My First Time at #TankaTuesday (Even if It’s Not Tuesday)

This week I am participating in #TankaTuesday for the first time. Inspirational photo prompt was shared by Terri Webster Schrandt. I hope I am following the instructions correctly. Apologies in advance if I didn’t!

Terri says: “This is a filtered version of a rose I photographed at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland.”

Tankas are syllabic poems of five lines—5 syllables, 7, 5, 7, 7. Here is my tanka:

Note how the red rose,
velvet worn by early frost,
clings confidently
to its own treacherous stem,
never accursed by mirrors.

This writing prompt and process reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago and forgot about.  It’s not a tanka, but free verse and about “one particular rose.”

my essay students write of gifts

or if I'm persistent flowers

I have to nurture for a full quarter

to earn violets or daffodils

or simply bouquet

I'm the one with the backyard

full of rosebushes


my husband usually waters

he's in Korea now

with my one particular son

while I water them,

each blossom an individual

that must be noticed

by me

between the time it rises and sets

this particular bend toward the light

this particular black eye-dash of blight

this particular magenta shading into pink

I'm usually too busy

for this

particular about the work I do

teaching show not tell

Thanks for letting me participate!


Filed under #amwriting, #TankaTuesday, Poetry, Writing, Writing prompt

53 responses to “My First Time at #TankaTuesday (Even if It’s Not Tuesday)

  1. Welcome to our poetry family, Luanne! I love your tanka! Its message is quite powerful! I, too, am a teacher, so I connected well with your second poem. Thanks for sharing!

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂

  2. I love both your rose poems. How do you find writing tanka?

  3. I liked both poems, as well as the explanation of your poetic journey/process. I love when that happens–ideas and memories sparking more.

  4. Whatever the instructions I enjoyed both poems, Luanne. Thanks.

  5. Welcome, Luanne! What a lovely tanka and freestyle poem. I’m so glad this rose inspired you to join in. You did everything perfectly. Don’t worry. 🌹

  6. I never can remember the Tanka rules, but I think your is spot on.

  7. D.L. Finn, Author

    Welcome! Enjoyed your poetry!

  8. I like both poems…each very different. 🙂

  9. Hi Luanna, nice to meet you! Both poems are beautiful, you are right, red roses exhale confidence. Welcome to Tanka Tuesday!

  10. There you go – expanding your horizons again! You did a beautiful job with your tanka and I liked to second poem as well.

    • You are right–I am stepping outside my comfort zone with syllabic poetry. While I love constraints, I do like a poem to feel somewhat natural, so I plan to put some work into this! Thanks, Eilene!

  11. Thank for sharing those beautiful poems. Amazing how you have wanted to tell similar flower stories twice!

  12. I like the way you condensed the second poem into the first. I’m also thinking about the rose not needing a mirror to be sure of itself…that’s a powerful image. (K)

  13. Luanne – I simply LOVE how you referred to the stem as treacherous – that’s SO clever… And, also, I second Kerfe’s comment about how you brilliantly condensed one poem into the other.


  14. Beautiful poems, Luanne. I came here through Colleen’s wrap up for the week. Congrats on joining in!

  15. Luanne, 😍 beautiful. Welcome. 🙂 😀 😃

  16. HI Luanne, I enjoyed both poems very much.

  17. Luanne ~ you rocked this prompt and the tanka form. Both of these poems are lovely <3


  18. This is lovely. Great Tanka and free style poem. Enjoyed reading them.

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