“The Illusion of Power,” tanka prose/haiku

Twirl your wands and cast your spells, for power exerted over others leads them to behave in ways they would not otherwise behave. The veil is thinning as the energy shifts. Be careful what you wish for…

“The Illusion of Power Spell”

On this Samhain eve of the full blue moon, I wait until midnight darkens the shadowy edges of the glen. I dip the tip of my right index finger into moon oil as I trace the shape of the orb on the flat surface of a nearby stump. Within the circle, I place four white candles around the edge, adding the fifth one in the middle. With a snap of my fingers, the candles are lit.

I call to the moon
 to receive her powers cast
 tonight, caught and kept
 used for good intent only
 that no evil shall arise.

Brilliant moon, may your 
 blessings and vitality
 live within my heart.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Happy Halloween!

Marsha picked the theme for this week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. I broke my own poetry rules this week… and it was so fun! I started out with a bit of tanka prose, including the accompanying tanka. Next, I added the haiku at the end to round out this poem.

Want to write syllabic poetry? Join me every Tuesday at Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry.

AUTUMN DAYDREAMS, #HAIKU

Frank’s Haikai challenge asks us to write the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that states or alludes to either Fall foliage or goose (kari)–or both, if you feel so inclined!

As always: Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Autumn Daydreams

orange and gold leaves
memories of past autumns
the desert heat boils

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

The unrelenting heat continues here in Buckeye, Arizona. We’re hovering right around 100 F. this afternoon. If I close my eyes and ignore the dull drone of the air conditioning, I can picture the gold and orange leaves of a Montana autumn. I’m homesick for the cooler temperatures and the feel of Autumn… a girl can dream.

Want to write syllabic poetry? Join me every Tuesday at Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry.

Harvest Moon Magic, #Tanka

I’m combining challenges this week because there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. How many of you feel the same way?

Anyway, Frank J. Tassone’s Haikai challenge asks us to use the Harvest Moon (meigetsu) in the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga. My challenge asks us to embrace the tanka!

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Harvest Moon Magic

the harvest moon soars
bright against the sable night—
I reap what I sow
the warmth of hearth and home calls
get ready for winter's chill

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

My pivot is, “I reap what I sow.” As I explained in my challenge post, our pivot should relate to the first two lines of our tanka, and to the last two lines of our tanka.

the harvest moon soars
bright against the sable night—
I reap what I sow

The harvest season is a time to reap what you have sown. All the seeds you planted in the spring, both physically and metaphorically, are ready to bear fruit. Now, we can collect the bounty we deserve.

I reap what I sow
the warmth of hearth and home calls
get ready for winter's chill

The pivot works with the last two lines, as well. This portion of the poem suggests we plan for the harsh winter season to come. Happy Autumn!

Mabon Blessings, Solo Renga

Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge for this week asks us to write the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to the Autumn (Spring) equinox (shunbun).

Click HERE to find Frank’s challenge post.

I’ve added a bit of prose to my solo renga as it slipped out of my thoughts. Autumn is my favorite time of the year!

Mabon Blessings

Happy Mabon! The autumnal equinox shifts the wheel of the year another step closer to Samhain and the Pagan new year. The signs of change are subtle in the desert this time of year. The Saguaro cactus stands tall and green, silent sentinels witnessing the passage of time.

Now, the heat doesn’t seem as intense as it once did, even though the noonday sun blazes bright in the hazy sky. The nights are also cooler, arriving sooner each day as peach and magenta sunsets signal the end of day.

the tired sunflowers—
once tall and strong in August
droop with heavy heads

dense seeds ready to return
to the soil, whence they began

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Apocalypse Now” #Haibun

For my weekly syllables only poetry challenge this week, I’ve written this haibun using scented for the word, hint; and bright, for the the word, bold.

Image Credit: Todd Chesebro, San Francisco, CA

“Apocalypse Now” #Haibun

Is the myth of an Apocalypse a reality? Has mankind finally finished decimating our planet? The mother goddess is screaming out to anyone who will listen. Shhh… if you close your eyes and listen, you will hear her keening wail. Her voice carries on the wind.

Plagues, inland storms with the strength of hurricanes, fires that never stop burning, smoke so thick it chokes you… what will it take for us to wake up and realize climate change is real? When will we believe the truth? How much more proof do we need?

smoke scented sky haze
bright birds hide in confusion
waiting for the sun

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Image Credit: Todd Chesebro, San Francisco, CA

Discussion: Renga, Solo-Renga, Solo No Renga, or Tanka? “The Feel of Spring,” Solo renga

For my weekly poetry challenge post this week, let’s discuss the Japanese form called the Renga. By the way, this syllable counting site rocks: writerlywords.com. How Many Syllables.com seems to have been hacked this week, along with my social media email. What a mess!

