women dance their prayers
crowned in wreaths of wild color
in whirling skirts of flowers
arms entwined with arms
else breaking hearts bleed red streams
and children forget
love exists and joy endures
the dark whims of violence
nightmare days of warring men
The #TankaTuesday challenge this week explores Ekphrastic poetry inspired by visual art. The artwork was chosen by Colleen from WordCraft Poetry and poet and blogger Selma Martin. Their selection relies heavily on current events, however they wanted to be clear that their choice “is not a celebration of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” and they both “support Ukraine in its efforts to maintain its sovereignty.”
This poem is a syllabic form called a chōka with syllable counts of 5-7-7-5-7-5-7-7-7.
I chose to write about women as the bearers of hope, the guardians of children, and the protectors of joy and love during the dark days of war. (I know countless men share these qualities too).