“Outside My Window,” #Cinquain, #NaPoWritMo

Day 29 of NaPoWritMo: “And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?”

Here’s a cinquain to share what’s outside my window. Chloe loves this spot. She sits on the stairs and observes the neighborhood. ❤

argus-eyed cat
watches the neighborhood 
while pear tree petals fall like rain—
wet streets

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro
Chloe on the blanket and Sophie in her bed… helping mom write poetry!

“My Muse,” #NaPoWritMo #Badger Hexastich

The NaPoWritMo prompt for today is: “Our prompt today (optional, as always), is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The questions could be a mix of the serious (“What is the meaning of life?”) and humorous (“What’s the deal with cats knocking things off tables?”), the interruptive (“Could you repeat that?”) and the conversational (“Are those peanuts? Can I have some?”). You can choose to answer them – or just let the questions keep building up, creating a poem that asks the reader to come up with their own answer(s).”

"My Muse"

do you
consult the muse
when it's time to create?
does she sing your verses? 
croon lullabies?
just write...

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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

“The Happiness of Flowers,” #Butterfly #Cinquain

Here’s a butterfly cinquain for our Tanka Tuesday theme of flowers, and why we love a certain one best. I can’t say that I have a favorite flower. I really love them all.

If I had to choose, it would be the daylily. It’s a hardy plant that can stand the harsh Michigan winters and even does well in the hot tropical sun in Florida. I’ve grown daylilies everywhere I’ve lived, except the desert. The 120 degrees F. heat was just too much for them.

There are so many varieties and color options from yellow to dark red, with all the tangerine oranges in between. Don’t forget fushia!

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay
"The Happiness of Flowers"

red daylilies
lily of the valley
lavender, and delphinium—
that brings joyfulness to my heart
tending the soil with love
rainfall awards
new growth

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

I’ve been itching to get my hands in the soil and to start planing. But first, there are bushes and a tree with roots growing above the ground to tear out, and compost to add to the soil. Dustin, my son from another mother, has volunteered to help me clear out the old bushes and trees that were never cared for. We’re blessed to have his help.

Once the bushes in the front are taken care of, we can move to the back where three plum trees were planted, then hacked down to bush size. The trees are in rough shape. They have to be removed as the tops were chopped off of them.

The best thing about gardening is that you can take your time. It’s therapeutic to work in the soil. It will be good to spend some time outside this summer. I can’t wait!

Saddle Up Saloon: Double Ennead Challenge No. 2, Recap

Hello everyone! 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 last month’s 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 use the theme of “spring” to compose their double ennead poem.

Here are the poems from the March 15th challenge:

"Spring Sprung"

Sol sat solo, silent,
in his melting cell,
hatching his plan to flee his hibernation,
bring Winter’s reign down and
turn freeze into free.

Summer would soon follow,
(he would scorch the earth)
but a more compelling task was now at hand,
bring life to seeming dead
seeds in fertile earth.

‘Arise the Thor of thaw.’
‘Freedom’ did he cry.
He rent the prison’s icy bars asunder,
re-leaved trees in green and
set the waters free.

Doug Jacquier

Pristine snow spring melted,
Now a bubbly froth,
A Cerulean cascade down lush valleys,
Pebbled symphonic waltz,
A welcome deluge.

Arid lands guzzled dry,
Pure manna sullied,
And guillotined by man’s endless avarice,
A limping stagnant slush,
Meeting Mother Sea

Lost in wide blue chiasm,
Defiled drops looked up,
Warmed under the blue canopy of white clouds,
They Rose to be purged clean,

The IndieShe

Turkeys scratch, hunger led
still sharp, winter’s edge,
where frost yet clings, in the face of coming spring
Sun days, trees pulse with sap
icy winds end that;

swirling squalls, freezing cold
reigning season, bold
winter rages defiant, violent bursts
Tireless sun adamant;
winter, worn, relents;

gritty wet, grainy snow
muddy patches show
at last warmth sustained; emerging shoots, ground gained
Turkeys scratch, hunger led
spring’s sprung; they’ll be fed

D. Avery
A Different Spring Cleaning?
(Airing Out the Attic)

Sprang quickly at the dawn
In winter’s last chill ~
They began stripping the old roofs’ shingles quick
Prepping for more repairs;
One; Fan removal

Two; some minor chimney
Pointing and three one
Replacement skylight; bangs and squeaks assault ears
I may sneak out to shop
For some quiet time

And while they’re up there
Hubby’s got a plan
To add insulation in the attic eaves
Where once heat was leaking ~
Happy when all’s done!

