#Cinquain Poetry: Audacious Photography

Click to participate.

#TANKA TUESDAY! #cinquain poetry

This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for the syllables only challenge. That means you can’t use those two words. You must find synonyms to replace them. Fun, right?

Here are your two words:

Hint & Bold

Hint: clue, inking, suggestion, sign, signal, indicator, indication, pointer, insinuation, innuendo, mention, illusion, whisper

Bold: daring, intrepid, courageous, brave, valiant, unafraid, dauntless, audacious, valorous, adventurous, dashing, striking, bright, prominent, eye catching, conspicuous, outstanding, obvious, showy

Focus on Cinquain

Butterfly cinquaina nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.
Photo by Tina Schell of the Lens-Artists

Can you imagine taking this picture – even with a telephoto lens at a zoo? Tina managed to make it look like nothing came between her and this huge, nimble predator. That’s audacious photography.

Audacious Photography

by Marsha Ingrao

Whisper

Don’t make a move

Brilliant, eye-catching shot

Exposed belly, paws embracing

The rocks

Grave stare, like a fashion model

Daring the camera

To capture her

Beauty

To read more poetry submissions, or write one yourself, check out Colleen’s blog, Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

Coming Up on Always Write in October

Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest Month

Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch honored me by asking me to host one week of this year’s Rodeo Writing Contest. I have week three, October 20-26.

Colleen Chesebro invited me to take over one of her writing challenges. I am looking for partners to collaborate with on this project, which I’d like to start in October or November. If you have ever considered hosting a writing challenge, but don’t want all the responsibility, email me at marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

September 26th marks the one year anniversary of my final breast cancer surgery. So far I remain cancer free, but it comes at a price beyond surgery as those who have fought cancer know.

A mammogram caught my cancer early – stage one (sort of). Because of horror stories of cancer returning unannounced and metastasizing, I will take my anti-hormone pill daily for the next seven years, whether or not I have any hair left by the time I’m totally cured. I will see my oncologist for the next ten years. He does not take the disease lightly.

Abigail Johnson was not so lucky. Read her story here. There is not nearly as much help for people whose cancer metastasizes or spreads to other parts of the body. She plans to blog every day in October during breast cancer awareness month. I want to help her spread the word, so I will be reblogging some of her daily posts on No Half Measures. Please help by reblogging or sharing on social media.

Challenges

I try to participate in as many challenges as I have time to do. Even if I do not write a response to your challenge, I am committed to visiting the blogs of those I’ve interviewed on a regular basis.

I am so SLOW! Writing a blog post takes me several hours to create, and I enjoy visiting blogs connected with the challenge as well. So please forgive me if I do not contribute regularly.

If you would like to do an interview here about your writing or photography challenge, please contact me below. I’d love to chat about your challenge.

How to Run a Successful Poetry Challenge for Four Years Counting

Maybe you’ve thought about hosting a writing challenge. Before you do, read this post to find out some of the ins and outs. If you love poetry, you’ll love learning about this challenge.

Longer Running Than Most Netflix Series

Today I want to introduce my blogging friend Colleen Cheesebro. She’s helped me with many practical blogging tips that I’ve been able to apply instantly. She’s not only a wealth of blogging tips, but a renowned author, and she hosts a long-running poetry challenge. Read on to find out how she does it.

  1. What prompted you to begin to host a writing challenge?

The first challenge I hosted on my blog included another writer, Ronovan from Ronovan Writes.com, which we called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. We took turns and traded off weeks because we were both writing a book. Each week we named a theme, and the participants could write flash fiction, poetry, or pretty much anything if they included a relevant quote. It was a fun meet and greet type of challenge, purely for fun. I met so many wonderful bloggers this way. 

But what I really wanted to do was to write syllabic poetry. Ronovan already hosted a haiku challenge and I didn’t want to copy his idea. Writing haiku for Ronovan’s challenge led me to Tanka Tuesday.

Anyway, I retired Writer’s Quote Wednesday on September 21, 2016, and the following Tuesday, I began the Tanka Tuesday challenge.

The challenge has blossomed into a syllabic poetry community that I am so proud to be a part of. Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry is an uplifting community where poets can learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry by sharing their own poetic inspiration within a weekly poetry challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and/or shadorma. Poets receive positive feedback from peers who inspire each other to stretch their creativity. Participants and readers return each week to celebrate the weekly poetry stars and to buy books from the Tanka Tuesday Book Store. 

Colleen Chesebro
  1. How long have you been doing this?

