#TankaTuesday – Mabon Dreams, #tanka #prose

Image by Lolame from Pixabay

The smell of wet leaves and dew always reminds me that the Autumnal Equinox or Mabon is not far away. Known as the pagan Thanksgiving, this year on September 22, 2021, I’ll pay my respects to the darkness of Autumn. During Mabon, I honor the spirit world. I associate the Greek goddess Demeter with the autumn harvest, as it was her grief at losing her daughter that turned the earth from lush abundance to barren cold.

The days are now divided equally between day and night. It’s a time to give thanks to the waning sunlight. This is a time of balance when I enjoy the fruits of my personal harvests. The seeds I planted in spring have now come to fruition. I recognize my successes and let go of the things that did not serve me well the last twelve months. As the Wheel of the year ends, I set my intentions to end terrible relationships. I let go of unhealthy habits or self-destructive beliefs.

twilight rain lingers
cooling dark forest shadows
the sweet goddess chants
a symphony of death dreams...
the scent of crushed rose petals

© Colleen M. Chesebro

How to Celebrate Mabon

Think you can’t write poetry? Join me, and learn some tips and tricks in writing syllabic poetry. Find the book on Amazon: mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry.

“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 wordcraftpoetry.com 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: mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry.

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

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.

“A Mother’s Song,” Crapsey cinquain trio, #TankaTuesday

For our #TankaTuesday challenge this week, Vashti Q. Vega, selected an excellent theme—a lullaby. I wasn’t sure what I would write, so I just let the words flow… don’t think of this as something sad. Instead, think of it as good memories.

My children and grandchildren are all grown and scattered all over America. They all have their own lives and we don’t connect with them often. It’s their choice. Blended families have different issues to cope with and some things just are what they are. Every once in a while I unpack those feelings… then, I put them back again. This was one of those times. ❤

"A Mother's Song"

whisper
sweet slumber songs
to this dear babe of mine
let fairy kisses grant wishes
dream deep

think of
the blessed days 
wrapped in my loving arms
holding you closest to my heart
dear lamb

ancient
memories call—
when you were oh so small,
I miss those days when you needed
me most...

© Colleen M. Chesebro
Now, I’m a CAT mom!

#TankaTuesday: #PhotoPrompt – haiku

It’s the hottest it’s been in Michigan this summer. When I walk in the morning, I can smell Autumn right around the corner. Cheryl picked out the best photo for our challenge this week.

Timeanddate.com shares:

The Perseids are one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. They occur every year between July 17 and August 24 and tend to peak around August 9-13.

timeanddate.com
falling stars—
flashes of promise
for a new day

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Think you can’t write poetry? Join me, and learn some tips and tricks in writing syllabic poetry. Find the book on Amazon: mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry.

My latest book will have you crafting poetry the same day. Here is a recent review:

D. W. Peach reviewed May 25, 2021: This book is a must-have for writers of syllabic poetry. Chesebro has the experience and credentials to have crafted this easy to follow and detailed look at twelve forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry, as well as their variations. Styles range from the well-known haiku and tanka to the less familiar gogyohka and etheree. Though written for poets beginning their exploration of these beautiful forms, I learned quite a lot (and I’ve been writing several of the forms for years).

Chesebro’s explanations not only include the technical aspects of each poetic form, but a quick history, the style’s creative intent, and tips for finding inspiration and writing. These aspects of each poetic form are conveyed in a concise manner, and each section is followed by examples of her poetry and the poetry of authors I’ve enjoyed for years. The poems not only illustrate the preceding lesson but are beautiful in their own right.

The quality of this book and its citations make it useful as a “text book” on the craft of writing syllabic poetry, appropriate for academic settings. Chesebro’s conversational style, easy to understand explanations, and poetic selections also make it accessible to a wide range of learners. The book’s format lends itself to lesson-planning for young poets.

Highly recommended to poets who are just starting out or who’ve been writing for years. An excellent learning tool filled with wonderful examples of the forms.

You can find my books here: Amazon Author Page

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?

POETRY ORACLE

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!

“American Carnage,” #MirrorCinquain, #NaPoWritMo, #PhotoPrompt, #TankaTuesday

This week, Anita Dawes selected the photo for the Ekphrastic photo prompt challenge on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry. The two cinquains will also take care of my poem-a-day commitment for yesterday and today, including NaPoWritMo.

I missed the opportunity to post this on Earth Day as was my intent. It’s been a busy week. My mirror cinquain follows:

Image by mollyroselee from Pixabay
"American Carnage"

death stinks
of destruction
waterless regions scorched 
American carnage laid bare
ravaged
by greed
politics voided common sense
the mother goddess bleeds
searching for her
revenge

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

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