“Shadow Play,” Double #Cinquain

This week for my weekly poetry challenge I wanted to write a Double Cinquain. I used the word, daybreak for light, and shadows for dark.

I promised Jane Dougherty some photos of the desert and the surrounding area. As you will see, building in this area has accelerated, limiting my view of the desert. I used to be able to walk to the edge of the desert.

The first image to the lower left is the front of my house. The next image to the right is my Faery Tree representing the Celtic Tree of Life and the Great Glyph of the Sidhe. This tree is a black trunked Mesquite and native to the area. The rest of the trees in my back garden are Palo Verde (thornless) also native to the area. I’ve brought in as many natural elements as I could to please the land spirits and the good neighbors.

The spiral around the tree represents the Great Glyph of the Sidhe, which is great for connecting to the land and beings of Faery. The labyrinthian spiral provides a simple method for communicating and visiting the land of Faery. The glyph can work both ways, opening the way for beings to also visit you. This spiral was a must have for my pagan garden. Read more here.

The last two photos are from today’s morning walk. I love the way the light and dark of the shadows shimmer in the desert heat. The last photo is looking off into the distance from higher ground in my housing area. You can see the White Tank Mountains along the horizon.

That light-play of shadows inspired my double Cinquain below.

Shadow Play

shadows holdfast
to the gathering light
clinging to the semi-darkness
for protection
from the heat of the day
hiding until the gloaming light

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

It’s 113 F. today! Stay hydrated! ❤

“Save Our Mother,” #Haibun #Haiku

Our words this week for my weekly poetry challenge, #SynonymsOnly, were “shift & kind.” I used “change” for shift, and the phrase, “hearts in the right place” for kind.

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

Save our mother

I feel the tremors of mother earth beneath my feet. In my heart, I know she is on the brink of a huge shift – the likes we’ve never seen before. Many issues will come into play for us and our many worldly neighbors: politics, economic disasters, dramatic weather fluxes and changes, the migration of peoples to other lands, and even our own shifts in perception of the truth. These are the thoughts tearing my heart apart today.

I want to speak out – to somehow make my voice heard above the constant grind of the news cycle. How can I help?

Hearts in the right place—
demand a public forum
cry for songs of change

Some secrets should be made public, known, shown, and spoken. Still, our cries for the truth go unheeded. When will we work together in concert to save our earthly mother?

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Home,” #Nonet

I wanted to try something different this week for my poetry challenge so I shared a photo for poets to use as inspiration for their poems. The last thing I want is for this challenge to seem dull. So, let’s give it a try!

There’s a lot going on in this photo. There’s the porch light shining brightly and a package by the door. Is anybody home?

The bikes outside hint that maybe the kids are upstairs doing homework or getting into other trouble. Parked bikes could also mean that the kids are next door. That means mom and dad might have time some time to spend alone. We know it’s summer – there’s lots of greenery present. Hmmmm…

Who lives here? What are their lives like? Do you see/feel happiness or pain? What is not being said in this photo?

Photo prompts are fun to use in poetry as a way to delve into the feelings that a photo conveys. Experiment with some of the themes you get out of the photo. I’ve used the Senryu form to share some of my themes from above:

The porch light is on
welcoming friends to enter
yet, no one is home

Muggy summer nights
alone with my beloved
reclaiming our love

The longer syllabic forms work well with photo prompts too. Here is my submission for this week, a Nonet.

“Home,” # Nonet

As the fringes of darkness descend
cicadas sing their summer songs
inviting all kith and kin 
where hearts dwell together
wrapped tightly in love
dear memories
send me

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

Don’t be shy! Give the Photo Prompt a try!

“Fake News,” #Tanka

This week, I shared my ideas about writing political poetry. You can read that article HERE. Political poetry is difficult to write. You don’t want to preach, but you also want to get your feelings across to others. How do you do that?

To start, you can choose a topic that brings you the most outrage. From there, describe how that topic affects you – what you believe in, and how that makes you feel.

For my weekly poetry challenge, I chose to write about fake news using the Tanka form. I like the Tanka because you can assemble your thoughts into short bursts, which I think resemble fake news phrases. At least, that was my intent.

Those two little words (fake news) do more damage to our freedoms than any other. If we can’t believe what we hear from our elected officials, where does that leave us?

For the word, ugly, I used, foul, and for the word, pretty, I chose the word fair. Fair-weather adds another dimension to the poem. Look up the word HERE.

“Fake News,” A #Tanka

Fair-weather thoughts drift
ebbing and flowing like dreams
blinded to the truth
sailing through a narrow mind
grim dogma – a foul weapon

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Aftershocks,” A #Tanka

It’s the beginning of the month and my Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge gives poets the opportunity to use their own words. There is no need to use synonyms, unless you want to.

I delved into the political arena this week with my poem “Aftershocks.” Tanka poetry is written from the perspective of the poet. For me, it seemed the perfect time to compare the wrath of the California earthquakes (which I’ve felt here in Arizona) to the Fourth of July debacle held on our nation’s birthday. As a veteran, I felt entitled to have a say!

Image by Angelo Giordano from Pixabay


Uncharted terrain
new transformations will come
while earthquakes rumble
D.C. autocrats govern
with unlimited power

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro


“Embrace Change,” A Haibun/Haiku

For my weekly syllabic poetry challenge, I’m sharing a true experience which happened just the other day. Welcome to the family, coyote. ❤

For the word, perception, I used the word, “approach.” For the word, influence, I used the word, “change.”

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Beneath a sapphire sky, our Jeep cruised along the road toward home. The desert shimmered in the heat and ribbons of light danced above the asphalt reflecting a myriad of rainbow tints. The air conditioner blasted away, struggling to erase the heat of the day.

