My Tanka Poetry Response to Cybele Moon’s Magical Photo Prompts

As you can see from the pictures below, my friend The Dune Mouse (Cybele Moon), who blogs at The Runes of the Gatekeeper’s Daughter, is a super-talented photographer. In fact she’s the queen of magical images, as well as the weaver of wondrous mythological tales.

To my delight, she agreed to select three of her creations for me to respond to with Japanese-style 31-syllable tanka poems. This is a great honour, so I hope to have done the pictures justice; it’s very much my interpretation, and they might mean something completely different to Cybele.



Storm clouds muddy dawn;
make an omelette of sunrise.
A hilltop tombstone…
Full of life, the girl races
to read her own epitaph.



 Peacock perched in shade,
mere hint of iridescence
in his silhouette.
He belongs to a proud earl,
who nicks feathers for his hat.



In the dark forest,
fraught birds exchange alarm calls…
human invaders.
A perfect day for walking;
how beautiful the birdsong.


Related reading:

To read more poems in this style, enter the word “Tanka” into Search on my blog’s sidebar (all about Japanese poetic forms)

3 Days 3 quotes challenge rolled into a single day

My dear blogging friend, Kimberly at silentlyheardonce, has very kindly nominated me for the 3 Days 3 Quotes challenge.

Kimberly dreams of a world full of compassion and tolerance, leading to ultimate peace between all nations. Her feelings run deep, as evidenced by her poems and reflections. Last year she published Whispers I Silently Heard: A Lifetime of Poetry, which I’ve bought and am very much looking forward to reading soon.

I’m going to break the rules of this challenge by posting all three quotes in one day, as I’m mindful of the fact that three consecutive days of posting might not happen in my present state of busy-ness.

The rules (for those more organised than me)

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post one fresh quotation on three consecutive days.
  3. On each of the three days, nominate three folk who have not yet taken part to continue the challenge.

My nominees (3 x 3 = 9, and without obligation)

Hugh’s Views & News
Leigh’s Wordsmithery
A Delectable Life

The Most Sublime Things
There is no cavalry

Dave Farmer
A View From My Summerhouse
Inese MJ Photography

The quotes (a writerly sandwich, indeed!) 

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
Neil Gaiman

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”
George Orwell

“I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.”
― The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt 

Love In Ten Lines

Dale, from A Delectable Life, has issued me with a challenge to write a poem about love in ten lines and produce a quote on the same subject. My fault entirely, as I’ve been busy issuing her with challenges over the last few weeks. Apparently I’m responsible for her new addiction to haiku and for her spending an entire morning reading 100-word short stories by Friday Fictioneers, as well as penning a piece of fiction of her own.

The poetry challenge has certain strictures that you can read about below, but first my poem, followed by a quote from my speculative fiction novel, which is presently under the submission microscope.

Red Rose 01

The Poem

Shout love from mountaintops
Kayak over love’s waves
Sink into love’s deeps
Drown in impossible love
Passionate love without cure

Love supernovas consuming all
Such love slays commonsense
Insanity becomes love’s bedfellow
Love itself the aphrodisiac
Obstinate love without cure

The Quote
“Life has fractured us both, yet we deserve love.”
— Sarah Potter, Counting Magpies

The Challenge

  • Write about love using only 10 lines.
  • Use the word love in every line.
  • Each line can only be 4 words long.
  • Nominate others who are up for the challenge.
  • Let them know about the challenge.
  • Title the post:  Love in Ten Lines
  • Include a quote about love (this can be your own)
  • You may write in any language

My Nominations*

  1. Sherry at A View From My Summerhouse
  2. Christy at Poetic Parfait
  3. Blondeusk at Blondewritemore
  4. Tokoni at Beautiful Insanity
  5. Leigh at Leigh’s Wordsmithery

[*No obligation to take up the challenge, or time constraints, as that’s not how the poetic Muse works!]

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