Saddle-Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 8, Recap

I’ve found an amazing group of poets at Carrot double ennead challenges 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 HERE

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 everyone to think about how Autumn interacts with our six senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing, and intuition) as we composed our double ennead poems.

Our senses help us take in information from the world. Our senses are a powerful tool that helps us convey messages to our readers by providing a connection to the imagery inside their heads.

Here are the poems from the September 20, 2021 challenge on Carrot

"September Time"

The Indian summer
swansong brings wasps out,
their buzzing, sharp, stripey warning. Time to hide!
Rain brings aural release.
Sweet, steaming cocoa.

Music no longer rings
through screens from Albert
Hall, for cakes and sequins mist up TV, now:
icy eyes stalk the tent,
before glitter-belles

and joyful Johannes
feast on fashion. Time
to flaunt my colours: deep green, bold burgundy,
and thick, rich-purple socks.
Time for Autumn's shine.

© E.A. Colquitt

Breathe in Autumn’s harvest.
nature’s smudging cleanse!
Every step a cidery press of scents
green melting in fall fire
summer ferns kneel brown.

See Autumn’s praise-songs.
Gatherings of voices!
Choired trees exalting in crackling colored tongues
tart air an apple bite
wing strokes flute bell skies.

Hear Autumn’s palette.
Offerings of colors!
Quicksilvered moonshadow songs of coyotes
red leaves’ raining patter
blue forgotten dreams.

D. Avery from Comments

"Golden Dame"

Elegant sylph up high
Grand receptacle;
Espouser of light, ardor, and purity 
Salacious savvy star
Golden deity  

Source of serene delight
Gracing earth tonight
With your internal glow you complement us
Sweet direct convergence 
September full moon 

Clouds that hide you from me
Find me lusterless 
Yet O-gape I be, your face I know by heart 
And so I float to you 
Raze the clouds away 


"The Shape of the Season-A Taste of a Canadian Fall Election"

A light sprinkling of rain,
a hum of voices,
a slow-moving line of Covid citizens,
a masked electorate
democracies feat.

The Gymnasium is cool,
fresh autumn air flows,
a penetrating sound shakes the old hall.
Rusty bolts on the move
as hammers pound in.

From eleven to one
scrutineering fun,
carrot, banana, orange, nary a gun
under grey cloudy skies
we shall overcome.

© Bill Engleson in Comments

"Esprit Egression (*plus…)"

In the autumn of life
The inkwell was still
In use by the paper thin skinned hand that now
Shook just a little more
While filling the page

Letters scritchity scratched
Black India Ink
Ran, danced, echoed memories real and
Imagined from the pen
Capturing moments

Until the cold winter
Arrived leaving just
The bare bones to drape on the author’s desk chair
Would fame come now that death
Had taken all else?

© JulesPaige

"In the Shadow of Pumpkin Lattes & Fall Sightseeing"

pumpkin spiced hot coffee
lures locals to drive
thru the steel girders of the Keweenaw lift bridge
defying construction
zones and stalled traffic

cars emit fuel fumes waiting
to hum across the
water that divides the peninsula
where colorful autumn leaves
beckon fall tourists

the taste of pumpkin spice
erases the thought
that it wasn’t worth the costs to cross the bridge
denial or excess
we thrill to burn gas

© Charli Mills in Comments

"The Turning"

let me know the turning
morning mists open
fire engine reds blow out in hot bursts - siren!
speak my name softly now
imprint on my skull

my eyes wide in pleasure
I dream of genies
undress my body, overlay our bones' breath
one button at a time
acorns plink, plonk, drop

bottled rain laps the lake
Autumn comes tonight
in the hunter's full moon we gather, howling
lay me down in her bed
I pray for solace


Scarlet in midnight's bliss
dances in silver,
as a cardinal calls in the willow bush,
her swirling skirts a flame,
a shell by dawn's light.

Her lips offer a kiss
as the moon quivers,
siren red bells jangle bruising Autumn's shush,
she, never to be tamed,
fanciful in flight.

She swims freely, a fish
tied by the moon's sash,
his song fires her heartbeat, quickens in ambush,
her lover awaits, game,
she is Autumn's lass.


The woodsman with his axe
regards the old tree,
blushing apples, once blossoms held in Spring's palm
adorn the branches flush,
its bark, waved ridges;

time, in its slow rush, grooves
the skin of her face,
maiden she was, carrying herself with grace,
a silver wedding band
gifted by the moon

binds each to the other
long offered in June;
wood smoke singes the air, she a flame's shadow,
lingers, stinging his eyes;
Autumn's apples sigh.

© Pocket Poems, et al.

