poetry project


Pink blossoms embrace
the earth; emptied branches bud
with future peaches.

Peach blossom shadows by PJ Thompson

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

Shadow of wings fly
the sun path from the window.
Outside, crows caw, gulls
pipe, finches chitter while all
gather at my bird feeder.

 

 

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

Edited to add: I hadn’t heard of the school shooting on this day when I posted this or I wouldn’t have been so cavalier about things.

These don’t really count towards my weekly total, but I’m on a roll and having fun. I adapted this first one from an older short poem (I was calling these day poems at the time) so it’s a rehab rather than new:

Driving
shadow-dappled
roads, the world unwinds,
my sighs release the chains that bind
my heart.

The second cinquain is by Adelaide Crapsey (an unfortunate name for a poet if ever there was one). Ms. Crapsey “invented” the American Cinquain back at the turn of the 20th century.  I really love this one:

November Wind

Listen…
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.

 

 

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

The hawk
must also eat
but seeing bloody feathers
drifting down to earth rips up
my heart.

 

 

 

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.

My little cat cries
to go outside. She’s right: the
sunshine’s glorious.

 

 

*For a definition of what constitutes haiku, tanka, and cinquains, and for an explanation of this poetry project, go here.

*To see all the poems in one place go here.


The Barber stuffed chicken breast box.

I’ve been struggling to come back online as an artist. I’ve been doing a found-paper box-folding project since June 1, 2017: one box a day for a year, little things, until May 31, 2018. Then I shall assemble them into something. Not quite sure what yet, although I have ideas.

But the writing…fits and starts, can’t keep going on anything, things bubbling below the surface, but they won’t come out. I need to write. I long for it so hard, so deep. I think I need to force my own hand, so I’m going to try doing little things with that, too. I remember a writing teacher many long yarns ago who made us do five weeks (out of 20) of nothing but haiku, tanka, and cinquains before he’d let us do any other kind of writing. We chafed at that, some dropped the class, but for those of us who stuck with it this discipline turned into an amazingly freeing exercise. So…

Haiku
Poems of 3 lines and 17 syllables:
Line 1, 5 syllables
Line 2, 7 syllables
Line 3, 5 syllables

Tanka
Poems of 5 lines, 31 syllables:
Line 1, 5 syllables
Line 2, 7 syllables
Line 3, 5 syllables
Line 4, 7 syllables
Line 4, 7 syllables

Cinquain
An American form in imitation of the Japanese forms above. (Some cheat and title these poems, allowing themselves an extra line.)
Poems of 5 lines with iambic accents:
Line 1, 1 accent
Line 2, 2 accents
Line 3, 3 accents
Line 4, 4 accents
Line 5, 1 accent

Can I keep up the discipline? What discipline should I set myself? One a day? One a week?

I’ll try one a day, but that may be ambitious. One a week seems too little. So maybe I’ll compromise. I have to do at least 3 a week. If I do more, that’s great, but at least those three. So, here we go.

Day One – Tanka (with a thanks to mountoregano and a side thanks to Billy Collins)

The daffodils hold,
their green ranks standing silent.
The peach tree, chafing
with impatience, holds forth in
full spring, laughing pink blossoms.