A few days ago, Colleen Chesebro announced the winners of the Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest held to honor the Summer Solstice. The theme was dreams, and poets were instructed to use the syllabic form “tanka prose.” This form combines short prose with a 5-line tanka poem (with a syllable count of 5/7/5/7/7).
I was delighted and honored that my poem “Am I Dreaming?” came out on top. I’m grateful to the judges for their selection and to Colleen for continually encouraging all of us to learn and write poetry. She’s a whirlwind of energy and creativity.
Please take a moment to pop over to Word Craft Poetry to read the other top poems, written by Ken Gierke, Merril D. Smith, and Jude Itakali. Not only is their poetry beautiful, but it shows off the depth and versatility of the form and the enormous talent in our writing community.
And if you feel inspired, join in Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenges. They’re great fun. Happy Writing!
When I was eleven years old, I somehow got the idea that my family (and my best friend) should homestead on one of the uninhabited Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska.
Committed to my inspiration, I perched behind my dad’s old typewriter and with one finger, tapped out a list of everything we would need from 7 chisels and 50 hinges to 100 lbs of tuna fish and 30 sheep. Yes… sheep.
The four-page list is pretty funny. Apparently, I thought 15 rolls of toilet paper were sufficient for this adventure but wanted 200 bars of soap!
A few other items from the list (with conversions):
2 big bells
6000 packs of seeds
20 hair brushes
4 dog sleds
52 lbs of instant chocolate (23 kg)
400 lbs of chicken noodle soup (181 kg)
1000 lbs of tea (453 kg!)
The plan never got off the ground, but I saved the list all these years. You never know…
If I could dream a dawn
It would wear your face
In its sleep.
If I could dream a morning
It would wake to your breath,
A pillowed silhouette against the dawn,
The space between filled with warmth
And the tenderness
Of tangled legs…