Harvest Moon Magic, #Tanka

I’m combining challenges this week because there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. How many of you feel the same way?

Anyway, Frank J. Tassone’s Haikai challenge asks us to use the Harvest Moon (meigetsu) in the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga. My challenge asks us to embrace the tanka!

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Harvest Moon Magic

the harvest moon soars
bright against the sable night—
I reap what I sow
the warmth of hearth and home calls
get ready for winter's chill

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

My pivot is, “I reap what I sow.” As I explained in my challenge post, our pivot should relate to the first two lines of our tanka, and to the last two lines of our tanka.

the harvest moon soars
bright against the sable night—
I reap what I sow

The harvest season is a time to reap what you have sown. All the seeds you planted in the spring, both physically and metaphorically, are ready to bear fruit. Now, we can collect the bounty we deserve.

I reap what I sow
the warmth of hearth and home calls
get ready for winter's chill

The pivot works with the last two lines, as well. This portion of the poem suggests we plan for the harsh winter season to come. Happy Autumn!

#FAIRY #TAROT #FRIDAY: September 4, 2020

Welcome to Fairy Tarot Friday. Each Friday I’ll share a card from either the Fairy Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, or from the Inspirational Visions Oracle deck by Judy Mastrangelo. As usual, I’ll share a bit of poetic inspiration to go along with the card.

This week, we’re using the Inspirational Visions Oracle deck.

Oracle cards are an ancient and traditional way to connect with your inner soul. They’re based upon Pythagorean numerology, which instructs that numbers and images all vibrate in a precise, mathematical way. You can’t make a mistake using oracle cards because they act within the Law of Attraction. This is because your questions (or those of the person you’re doing the reading for) will always attract the ideal cards as answers. Each one you select will match the vibration of the question.

Here’s how I did it: First I cleared the deck. I held the cards in one hand and swept my other hand over them as I thought about the cards being cleared. Afterwards, I shuffled the cards to transfer my energy to them.

After shuffling, I closed my eyes and cleared my mind, asking for any messages from the oracle (universe). I like to fan the cards out, or to lay them out on the table with my hands hovering above them. That way, I can feel the vibrations from the cards. I let my intuition direct me to choose a card from the deck. Next I consulted the guidebook that accompanied the deck.

Each card has a special meaning in the guidebook, and you can find insight and suggestions to help you find keys to your own personal development. This knowledge is the oracle source of your own inner spirit.

Today’s card: “Create Your Fantasy”

Feel the magic! Just breathe in deep for a moment and imagine a world filled with everything you love, where even your secret wishes have been fulfilled. In this world, you can imagine amazing creatures, such as angels, unicorns, elves, and fairies. While you’re there, pretend you have a magical wand. Use this wand like a paintbrush and create rainbows and castles in the air. Talk to the plants, animals, and trees in this world. Seek their advice for it comes from an ancient source.

I’ve drawn this card so you can create your world… make it your fantasy place, whatever it might look like to you. Let your mind take you to this special place whenever you are hunting for inspiration. No more writer’s block!

What do you see?

Visit this magical place whenever you want. This is the place where creative inspiration pours from your soul. Now, start creating!

Create Your Fantasy, #tanka

create your own world
where inspiration cascades
in a stream of thoughts
paint a picture in your mind
to uplift you on dark days

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

If you believe it, you can achieve it!

My Conundrum, #Gogyohka

This week for the poetry challenge,  Linda Lee Lyberg selected some interesting synonyms: nimble, for which I used the word lithe; and for the word enigma, I used the word, crux.

First, how has your week gone? I’ve had a week of false starts, computer issues, WiFi and phone problems, miscellaneous errands, and other crazy issues that stifled my creativity. For example, it’s taken all day to get this one post finished. The last I checked, there were at least three planets in retrograde. Read: Retrograde Season: A Time to Reflect and Decompress

In between all of this chaos, I’m trying to lose weight by watching what I eat and walking at least two to three miles a day!

I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child, so this is not an unknown subject for me. As I’ve gotten older, it seems harder to lose and to keep it off. To make matters worse, the more I exercise, the more I gain. I blame it on my ancestral farmer genes. When I don’t exercise too much, I’m able to lose weight. Don’t ask… it’s just the way it is for me.

The results of my experiment slipped out in poetic form today. I wrote this tanka in a s/l/s/l/l/ format, which is basically a Gogyohka in English.

So, here’s my humorous humorless take on the prompt words:

My Conundrum

here lies the crux
of my current problem
to stay lithe eat less
to lose pounds exercise more
at the risk of gaining weight

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

It turns out that exercise is useless for weight loss. Read: Why Do I Gain Weight When I Exercise?

I’m off to meditate the weight away! Pounds be gone! So, Mote it Be!

The Goddess, Freyja – A #Tanka

Merril D. Smith shared a quote from William Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice, for this week’s poetry challenge.

