“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.

“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

#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

Blog Update 8/6/2020: “Cantaloupe” #haiku

As my Sister of the Fey, Debby Gies said to me, “Oy Vey, what a week it’s been! I apologize for all the blog craziness. WordPress is working through the issues and my posts have migrated over from the business plan. I’m still missing my Pages and featured images. Anyway, we’ll muddle through and I’ll keep cleaning up my blog. It was time to update some things, anyway.

In the meantime, here is a haiku for the Poet’s Choice Challenge with a kigo which means “season word” in Japanese. Kigo are used to define the time of the year, and they are valuable in providing economy of expression. Since haiku are mostly nature related, the use of a kigo sets the theme for your poem.

leaves kissed by the sun
lazy, hazy summertime
sweet melons ripen

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

In Phoenix, and my part of the desert in northern Buckeye, we’ve had gruesome heat. For over 32 days in a row we’ve recorded temperatures at 110 degrees F. or higher, breaking most of the old records. My garden has suffered and I’ve lost several plants even though they’re connected to the drip system in my back garden. I’ll wait until this fall to replace them.

On a whim, I threw out some cantaloupe seeds a few months back. Surprise! They sprouted and grew. I hope we get a few nice melons out of the batch.

Enjoy the rest of the rest of your week. The cover reveal for my new book, Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry: The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry is almost ready! Stay tuned.

“A Season of Trees,” #haiku sequence

This haiku sequence is for dVerse (Frank Tassone is hosting) and for Tanka Tuesday using the inspirational theme quote from Sue Vincent:

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”

Herman Hesse

I like to create haiku sequences dedicated to a theme, or to share a narrative of some sort, or to reinforce a central idea. Haiku are perfect for longer form stanza poetry.

skeleton bare trees
ebony sky silhouettes
winter's artistry
a lace of new leaves
encircles a sparrow's nest
rosy blossoms fall
silk-soft leaves of green
touch the cerulean sky
summer melodies
Autumn leaves foretell
dryad secrets faint whisper
only death brings truth

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Waterfalls, #Haiku

I’m jumping into Frank Tassone’s Haikai Poetry Challenge. This week’s rules are below:

Write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, Senryu, haibun, Tanka, Haiga, renga, etc) that alludes to waterfall (taki).

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 Credit: Frank J. Tassone
lofty cataract 
crystal vapor caterwauls
into mute birdsong

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Swift Unbridled Sea,” #haiku, & A Discussion of Using Implied Metaphors in Haiku

Sally Cronin provided this week’s image for our Photo Prompt challenge.

Today, I want to talk about using metaphors in your poetry. First, let’s discuss what a metaphor is.

The Grammarly blog explains that “a metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in such a way that it isn’t literally true, but the description helps to explain an idea or make a comparison. A metaphor states that one thing is another thing.”

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

My favorite example of this is the saying, “You’re the black sheep of the family.” Literally, we know this to not be true because humans aren’t sheep. But, in a metaphorical sense, a black sheep is someone different from the rest of their family members. So, if someone says, “metaphorically speaking” I wouldn’t take their statement for the truth, but would think of what they said as an idea of some sort.

In haiku, we do not use the words, “like or as” to show our metaphor, and we don’t use similes. We should never use a metaphor like this when writing haiku. Instead, we should use an implied metaphor.

Literary Devices.net says:

“Implied Metaphor is a literary device used in prose and poetry to compare two unlikely things, with common characteristics without mentioning one of the objects of comparison. It is implied in the texts to make imagery rich and effective and also to make subjects relatable and understandable to the readers. In this sense, it enables them to grasp the complex phenomenon discussed in the text. Moreover, the appropriate use of implied metaphor appeals to the sense of hearing and makes readers comprehend what is being communicated to them.”

literarydevices.net

So how do we use implied metaphor in our haiku? Think of it this way. We take two objects and compare and contrast them. This creates a juxtaposition, which is an understatement, since true haiku should state nothing. The meaning is always implied and left up to the reader to interpret.

Back to Sally’s photo. I looked at the image and saw metaphors everywhere. The reason we use an implied metaphor is that the meaning is personally felt and interpreted by the reader. In poetry, we want to forge that kind of connection.

Here is my untitled 5/7/5 haiku:

swift unbridled sea
breakers spill out with laughter
foam tickles my toes

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

What is the implied metaphor? If you said, breakers spill out with laughter, you’d be right. I compared the swift unbridled sea to breakers laughing as they break against the shore while the sea foam tickles my toes. In reality, waves don’t laugh, as that is a human trait. This literary technique is called personification.

I wanted to convey a sense of playfulness in this haiku. However, anyone who’s ever seen an angry sea churning away and eroding a beach during a storm knows there is nothing playful about the ocean. The sea’s destructive powers are well documented.

Examine the famous poem by Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings.” (The poem is halfway down the page).

Literary Devices.net explains

“The poem exhibits racial segregation and social discrimination prevalent against the black community in American society.  She has used two metaphors in the poem; the first metaphor is of the “free bird” that is for the white people, while the “caged bird” is the metaphor of African American people and their detention in the social norms.

Using this implied metaphor of a bird, Maya Angelou explores the ideas of freedom, equality, and justice in the text. She skilfully contrasts the freedom of the free bird and the alienation and captivity of the caged bird by using this metaphor.”

Literary Devices.net/implied-metaphor

I used this poem not to discuss social issues, but to help explain the use of metaphor in poetry.

When we use photo prompts for our poetry, we don’t want to describe what is in the photo. The photo is for our inspiration. We want our reader to infer something from our poetry they can’t see in the photo. We want to surprise them with our observations.

Experiment with your use of implied metaphors. It will help you achieve your goal of showing and not telling.