“Harvest Moon,” haibun, #TankaTuesday

Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

The five women gathered under the pearly radiance of the full harvest moon. They represented air, water, earth, fire, and spirit. Hands clasped together, they formed a circle, their upturned faces raised toward the orbs’ soft glow. This was how they would pay homage to the passing of another cycle—another ending, and another beginning. Change was the only constant in life.

harvest moon—
reflections of change
mirror our souls

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Franci Hoffman (Eugi) selected the theme of the Harvest Moon this week for Tanka Tuesday.

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

#TankaTuesday #Ekphrastic Poetry

Merril D. Smith selected a Lithograph for this week’s Ekphrastic challenge. The history behind the image is interesting. It’s called, “Visitor to German Town.” Created in 1935, the image conjures the past and the present.

Notes:

Following the ravages of the Great Depression in the 1930s, a growing number of homeowners were forced out of their homes. In this 1935 lithograph, artist Benton Spruance’s allegorical figure of Death, sitting on the steps of a foreclosed home, comments on the spread of vacant homes in his Germantown neighborhood.

https://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/66272

There certainly is darkness in the image, but I saw something different. For me, the skeleton represented a late-night visit by a ghost in this cinquain.

specters—
ancestors meet
what once was, is now gone
change decomposes the living
death waits

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Or maybe this haibun about “change?”

“A Deadly Intermission”

In late 2020, Covid rolled in like a storm on the heels of the cold autumn wind. Pestilence wore the dry bones of death, rattling deep in the chests of its victims. Life as we knew it ended, and a new world grew out of the old ways of thinking.

death awaits
change your perspective
wear a mask

© Colleen M. Chesebro

#TankaTuesday – Mabon Dreams, #tanka #prose

Image by Lolame from Pixabay

The smell of wet leaves and dew always reminds me that the Autumnal Equinox or Mabon is not far away. Known as the pagan Thanksgiving, this year on September 22, 2021, I’ll pay my respects to the darkness of Autumn. During Mabon, I honor the spirit world. I associate the Greek goddess Demeter with the autumn harvest, as it was her grief at losing her daughter that turned the earth from lush abundance to barren cold.

The days are now divided equally between day and night. It’s a time to give thanks to the waning sunlight. This is a time of balance when I enjoy the fruits of my personal harvests. The seeds I planted in spring have now come to fruition. I recognize my successes and let go of the things that did not serve me well the last twelve months. As the Wheel of the year ends, I set my intentions to end terrible relationships. I let go of unhealthy habits or self-destructive beliefs.

twilight rain lingers
cooling dark forest shadows
the sweet goddess chants
a symphony of death dreams...
the scent of crushed rose petals

© Colleen M. Chesebro

How to Celebrate Mabon

Think you can’t write poetry? Join me, and learn some tips and tricks in writing syllabic poetry. Find the book on Amazon: mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry.

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: Journey

Your Weekly Prompt – Journey – Sept. 2, 2021

I’ve jumped into Eugi’s prompt this week. She says: “This prompt will be mostly unmoderated. Please keep it family friendly. Disrespectful and inappropriate comments will be removed. This needs to be a safe and fun space for all. There will be no Roundup.

Go where the prompt leads you and publish a post on your own blog that responds to the prompt. To participate, link your blog to mine with a pingback. To do a pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of the URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s prompt. It can be any variation of the prompt and/or image. 

time traveler—
the long journey home
spirit calls

© Colleen M. Chesebro

“Summer’s End,” #tankaprose #TankaTuesday

Our Tanka Tuesday challenge this week is to write some tanka prose. We typically write tanka prose in the 5-7-5-7-7 or a s/l/s/l/l five-line syllabic structure. Tanka prose should contain a title. There is one basic requirement in writing tanka prose: one paragraph, and one tanka.

There are two basic forms in classic tanka prose: Preface (explanation) and the Poem Tale (episodic narration). Tanka prose does not rhyme.

Preface (explanation): Is where the prose explains the basic information in the narrowest sense. It is a factual summary of the experience. Usually, you write one prose paragraph and one tanka.

Poem Tale (episodic narration): The poem tale/episodic narration is a more formal structure where you share a more personal experience through your prose. In general, the tanka poem is always the center on which the narrative episode (prose) comes from. Write your tanka first. With this type of tanka prose, the prose often shares a beginning, middle, and an end, as if it were a short story. You can have one or more tanka within the prose.

Below, I’ve crafted an episodic narration:

“Summer’s End”

During this morning’s walk, I felt the first hint of Autumn. The trees looked bedraggled by last week’s heat wave. The leaves, like an old hat, looked dull against the backdrop of a blue scrap of sky.

summer's passage creeps
through the leaves, colors dreary
Autumn hears the call...
red and gold hues dress the trees
a farewell to summertime

A sound in the trees overhead caught my attention. I watched as the sleek tan-colored body of a Sandhill Crane rose from the nearby edge of the pond. Cranes are the messengers of the gods, and even in Michigan, such a sighting is rare. It is said, if you see a crane; it is to remind ourselves of the passage of time and our mortality.

the wheel of time turns
spinning toward the future
use your time—wisely...
love longer, laugh hard, hate less,
and learn to forgive yourself

I stood at the edge of the pond, a witness to the passage of time, until the buzz of mosquitoes reminded me I should be on my way. Time marches on…

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Episodic narration tanka prose is one of the most freeing forms to write. In this piece above, I was careful to stay true to the construction of the tanka portions by creating two meanings separated by the pivot in line three of each tanka. This is where you take the first three lines of your tanka to create one meaning. Then, take line 3, 4, and 5 to create the second meaning to your poem.

summer's passage creeps
through the leaves, colors dreary
Autumn hears the call...
Autumn hears the call...
red and gold hues dress the trees
a farewell to summertime

I kept both messages in this tanka similar because I was showing the passage of time. This is the theme of the piece.