"Winter Calls"

We flow into autumn
from summer’s embrace
when twilight hastens and the sun rides low
ripening abundance
a gilded farewell

Quilted paths of crimson
through colors we roam
mugs of cloved cider and a cinnamon moon
our pumpkin’s grin candled
memories loosen

When scents of woodsmoke curl
on crisp, crackling morns
will you weave me a shawl from skeins of soft wool
hold me warm by the fire
for my winter calls

© D. Wallace Peach


mother says, “let it be”
autumn is here now
yet, the grass and trees are still green and it’s warm
we love the cool breezes 
acorns on the ground

brown leaves are floating down
not yet in color 
north Texas is very different from NY city
where one sweater or two
were needed for warmth

no wood burning this year
drought is upon us
the earth is thirsty, pumpkin spice will not do
a freeze is not likely
Mother, color please

© Ruth Klein’s Scribbles

"Three Wishes"

If you had three wishes, 
How would you use them – 
Rewind that video, erase the harsh words? 
The screech of Raven birds, 
That echo; echo. 

Perhaps you’ll imagine,
Ingressing the dream – 
A luxurious penthouse in the city?
Clear vista so pretty,
No dust specks dancing.

Maybe you’ll ease world peace, 
Spritzing a great gift – 
On all those with power to use it for right?
Each wish; has destined might; 
Take care how you choose.

© Laura McHarrie

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this challenge, and to the Saloon at Carrot Ranch for the opportunity to spread our poetry writing wings. What a thrill to read all the incredible poetic descriptions of Autumn. The next time you feel stuck in a writer’s rut, try penning some descriptions of your favorite seasons. I predict you’ll be unstuck in no time.

Write Poetry

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on Monday, October 18th for another word filled double ennead challenge!

“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 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.


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.

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.

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

“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 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:

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

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.


The August double ennead challenge is up over on This month we experiment with the poetry Oracle!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Happy August! Welcome to a new Carrot Ranch double ennead monthly poetry challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at the Saloon 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.

HINT: You can find this post again by typing: double ennead challenge in the search box to the right of the Carrot Ranch banner. That will bring up the most recent challenge post. ❤

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…

View original post 503 more words

#TankaTuesday: #SynonymnsOnly for sanctuary & follow

This week’s TankaTuesday poetry challenge is synonyms only, using the words sanctuary and follow. I wrote a tanka using the word ‘sanctum’ for sanctuary, and ‘reflect’ for follow.

my inner sanctum—
a space for contemplation
psychic solitude,
where whispered prayers sent skyward,
reflect all good intentions

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Life is always an interesting journey. After one week, I decided that working as a part-time receptionist in a salon was just too stressful. In some ways, I wanted to prove to myself that I still had it… which I don’t, which isn’t all bad.

I’d changed as a person. In the last few years, I’ve grown more introverted. After all, I’m a writer and a poet… maybe that is what I needed to prove to myself. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Just be YOU! Lesson learned. ❤

Poet’s Choice

This week, Tanka Tuesday is Poet’s Choice. That means we can write freestyle poetry, syllabic poetry, and prose poetry. It’s a first for this challenge, as my first poetic love has always been Japanese poetry, like haiku and tanka. I want this challenge to be inclusive, so once a month let’s branch out and try new things. Let your mind wander and just have fun!

I’m obsessed with the Oracle… what is the oracle, you ask?


The poetry Oracle is magnetic poetry. Click the link above and choose one of the category icons in the lower online version after the first group. A series of words will appear and you can drag and drop the words into the white area to create your poetry. I often use the Oracle when I’m looking for inspiration.

The Oracle works for syllabic poetry as well. On another browser tab, I usually have a syllable counter open as I compose my poem. I type in the words to check my count.

Here are the words I received for the Nature Kit:

Now, I will drag and drop the words until I have the makings of a poem. There is a button to choose more words. I cycle through the word selection and grab words as I compose my poem.

Finally, I’ve composed my poem (I took a screenshot to share with you):

I enjoy writing prose poetry, although I can’t resist adding a haiku. Technically, this poem is a haibun.

The Earth Mother

Gentle wandering spirit songs
rustle like rain on a warm summer night—
follow the soft-shine moonlight sanctuary
listen as the wild river murmurs
like sweet water over moss stone mountains
a poetry soul garden walk...
breathe in her sacred earth harmony.

birds gather
on the tree branches
morning wings

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Join Tanka Tuesday and write more poetry!

Saddle Up Saloon Double Ennead Challenge No. 5, Recap

I’ve found an amazing group of poets at Carrot 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–

©️Ruth Klein aka RuthScribbles

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!

#Michigan Woods, #Tanka

soft winds rustle leaves
below the green canopy
blue jay's whisper song
recalls wild fairy dances,
lush mushrooms—and dreams of sky

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

This is your friendly reminder that the Word Weaving Poetry Journal is accepting submissions until July 15, 2021.

We publish haiku, senryu, haiga, gogyohka, tanka, tanka prose, haibun, cinquain poetry including any cinquain variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, Abhanga, and Diatelle syllabic poetry forms. We would love to see your work. If accepted, we will strive to present your work in such a way as to make you proud.

We share a broad view of what makes up haiku and senryu. We are not hostile to 5-7-5 but expect to publish more poems with fewer syllables. We are open to 1, 2, & 3 lines and other configurations.

We accept submissions from May 15 through July 15 for our first October issue. There is no submission fee.

Read more HERE.

Send us your magical poetry!