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

We’ve had a few big happenings in our little house in the desert. After three long years without our beloved Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice, we decided it was time for a new little goddess to enter our lives.

In a couple of weeks, one of these little kittens will come home with us. I met the four of them today, and instantly fell in love—and I have the scratches from their baby claws to prove it!

After Ron and I raised five kids together in a house that always had at least one cat or dog, we knew it was time to create new memories.

If the corona virus has taught us anything, it’s to appreciate the bright lights that shine in our lives. Time spent with family and friends, good food, wine and drink, and the companionship of the furry creatures that fill our hearts with love.

When I bent down and caressed those bits of fur, I whispered, “Who wants to be a goddess?”

The attentive girl in the middle recognized me. Our eyes locked, and I knew she was the one. Freyja, the Viking goddess is reborn to shine a light in our weary world.

Freyja

fate steers a fresh course
candle glow transformation
good deeds rewarded
Freyja, keeper of the Runes
light beneath the underworld

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Freyja was a Norse goddess whose sacred animal was the cat. It is said she rode a chariot driven by two blue cats given to her by Thor. Her sacred birds were falcons. Her magical cloak was made from falcon’s feathers enabling her to shapeshift and fly.

The selection of the name Freyja is a polite nod to our Viking and Germanic heritage.

And, if mythology isn’t your thing…

There’s nothing like the purrs from a cuddly kitty!

Soon to be Cat Mom

#Fairy #Tarot #Friday ~ May 15, 2020

Welcome to Fairy Tarot Friday. Each Friday I’ll share a card from the Fairy Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, featuring an uplifting message from the fey. I’ll also include a bit of syllabic poetry inspired by the card reading.

The Major Arcana contains 22 cards that describe major events and turning points in our lives (marriage, pregnancy, relationship and career changes, and overcoming personal challenges). The Major Arcana cards also represent the different phases from childhood to old age.

Doreen Virtue numbered the Minor Arcana cards to comprise four suits representing unique aspects of human life. They number the Minor Arcana cards 1 (Ace) through 10, plus the four court cards (Princess, Prince, Queen, and King). The Minor Arcana reflects the day-to-day aspects of our lives and the people in them. Court cards represent either a situation or a person during a reading.

The Minor Arcana comprises four suits. In traditional Tarot they are; wands, cups, swords, and coins. In Fairy Tarot, the four suits reflect the seasons: Spring for wands, Summer for cups, Winter for swords, and Autumn for coins. In Angel Tarot, the seasons represent the four elements: fire = spring, water = summer, air = winter, and earth = autumn. Consider these elements in relation to the Fairy Tarot, as well.

The divinatory meanings are given for upright cards only—this tarot is not intended for reversed readings.

Once you get to know the fairies, you’ll see they are strong-willed environmentalists. They get perturbed at people who mistrust animals or the earth. Never lie to a fairy. Instead, help them take care of the planet and other living beings. Do your part. Your actions will richly reward you, and the fairies will encourage you in amazing ways.

Today’s Card is the Six of Spring

I’m late today with my reading because I took the day off yesterday. We had spectacular temperatures (only in the 80s F.) here in Arizona. We barbecued and spent some time outdoors on our patio. I even planted a few more seeds!

If this pandemic lockdown has taught me anything, it is to slow down and enjoy the precious moments the universe has given us. I’m writing again and pulling away from social media to accommodate my need for writing time.

I’m stunned by the current political environment and combined with the pandemic the entire situation is toxic! Take care of yourselves. When you social distance, apply some of that to social media, as well. You’ll thank yourself for the decision. Maybe that’s why this card asks us to make smart choices?

Today’s card, the Six of Spring, is from the Minor Arcana. The last time I selected this card was during the first two weeks of February. I chose it twice in a row.

At that time, we celebrated the Kansas City Chiefs super bowl win, and Bernie Saunders won the Iowa Caucus. In the second week of February, there were 813 total worldwide deaths from the Corona virus. Looking at that number compared to the current number of infected humans is mind boggling. Click here: Worldometer-coronavirus to find the current totals.

The Six of Spring usually signifies congratulations for a job well done. This is not the time to act humble. Instead, bask in the glow of your successes! Let people see the wonderful things you’ve created. Get ready for positive recognition. Woo HOO!

While you’re at it, be visible and vocal about your beliefs. Don’t feel afraid to say what’s on your mind. Show your unique talents and passions to everyone. As a role model, show others what is possible.

Wonderful news is on the way. This could be a promotion or even a fresh career opportunity. Maybe you will receive an award, since this card features a person of significant accomplishments.

Notice the unicorn. Unicorns represent purity of thought. The red rose petals scattered on the ground represent passion and commitment. Breathe in the energy of accomplishment.

Other meanings: Success. Receiving awards or scholarships. Standing in the public eye. An offer from someone very successful. Smart choices.