"SPRING 2021"

For one winter moment,
one brief twilight still,
the snowline draping the sills of the far peaks,
the chill, dark and troubling,
I worry for spring.

In the depth of its dark,
the veil of its night,
the slight season stirs, stretches the coming blush,
the grace of its entry,
a repose of rain.

Each season has its way,
Its own gift to give.
Spring proffers change, rebirth, earth sprouting anew,
a courtesan of hues,
a bountiful bliss.

Bill Engleson
"Laughter Can Move Mountains"

I put out the bird seed
But the Squirrels come
I am mad as I refill the feeder again
I see one lovely finch
It makes me happy

The squirrels soon comeback
Breaking the feeder
I must purchase a new squirrel proof feeder
I fill it with more seed
Darn tree rats eat it

My feeder stopped nothing
One bird have I seen
Returning to the store I buy something else
I sit with my new gun
And wait for squirrels

Mr. Oh's Sideways View (from comments)
"The Swamp" (Double Ennead for Donna)

Springtime is now in bloom.
Down in Jacksonville,
Buttonwood, black gum, cypress on full display,
with moss hanging, heirloom.
(Land of no good will.)

Sunlight settles, diffused.
Hear claws scrape on bark;
be they lizards on the prowl, or a swamp owl,
no missed step is excused.
(Don’t be caught past dark.)

This ain’t no tourist trap;
best be passing through.
Gator rules roost, prehistoric land seduced.
Is this place on a map?
(Being bait just won’t do.)

Michael Todd (2021) from comments
"Spring Forward"

honeybees busily
mingle with flowers
a menagerie of pink, white and blue blooms
reminders of springtime

and warm sunny days
the wintry days of life
a mindset chiller
yet seeing those first flowers raise our spirits
as we seek renewal
our thoughts flow humbly

golden nectar sweetened
by nature herself
as spring flowers pop out of their winter homes
their joy reaches our soul
sunshine fills our hearts

Eugis Milieu
"A Seasoned Fighter"

The leaves changing colors;
An incoming chill.
Nothing cold as the ice flowing through his veins.
Opening days of camp,
Peak at the right time.

While snow falls to the ground,
The gym’s windows steam.
The heavy bag’s softened with strikes like pistons.
He could do this all day,
Strength in stamina.

The freeze begins to thaw;
Springtime brings showtime.
Prizefighter pollinate the cage with violence.
His cardio proved king;
Off for summer fun!

MMA Storytime
"The Spring Music"

The earth gently opens
to show frail patterns
of leaves, green and purple, basking in their poise
before pulling back to
guard their sibling blooms.

Quails chatter in a calm
extinct birds’ language,
showing off their tanned wings to partners, hushing
at the delicious spray
of dew on their beaks.

Huge mountains and plains still
while oceans whisper,
as skies pour down, drenching tiny and huge lives
soaking the brownish sand
in colors of joy

"The Stirring"

It’s hard to be patient
While looking for growth,
After the dark, dismal, bareness in Winter,
When nothing germinates
And all seems shutdown.

As the sky lightens up
The warmth of the sun,
Encourages the very, first buds of Spring,
Green shoots stretch and poke through
And all seems hopeful.

Buds bloom into flowers
With tender respect,
Producing plentiful fruits throughout Summer,
Then, crops for the harvest
And … all seems at rest.