The prose shares my experience during this morning’s walk. I made sure and used a metaphor in the first paragraph to help set the mood. Later, I used the Sandhill Crane taking off in flight as a metaphor for the passage of time. Tanka prose is where you can get poetic by including metaphors and similes. If you don’t know what those are, look up their definitions.

The prose and poetry combine to read like a short story with a beginning, middle, and an ending. Autumn, signifies the dying time of year before winter’s long slumber. The passage of time is a favorite theme in Japanese poetry. I love autumn… it’s my favorite time of the year.

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

Think you can’t write poetry? Join me, and learn some tips and tricks in writing syllabic poetry. Find the book on Amazon: mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry.

Here’s a recent review from D. L. Finn on Amazon.com:

In “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry” Ms. Chesebro has written a detailed guide of syllabic poetry. There’s history, instructions on writing the poem, several examples, and then the information is recapped for each form. Section one of the book offers Japanese Syllabic Poetry. Here are the chapters covered, Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, and Renga. Then the second section is the American Syllabic Poetry. The types covered here are Crapsey Cinquain and all variations, Etheree, Nonnet, and Shadorma. Although I’ve spent years writing free verse poetry, I’ve come to love syllabic poems too, thanks to Ms. Chesebro. This is a fantastic guide to learn about syllabic poetry and how to write them. I will buy the paperback version for a quick reference to a style I want to try or simply refresh my memory on writing a certain type of poem. I highly recommend this guide for all poets who love this style or would like to learn about it.

“A Mother’s Song,” Crapsey cinquain trio, #TankaTuesday

For our #TankaTuesday challenge this week, Vashti Q. Vega, selected an excellent theme—a lullaby. I wasn’t sure what I would write, so I just let the words flow… don’t think of this as something sad. Instead, think of it as good memories.

My children and grandchildren are all grown and scattered all over America. They all have their own lives and we don’t connect with them often. It’s their choice. Blended families have different issues to cope with and some things just are what they are. Every once in a while I unpack those feelings… then, I put them back again. This was one of those times. ❤

"A Mother's Song"

whisper
sweet slumber songs
to this dear babe of mine
let fairy kisses grant wishes
dream deep

think of
the blessed days 
wrapped in my loving arms
holding you closest to my heart
dear lamb

ancient
memories call—
when you were oh so small,
I miss those days when you needed
me most...

© Colleen M. Chesebro
Now, I’m a CAT mom!

#TankaTuesday: #PhotoPrompt – haiku

It’s the hottest it’s been in Michigan this summer. When I walk in the morning, I can smell Autumn right around the corner. Cheryl picked out the best photo for our challenge this week.

Timeanddate.com shares:

The Perseids are one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. They occur every year between July 17 and August 24 and tend to peak around August 9-13.

timeanddate.com
falling stars—
flashes of promise
for a new day

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Think you can’t write poetry? Join me, and learn some tips and tricks in writing syllabic poetry. Find the book on Amazon: mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry.

My latest book will have you crafting poetry the same day. Here is a recent review:

D. W. Peach reviewed May 25, 2021: This book is a must-have for writers of syllabic poetry. Chesebro has the experience and credentials to have crafted this easy to follow and detailed look at twelve forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry, as well as their variations. Styles range from the well-known haiku and tanka to the less familiar gogyohka and etheree. Though written for poets beginning their exploration of these beautiful forms, I learned quite a lot (and I’ve been writing several of the forms for years).

Chesebro’s explanations not only include the technical aspects of each poetic form, but a quick history, the style’s creative intent, and tips for finding inspiration and writing. These aspects of each poetic form are conveyed in a concise manner, and each section is followed by examples of her poetry and the poetry of authors I’ve enjoyed for years. The poems not only illustrate the preceding lesson but are beautiful in their own right.

The quality of this book and its citations make it useful as a “text book” on the craft of writing syllabic poetry, appropriate for academic settings. Chesebro’s conversational style, easy to understand explanations, and poetic selections also make it accessible to a wide range of learners. The book’s format lends itself to lesson-planning for young poets.

Highly recommended to poets who are just starting out or who’ve been writing for years. An excellent learning tool filled with wonderful examples of the forms.

You can find my books here: Amazon Author Page

Daily haiku ~ the river

summer clouds—
kayakers floating
the river

© Colleen M. Chesebro

I’m with the grand-dogs this weekend on the Grand River. It’s always so beautiful and peaceful here.

I’m working on haiku imagery. The idea is to connect emotions by associating two or more images together in strange and unusual ways. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I find it is always best to look for alike, or contrasting images to feature in your poem.

In the haiku above, I targeted the “summer (my kigo) clouds” and the “kayakers floating the river,” definitely a summer activity. Clouds float – kayakers float, which are alike images.

A haiku should present an event in an image. It should SHOW us what happened without telling us about it or what emotion to feel. In the haiku above, what emotions do you feel?

Haiku poems share a specific event or observation. Haiku are not generalities, and we never use a simile or metaphor.

Most haiku are written in seventeen onji (Japanese sounds) which equates to around twelve syllables (3, 5, 3).

learning from home