Vantage Point

Week 8.png

Welcome to Week 8! This week we travel to my first attempt at a poem that follows rules on structure- a tanka inspired by a little peace of heaven where I live.

I enjoyed the challenge of the tanka, and although initially skeptical of the merits of writing to a set of rules, I began to appreciate that you need to be creative to write yourself out of a tight corner. Rather than stifling creativity, structure provides a focus within which there are still infinite possibilities.

I have since gone on to write a couple of sonnets and about a dozen haiku/tanka/haibun/tanbun on a range of topics from climate change to the sensory delight of pho.

structure, let’s be friends

quake keys to assemble words

job search, conflict, pho

climate summits and kid’s toys

seismic shift, subjects scatter

Shout out to recently published author Ronovan Hester for his weekly haiku prompts that have been the inspiration behind my spate of haiku this year. Ronovan also hosts a weekly flash fiction challenge for those interested in non-haiku writing.

Prompt words for my meta tanbun here were ‘friend’ and ‘shiver’ (which I interpreted as ‘quake’) courtesy of RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge.

The prompt word ‘shiver’ and my use of ‘quake’ reminded me of a song I haven’t heard in a while, that I love- Sweet Jean’s Shiver and Shake. I saw them live a few years ago- they were great!

Not to forget the travel component of this post, click on the image to be transported through the tumbleweed! Watch your step, and don’t count your syllables before they hatch!



Image: Aim4Beauty

James extended the wooden ladder against the side of their house, its gutter bursting with leaves being washed away from their summer resting place. He was racing against time, the elements and his wife’s contractions. Alice was at the Royal, 14 hours into labour. The sudden wild, torrential rain had given James reprieve from his helpless, emasculated presence at her hospital bedside. Continue reading

Climate Summit

Will the leaders sit

Atop a climate summit

As ice peaks dissolve

From rising thermal currents

A convention of hot air

Following the fun I had with tanka in my Day Twenty Nine effort, I’ve used the same prompt from The Daily Post here. This time, inspiration for the subject was the movement with a global focus and local action – the People’s Climate March ahead of the UN climate summit in NYC. This brings me to the end of my 30 Day Writing Challenge.

Vantage Point

Photo by Richard Baxter

Scene from mountain top

Horizon beyond valley

A seamless landscape

Tree tops merge with long grey clouds

The sun diffuses soft light

Seen from the valley

Mountain stretched to evening sky

One ends, one begins

Soft clouds caress leafy ridge

Dappled light on granite stone

Write a poem with the structure of a tanka (5 lines with 5-7-5-7-7 syllables). Prompt from The Daily Post. Subject inspiration from a walk this evening, using a sequence of two tanka. I had no idea about the structure of a haiku or a tanka and had never attempted to do either until writing this post. What a challenge! I scratched my head a bit trying to work out the number of syllables in some of the words I used, saying the words out loud while counting on my fingers. This site helped in the end, even allowing entry of a whole sentence for a syllable count. I had a lot of fun writing this post and look forward to playing with this form of poetry again…