Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Archive for the tag “Japanese poetic forms”

#Tanka 38 — War & Peace

Spring happens, despite.
Unable to change whole world,
ponder one flower.
Beyond the thump of war drums,
doves of peace sing their hearts out.

#Tanka 37 — Frogs & Toads

Oodles of water
chucked from grey into gulleys,
it rains frogs and toads.
The homeless warty man croaks,
if only it would rain coins.

Photos:

  • (Top) The Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
  • (Bottom) The Common Toad (Bufo bufo) 

Addendum 1

Identifying Frogs and Toads

  • Both types of amphibians belong to the order Anura.
  • Generally, frogs have long legs and smooth skin covered in mucus, while toads have short thick legs and rough thick skin, often covered in warts. However, there are a few frogs with warts, and toads with smooth, moist, slimy-looking skin.
  • The hind legs of frogs are more powerful than those of toads. Frogs take long high jumps, while toads run or take short hops.
  • Frogs have narrower bodies than toads.
  • Frogs have higher, rounder, more bulging eyes than toads.
  • Frogs lay their eggs in clusters and toads lay their eggs in long strands.
  • Frogs need to live near water to survive but toads do not.
  • Frogs have loads of predators but toads have few predators due to their bitter taste and smell.
  • Frog and toad tadpoles are equally vulnerable to predators.
  • Neither frogs nor toads will give you warts, despite the old wives’ tale to the contrary.

Addendum 2

Facts about Homelessness (according to the UK charity Shelter)

  • 300,000 (1 in 20) people in the UK are officially recorded as homeless or in inadequate accommodation.
  • 281,000 people are in temporary accommodation.
  • 21,000 people are in single homeless hostels and social services accommodation.
  • 4,500 people are sleeping rough.

Monday Morning #Haiku 187 & #Tanka 36 — Cliffs

Limpet clamped to rock
Centre of its universe
Cliffs irrelevant

Humans dice with death;
rocks only fall on others
’til they fall on you.
Eroded by wind and waves,
cliffs house skeletons galore.

Press Repeat, Nothing Changes: A Selection of Seasonal #Tanka Poems

Sun cuts low through trees,
Squirrels burrow under roots,
People chase daylight.
Winter solstice then Christmas
Hibernation ~ if only ~

#

TinselTownpx

~National Grid alert~
Christmas stomping on the world:
an unwanted gift
their electricity bill
our indefinite future

#

OldChristmasTree

Once crowned with a star,
it glittered in the firelight.
Last year’s Christmas tree
dumped, forgotten and homeless,
its chocolate coins melted.

#

RainyStreet2px

Besieged on all sides,
chimneys whistle, timbers creak–
December gale.
Beyond, in cardboard city,
lie papier-mâché homes.

#Tanka 35 — Lakeside Etiquette

Greedy beaks rattle,
expectant of bread crust treats.
A duck brawl ensues.
Don’t these humans know the rule,
to bring food for the natives?

Monday Morning #Haiku 169 — Cake

Smell that fresh-baked cake;
inhale deep. Knife sinks slow,
jam oozes, crumbs tease.

Monday Morning #Haiku 158-160 — Foxgloves & Bees

Bumblebee size bells
Buzzing instead of ringing
Musical foxgloves
*
Bees drift somnolent
Bindweed climbs up foxglove stems
Gardener unwinds
*
Bees cart pollen home
Empty tubular bell blooms
Become pixie hats

#Tanka 32 — Storm

Charcoal clouds from north…
garden locked in somnolence
awaits first raindrops.
Storm hits, its broadside attack
an act of demolition.

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.

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hill-of-tara

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

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morning-prayer-in-the-kalifs-garden

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

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path-small

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

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Related reading:

To read more poems in this style, enter the word “Tanka” into Search on my blog’s sidebar
https://sarahpotterwrites.com/2017/01/25/an-interview-with-poet-sarah-potter/ (all about Japanese poetic forms)
https://cybeleshineblog.wordpress.com/
https://sarahpotterwrites.com/2014/05/03/mays-guest-storyteller-cybele-moon/

Poll: Which Book Should I Publish Next?

sign-post-seaford-beach

Okay, I need some help focusing here. The time-gobbling monster has already eaten January and is threatening to eat February, too.

First, before I go any further, it’s time to get something off my chest. I’m not sick of indie publishing but I am sick of trying to sell novels to children and young adults. On the plus side, I have some fabulous loyal adult readers, many of whom have read both Desiccation and Noah Padgett and the Dog-People and given me a heap of positive feedback. This has led me to believe that I don’t write the sort of novels that most people under the age of 18 want to read, but ones that their parents and grandparents want to read instead. Yes, my novels contain elements of fantasy and science fiction, but no, they’re not about wizards, vampires, paranormal romance, spaceships with lasers blazing (or whatever lasers do).

sarah-potters-quirky-novels

This leads me on to my next point: even if I publish a novel specifically for adults, it could still deviate from the expectations that die-hard fans of a particular genre might have.

I had considered writing a genre-bending novel, as it fits into the bracket of quirky and yet has an identifiable market. With that in mind, I decided to read Jane Austen’s  Pride and Prejudice and then carry out a textual comparison between it and Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies. The trouble was that I loved the original so much that I couldn’t get past the first few chapters of the zombie version, which I hated. Maybe if I hadn’t read the original, then I might have seen it differently. Certainly it made the New York Times best seller list. I don’t have a problem with zombie books per se, having read some excellent ones. I just don’t like ones that would make Jane Austen turn in her grave (no apologies for the pun), although I do acknowledge that some of her writing is quite witty. Maybe one day I might bring myself to write a novel based on a classic novel but not so that it follows the original text word-for-word in places; otherwise, what’s the point in having worked hard to develop a voice of my own?

I’ve written five novels in all, leaving three unpublished as yet. The fifth one, my speculative fiction novel Counting Magpies, I intend to submit to publishers after a further edit, as I’ve identified some new small press publishers that didn’t exist a couple of years ago but are looking for quirky novels. There are plenty of successful hybrid authors, who have both indie and traditionally published novels, so why not me?

Now to ask you, my wonderful blog followers and visitors, readers or potential readers, which book I should indie publish next. In other words, which would you be most likely to buy, if any at all? To help answer this, I would really appreciate it if you could take part in the poll and/or comment with some constructive feedback. I’m at a bit of a crossroads and am not sure which direction to take just now.

 

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