Renga… You’ll hear this term in the poetry community and like me, you might ask why a renga is not the same as a tanka. In fact, many poets will write a tanka and call it a solo renga.

So, what’s the difference between a tanka and a renga?

The Poets Collective explains:

“Renga, Renku, or Haikai-no-renga is the linked poem discipline developed by Basho. It is a cooperative poem of many stanzas. Poets, (2 or more) gather to create a spontaneous poem of alternating 17 syllable (5-7-5), 14 syllable (7-7) stanzas. A popular form of Renga is written in 36 stanzas known as kasen renku. The custom dates back to 13th century Japan.”

“The poets in rotation take turns writing the stanzas. The poem begins with the hokku (5-7-5) recording when and where the gathering occurs, see below. The next stanza (7-7) is usually written by the host, in response to the subtle compliment suggested in the hokku. From there the stanzas are written in turn by the various members of the assembly in an alternating (5-7-5), (7-7) pattern. The poem is ended in a tanka (short poem) which combines 2 renga stanzas into 1. (5-7-5-7-7)”

PoetsCollective.org

The Poets Collective (I’ve paraphrased most of the following paragraphs) also says that the renga or renku shouldn’t become a narrative, and it shouldn’t tell a sequential story. It should move around, and the stanzas should “link and shift” (Bruce Ross, How to Haiku). The stanzas need to connect in some subtle way to the previous stanza only, not the entire poem.

This connection or link should be through a word, a mood, or an idea captured from the previous stanza. It “develops texture by shifting among several traditional topics without narrative progress,” (William Higgins, The Haiku Handbook).

The Renga or Renku is:

Syllabic, featuring alternating stanzas, usually of 5-7-5 and 7-7 syllables. (onji or the Japanese sound symbol for which there is no exact translation in English, the closest we can come in translation is a syllable)

A cooperative poem, written by 2 or more poets.

Spontaneous.

Composed with stanzas or verses that “link and shift”, it does not tell a sequential story.

Structured with a beginning, middle and end. Hokku (starting verse), followed by linked verses, and ends with a Tanka (small poem).

Connected to the seasons. The hokku shows the season in which the gathering occurs, somewhere within the renga, there should be verses referring to each of the seasons to create a complete circle.

In simpler terms…

The first part of the renga is a (5/7/5) haiku (hokku) written by your guest. The second part of the renga is the host’s response (wakiku): (7/7). The renga’s value exists in the interaction between the different links. It’s that transition between the first three lines and how they leap to the last two lines, penned by two different poets, that defines the renga.

Now, you can see where the renga resembles the tanka: 5/7/5, 7/7. The difference between the tanka (written by one poet), and the renga (two poets collaborate to write the poem) is the number of authors. Sometimes, you will see a renga called a “Tan-Renga” which means short poem. It still means the same thing.

Remember, the renga will feature a haiku (nature related) where a tanka is a much looser form, allowing for different subjects other than nature. A tanka does not require the first three lines to be a haiku. There’s your difference!

The Solo Renga or Solo No Renga:

Then, you will see a term called a solo renga or solo no renga. They both mean the renga was written by one poet. (I’m using one of my tanka poems as an example. My solo renga follows below). The poet will often show the haiku separate from the last two lines like this:

Freyja

fate steers a fresh course
candle glow transformation
good deeds rewarded

Freyja, keeper of the Runes
light beneath the underworld

The tanka poem will read with the five lines written:

Freyja

fate steers a fresh course
candle glow transformation
good deeds rewarded
Freyja, keeper of the Runes
light beneath the underworld

If you take one of your haiku, and add two seven-syllable lines to it, you’ve written a solo renga. It’s that easy!


Here is another example of a solo renga by Ken Gierke, from Rivrvlogr, called Cock Crowing from Fence Post.

And Jules, from Jules Pens Some Jems shares a solo renga series nd 6.1 Past, Present, Futures? 5P

“The Feel of Spring,” #Solo Renga

a lace of fresh leaves
wreathes a sparrow’s old nest
as spring blossoms fall

a barefoot walk through the grass
the feel of a new season

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

We’re talking about spring in the haiku. The last two lines reinforce the spring theme and how everything feels fresh after the long winter. The sensory detail of walking through new grass is one everyone can relate to.

Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge #153: “Morning Glory Sunrise” #Haiku

This week, Frank Tassone asks us to write the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to either the cricket (koorogi) or the morning-glory (asagao).

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Image by namyuha1009 from Pixabay

cricket bids farewell

at morning-glory sunrise

blossoms wet with dew

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Map to Love,” #KindKu

I can’t help myself. I’ve got to try this KindKu poetry form again from the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal. Click the link to find the challenge #4 writing prompt.

Of course, I’ve combined it with my own Tanka Tuesday challenge where the theme this week is “maps.” Forgive me for not using one of our regular forms.

Here are the KindKu Rules:

The Kindku is a short poem of seven lines and 43 syllables. The syllable pattern is 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 or 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5.

The Kindku must include seven words that are taken from one specific source — a poem, a book, a newspaper article, etc. In the case of a book or long piece of writing, those words must come from the same page.

Words must be used in the order they were found. Their placement also depends on the line:

  • Line 1 starts with word 1
  • Line 2 ends with word 2
  • Line 3 starts with word 3
  • Line 4 ends with word 4
  • Line 5 starts with word 5
  • Line 6 ends with word 6
  • Line 7 starts or ends with word 7

Kindku poems can have titles and punctuation. No matter the topic covered, they must sport a positive tone.

Kindku poets are encouraged to credit and link to the inspirations behind their pieces. The theme is from the Rascals – People Got to be Free.

“People Got To Be Free” by The Rascals

All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
Listen, please listen, that’s the way it should be
There’s peace in the valley, people got to be free

You should see what a lovely, lovely world this’d be
Everyone learned to live together, ah hah
Seems to me such an itty bitty thing should be
Why can’t you and me learn to love one another?

All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free (wanna be free)
I can’t understand it, so simple to me
People everywhere just got to be free

If there’s a man who is down and needs a helpin’ hand
All it takes is you to understand and to pull him through, ah hah
Seems to me we got to solve it individually, ah ah
And I’ll do unto you what you do to me
Said, no

Shout it from the mountain on out to the sea
No two ways about it, people have to be free (they gotta be free)
Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
Natural situation for a man to be free
Get right on board now, huh, huh

Oh, what a feelin’s just come over me
Love can move a mountain, make a blind man see
Everybody sing it now come on let’s go see
Peace in the valley now, we all can be free

See that train over there?
Now that’s the train of freedom
It’s about to ‘rrive any minute, now
You know it’s been’a long, long overdue
Look out ’cause it’s a’comin’ right on through
Ha, ha, yeah

AZLyrics.com

Here are my seven words (from the same line) inspiration: “can’t understand it, so simple to me” I chose the  5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 form.

Here is the key:

Line 1 starts with word 1: can’t

Line 2 ends with word 2: understand

Line 3 starts with word 3: it

Line 4 ends with word 4: so

Line 5 starts with word 5: simple

Line 6 ends with word 6: to

Line 7 starts or ends with word 7: me

Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay

Map to Love, #KindKu

can’t you trace my heart
like a map to understand
it sings of journeys
two lovers must explore, so
simple sparks embrace
the future uncharted to
me and you, for life.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“You Can’t Go Home Again,” #Senryu

Aishwarya, from Kitty’s Verses, picked an excellent photo for this month’s photo prompt. There is so much to write about.

I chose to write a senryu this week. Senryu are untitled, but for this challenge we use titles to keep our posts straight.

I don’t know… this photo haunted me. There with so many poetic possibilities. Finally, I settled on the old saying, “You can’t go home again.” Those railroad tracks definitely lead to the unknown.

There’s something poetic about the first time you leave home. When you return, it’s never like it was before you left. Time marches on and our perspectives change. We view life through the lens of a fool’s paradise. You know, the feeling of happiness you hold onto because you’re ignorant of the negative aspects of a situation? It’s all part of the growing up process.

“You Can’t Go Home Again,” #Senryu

a fool’s paradise
journey into the unknown
never to return


©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

#Haikai Challenge #152 (8/16/20): katydid (kirigirisu), A #Haiku Sequence

This week, Frank J. Tassone’s Haikai Challenges asks us to write a haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to the katydid (kirigirisu).

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

For Frank’s Haikai challenge, I created a haiku sequence dedicated to the katydid, an insect we don’t have here in the Sonoran desert of Arizona.

summer's soothsayer
promises changes to come
grass green leaves singsong

neath the white moon orb
acacia trees sway in rhythm
katydid dinner

twilight winds scour leaves
death song harmonies unite
as summer sounds fade

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro