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!

Saddle Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 4, 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 work with a theme for their double ennead poem.

Here are the poems from the May 17th challenge:

‘TRANCE’figuration

Can one block out city
Constant life noises
Does tranquility silent, like sleep exist
When consistent motors
Hum, buzz, and hammer?

Can one channel natures
Soothing waterfalls
Does tranquility silent, like sleep exist
In an environment
Constantly changing?

Hither we did flee to
Quaint suburbia
Does tranquility silent, like sleep exist
Where in the night, birds sing
Lullabies of peace?

© JulesPaige
"THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND IN THE MIDDLE EAST"

We cannot understand
why peace is so rare,
so elusive, so enigmatic, so spare,
so lost in the anger,
the soul’s wear and tear.

Within Gaza’s rubble,
the body count swells,
reciprocal death pummels the smoky air,
missiles have no conscience,
a design of war.

Here, we take to the streets,
do placard battle,
espouse our ire, our high-mindedness, our fire.
Next, we grieve endlessly,
then turn the channel.

© Bill Engelson
"Fates"

On life’s chequered board
the dice cast records,
To give what is preordained in game of life,
Fates let loose endless strife,
Turmoil overlords.

Not known what stars foretell
bid dreams a farewell,
You want to ride stormy, tempestuous tides,
Your efforts it derides—
striking a death knell.

Nonchalantly you ride
to drown in rough tide,
Defiant and buoyed, you roll with wild surf,
Light as you shed Life’s scurf,
Laughing as fates shied.

© The Indie She
"Fade to Black"

Enter the arena,
A roar shocks his nerves.
Scattered butterflies soar in formation,
Uniform and aligned,
Prepared for battle.

Cross the cage’s threshold,
The tunnel tightens
Eyes locked on the opponent across the cage;
His teeth clinch the mouth guard;
It won’t be long now.

Released at the bell’s sound,
Both charge the center.
Testing his iron jaw becomes the game plan;
The corner calls for change;
Lights fade into black.

© MMA Storytime
"Spirituality"

incense of lavender 
pleasing the senses 
assisting relaxation and reflection
guides helped in procuring 
tools of assistance

smoke ascends swirling up 
noisy thoughts are gone 
meditation status finally achieved 
brief calm is discovered 
worries disappear

spirit guides do exist 
to lead and protect 
guardian angels monitor challenges 
point the way to knowledge— 
commune with spirit

© Ruth Klein aka RuthScribbles 
Tall, towering palm tree
Rooted to the ground.
Fronds glistening under the sun soaked blue sky.
A quiet rustle soothes
As soft winds comfort.

Never still in response.
Never without hope.
A continuous melody of calm sway,
A dance with wind and air.
Never ending peace.

A storm brews as rain falls.
Winds blow swift and hard.
The palm is battered and bruised but not broken.
A symbol of courage.
A symbol of strength.

© Missy Lynn from messages

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this challenge. Exploring themes is a great way to craft meaningful messages in your poetry. Happy Saturday!

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on the third Monday of the month, June 21! What are you waiting for? Join in and get your poetry on!

Saddle Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 3, 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 play with end rhyme schemes. If that was something they weren’t into, I asked them to share a magical experience with their double Ennead poem.

Here are the poems from the April 19th, 2021 challenge:

"Pieces" 
(English quintain rhyme scheme of ABABB)

Life may fall to pieces,
Scene when curtains fall,
Creased pages that chronicle your life’s thesis
Tell a tale of downfall,
And none to enthrall.

Life’s lesson in a guise,
Little joys unnamed,
Laugh at the darkness before the bright sunrise
Spreading a cheer untamed,
Firing dreams unchained.

Life lets salty tears dance,
Swirled in its whirlwind,
Mired with its dust, sadness leaves you in a trance
Hope surges you unpinned,
Life’s joys unchagrined.

©TheIndieShe
"Animal Magnetism?"

The neighbor’s dogs are not
The problem, though they
Pause, and bark; the boundary, they do not cross
The cat thinks he’s the boss
Of all that he sees

Twice the orange cat
Within the last two days,
Has left personal ‘presents’ of his presence
I return this ‘essence’
Of claim on my space

Once he offered a mouse;
A gift, not quite dead
Where did he find the little pure white creature?
Cat face, a smug feature,
Now he flees from me!

©Jules Pens Some Gems
"Comedy Poetry"

Comedy Poetry
may contain some pun
Like bears with computers .. hairy reasoners
These things can be fun
But beauty is lost

Beautiful poetry
Has great imagery
The sound of the creek to the rustle of leaves
I am loving the trees
Yawning through verses

Middle ground can be found
Great minds are employed
Laughter and solace filling stanza and verse
Are equally enjoyed
Till green monkeys sing

©Mr. Oh's Sideway View (left in comments)
"When the Night Disappears"

The songbird croons and hums
expressing an ache
for the waning night from the depth of her soul
as she glides to the hole
at the break of dawn.