Prosperity Awaits, A Tanka

Congratulations
bask in your accomplishments
success is at hand
turn into a role model
show what is achievable

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Disappearing,” #Tanka #Prose

The image is from Pixabay, by Michael Seibt

Diana Peach sure picked a doozy of an image for us to work with for our photo challenge this week. I thought long and hard.

I kept zeroing in on the poppy and the snake. There was a story there, and I had to tell it. I imagined a woman in the late 1800s abused by men and looking for a refuge.

I reclined on the dirty sofa propped up by greasy pillows. I didn’t care. My entire reason for living existed in this room. I was ready to retreat to a place where nobody could hurt me again.

I held the long-handled pipe over the oil lamp, waiting for the heat to release the vapors. I breathed in and disappeared into the verdant mist.

hedonic songs taunt
while green sylphs dance in my head
opium dreams plague
my dear snake familiars
gift a comatose release

©2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

Read more about the opium dens in American history HERE.

I’m ready for Trick or Treat! Are you?

“Monsoon Madness,” A #Haibun #Tanka

The challenge words for this week’s poetry challenge are “character and wild.” I used tempestuous for character, and howling for wild.

Here in Arizona, the weather forecasters speak of “the monsoon season” and the destruction it sometimes wrecks across Phoenix and Maricopa County.

“Not to worry,” I said. We’ve lived through blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, hurricanes, tornados, floods, and earthquakes. What can a little desert wind and rain do?

My late summer garden area is complete and ready for my new dirt babies. Last week, I purchased two small tomato plants just for this occasion.

I trowel the soil, relishing the spirituous scent of the wet earth. I tamp the soil around the plant’s roots, securing them in their spacious new home.

Next, I sow the seeds from my favorite vegetables – cucumber and zucchini by poking them deep into the fertile soil.

I pause and savor the feel of the sun’s heat on my back as I water the newest additions to my garden family.

I pause near the Mesquite faery tree and give thanks to the land spirits for the bounty they will confer upon my table.

This desert expanse whose hot winds blow across the land with the breath of the mother goddess completes me. I turn and watch as ivory clouds spread like gauze across the beryl sky.

Monsoon season? What are they talking about?

Image by Keli Black from Pixabay

tempestuous winds
howling demons from hades
tear through the desert
unleashing the mother’s wrath
on the wilderness below

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

No tomatoes or vegetables were harmed during this storm! My glass topped table however, is a now a thing of the past!

“Fake News,” #Tanka

This week, I shared my ideas about writing political poetry. You can read that article HERE. Political poetry is difficult to write. You don’t want to preach, but you also want to get your feelings across to others. How do you do that?

To start, you can choose a topic that brings you the most outrage. From there, describe how that topic affects you – what you believe in, and how that makes you feel.

For my weekly poetry challenge, I chose to write about fake news using the Tanka form. I like the Tanka because you can assemble your thoughts into short bursts, which I think resemble fake news phrases. At least, that was my intent.

Those two little words (fake news) do more damage to our freedoms than any other. If we can’t believe what we hear from our elected officials, where does that leave us?

For the word, ugly, I used, foul, and for the word, pretty, I chose the word fair. Fair-weather adds another dimension to the poem. Look up the word HERE.

“Fake News,” A #Tanka

Fair-weather thoughts drift
ebbing and flowing like dreams
blinded to the truth
sailing through a narrow mind
grim dogma – a foul weapon

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

“Aftershocks,” A #Tanka

It’s the beginning of the month and my Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge gives poets the opportunity to use their own words. There is no need to use synonyms, unless you want to.

I delved into the political arena this week with my poem “Aftershocks.” Tanka poetry is written from the perspective of the poet. For me, it seemed the perfect time to compare the wrath of the California earthquakes (which I’ve felt here in Arizona) to the Fourth of July debacle held on our nation’s birthday. As a veteran, I felt entitled to have a say!

Image by Angelo Giordano from Pixabay

Aftershocks

Uncharted terrain
new transformations will come
while earthquakes rumble
D.C. autocrats govern
with unlimited power

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro

BE SAFE OUT THERE!

“Cosmic Messages,” A Haibun/Tanka

This morning, as the sun warmed my back, I gazed at the stark beauty of the Sonoran desert spread before me. Thick-trunked Saguaro cactus spread their arms to the sapphire sky as if showing gratitude for another day of being.

Verdant green Palo Verde trees filled with saffron blossoms waved to me in the breeze, welcoming me to my new home. I stood in awe, dumbfounded at how I had stumbled into my personal Shangri-la.

My moving quest dawned
with gnawing apprehension,
my plans doomed to fail.
Yet, the universe led me
to a rewarding finish.

In due course, I surmised, when the cosmos speak… it is always wise to listen. Welcome home.

© 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro