to share my thoughts with everyone.

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

“The Meltdown,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch July 15, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word meltdown. You can use it to describe an event or emotional reaction. You can create a new meaning or explore the word origin. You can Go where the prompt leads! Respond by July 20, 2021.

Not again! My spell had failed. I gazed at the mess covering my newly painted kitchen walls. Green goop ran like rivers into puddles on the floor.

How could this be? I’d followed the recipe from my mother’s ancient Grimoire. There were no herbal substitutions.

“Oh, this is really bad,” my husband muttered from the doorway. “What did you forget this time?”

My meltdown was now complete! How dare he insinuate that my memory was failing! “Nothing. I forgot nothing,” I answered frostily.

“Oh,” he answered. I’ve got that eye of newt you asked me to get for you.”

Saddle Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 5, Recap

I’ve found an amazing group of poets at Carrot Ranch.com 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 the 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 take their double ennead through the TUFF challenge like we do for the Carrot Ranch Rodeo. I illustrated how to take your double ennead from 99 syllables to 48 syllables, to 24 syllables to finally, a haiku (12 syllable poem).

I want to commend these poets for taking this challenge on! Bravo! I love the concept of the TUFF challenge because it shows writers how important the brevity of words and their meanings can be. There is an enormous amount of word-craft in poems that can create feeling and beauty in a modicum of lines, and getting your poem to that point is an immense challenge. The progression in the following poems tells the entire story.

Here are the poems from the June 21st challenge:

Mulberry Tree, Summer Fruit

she doesn’t always bloom
what natural hitch
makes her appear dead one year, alive the next
I discovered that she
needs her he to fruit

another quirk is her
berries ripen odd
not all at the same time, when shadows vanish
from the morning, I’ll pick –
bis, in the evening

the best gift is from you –
I boil the berries,
sugar, lemon juice attempting to make jam
after washing them and
removing the stems

48// 4, 7, 6 trio

she does need him
the mulberry tree, to bloom
her sweet purple berries

nature often
works in pairs; male and female
to procreate, fruit

ever fickle
is the process of living
I measure my time

24// 6, 6, 6, 6

she had blossoms this year
flowers transformed to fruit
which I collected, brewed,
gifted; sweetening life


12 (3 lines; short, long, short)

mulberries, sweet
from my tree, purple love
my en’jam’bment

© JulesPaige
Outside My Window, #DoubleEnnead

Double ennead form, 99 syllables

clouds like spun sugar in
periwinkle sky,
a tree’s outline in shadow in sunny grass,
white butterflies flying
above rose bushes.

golden yellow lilies
peeking out among
all of the green foliage in the garden,
red Japanese maple
branches wave gently.

a little brown sparrow
hops about in grass,
then flutters over to perch on the fence,
these are the sights I see
outside my window.

48 syllables, 4-7-5 stanza trio

spun sugar clouds
in a periwinkle sky,
butterflies flying.

yellow gold lilies
among the green foliage,
red maple branches,

small brown sparrow
flutters to perch on the fence,
outside my window.

24 syllables, (6-6-6-6,) 1 stanza

spun sugar clouds
in periwinkle sky,
butterflies and lilies,
sights outside my window

12 syllable haiku, short-long-short

spun sugar clouds
above white butterflies
and gold lilies.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021
Garden Goddess

trees, a summer haven
green beneath branches
birds and squirrels nest on limbs covered with leaves
walking on hot pavement 
you are there waiting
*
branches covered in leaves 
help keep my house cool
The shelter and shade provided is welcomed 
adoration is due
garden space is yours
*
knarled and misshapen 
ancientness worn well
trees hold a place of honor in the garden
revered and respected 
great garden goddess

48 syllable poem – 4/7/5 stanza trio

summer haven
birds and squirrels nest on limbs
you are there waiting
*
covered in leaves 
providing shelter and shade 
garden space is yours
*
ancient, well worn
trees hold a place of honor
great garden goddess

24 syllable poem – 6/6/6/6 only one stanza

ancient summer haven
covered in leaves of green
giving shady shelter
homes for birds and squirrels   
the garden space is yours–
honored garden goddess

12 syllable haiku (short-long-short)

ancient cypress 
emanating solace–
goddess

©️Ruth Klein aka RuthScribbles
SHAFT OF HOPE

a warm hued shaft dazzles
on azure expanse
luminescent sheen in an idyllic trance
blazing through dark waters
in a rippled mirth

haloed trail to heaven
in a dark chiasm
leading to faraway stars mysterious
dispelling deep darkness
shading life profound

fading embers burnish
bright to light dark lives
life’s shadowy shroud basks in fiery lustre
incandescent hope flows
into dark niches

