The idea is to use Sue’s haiku as inspiration for your own syllabic poetry. Remember, in this challenge we can use any of the following poetry forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Renga, Solo-Renga, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and Shadorma
The current standards for creating Haiku in English suggest a form with three lines and syllables of 3/5/3 (11 syllables). Even the more abbreviated haiku version with three lines and syllables of 2/3/2 (7 syllables) is now thought of more favorably than the traditional 5/7/5 format. Hybrid haiku are written with seventeen-syllables in one or more lines.
Most haiku are written about nature, the seasons, a beautiful moment in nature, an emotional experience while in nature, or change. A haiku should share a special moment of awareness with the reader.
mist meets earth
shrouding streets in gloom
by Marsha Ingrao 2020
Revival of Colleen Chesebro’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writer’s Challenge
Colleen Chesebro invited me to reinstate the #WQWWC challenge she used to host with her blogger friend, Ronovan. They eventually chose to focus on poetry and so she opened it up to me to take up the challenge.
#WQWWC will start this Wednesday, December 2nd. Stay tuned for the first theme.
Blog Challenge Interview Series
Do you host or participate in blog challenges? It’s a lot of work. The enjoyment I get from blogging is to promote other hobby bloggers. So if you want to write a guest post or have an interview about the Challenge experience, please contact me. I’d love to feature you and your challenge on Always Write.
A BRAND NEW service to promote hobby bloggers is Story Chat. Your unpublished short story premieres on Always Write. My readers have a chance to chat about the story with you and their friends over a cup of coffee or glass of wine in front of a fire. Later, I will compile all of our thoughts into a summary post giving your story an encore.
Your comments and conversations are the best part of the day. I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂
My sister-in-law and her pets live with us now. Today we took our two dogs for a mile-long walk through the Woodlake Rose Garden. I was on a quest for pictures of dry beauty like a well-aged red wine.
For once, I couldn’t take pictures to make my Kiwanis group proud. Last weekend Kiwanis recruited 37 volunteers, students and adults who spread mulch to hold in the precious moisture.
Once we got past the Kiwanis section, which could be likened to garden of sweet white wine, I didn’t have to look far.
The garden sprinkling system fails consistently but the thirsty roses get some water. No one except Chuck House brings a hose and cleans them off. I wonder what would happen if all 7,000 Woodlakers came out to work in the garden for a couple of hours this fall?
Spiders are in heaven making silky webs to trap the dust and ashes in the air. The little bug on the rose can hide out almost anywhere in the garden except where he is. Does anyone recognized him?
Roses need deadheading constantly in the summer to keep them blooming beautifully. Due to COVID, we did not have the help this summer that we usually get from the students, and the Master Gardeners were not able to come until just recently. So you will see Zombie Roses on this walk.
"Wait," shouted the grasshoppers.
"Look at this elegant weave
The garden could be the Secret Garden before it was rediscovered. The potential of beauty is there, covered with what looks like years of neglect. In reality, it’s only a few weeks. On the cobweb blanket, you can see the ashes from the forest fires.
This rose has company that puts it to shame. The beauty of the morning glory is deceptive. It chokes out its competition, the rose and takes over if left unchecked.
Some of the plants are not as loved as the roses. My great-grandmother used to make persimmon cookies. I do not think she would be happy to see this dry tree.
Some areas of the garden have still not been adopted by organizations. In those area anything goes. In this case, the rose is surrounded, not only by thorns, but by weeds.
Lost in a weed patch
Drowning in ashes
Once in a while, you have to look up. The trees tell the long time story. Those blobs are cobwebs and debris.
After the garden walk, Cindy and Flo went home, Kalev and I drove home the back way on Sentinel Butte Road looking for more dry pictures. We weren’t disappointed. You can see the dusty, smoke-hazed, 157-AQI-sky. You can barely make out Colvin Mountain in the background.
It struck me that Woodlake is the perfect example of “the haves and have nots” when it comes to water. Wherever there is water, even just a speck, you see green life blooming. Otherwise you see brown deterioration.
Sucked dry by super hot skies
Humans tricked the fruit
Giving them a plastic teat
Yielding oranges once more.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
So, bookmark this great advice for solving home warranty problems for another day. But go ahead and write some poetry anyway.
It’s Tanka Tuesday. Don’t worry if you’re running late like me and it’s already Wednesday. Colleen won’t fine you for being late!
We’re going to stretch our mental muscles and write some poetry. The struggle to write this #tanka poem is worth your effort. Use some words you seldom use. Make them fit the pattern. Learn a new pattern. The Tanka pattern is a new pattern for me.
You can power through almost anything. Like many of you, we are still somewhat sheltered in place due to COVID 19. But what do you do when your shelter turns on you?
Our air conditioner did not get replaced for nearly three months. The repair company ordered the wrong unit, not even the right type of unit. That was the easy part. What followed was much worse.
Have you ever forgotten to turn the vent off after you bake ? When you turn it off everyone sighs in relief?
For the last forty-eight hours hydrators have blasted 90 degree air into two rooms in my house. Yes, it’s still 105 outside. The next step, tearing out all the insulation in the attic, possibly replacing framing, drywall and plaster in two rooms will be a relief from the noise.
Normally an air conditioner drips the entire time it works. Instead of it leaking down the roof, they pipe the water through pipes to get it safely into the ground without dripping on anything.
In our case, the air conditioner installers forgot to connect or glue the pipe that carries the condensation from the air conditioner into a the attic to any other pipe. The water dripped unfettered into the attic for days, soaking through insulation, wood framing, drywall, plaster and finally the mattress on my grandparent’s antique bed.