The rose shrinks its petals
and clings close to leaves
holding on to the last traces of the night.
blushing at dawn’s bright light,
dew oozing to stem.


The boy pretends and squints,
hiding in his quilt,
eventually, he picks up his school bag
and adjusts his class tag,
walks the sunny path.

©Call2Read

"Meaning of Peace"

Tiptoeing ‘round the house
at its most quiet,
everyone asleep during those lonely hours,
should have been peaceful, yet
it stirred emptiness

I have gnawing fears too
like everyone else,
getting older, the future, to name a few,
cramped thoughts that could cripple
giving no freedom

What does peace mean to me
has transformed with age,
lately it has been accepting weaknesses,
one day make peace with them
no longer a foe

©Nature Whispering
"Guardian Angel"

on that cloudy morning
almost time for school
the weatherman said possible rain  wind and
the temp was very cool
please put on your coats

I opened the door and
there perched on the gate
the whitest bird, a dove, a sign of spirit
the dove sat still and calm
my son climbed the grate

I took a quick photo 
the dove never moved
the wonder stayed with me, is this the angel
who protects? I approve
guardian angel

©Ruth Scribbles
The soul of the Chess board,
The unwitting Pawns
Unique arrangement will prevail or call quits.
In this battle of wits;
Overlook them not.

Unpredictable are,
Both Bishops and Knights,
Whilst stoic, Castles merely hold defence lines.
But, King’s capture defines;
The end of the game.

The expendable Pawn,
Powerless alone
Can excel when working as a team, that’s keen.
One may well become Queen;
The most potent piece.

©Laura McHarrie - The Hidden Edge
"Quirky Ideas"

Every once in a while,
Tis good to ad-lib,
To go with the flow, improvise, on the hoof.
With no burden of proof,
Ideas become.

Cast not at this first stage,
Doubt on the thinking,
As all proffers may have some validity.
Given lucidity,
Brilliance unveils.

When inspiration dries,
Feel free to critique,
Justify pros; credibility impeach.
Such is the life of each …
Quirky idea.

©Laura McHarrie - The Hidden Edge

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

for writing great poetry!

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on Monday, May 117th! What are you waiting for? Join in and get your poetry on!

Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 3

The April 2021 Double Ennead challenge is up at Carrot Ranch! Join in and have some fun writing syllabic poetry.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Happy April! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. As a guest of the Saddle Up Saloon, every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have an entire month to write your poem. No blog? Don’t worry. Add your poem in the comments below.

Check out the poems from last monthHERE

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

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…

View original post 674 more words

“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.

Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 2

Here’s the double ennead challenge now up at the Saloon on Carrot Ranch.com. Please link your poetry to the challenge post. Have fun and write about spring!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Happy March! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at Carrot Ranch with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have a month to write your poem.

Check out the poems from last month HERE.

The wordEnneadmeans nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

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. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Why write poetry?

When a…

View original post 799 more words

“Where the Deep Wishes Go,” flash fiction

The March 11, 2021, Carrot Ranch flash fiction promptIn 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about deep wishes. Where is the deep — in the sky, the ground, or outer space? What kind of wishes reside there and for whom and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 16, 2021.

Where the Deep Wishes Go

Sally gazed into the watery darkness of the well. As if reciting a prayer, she whispered with reverence, “This is where the deep wishes go.”

Her smaller sister Elizabeth asked, “Do we say it now?”

“Not yet. When we see the moon slip inside the well, then we say it.”

At dusk, the white sphere ascended into the sky. A hazy shape reflected in the inky depths of the well. Beyond the shadows from the trees, musket fire sparkled against the sky.

Sally and Elizabeth joined hands. “Please grant our wish and bring our father home safe to us.”

Photo by David Besh on Pexels.com

That was it! That’s all the oracle gave me today… a glimpse from long ago. ❤

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

Saddle Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 1, 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.

Credit: https://pixabay.com/users/dreamyart

I asked the poets to use the image above to compose their double ennead poem.

Here are the poems from the 2/15/2021 challenge:

Changing Fate’s Strings
(Of Things That Burrow) / Double Ennead


Sacred sleep is disturbed
In hare burrows, too
A Princess wakes from images of spring Paris…
By little fragments of
Broken mage mirrors


Thorns of roses cut deep
Then accumulate
In torrents of raven shadow, embody
The treacle of princes
Unwilling to budge


Their harsh oeillade visions;
Whatsoever they
Find they think they can rightfully claim as theirs –
Be strong, fool winters’ hounds!
Change the story’s end!