I began the Tanka Tuesday challenge on September 26, 2016. That’s a long time for a poetry challenge to run and I’m grateful each week for the creativity and inspiration from the poets who join in. Here’s the link to the first challenge post: https://colleenchesebro.com/2016/09/27/silvers-weekly-tanka-poetry-prompt-challenge-1-harvest-moon/. I called my blog “Silver Threading,” in the beginning. I’ve come a long way since I began my blog in 2014.

I began the challenge by providing the two prompt words that were required in the tanka poem. Eventually, everyone’s poetry sounded the same. I decided that we should use synonyms for the prompt words. I thought that idea was brilliant! I’m not aware of another poetry challenge that does that.

Colleen Chesebro

Each week, I copy the template post from the editor and create a new post. Easy peasy!

  1. How much time does it take? Is it all-consuming so that you don’t blog about anything else?

This challenge can be all-consuming if you let it rule your life. I’ve figured out a few shortcuts, like making template posts for the challenge posts that I copy and paste into a new post each week. The same goes for the Weekly Poetry Star post I share on Monday, where I list out everyone who joined in. The addition of the Mr. Linky linkup tool has saved so much time and effort.

Colleen Chesebro

I used to spend hours copying all the poet’s blog links into the recap so that people could visit and comment on everyone’s poetry. 

Colleen Chesebro

I do visit everyone’s poetry who participants in the challenge and leave comments. I also share the posts to social media. I love it when I see poetry posts in Twitter and Facebook getting reshared numerous times. 

Colleen Chesebro
  1. How did you determine the genre?

We started out with tanka poetry first. After the first year we added haiku and haibun poetry. After that, we added senryu, haiga, gogyohka, tanka prose, Etheree, nonet, cinquain, and shadorma poetry. I always worry that the challenge will get stale, so I enjoy the variety. I think the poets like to have a choice in the poetry forms, as well. 

Here is a link to the poetry challenge guidelines. This year, I changed it up again. Each week we have a different challenge. Week one is Poet’s Choice. Poets can pick any syllabic poetry form for their poem. 

On the second week, whoever I picked from the previous month’s synonyms only challenge, selects the two synonyms for us all to use. 

The third week is a photo prompt. Whoever I chose from the previous month’s photo prompt challenge, selects the photo for us to use as the inspiration for our poetry. 

The fourth week of the month is a theme prompt. This can be a quote, a named theme, or a piece of poetry that contains a theme. Whoever I chose from the previous month’s theme prompt challenge, selects the theme for us to use as the inspiration for our poetry. 

If we have a fifth week, I select a specific form for us to work with from the eleven forms we use in the challenge. I try to concentrate on the rules of the form so that we can all learn together by writing a poem in that specific form.

Colleen Chesebro
A screenshot of a cell phone

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  1. What steps do you take to get your challenge ready? 

I created five weeks’ worth of template challenge posts in January dedicated to each week’s prompt. 

Each week, I copy the template post from the editor and create a new post. Easy peasy!

Colleen Chesebro
  1. How did you attract people to participate? / How do people usually find out about your challenge? 

I wrote a blog post to announce the challenge and shared the information on Facebook and Twitter. It took off by word of mouth more than anything. 

When I first began this challenge there were not many poetry challenges. Now, we have DVerse-the Poet’s Pub, Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge, Sue Vincent’s Write Photo which accepts poetry and short stories, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction which also accepts poetry and flash fiction, Ronovan Writes Decima Poetry challenge, and the Aurora’s & Blossoms Poetry Journal’s new challenge called, Kindku, to name a few. There are many more challenges out there.

Colleen Chesebro
  1. Is your challenge like a club where you put a widget on your website or embed something on your post?

I do have a widget that poets can use but mostly we use the header of each week’s challenge post to keep track of the different challenges. Everyone is welcome to join in my syllabic poetry challenge. 

Colleen Chesebro
  1. Do you have help reading all the entries?

No. I take care of that myself. I want writers to be inspired by poetry and encourage everyone to reach for the stars and try something new. As the host of the challenge, I want to interact with the poets. Their creativity pushes me to learn more about these forms, as well. We all learn from each other.

Colleen Chesebro
  1. What do you do with the entries – like do you ever publish anthologies, award widget certificates?

Last year, I ran a Poet of the Week recognition contest. Each week, I selected my favorite poem from the challenge participant’s poetry and shared it on my blog. At the end of the year, one of the poets, H. R. R. Gorman, helped me to compile a free PDF of all the Poet of the Week poetry from that year. Here is the link: https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/01/09/update-to-the-2019-poet-of-the-week-compilation/. This is a free download on my blog. 

On my blog at colleenchesebro.com I’ve created the Tanka Tuesday Book Store where I list the poetry books for sale written by my challenge participants. Here is the link: Tanka Tuesday Book Store. It’s just another way to help support our poetry community.

