“Midsummer’s Eve Magic,” Chōka-like

Artwork credit: Kerfe Roig

Kerfe shared a breathtaking piece of art she created for our Tanka Tuesday challenge this week. I saw so much magic in this piece. The Summer Solstice is right around the corner! Can you feel it?

A note about the chōka form. The nine-line chōka (5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-7) should be unrhymed… but for whatever reason, the muse demanded words that rhyme. I suspect faery intervention as the good neighbors love to rhyme. That’s why I called it “chōka-like,” or inspired by the chōka syllabic form.

Midsummer’s Eve Magic

on midsummer's eve,
below June's moon glowing bright
gather up fern seeds 
for special sight—this magic 
summons all creatures 
don the cloak of unseen light
hunt buried treasure 
beware of faery spite
run when magic birds take flight

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Fairies, Myths, & Magic: A Summer Celebration

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice. Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all. Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

Magnetic #Tanka

I dipped into the oracle again today. I love the randomness of the words. The Summer Solstice approaches! Blessed BE!

from ghost dance rhythm
sacred perfume smoke lingers
magic remembers
champagne desire—wild women,
secret poetry and sky

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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

“#Michigan #Gardening,” #haibun

I feel great satisfaction in the planting and growing of perennials. They become my offspring, a by-product of the energy I infuse into the plants to grow and become strong. Each season, I fuss over the fresh growth, thrilled that my plant babies survived another year.

day’s first blush
halcyon weather
eventide storms

Today, the humidity wrapped vaporous tendrils of fog around the trees in my neighborhood. As I labored in the garden digging holes, my sweat dripped into the soil.

dark clouds birth
crepuscular light
draws rainfall

By the time the rains came, my plants were tucked into the soil and my balance with nature was again restored.

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro


This haibun is an example of a prose envelope haibun (prose, haiku, prose). An explantation of the form is found on page 84-89 in the print book of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry.

This week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge was to pick synonyms for the words dawn and twilight selected by Gwen Plano. I used “first blush” for dawn and “eventide” for twilight. In the second haiku, I used “birth” for dawn, and “crepuscular light” for twilight.

Summer Love, #shadorma

Merril D. Smith writes an “Oracle” inspired poem every Saturday. This week, I thought I would jump into some magnetic poetry to see what I could come up with. Susan Joy Clark also joined in.

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

You can find the Magnetic Poetry Oracle HERE. You receive a random set of words used to construct your poem. This shadorma came together quickly. Syllabic poetry is all about the brevity of words. This is one way to experiment.

Have fun and write some Oracle inspired poetry!

Catching Up & a haiku

The last six months have been a whirlwind! We packed up and moved cross country from Arizona to Michigan in January—during a pandemic, no less. Once here, we tackled as many fixer-upper issues as we could in the new house. This will be a process. The dates we received from our contractor have us at Thanksgiving before the kitchen and flooring are done on the first floor. You know, with Covid and all the shortages of products and goods, you do what you can do.

I’ve no idea how I managed to finish Word Craft: Prose & Poetry during this stressful time. All I know was that it was important to write and publish the book. I felt like there was a need for all of us to learn how to write stimulating syllabic poetry. I want to personally thank every one of you for your poetry examples and your encouragement. If you’ve purchased the book, I thank you. I hope it opens the floodgates to other forms of poetry for everyone.

I also felt there was a need to publish a journal of syllabic verse. Many poets do not have the ways or means to publish their poetry. I thought this would present an opportunity for unpublished poets, you know, to establish some poetic credentials.

I also thought the proceeds from the journal sales would be a great way to fund a yearly poetry contest with cash prizes—that is, with a full disclosure of the journal sales figures. I considered asking a fee to enter the poetry contest, but that didn’t sit well with me.

I acknowledge there are many poetry journals and online magazines out there right now. Many ask for a fee upfront before you know whether or not your poem is even accepted. Others accept free entries and if your poetry is accepted, you pay $16 or more for a print version of the book featuring your poem.

Is this a form of vanity publishing? The Alliance of Independent authors discusses vanity publishing in the context of book authors:

“Dictionary.com defines the term as “a printing house that specializes in publishing books for which the authors pay all or most of the costs.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a publishing house that publishes books at the author’s expense.”

What is Vanity Publishing?

Vanity presses publish everything that is submitted by an author. The author bears the costs of producing the book.

In comparison, the Word Weaving poetry journal allows a poet three FREE entries. The entries are vetted. My co-editor, JulesPaige and I decide which poetry makes it into the journal. We will offer a low-cost ebook and print book for purchase. The funds from the sale of the journal will be used to fund a poetry contest with cash prizes (Amazon gift cards). There is no obligation to purchase the journal.

All rights revert to the respective author/artist upon publication. Word Weaving keeps the right to republish work either digitally or in print. No work featured in the journal may be used, copied, sold, or distributed elsewhere without the copyright holder’s permission. If your work is republished, we would appreciate a mention that Word Weaving was the first place of publication.

If you’re interested in submitting to Word Weaving click HERE. Submissions close after July 15, 2021.

Day lilies and Coreposis

Next, we get to my other passion… gardening. It’s warmed up here in Michigan. Today, I was able to work on the blank canvas of a garden the previous owner of this house left us with. I’ve got a lot more to do, but I confess that working in the soil made me feel reconnected to nature and to myself.

There are many out-of-control bushes in the front and on the sides of the house. I have a landscaper coming to get rid of those plants in the next week or so. That DirectTV dish will find its way in the trash pile as well. 😀

Now that I’ve brought you all up to date, here my poem for this week for Tanka Tuesday. It’s Poet’s Choice and a simple haiku gives me joy!

south wind gusts...
temperatures rise
meadowlark sings

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
Eastern Meadowlark

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

South Wind, Frank’s Challenge #191

It’s been a while since Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge was available. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m glad to see him back! Here is my haiku for #191 south wind.

south wind strokes
green leafy branches
cicadas sing

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

It’s important to note that haiku are untitled. Also, we shouldn’t capitalize the first letter of each line in syllabic poetry. I know Word, and even WordPress naturally capitalizes each line, but it’s incorrect in Japanese poetry and most syllabic forms. Write your poetry like a pro… don’t capitalize!

This is a good tip to know if you are submitting your poetry to poetry journals like Word Weaving. 😀

Have you heard about the Brood X cicadas? I think we miss the worst of these creatures in my part of Michigan. Fingers Crossed. Read more HERE.

“The Happiness of Flowers,” #Butterfly #Cinquain

Here’s a butterfly cinquain for our Tanka Tuesday theme of flowers, and why we love a certain one best. I can’t say that I have a favorite flower. I really love them all.

If I had to choose, it would be the daylily. It’s a hardy plant that can stand the harsh Michigan winters and even does well in the hot tropical sun in Florida. I’ve grown daylilies everywhere I’ve lived, except the desert. The 120 degrees F. heat was just too much for them.

There are so many varieties and color options from yellow to dark red, with all the tangerine oranges in between. Don’t forget fushia!

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay
"The Happiness of Flowers"

lilacs
red daylilies
lily of the valley
lavender, and delphinium—
flowers
that brings joyfulness to my heart
tending the soil with love
rainfall awards
new growth

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

I’ve been itching to get my hands in the soil and to start planing. But first, there are bushes and a tree with roots growing above the ground to tear out, and compost to add to the soil. Dustin, my son from another mother, has volunteered to help me clear out the old bushes and trees that were never cared for. We’re blessed to have his help.

Once the bushes in the front are taken care of, we can move to the back where three plum trees were planted, then hacked down to bush size. The trees are in rough shape. They have to be removed as the tops were chopped off of them.

The best thing about gardening is that you can take your time. It’s therapeutic to work in the soil. It will be good to spend some time outside this summer. I can’t wait!

“Swift Passage”

The Carrot Ranch April 1, 2021, flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a swift passage. You can take inspiration from any source. Who is going where and why? What makes it swift? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 6, 2021.

This is my poetic, 99-word contribution for this week written as a tribute to Sue Vincent. ❤

“Swift Passage”

Sunlight, a pink aurora in the shining sky
from the brushwood, the crows take wing
shadows dance and small birds sing
swift passage comes for ancestral souls on high.

Faery queens gather to welcome their otherworldly kin
she who walked among those bound to the earth
now takes passage within the Bardo of her rebirth,
spring rain washes away the pain of our loss and chagrin.

Raise your arms to the circle of the sun
close your eyes and breathe, inhale the celestial breath
thank you for the golden words of wisdom you've spun
your earthly quest is won.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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

#Senryu

This week for Tanka Tuesday, we’re working on crafting meaningful haiku and senryu. Senryu in English focus on the awkward moments in life making the human, not the world around them, the subject.

First in 5-7-5:

Parkinson's disease—
the shaky termination
of old memories

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Next in 3-5-3:

Parkinsons disease—
the shaky endings
of memory

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

This is a difficult subject to write about but one that deserves attention. My brother-in-law suffers from this debilitating disease.

Parkinson’s Disease Statistics:

  • Nearly one million will be living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the U.S. by 2020, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  • Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year.
  • More than 10 million people worldwide are living with PD.
  • Incidence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50.
  • Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women.

Learn more at Parkinson.org

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

“The Dryad,” #haiku

D. L. (Denise) Finn shared the image for this week’s poetry challenge:

Image credit: D. L. Finn

I wrote a few haiku (not really a series) staying true to the rules of including a kigo (season word) and the pivot.

I love the ethereal quality to this photo. There is plenty of magic to inspire any poet!

The Dryad

From the mighty oak—
winter dryad spirits rise
Artemis rouses

***

nymphs tied to tree homes
souls married, inter-wreathed as one
love blossoms in spring

***

hamadryad fae—
bonded hardwood spirits dwell
heavy snow brings death

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The mythology of the dryad is one of my favorite subjects. Not only are the two entities bound in life, they perish together if the tree dies. Their existence is an interdependent relationship.

“Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity. She also was the protector and friend to all dryad beings. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs.” (Wikipedia.com)

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