Synchronized Swimmers, #Haibun, #Haiku

A trickling waterfall creates a soothing soundtrack as I walk along the edge of the koi pond. The pale koi and deep bronzed goldfish weave in and out of one another’s paths, darting undercover of the lily pads and then emerging again into the center where I can observe them. They are graceful, arcing and twisting their lithe bodies, like water ballerinas … synchronized swimmers. And once in a while, in the midst of their performance, they seem to be arranged in perfect symmetry.

the koi and goldfish

align themselves in the pond,

warm-toned symmetry

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

A Map of Stars #Tanka Tuesday, #Tanka, #Ekphrastic Poem

Image Credit: Kerfe Roig

paddling my canoe

under the light of the full moon,

while guided by stars

and wisdom of forefathers,

while kingfishers fly above.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This was written for Colleen M. Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. We were challenged to write a syllabic poem inspired by the artistic photo shown. I was inspired both by the photo and this bit of information I found on, “The ancient Polynesians navigated their canoes by the stars and other signs that came from the ocean and sky. Navigation was a precise science, a learned art that was passed on verbally from one navigator to another for countless generations.” I decided then to make reference to a Polynesian bird.

Flower Dance Under the Moon

Photo by Joseph Bradshaw on Unsplash

The moon shines full through a purple-gray veil of cloud. She peers through, partially hiding her face, but the cloud can not completely conceal her glow and beauty. The wind stirs the garden under the moonlight, rustling the trees and shrubs and carrying the scent of May flowers. Branches of the weeping cherry tree sway, dancing with the rhythm of the wind. The peonies’ heavy blossoms, bursting with frills like dancers’ tutus, join in the wind dance. Birds twitter their lullabies and evening songs.

And in the distance,

Dogs join the bird song with howls.

Howling at the moon?

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This haibun and haiku was written for dVerse’s “Flower Moon” haibun challenge. It is a mostly true account, a kind of composite of experiences. I did walk outside in the garden for inspiration. It seemed like a very poetic thing to do to go outside and stare at the moon.

The Waterfall, #Tanka Tuesday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA: Trent McDonald, Photographer


rush of

water sprays

over jagged

places, and gushes

down into the chasm,

skipping over shards of rock.

Falling from an impressive height.

it slides past every obstacle.

Continually, it falls but never breaks.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

II Corinthians 7:8-9

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—

This poem is in response to Colleen M. Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday prompt. The idea was to write an ekphrastic poem with metaphor based on the above photograph. I chose to write an etheree, one of the acceptable forms, because it would create a waterfall effect visually.