For the 48 syllable poem a 4-8-4 stanza trio:

warm hued shaft falls
on dark waters in shiny trance
a rippled blaze

haloed trail leads
way to stars far mysterious
on a dark night

fading embers
of life’s shady shroud burnish bright
hope flows unbound

For the 24 (6-6-6-6) syllables and only one stanza:

bright trance on dark waters
haloed trail to stars far
life’s fading embers glow
luminous hope abounds

Finally, 12 syllable haiku (short-long-short):

bright beam glows on
life’s dark fading embers
hope shines

© theIndieShe

Centring – (Six Sentence Story #168)

Tense muscles, sweating palms
A racing heart beat?
Symptoms of stress related anxiety
Stoking dubiety
In your competence.

Choose instead to focus
On the energy.
It flows with vigorous ardor through your form
Creating the firestorm
That you are feeling.

Breathe slow and deep to draw
Out the excitement.
Berth it fast in the centre of gravity
Your pelvic cavity …
The concept of Ki.

© Laura McHarrie

Many thanks again to everyone who participated in this challenge. Writing poetry makes us better writers!

Colleen’s Book Reviews – “Slivers: Chiseled Poetry,” @BalroopShado

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Amazon US

From the Author:

“When I stumbled upon haiku, a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules, though. The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired by them. This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired by haiku, senryu, tanka, and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.”

Amazon.com

“Slivers: Chiseled Poetry” is a delightful mix of haiku-inspired poetry that dances to its own tune. Balroop Singh expertly throws the syllable counts out the window and embraces a creative mix of micro and acrostic poetry. The result is the kind of poetry that stirs emotions invoked by rich imagery that touches the hearts of readers.

Singh’s poetry leans into nature, sharing the beauty of the world around her. Through her words, the magic in the world becomes clearer.

I’ll share one of the many favorites from this collection:

look beyond the rocks
to explore what lies in them—
mysterious portals 

© Balroop Singh

Included in the book are photographs with poetry reminiscent of the Japanese haiga. I found the photographic poetry to be deeply personal as the author shared her visual world through poetic art.

I was honored to receive a pre-release copy of this book from the author as a gift, which in no way affected my review. This is the perfect Sunday read!

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

“Break of Day,” Oracle Poetry

I had a lovely visit with the poetry Oracle today. I’m always grateful for her poetic inspiration. She’s been encouraging me to explore free-verse or prose poetry. I still prefer my syllabic verse but it is fun to create from her inspiration in a pure sense of just letting the words flow. Happy Saturday!

#Michigan Woods, #Tanka

soft winds rustle leaves
below the green canopy
blue jay's whisper song
recalls wild fairy dances,
lush mushrooms—and dreams of sky

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

This is your friendly reminder that the Word Weaving Poetry Journal is accepting submissions until July 15, 2021.

We publish haiku, senryu, haiga, gogyohka, tanka, tanka prose, haibun, cinquain poetry including any cinquain variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, Abhanga, and Diatelle syllabic poetry forms. We would love to see your work. If accepted, we will strive to present your work in such a way as to make you proud.

We share a broad view of what makes up haiku and senryu. We are not hostile to 5-7-5 but expect to publish more poems with fewer syllables. We are open to 1, 2, & 3 lines and other configurations.

We accept submissions from May 15 through July 15 for our first October issue. There is no submission fee.

Read more HERE.

Send us your magical poetry!

Colleen’s Book Reviews: “Matilda Windsor is Coming Home,” @Annecdotist

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

“Matilda Windsor is Coming Home,” by Anne Goodwin

“In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect. A brother and sister separated for fifty years and the idealistic young social worker who tries to reunite them. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart? Told with compassion and humour, Anne Goodwin’s third novel is a poignant, compelling and brilliantly authentic portrayal of asylum life, with a quirky protagonist you won’t easily forget. Published by Inspired Quill.”

Amazon.com

“Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home” is a poignant reminder of what life was like in a mental asylum in the UK when the policy shifted from institutionalization toward the assimilation of patients back into community living. Even more interesting is the character of Matty Osborne. The story crosses, weaves, and intersects in the lives of Matty, her brother, Henry, and Janice, Matty’s social worker.

Not sure about accepting the position, Janice accepts after meeting with Matty in the Institution. The intention of the medical staff is to move the patients to a more suitable living environment. The older lady intrigues her, and Janice wants to help find Matty’s family. There are some interesting connections between Matty and Janice, who was adopted as a baby.

