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!

#solo-renga, #haiku, #tanka

For Frank Tassone’s challenge, I used the kigo “midsummer rain” for challenge #195 to write a solo renga:

midsummer rain flows
rivulets run down the street
rainbow slicks glisten

the heady scent of wet earth
moisture adds a second skin

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

For challenge #196, “summer moon (natsu no tsuki) / Strawberry Supermoon, I wrote a (5-7-5) haiku:

summer moon glitter
long light snakes across the lake
twilight shadows swell

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

For challenge #197 smoldering hot (moyuru) I wrote a tanka:

smoldering hot day
brilliant sun scintillations
a twinkling mirage
blurring the straight pathway home
stay on the straight and narrow

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

“#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.

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

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.

“Barely Spring,” (haru asashi)

Just a quick haiku today for #NaPoWritMo and my April Poem a day! It’s been a busy day of editing, book releases, and more!

"Barely Spring"

shallow spring
Michigan winds howl
cold seeps in

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
NO snow— just sunshine and biting winds!

“Spring Sunbeams,” #haiku, #NaPoWritMo

It’s day 14 of NaPoWritMo and my Poem-a-Day practice. I’m sure you’re tired of seeing these white pear tree blossoms, but they are so spectacular. My camera does not do them justice. I think I caught a faery glimmer in the trees. Do you see it?

spring sunbeam...
white blossoms sparkle
in the blue sky

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

My neighborhood is alive with color! Those clouds are bringing in a cold front. Snow tomorrow! I’d much rather have rain, but moisture is moisture.

“White Blossoms,” Day 13: #NaPoWritMo, #haiku

My neighborhood glows with white blossoms from the Bradford Pear trees that line our streets. It’s spectacular! The ground is covered in a white skiff of petals, and it looks like it snowed!

This afternoon the wind grew cold and gusty… just like a typical Michigan spring day. I’ll take some more photos tomorrow. For now, just use your imagination.

cool winds gust...
white petals cascade
lacy spring snow

©2021 Colleen Chesebro

“Hazy Moon,” #Haiku, #NaPoWritMo

Spring has found its way to Michigan… The temperature hit 80 degrees F. today. Yet, the clouds are rolling in. Rain is on the way… it matches my mood. A dear friend’s husband lost his battle to cancer today. Like the spring rain, my tears fall at the loss of another gentle soul. May he rest in everlasting peace.

Image by ThePixelman from Pixabay
hazy moon—
keep the umbrella close
showers grow weeds

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Spring Blessings,” #haiku, #NaPoWritMo, #spring

Today, we finished the last of our indoor house painting… I’m so glad to be done! Let’s celebrate Spring!

cold rain falls—
tulips bloom in splendor
spring blessings

©2012 Colleen M. Chesebro

It’s day three of my haiku mindfulness journey! Happy Easter! ❤