Laura McHarrie
"Spring On the Farm"

Notice the outside temp
Turn off the furnace
Lift up the windows, let the fresh air blow through
Hear the geese honking by
Snowbanks are all but gone

The fat sheep are lambing
Kid goats bound about
Spindly leg foals stick close to their mama’s side
Pollywogs will soon be
Swimming in the pond

The robins have returned
Goldfinches yellow
The rooster struts around his harem of hens
The calves bleat loneliness
Tis spring on the farm

Sue Spitulnik from comments
"Spring has Sprung"

looking out the window
I gazed in wonder
a carpet of blue stretching out beyond view
a blanket under trees

it took my breath away
this blue tapestry
trees standing tall, arms outstretched giving them shade
a fantasy playground 
on the other side

I could feel the magic
beauty, spellbinding
down on their level, were they hiding in there?
the fairies must be there
just not visible

Ruth Scribbles

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this challenge. Your creativity is inspiring! Writing poetry makes us better writers! As Rebecca Hussey says in the BookRiot article entitled, An English Professor’s Perspective on Hating Poetry:

“…Poetry is about experiencing language more than understanding it, it’s about playing with language rather than mastering it, it’s about creativity and expression rather than knowledge…”

Bookriot.com: Hating Poetry

I’ll be back at the Saloon, on Monday, April 19th! Join in and get your syllabic poetry on!

“The Dryad,” #haiku

D. L. (Denise) Finn shared the image for this week’s poetry challenge:

Image credit: D. L. Finn

I wrote a few haiku (not really a series) staying true to the rules of including a kigo (season word) and the pivot.

I love the ethereal quality to this photo. There is plenty of magic to inspire any poet!

The Dryad

From the mighty oak—
winter dryad spirits rise
Artemis rouses


nymphs tied to tree homes
souls married, inter-wreathed as one
love blossoms in spring


hamadryad fae—
bonded hardwood spirits dwell
heavy snow brings death

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The mythology of the dryad is one of my favorite subjects. Not only are the two entities bound in life, they perish together if the tree dies. Their existence is an interdependent relationship.

“Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity. She also was the protector and friend to all dryad beings. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs.” (Wikipedia.com)

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

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!


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


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!

“Spring,” A Diatelle

For Tanka Tuesday – I tried the Diatelle… finally! End rhymes have never been my favorite. I prefer the subtleness of haiku or tanka with the revelation that grabs you! Truthfully, I found it difficult to find the right word, as the rhyme dictated my choices. However, I enjoyed the form and will work with it further.

The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an etheree, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay


grows in might
darkness recedes
old winter wind’s harsh bite
melts the last snow airing new weeds
yellow heads releasing their fluffy seeds
who like the scarlet cardinal have taken wing
saffron forsythia blossoms now freed
tumble gently like star shine beads
new life, a welcome sight
as marsh hares breed
plants take heed
life’s creed—

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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

“Cold Moon (fuyu no tsuki)” #haiku

Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge asks us to celebrate by writing the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that allude to either Cold Moon (fuyu no tsuki), New Year’s Eve (toshi no yo), or New Year’s Day (ganjitsu).

Frank says:

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.

I started with a 2/3/2 haiku, a 3/5/3 haiku, and finished with a traditional 5/7/5 haiku all dedicated to the Cold Moon (fuyu no tsuki).


Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Cold moon
hopes and dreams

Long night’s moon
darkness and cold hides
spring below

December Full Moon
myths awaken under stars
the goddess slumbers

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

I’ve also added this sequence for Tanka Tuesday, where I asked everyone to write about hope. This is my last post for 2020. I’ll see you all in the new year in a new home in Michigan!

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

The Tanka Tuesday weekly poetry challenge will return January 19, 2021. All poets welcome! ❤

“The New Age of Aquarius,” #haiku

Yay! Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge is back! I found inspiration in the kigo: 170 – Winter Solstice II/Christmas.

Yuletide blessings flow
from dawn's light thorough Stonehenge
the sun god returns

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Pagans around the world celebrate the return of the light as the Wheel of the Year continues to turn. May the darkness of this plague-ridden year be behind us!

Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, & Happy New Year!