Henry, the brother, still lives in the family home. He’s in a relationship with a married woman, yet remains obsessed with why Matty left all those long years before. He stays in the home because he hopes one day, his beloved sister will return.

But it is Matty that steals your heart. She narrates some of the story hinting at some of the horrifying details of rape and incest by her step-father. The cruelness of the man doesn’t end there, and Matty finds herself institutionalized. Trauma does strange things to a person, and Matty retreats into a delusional world. Matty spends fifty years in the asylum. Her story chilled me to the bone.

In the asylum, Matty still believes World War II is carrying on. She assumes she is a fine lady attended by many servants. In reality, these are her nurses and medical personnel. Interestingly, she supposes the rest of the patients are people she is helping by providing shelter to those homeless from the war.

The story is fascinating and horrifying, at the same time. Anne Goodwin uses her years as a clinical psychologist to weave realistic characters and situations you will not easily forget. Her attention to detail makes her writing shine. I can’t imagine anyone reading this book and not being moved by the characters. They draw you in and won’t let you go!

I doubt Matty will come out of her protective shell enough to assimilate back into society. But like they say, time will tell. If the title of the book is a sign, there is hope for Matty. The rest of the story will reveal itself in the sequel. I can’t wait to find out if my intuition is correct!

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

#solo-renga, #haiku, #tanka

For Frank Tassone’s challenge, I used the kigo “midsummer rain” for challenge #195 to write a solo renga:

midsummer rain flows
rivulets run down the street
rainbow slicks glisten

the heady scent of wet earth
moisture adds a second skin

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

For challenge #196, “summer moon (natsu no tsuki) / Strawberry Supermoon, I wrote a (5-7-5) haiku:

summer moon glitter
long light snakes across the lake
twilight shadows swell

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

For challenge #197 smoldering hot (moyuru) I wrote a tanka:

smoldering hot day
brilliant sun scintillations
a twinkling mirage
blurring the straight pathway home
stay on the straight and narrow

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

#Fairy #Tarot Friday—Ten of Autumn, #chōka

Welcome to Fairy Tarot Friday. Each Friday I’ll share a card from the Fairy Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, featuring an uplifting message from the fey. I’ll also include a bit of syllabic poetry inspired by the card reading.

The Major Arcana contains 22 cards that describe major events and turning points in our lives (marriage, pregnancy, relationship and career changes, and overcoming personal challenges). The Major Arcana cards also represent the different phases from childhood to old age.

Doreen Virtue numbered the Minor Arcana cards to comprise four suits representing different aspects of human life. They number the Minor Arcana cards 1 (Ace) through 10, plus the four court cards (Princess, Prince, Queen, and King). The Minor Arcana reflects the day-to-day aspects of our lives and the people in them. Court cards represent either a situation or a person during a reading.

The Minor Arcana comprises four suits. In traditional Tarot they are; wands, cups, swords, and coins. In Fairy Tarot, the four suits reflect the seasons: Spring for wands, Summer for cups, Winter for swords, and Autumn for coins. In Angel Tarot, the seasons represent the four elements: fire = spring, water = summer, air = winter, and earth = autumn. Consider these elements in relation to the Fairy Tarot, as well.

The divinatory meanings are given for upright cards only—this tarot is not intended for reversed readings.

Once you get to know the fairies, you’ll see they are strong-willed environmentalists. They get perturbed at people who mistrust animals or the earth. Never lie to a fairy. Instead, help them take care of the planet and other living beings. Do your part. Your actions will richly reward you, and the fairies will encourage you in amazing ways.

Today’s Card

Our theme for this week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge was to write on the theme of discovery. The first thing that came to mind was the purity of thought involving self-discovery. My fairy tarot card for the day was the Ten of Autumn (Pentacles or Coins in other tarot decks), which inspired this chōka:

“A Discovery of Success”

cycle completed,
like ships passing in the night
alone, you arrive—
wealthy, but what have you lost?
searching for success
reality settles in,
new assets acquired
you've made it to the top
family matters the most!

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Happy Friday!

“Only the Now Remains,” #chōka, #dverse poets

Lisa is hosting at dVerse, and she asked us to write a poem inspired by an Ernest Hemingway quote from the list on the challenge post HERE. My selected quote follows along with my chōka:

There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion.

–For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)

“Only the Now Remains”

everyone leaves us
by chance, change, desertion, death
all alone we drift 
like fallen leaves aimlessly 
rudderless on the 
waterway of time until
the river parts us 
all in the end...treasure the
moments that go with the flow

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

This quote from Hemingway puts the current world into perspective. Live in the moment, as our tomorrows can certainly be limited. Be glad you’re alive. ❤