Abandoned: a #tanka

The mid-week wordle from APED provided these words to work with: Buy, Abandoned, Again, Dad, Mystery, Story, Mouse, Nothing, Glimpse and Soul (see the link for the guidelines).

It didn’t take me long to compose a tanka using most of them. 

abandoned again
it cuts through my very soul
where are you Daddy?

glimpse at me and tears you’ll see

but pain – my story 

Butterflies: Tan Renga Challenge 

Today I found a new and very different, for me, challenge in my inbox from Carpe Diem Haiku: a Tan Renga challenge. Now, I’ll be completely candid here – I had no idea how this challenge was really supposed to work. After reading a few articles I found through searching the term “tan renga” I came to the conclusion it was a collaborative poem of two authors, one writing the first three lines – haiku – and the other adding two more lines of seven syllables each, effectively making a tag-team-tanka, at least that’s how I understood it. The challenge page gives the idea and the haiku to start with and what I have here is the completed poem (the last two lines being mine):


at the wagon’s approach,
out from the grass
flies the butterfly
fluttering colorful wings
takes her onto the next bloom

(Though I looked, I couldn’t find a photo of my own to use here so I got this image here and edited it a bit to my taste.)

I found this exercise quite enjoyable and, once again, learned something new. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did working it up and learning about this style.  

Birthday: A Haiku About Life and Beyond

This week’s prompt from Haiku Horizons is “birthday “. Having just had mine the thirteenth of last month, getting older and the path that I’m traveling on this side of eternity have been on my mind of late so it’s a very timely prompt for me.

Another year gone
Three hundred sixty five days
Closer to my home

One of these days, and we know not when, we are all going to come to the end of our life’s path and I’m ready to meet my Lord when that day comes. The Bible teaches we will all give an account on that Day of our life and decisions, whether you believe that now or not it is true. The New Testament repeatedly warns us to be ready: Are you ready? Your answer depends on your standing before God and the one question that you’ll be judged by: Did you accept His Son, His grace, by faith, to cover your debt? Nothing else will matter.


This past weekend my wife and I went to see the movie “American Sniper”. If you aren’t familiar with it , it’s a big-screen adaptation of the autobiography of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the sniper with the most confirmed kills in US military history. While my opinion on the movie is not relevant, I will say that I believe Kyle was (is) a hero.

The movie got my mind churning upon some thoughts I’ve had before, about tragic death in general and during wartime in particular. Let me say first that I love my county and have the utmost respect for those that fight and do what they do to protect us and it. But that doesn’t change the nagging thought that oftentimes haunts me whenever I learn of these tragic events.

Going with the the Haiku Horizons weekly prompt of “point” I share this with you.

They forfeit it all
Reduced to lost names, obscure
Faces – What’s the point?

A tribute to all who have given freely of themselves so we may enjoy that which we have – and too often take for granted.


We have three dogs, all of which are part of our family. Each one has his/her own unique personality and “quirks”, if you will, not unlike people really. Yesterday I wrote about Jack, our “middle” dog; today you’ll meet Petey.

Our youngest dog is Petey; he’s a Shih Tzu and is about four years old now; we found him as a pup, running loose in heavy traffic, and quite literally rescued him. Since no one came forward to claim him he ended up staying with us.

Petey is really a great dog – with one glaring exception: He likes to escape from our fenced in yard by digging and then sliding under the fence. And he has almost an innate ability to know when it is time for us to leave and he does his best to turn a “potty break” into an escape every single time; talk about frustrating!

Earlier today I began to write a haiku about his irritating habit. As luck would have it, I later saw that this week’s primer at Haiku Horizons was “free”! Coincidence? I think not. Here’s my 17-syllable description of Petey’s way of getting free at the worst of times:

He knows it’s time now
As we prepare to depart
Out the door he darts

Sometimes he gives in and comes home before we leave, sometimes we trick him into it. And other times he’s too smart and hardheaded to get so we find him sitting on the stoop out front by the door waiting patiently for us on our return, which seems to be some kind of victory for him, from the way he acts. What a dog, that Petey!

Creative Writing

I’ve loved to write my entire life. Be it short stories, essays, blog (you probably guessed that one), editorial/opinion pieces or different types of poetry, writing has always been a release for me and a way to be expressive and creative. Besides the multiple blogs I’ve maintained over the years, I’ve also contributed to a few on various topics, been published in various electronic magazines, and a few “real” news papers and magazines, too; I have even sold a couple of pieces (gotten paid for my work), which I’m fairly proud of to honest, and won a few awards and contests along the way.

Back in junior high school, what they call “middle school” now, I began writing poems as an English assignment; we had to write three poems in at least two different styles and submit them. I ended up getting an award of some type for one of them and it was published in some “journal”, though I can’t recall more than that. That assignment is what blossomed my life-long love of creative writing.

I think I learned about haiku in the English class that I spoke of above. I immediately loved its simplicity and how that “framed” style made me think harder to be creative and expressive in such a small number of syllables. Along the way somewhere, I later learned of Tanka, a similar but longer form of Japanese poetry with a meter of 5-7-5-7-7, adding two extra lines of seven syllables each.

Although I’ve written hundreds (and had a dozen or more published) of these two styles of poems, it has been years since the last one was penned. Today I read about a weekly haiku prompt and followed a link to read more. Suddenly I felt inspired to “tap” out a poem! Based on the prompt play, I now share that haiku with you:

After the green ball
My wiry little dog goes
Every time I throw

I don’t know if I’ll follow up with more poems/creative writing or not; there is a weekly prompt but I’m not committing to it or anything else with my currently limited free time. But if I do, I’ll share them here in all likelihood.