What Honking is For (A PSA), #Tanka Tuesday, Specific Forms

Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

my car didn’t move

right in the first half second

after the light turned green,

so you honk.

my car then slows down,

as I get ready to turn

into a parking lot,

so you honk.

my blinker was on,

you knew that I was turning,

I was doing no wrong,

but you honk.

in heavy traffic,

I am hesitant to merge,

I’m more cautious than you,

so you honk.

a person crosses,

ambling across the crosswalk,

while I am stopped for him,

then you honk.

you didn’t see him,

and you feel there’s no reason

to ever slow or stop

so you honk.

if when changing lanes,

I am about to hit you,

and I just don’t see you,

then you honk.

honking means “danger,”

it does not mean to “speed up,”

so do not be surprised,

when you honk,

if I slow or stop

at the sound then of the blast

to avoid the danger

at your honk.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This was written for Colleen M. Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. This week, she challenged us to invent a new form.

From her page:

  • First, choose your favorite syllabic poetry form. Write your poem.
  • Next, give your poem some different characteristics to make it something different. You can change the syllable count, rhyme scheme (add or get rid of it), anything you want to create a new form. Write this poem.
  • Give your new syllabic poetry form a name.

This poem was halfway coming together in my head as I was driving and before I saw the specifics of this week’s challenge. So, I went about this backwards perhaps. I took my half-formed poem and made it fit some sort of syllabic format, and then tried to see how it fit the challenge. I’ll say this is a haiku, but the line count changed to four, and the syllable count changed to 5-7-6-3. The fourth line is a refrain or variations on a refrain. The stanzas in my new form can be repeated several times, so, in that sense, in length, it is similar to a renga or solo renga. Then again, like a tanka, this form can be on any topic, not necessarily nature. I’m calling it a hankenga. Ha ha! It really just worked out that way, without me even trying to be punny. By the way, the driving situation where someone honked because I stopped for someone in a crosswalk really did happen, just not in the past few days.

Midsummer Tanka Trifecta, #Haikai Challenge

Photo by Marc Zimmer on Unsplash

the rain spritzes down,

leaving drops on lily leaves,

showering the plants,

providing wet nourishment,

shifting from spritz to downpour.

the strawberry moon

hovers majestically,

a giant pink orb

gleaming roseate brightness

in a purple-gray sky.

in her bright glory,

she looms peculiarly large

as seen just above

the ancient Acropolis,

seeming out of proportion.

sPhoto by Jesse Schoff on Unsplash

sun glares light and heat

as moisture drips down my back,

car is now sauna,

dogs lie outside unmoving,

sidewalk is now frying pan.

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This is a response to Frank J. Tassone’s haikai challenge, where we were challenged to write a haikai poem of our choice on one of three possible themes or a combination: midsummer rain, strawberry supermoon or smoldering heat. Perhaps, I did too much, but I wrote three tanka poems and one of them is a double tanka.

Culinary Discoveries, #Tanka Tuesday, #Choka, #Tanka

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

each week, new produce

delivered to our doorstep,

sometimes strange, foreign:

watermelon radishes,

Hakurei turnips,

bok choy, purple bell peppers,

garlic scapes, (the shoots

that grow out of garlic bulbs.)

we prepare them healthfully.

Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

exotic thai tastes,

fish sauce, soy sauce and garlic,

thai chile paste,

cooked with beef and piled on rice,

topped with egg and sriracha

© Susan Joy Clark 2021

This was written for this week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge, hosted by Colleen M. Chesebro. This week’s theme was Disoveries, and I chose to write about food discoveries and wrote both a choka and tanka.

We have joined a CSA, and that has introduced us to some new produce that is not normally found in grocery stores — sometimes just a new variety of something familiar, like the purple bell peppers, or something somewhat familiar that I wasn’t in the habit of buying, like the bok choy. Actually, bok choy was one of the main components in the recipe, found here, that I featured in the tanka. The syllable count made it hard to include it, and I wanted to emphasize the foreign Thai flavorings. I’ve made it two or three times now, so it’s recommended.

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 http://www.ancient-wisdom.com, “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.

Be, Do and Embrace the Good, #Tanka, #Magnetic Poetry

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
© Susan Joy Clark 2021

Somehow, I ended up back at magneticpoetry.com again. I had to add words a couple of times to get sufficient “ands.” My first thought was to “celebrate with coffee,” but then again, coffee itself is something to celebrate. It was serendipitous that I found the perfect image for this poem.