#Haiku: “Melancholy Autumn”

This week’s theme for Colleen’s poetry challenge is a haiku written by Sue Vincent:

clouds cover the moon,
beyond dawn's pale horizon
sun rises unseen  
©2020 Sue Vincent  

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
foggy night

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.

Story Chat

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 Your unpublished short story premieres on Always Write.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. 🙂

A Dry October Photo Walk

#Lens Artist – Amy, takes us on a photo walk as Challenge # 117. This week, and Terri with Sunday Stills makes it a dry one. Since we live in a semi-desert area, dry pictures abound. #Tanka Tuesday sweetens the challenge because it’s poet’s choice of theme and type of poem. So here goes, I’m going to combine all of the above along with Cee’s Flower of the Day and Becky B’s October Kinda Squares

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.

 
Roses
Spidery
Pitied
#Haiku 2/3/2

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.

Deteriorated
Dilapidated, dusty
Throw-away roses
"Wait," shouted the grasshoppers.
"Look at this elegant weave
Spiders created."
#Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

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.

Vibrant
Velvety
Contrast

Withered
Crumpled petals
Faded
#Haiku 2/3/2

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
Propagating constantly
Drowning in ashes
#Haiku 5/7/5

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.

Life-giving water
Sucked dry by super hot skies
Humans tricked the fruit 
Giving them a plastic teat
Yielding oranges once more.
#Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

I read this quote on Sylvia Bacon’s website,

“Beauty can be seen in all things; seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph”

Matt Hardy

The weed and dead limbs contrasted to attract my attention.

As I drove around the corner, the hillside on the left marked the end of the dry land and the beginning of irrigated groves of orange trees.

I hope I achieved my goal of seeing and composing the beauty in this dry photo walk.

These images are inspired and submitted for the following blog challenges:

Don’t Forget to Head Over to See Kerry

https//www.kerrylizblack.wordpress.com

#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.

Home Warranty Problems Dry Up When You Vent Through Poetry

Are you up for a challenge? This may take you a while, but it’s like solving a puzzle. It feels so good when you’re finished.

COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 190 #SYNONYMSONLY

What, you don’t have problems to ameliorate?

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.

Circled & Squared

Synonyms for the Target Words

Circled: Surrounded, enclosed, encompassed, revolve, rotate, whirl

Squared: Balanced, coincided, conformed, dovetailed, fit, harmonized, jibe, reconciled, agreed, in accord.

One Hundred Five Today, One-ten Tomorrow

No air con at home

Hot air rotated by fans

Conformed for two months

Relaxed, read, wrote, moved slowly

Enjoyed cool drinks and a swim.

Worse than No Air

Surrounded by noise

Dehydrators blast the rooms.

Drying walls, ceilings

Insulation, carpeting

Reconciled water leak

The Rest of the Story

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?

My grandparents bed set circa 1920 in my spare bedroom

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.

Dehydrator at work.

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.

The condense line coming into our attic.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Read your insurance policy. Our home warranty policy states that they are not responsible for damages done by the repairing party. 
  5. 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.

Conclusion

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. 🙂

When it’s all over relax.

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.

Related Post

17 Ways To Fill Your Literary Gaps

#Nonet Spring’s Gift

If you love puzzles and love to write, you are a prime candidate to participate in Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. She specializes in different forms of syllabic poetry.

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 185, #Poet’sChoice

Introduction

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. 

If you haven’t tried magnetic poetry yet, it’s fun.

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

Lupines

Spring’s Gift

Season

By color

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.

Dry Creek Baby Blue Eyes & Friends

Spring’s Gifts

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

By color

Season

Blue

popies and blue eyes

A Nonet

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. 🙂