This week’s prompt is to use synonyms for change and growth in a syllabic form. I decided to write a haibun because it’s a form I feel comfortable with. I like the expansive quality of the haibun. It’s a prose poem, followed by a haiku that sort of furthers the poem or comments upon what comes before. I prefer the prose portion to be aligned on both left and right sides, forming a box, but I don’t know how to do that on WordPress.
My inspiration was the hummingbird mother I reported on years ago on this blog and then two years ago it happened again that a hummingbird mother helped her more immature baby.
How to Mother
She builds an elastic nest of spiderwebs and leaves, twigs and lichen, so small and round it fits in a child’s palm. Then she lays two white eggs, the size of cannellini. All month she warms them with her tiny body and only whirs away to feed on nectar and then whir back again. When the babies burst through the shells in all their wet messy glory, she begins the rapid rhythmic constant search for food for their always open mouths. After the first one leaves the nest, she spends all afternoon with the other demonstrating how to fly. The metamorphosis from nesting to new flight is complete.
The mother directs life’s forward move, inspiring her babies to thrive.
Have you tried writing syllabic poetry for the #TankaTuesday prompt? If not, give it a try!
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,
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
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
particular about the work I do
teaching show not tell
Now that the writing contest is over and Fall is upon us (or we’re smack in the middle of it, whichever makes more sense), I am hitting the computer for work on my poetry manuscript and my memoir and won’t be spending as much time blogging.
Since I’ve been working with my poetry manuscript, I’ve been thinking a lot about poetry, and I like what Mary Oliver says about “free verse” in A Poetry Handbook:
Free verse is not, of course, free. It is free from formal metrical design, but it certainly isn’t free from some kind of design. Is poetry language that is spontaneous, impulsive? Yes, it is. Is it also language that is composed, considered, appropriate, and effective, though you read the poem a hundred times? Yes, it is. And this is as true of free verse as it is of metrical verse.
Merely hacking sentences into short lines because they look pretty and allow the reader to consider the words more carefully isn’t creating “composed, considered” free verse.
Deciding how to break up lines in poetry is the most difficult part.