Jules
RISE, SPRING SUN


Winter slinks into view,
a wily stranger
from the unforgiving east, a weather feast
alighting on the land,
suffering shadows.


Here I ignite my stove,
cedar and fir burn,
as I peer into the night, content to hide,
to shelter in the warmth,
the comfort of home.

On the coming morrow,
snow mantles the earth,
the Beaufort Hills glisten with streaks of brilliance,
the softening of time,
the rising spring sun.


Bill Engleson
Remembering Alone


I wake way too early
Age defies long sleeps
Morning light glows over the small frozen pond
Trees and weeds glistening
I see from my room


Memories of thick ice
I long for my youth
When healthy muscles gladly shoveled away
Creating smooth patches
Enticing skate blades


Swishing among others
Speed, spills and laughter
Hearing happy sounds that no longer exist
Alone to remember
Silent tears falling

Sue Spitulnik
The Uncommon Cold

The bleak uncommon cold
of northern winters
speaks not to warmer Southern Hemisphereans
(well, bar Antarctica
and kitsch Christmas cards).


If I was there today
I’d want to leave soon
and sit by a fire with a dead tree book
sipping a fine cab sav
and munching hot toast.


Philistine, you may say,
seek horizons new!
But when icy chill has froze my nose and toes,
my ticket cum bookmark
siren calls me home.


Doug Jacquier
Surrender of Winter


soft pastels mist the morn
skyward gaze aglow
rising sun takes a look-see through clouds above
tasks at hand reaching out
nature has purpose


daybreak yields its aura
adapting rhythm
the universe spreads heartbeats through icy fields
so gelid to the touch
emotions exposed


morning turns to morrow
gentle touch of warmth
quiets lack-luster alabaster landscapes
the days omens faded
bartering of spring


Eugis Milieu
Let's Paint a Picture


Dreamy pastels await
Color palette grab
Listen, hear now the soft pinks calling, melting
Away like sweet butter
Frosting on a cake!

Turning shades of blue to
Creamy violet
Eyes close tight —Imagine a vision, picture
A fantasy, magic
A painting finished!

Winter delight so warm
Whites seem to vanish
Seemingly Sinks into the deep freeze below
That image born within
Heaven far away!


Myrna Migala
Wonder Land


mystical fleecy white
powdery softness
blankets the landscape, clinging to the grasses
pink and purple hues
ethereal beauty


undisturbed and serene
misty wintry light
invisible life hides beneath the flora
fantastical angels
protection guardians


hurry, whisk me away
mysteriously, please
to encounter the beings living beneath
surrounded and cradled
protected always


~RuthScribbles

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

Read: How Studying Poetry Made Me a Better Writer

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on Monday, March 15th! What are you waiting for? Join in and get your poetry on!

“The Neighborhood,” #Haibun, #FlashFiction

The February 25 2021, Carrot Ranch flash fiction prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word frozen. It can be descriptive, character focused, action driven. Go out onto the ice and find a frozen story. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 2, 2021.

“The Neighborhood,” Haibun (99 words)

My first walk in the new neighborhood turned up some surprises. Across the street, a fast-running stream bordered the edge of the forest along the walking path.

So, this is where the deer came from, I thought. We’d spotted deer tracks in the snow as they came right up to our front porch. A real Michigan welcoming committee!

Around the corner, I spotted a pond, frozen beneath the afternoon sun. I day-dreamed about the frogs and crickets serenading us in the stillness of a long summer night.

 frost-bound pond glistens
 cattails rattle in the wind
 mourning dove calls spring

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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

“Pu-Chai,” Flash Fiction

The Carrot Ranch February 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story where a character is in the right place at the right time. It may be a cause for celebration! Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 23, 2021, to be included in the compilation.

Pu-Chai

“How much is the black puppy?” I pointed to the fuzzy Pomeranian in the cage.

“That one? I’ll have to check. He’s been here for months.”

Dark, soulful eyes stared at me as if the pup understood the conversation.

“Pure black Pomeranians are rare. Is he papered?”

“Yup. Two champions in his line. Nobody wants him because he’s all black. You know, bad-luck.”

He nosed my hand through the cage.

“I’ll take him.”

“Looks like you are in the right place at the right time. He’s on sale, only $99.00.”

“Sold.”

In my arms, Pu-Chai found his new home.

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

**Note: This is a true story. The name Pu-Chai, means black in Thai. This little guy lived with our family for 14 years. We still miss him.

Pu-Chai (Age 13) taking care of Alexandria, my oldest granddaughter who is now almost 20 years old.