“Look,” said my husband, pointing to the left side of the road. He slowed the vehicle and we gawped, mesmerized by a bit of beige colored fur scurrying across the road.

“A coyote,” I stammered. “I’ve never seen one in their natural setting.”

Upon reaching the other side of the road, the coyote, as if hearing the awe in my voice, paused and looked over his shoulder. Our eyes met, and a feeling of mutual understanding passed between us. My new friend pulled back his lips in a tight grin.

Approach a balance-
between wisdom and pleasure.
You must change your ways!

Coyote spoke with the foresight of a spirit animal. But what about Crow? Certainly, I could have two animal totems, I reasoned. Suddenly, it all began to make sense. Crow had brought me wisdom and now, Coyote had given me the strength to change.

©2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

Happy Summer Solstice

“Cosmic Messages,” A Haibun/Tanka

This morning, as the sun warmed my back, I gazed at the stark beauty of the Sonoran desert spread before me. Thick-trunked Saguaro cactus spread their arms to the sapphire sky as if showing gratitude for another day of being.

Verdant green Palo Verde trees filled with saffron blossoms waved to me in the breeze, welcoming me to my new home. I stood in awe, dumbfounded at how I had stumbled into my personal Shangri-la.

My moving quest dawned
with gnawing apprehension,
my plans doomed to fail.
Yet, the universe led me
to a rewarding finish.

In due course, I surmised, when the cosmos speak… it is always wise to listen. Welcome home.

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Honoring the First Day of Spring,” A #Double Etheree

For my poetry challenge this week, I chose the words, Vernal Equinox for spring, and chant(ing) for sing. Considering we also have a full moon tonight, I can’t wait to see what blows in on the wind.

To celebrate this first day of spring, I’d like to introduce you to the Slavic Goddess, Vesna. I wrote an article about her on the Sisters of the Fey blog. You can read it HERE.

Wikipedia.com shares:

“The word “vesna” is still the poetic word for “spring” in the Slovene language,[2] as well as Czech and Slovak. In Russian, Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian languages vesna/wiosna is the actual word for spring. The month February is sometimes named vesnar in Slovene language.[2] In Serbian, the word vesnik is used to denote someone who heralds or brings about springtime.”

“In Slovene mythology, the beautiful women called “vesnas” lived in palaces atop mountains where they discussed the fate of crops and of human inhabitants. A magical circle around their palaces kept them from leaving the mountain top except during February, when they would travel in wooden carts down to the valleybelow. Only certain people were capable of hearing them singing. People who snuck up to their mountain palaces might learn their fates, but risked an unpleasant end if they were caught by the vesnas.[2]

Vesna, Slavic Goddess of Spring

Honoring the First Day of Spring

the Slavic
Goddess of Spring
and fertility,
who declares victory
over the cold of winter,
by bringing forth new life this day,
and returning the light from the dark
past of winter's inhospitable chill.
Exalt the Vernal Equinox on this
full moon night, with chanting and dancing
as we carry clay birds adorned
with brightly colored flowers
to bless our fields in your
ethereal glow.
All hail, Vesna
The patron
of new

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro
Happy Spring! Loving my unicorn time! ❤

The Sisters of the Fey, #Double #Etheree

I’ve been remiss in my poetry writing. Somehow, with all the writing I do, you would think I could fit in my own challenge… So, today I did! It’s the first of the month, so poets get to choose their own words – No synonym’s unless you want to add them.

What have I been doing with my time? Writing, of course! The first book in the Sisters of the Fey is almost finished. Then, I can get into the editing portion before I send it off to my editor.

I haven’t written a book blurb yet, but here is the gist of the the story. (Please understand, that this is rough and will probably change). The Sisters of the Fey is a group blog I compiled from a group of my authorly friends who love all things magical, including the fey, as much as I do. The two books will illustrate how I imagine we met in our past lives. Purely fiction, it has been great fun to write.

“The first wave of the Byzantine faith has found its way into the back country of Russia, forcing the people to abandon their beliefs in the old ways of magic. The mother goddess, the ancestors, and Tatiana, the Queen of the Rusalki Fey have conspired to bring together eight Slavic witches to save the old ways. The eight women align with the Rusalki Fey and set out on a journey to stop Brother Basil, a Vukodlak werewolf from destroying the land and the people they love.”

“The Sisters of the Fey”

We are a circle within a circle
with no beginning, never-ending.
Connected by invisible 
threads of love which carry us
when we're most defenseless
and supports us when
we're strong. Sisters
spinning our
Air, Fire,
and Water,
guard our spirits
on this full moon night.
Bind us with powerful
love and healing light
to guide us on
our journey
to save
The good neighbors visited my home Thursday night. This image has not appeared again. In fact, as soon as I snapped this photo, the vision was gone. This is how you see into the realm of the faery. ❤

“Magical Protection,” A Haiga/Senryu

This week for my poetry challenge, the words were meaning and passion. I used the word, application for meaning, and the word spirit, for passion. My poetry reflects a human condition (fear) so it falls in the Senryu category.

I created a Haiga, that possibly is on the iffy side. The image directly reflects upon the words of my Senryu. So, does the image add something to my words? Do you get an alternate reading?

I thought about meditation when I wrote the Senryu but happened upon this image. I think the image conveys a different meaning. The background is spooky which causes me to wonder if the woman feels fear. What do you think?

Haiga ~ Senryu
Magical Protection

An application—
of magical protection,
my calm spirit soars.

©2019 Colleen M. Chesebro