This year, I’ve written a book called “Word Craft – Prose & Poetry, the Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry” which should be ready to publish in the next month or so. I researched how to write the eleven syllabic poetry forms from my challenge. The Japanese forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, and tanka prose, along with the American forms: Etheree, nonet, and shadorma with instructions and examples. At the end of each chapter I added poetry examples from the challenge participants with a citation to credit the poet’s work.

This book is written for the beginning poet, or someone who’s never written syllabic poetry before but would like to learn how.  I think it will also be a great reference for poets who are writing poetry and submitting to contests and journals.

Colleen Chesebro

***

Biography

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical, which may mean she is experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing poetry and storytelling. 

Colleen sponsors a Syllabic Poetry Challenge on her blog where participants can learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. 

Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community in November 2017. In 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. In 2019, she placed second for the Three Act Story category, with her piece called “The Game.” 

Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path in her writing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and black cat, Freyja. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

Books by Colleen M. Chesebro:

Fairies, Myths, & Magic: A Summer Celebration: Country Tagged Universal Book Link: Smarturl.it/FairiesMythsMagic

The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy: Country Tagged Universal Book Link: smarturl.it/HSCSwampFairy

Social Media Links:

Twitter

Linkedin

Facebook Page

Blog: colleenchesebro.com Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

Worth the Struggle #Haibun

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

In Indiana, where I grew up, gray skies muted the summer sun. The six-foot-deep ditch at the end of the street represented the most climbing we children could experience. Slide down, scramble up. Our panorama from the top of the ditch – cornfields, cows, a two-lane road teeing into another, and a 1950s housing development. 

No mountain grandeur,

No rocky ledges to scale,

Winding through pine trees.

Today blue skies peek through the dense forest.The scent of pine fills my empty lungs as I lumber up the narrow path to the top to Gertrude’s Nest. Where are the steps and handrails? Forget the steps, where’s the elevator? The slide down this crevasse is nothing like home. 

A struggle to climb,

Step after step I struggle.

Driblets burn my eyes.

Mosquitos the size of grasshoppers nip at my shoulders and elbows. Blisters dot my heels. Loose rocks echo as they skitter down the mountain. I embrace the mountainside until my stomach stops churning.

There’s no place like home.

Why did I agree to this –

Adventurous quest?

Atop Shawangunk Mountains, I survey where I’ve been and hold up my arms in triumph. The summer breeze dries my skin. The world is mine!

This is my entry to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka for June 30. I chose to do the prose envelope. Even if you’ve never tried to write a Haibun, step out and do something new. 🙂 Leave me a link in your comment section and also link it on Colleen’s website. We’ll both visit, read, and comment. 🙂

How to Write Haibun

  • Begin the haibun with a title. The title should hint at something barely noticeable in the beginning which comes together by the ending.
  • Your haibun prose can be written in present or past tense including, first-person (I), third person (he/she), or first-person plural (we).
  • Subject matter: autobiographical prose, travel journal, a slice of life, memory, dream, character sketch, place, event, or object. Focus on one or two elements.
  • Keep your prose simple, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing should be overstated.
  • The length can be brief with one or two sentences with a haiku, or longer prose with a haiku sandwiched between, to longer memoir works including many haiku.
  • There are different Haibun styles: Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one haiku) haiku/prose, or prose/haiku; Verse Envelope: haiku/prose/haiku; Prose Envelope: prose/haiku/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements of your choice.
  • The prose tells the story and gives the information which helps to define the theme. It creates a mood through tone, paving the way for the haiku.
  • The haiku should act as a comparison—different yet somehow connected to the prose, as it moves the story forward by taking the narrative in another direction.
  • The haiku should not attempt to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the haiku resolves the conflict in an unexpected way. Sometimes, the haiku questions the resolution of the prose. While the prose is the narrative, the haiku is the revelation or the reaction.

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka

Always Write Form Poetry Cheat Sheet

“When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand.” You’ve Got a Friend in your journal. Want to fill it and exercise your literary muscles on some poetry you’ve don’t see of hear often?

Link added to Janice Wald’s Linky Party

In 1994 my first husband died. God comforted me. By day I taught fourth grade. By night I turned to poetry to keep myself together. 

Fixed form poetry has gone in and out of style over the decades, but enjoyed a modicum of popularity in the 1990s. Sticking to the form and making meaning out of the words I strew together soothed my sorrow.

With the onset of COVID-19 many are going stir crazy. Exerts thought the virus would go away with the hot weather, but it hasn’t. Many people still stay home more than they used to.

One of the best ways to fight boredom/frustration/anger and keep your mind alert is to write poetry.

In the samples below, each form is defined and I’ve used my own poetry as samples to model the style.

Like most of you, I am not an English literature major. One of the plusses about writing poetry or prose is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to share it. The fun is in the crafting of the words.

So enjoy.

Pantoum

A pantoum is a fixed style French form of poetry. The second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the following stanza. In the last stanza, the third line of the first stanza is the second line, and the last line is the same as the first line in the first stanza. It is written in three-foot iambic lines.  So the stresses are read as – da DUM da DUM da DUM

boy with head on table writing

Writing Day

They stare at pencil leads.

Start chewing on their nails.

Nothing’s in their heads.

They heavily exhale.

Start chewing on their nails.

They grasp at thoughts that float.

They heavily exhale

And look at what they wrote.

They grasp at thoughts that float, 

Visions evade their reach.

And look at what they wrote,

Nothing to merit speech.

Visions evade their reach.

Too soon the poem’s due.

Nothing to merit speech.

They see only what they drew.

Too soon the poem’s due.

Nothing’s in their heads.

They see only what they drew.

They stare at pencil leads.

Marsha Ingrao

Rondel

A rondel, a thirteen-lined French-style poem begun in the fourteenth-century writing of northern France. The poem follows a strict rhyming pattern with only two sounds, A & B. Lines one and two are repeated in various lines throughout the poem. 1A, 2B, B, A, A, B, 1A, 2B, A, B, B, A, 1A. It has been modified since its earliest days from 14 to the 13 lines we use today.

Malign the Clothesline or Hire the Dryer

Bird droppings dripping off the line,

staked up behind the dirt driveway,

that circles our old country getaway.

Wind stiffened sheets, perma-wrinkled negligee,

Dangle precariously over grassy soot, on twine.

Brittle, linty black socks hung in disarray.

Bird droppings dripping off the line,

staked up behind the dirt driveway,

Faded towels I know are mine,

Smelling fresh as a skunk in the hay.

Cardboard tee shirts betray

No fleecy dryer feel, only crisp sunshine.

Bird droppings dripping off the line.

Marsha Ingrao

Villanelle

The villanelle, a French fixed form of poetry consists of 19 lines: five three-lined stanzas or tercets and a concluding quatrain. Lines one and three of the first triplet conclude the quatrain. Line one also terminated stanzas two and four, while line three terminates stanzas three and five. There are two rhyming sounds in the poem. “The villanelle frequently treats the subject of obsessions.” Wiki

First-Year Teacher

Facts, theories, knowledge within my mind blur

Strewn together in my eclectic interior.

Skill, creativity, love, and wonder in each life stir.

Come inside where class goals occur.

Encourage pride of work, be their counselor.

Facts, theories, knowledge within my mind blur.

Brainstorm, list, write, proofread, and confer

Develop their writing to be superior.

Skill, creativity, love, and wonder in each life stir.

Drill, games, mnemonics, knowledge transfer

Meritocracy, always the competitor

Facts, theories, knowledge within my mind blur.

Build new schema on what they prefer.

Encourage the inquisitor.

Skill, creativity, love, and wonder in each life stir.

Have myself ready, organized, not just on the spur.

Break up large tasks to easily monitor

Facts, theories, knowledge within my mind blur.

Skill, creativity, love, and wonder in each life stir.

Marsha Ingrao

Kyrielle

The Kyrielle is composed of eight-syllable quatrains in the rhyming pattern of AABB, CCBB, DDBB, with each stanza terminating with the same line.

automatic icemaker in standard freezer

Dry Ice

Where there’s no pipe, there’s no water,

Ice makers do, but ought notter,

Work. It programmed itself to crush,

Whenever its steel grin could mush.

Beware when you throw something in,

Make sure it is in something tin.

In plastic, biscuits turned to slush,

Whenever its steel grin could mush.

So now my Ziplocks safely lie

Out of reach of the evil eye,

No worry ’bout a toothy crush

Whenever its steel grin could mush.

Marsha Ingrao

Limerick

A limerick is humorous or nonsense that rhymes. The poems consist of five lines A A B B A. The syllables are in a pattern of 9 9 6 6 9. 

Remember this one? “There once was a man from Nantucket.”

drawing by Joyce Purporo

Guinea Mania

A cavy named Betty did bellow

To Buster her own guinea fellow

“Deaf?” She gave him a bump 

On his guinea pig rump

So hard that it turned his fur yellow.

A Trip to the Doctor

A kindly old doc from Visalia

Could cure whatever did ail ya.

If you went in with bumps,

You’d come out with stumps,

And a bill that forever assailed ya.

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Now It’s Your Turn

You should feel brave after reading my silly poems. Are you ready to write a poem on your blog and share the link?