Actively Advocate for Yourselves
Expect the unexpected. It’s okay to be a bit of a micro manager, even when you don’t know much about a home repair.
Ask nosey questions! The company that does the repair, in our case, replaces your air conditioner (or any appliance) might order the wrong unit or part for the unit and delay your installation. Ask them to tell you what they ordered. Write down the number. Our air conditioning repair company didn’t want to tell us. My husband persisted.
Document work with photos. The repair company told the insurance that they couldn’t find the air conditioner number. My husband went on the roof and took a picture of the number which was clearly visible and sent it to the insurance company. The repair company had ordered the wrong unit. (big delay) My husband researched and found several companies around the country which had the unit we needed in stock and gave everyone the names of the companies. Otherwise, we still might not have air conditioning.
Get to be good friends with your home warranty and your home owners insurance companies. Keep them informed with pictures and a timeline of events if anything starts to go wrong.
Read your insurance policy. Our home warranty policy states that they are not responsible for damages done by the repairing party.
Don’t assume. I thought someone had spilled something on the bed. I stripped it to let it dry out. Two days later it was still wet, as was the floor and the ceiling plaster in our spare bedroom cracked and peeled. Water damage causes mold, so it needs to be mitigated quickly.
When all is said and done, mistakes happen. We could not convince our home warranty insurance company to use another repair company to install the new air conditioner. But when it leaked, they agreed to pay for a different air conditioning company to fix the leak. That repair company took pictures.
We also have an umbrella homeowners’ insurance policy which will cover most of the damage caused by the repair company.
My hope for you is that all of your appliances will continue to work. But if they don’t be alert and advocate for yourselves.
Keep cool. 🙂
What Is a Tanka?
Like me, you might need a little help with this form of poetry. Colleen has some guidance on her website, which I copied here to help me write this new form of poetry.
TANKA IN ENGLISH: 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of 5 lines written in the first-person point of view from the perspective of the poet. When writing a Tanka, the third line is considered your “pivot,” but feel free to let it happen anywhere, or to exclude it. It is not mandatory. If you do use a pivot, the meaning should apply to the first two lines, as well as the last two lines of your Tanka. Remember, Great Tanka can be read both forward and backward.
Your tanka should be filled with poetic passion, including vivid imagery to make up both parts of the poem. The first three lines of the poem consist of one part and should convey a specific theme. The third line of your poem is the often where the pivot occurs although it can happen anywhere. The pivot gives direction to your poem whose meaning should be applied to the first two lines of your poem, as well as the last two lines so that your tanka can be read forward and backward.
The last two lines of your tanka are where the metaphor (where the poet compare two concepts without the words: like or as), simile (where the poet compares two concepts with words: like or as) or where a comparison occurs to complement the first three lines of your poetry. Use words you are comfortable with from everyday speech. Avoid ending your lines with articles and prepositions.
Make use of your five senses. Don’t describe your theme. Instead, use adjectives, or exclamations of sound, taste, and smell, along with hearing and sight to make your tanka powerful.
Tanka are untitled and should be written in natural language using sentence fragments and phrases, not sentences.
While many poets will adhere to the 5/7/5/7/7 structure, there is no rule that says this is written in stone. Remember, tanka poetry is looser in structure than Haiku. Let your creativity guide you. Follow the short/long/short/long/long rhythmic count instead of counting the syllables in the traditional fashion.
Tanka poetry does not require punctuation. You don’t have to use capitals at the beginning of each line, nor do you need to add a period at the end.
A double tanka is two poems. Three or more tanka poems are a sequence. They are usually linked by a common theme.
This year spring brought us isolation and gardening at home. Last year spring presented us super blooms on every hillside in California. Hills that stay brown for nine or ten months out of the year, soaked up the precious water and turned bright green. Flowers popped out of nowhere by the side of the road giving us a dazzling display of color.
Puzzling with Poetry
Writing poetry works like a puzzle. You have to play with words, trying to make them convey meaning within the constraints of the form of poetry you are trying to write.
The site presents you with a blank screen and a stack of individual words on the right-hand side. You drag and drop the words however you want them on the screen. If you run out, you click, “more words” and keep going.
I used the site to create this Nonet using the words provided in the kit. There are several kits from which to choose, so I chose the nature kit.
When I arranged the words, I mistakenly counted words rather than syllables., so my first attempt is not a true nonet.
This was my original poem, a backwards nonet
Bright blue daffodils
Fresh wind sacred bees
Pure nature river stone tree
Gentle, thick vivid, prairie flowers murmur
Sweet poetry – stroll breathe verdant green grass
Secret wild seeds listen and relax beneath Eden’s trunk.
Granted the picture shows lupines rather than daffodils, but that was the word given by the magnet site.
After revision to focus on syllables rather than words, here is how it changed.
Secret wild seeds listen, relax
Beneath Eden’s husky brown trunk
Gentle, thick prairie flowers
Murmur sweet poetry
Fresh wind, sacred bees
Drone pure nature
NONET: A Nonet is stanzaic and written in any number of 9-line stanzas with the following syllable count per line: 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 syllables per line. It can be written on any subject and rhyming is optional, although they are usually unrhymed. Because of the hourglass shape of a double nonet, it’s often used to represent the passage of time.
For additional examples of poetry and a chance demonstrate your own creative talent, head over to Colleen’s and post your prowess in poetry. 🙂