#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRYCHALLENGE #254 @SyllabicPoetry @ColleenChesebro #SpecificForm #Tanka

Hi everyone! Today, I’ve joined Colleen’s weekly TankaTuesday challenge, which asks for a Tanka Prose.

You can find Colleen’s post HERE.

I wanted to bracket my prose paragraph with a Tanka either side. It’s entitled:


Tanka poems in circles

When you feel grumpy

For no obvious reason 

You try to cajole 

Yourself to a better mood

Stuck with codeine hangover 


In the dark of night, when you cannot sleep, and the pain finds creative ways to heighten the torture, you sometimes seek relief in medication. Even while knowing the morning will bring a headache and regret. For hours, you’ve held out. Remained stubborn. Eventually, you cave. … was it worth it? Having written this poem, I felt it would work better in a circle. We all know that relentless merry-go-round, I’m sure. Where you want to get off, but it spins too fast, the horse leaps too high, and you struggle to make the leap.


The merry-go-round

Relentless pointless ceaseless 


Agonised muscles and nerves

Stop you from making the leap

Tanka poems in circles

40 Comments on “#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRYCHALLENGE #254 @SyllabicPoetry @ColleenChesebro #SpecificForm #Tanka

  1. Chronic pain totally sucks. Big boulders. Rocks. *sigh* …. and it’s just incredible how much energy it drains/saps/zaps – it’s such an emotional toll ….. and yeah, we sit and cajole, give ourselves “pep” talks – try to be “reasonable” – make excuses, apologies, “try to be better” or more positive …. and it’s like no matter how “responsible” we are, for all the efforts to “make lifestyle changes” – be … whatever …. pro-active …. in the end, the pain wins. I swear, in my own personal experience, it becomes such a crazy cycle, cruel and vicious – there are moments when I think: who is this madwoman?! But sometimes, we just have to accept it and find some hope somewhere …. and yeah, even after all these years, I still am in awe and wonder about the “pain’s force” — it’s chaos and complications …. isn’t it just nuts how even pain can make you feel like you’ve been out partying for days on end? And then, “meds” – another chuckling courting jester …. sometimes they help a bit, take an edge off, but yeah, side-effects. The dreaded morning after.
    You have my sympathies and understanding in the madness, the circle of pain – and I really like how honest you are about it – and what you’ve done here with the tanka prose and the format …. the circle and all, it’s cool …. so, here’s to cheering you on, for making sweet lemonade from a sour situation …. and re-directing the energies into something else, that maybe helps see you clear and hopeful for a little while longer! One moment and breath at a time ….

    • Thanks so much for all you have said. You absolutely get it. I’m so sorry you’re going through chronic pain too. It sometimes feels as though we just cannot win, no matter what. As you say, responsibility doesn’t cut it. Sending love and hugs and much appreciation 💕🙂

  2. That medicine circle is hard to break out of. Sometimes it’s necessary though. Those are perfect representations of the way pain envelops us.

  3. Harmony, I think your tanka prose is most expressive. I love the use of the circle, as in Zen imagery, representing your “eternal pain.” (How did you get the words into a circle? Asking for a poetic friend. LOL!) I’m sending you healing energy… chronic pain is debilitating. I hope you are on the mend. <3

    • Thanks so much, Colleen! Yes, having lived so many years as a Zen monk, I couldn’t not have gone to a circle for this! 😁 Using Affinity, I drew a circle, then while clicked on it, chose the ‘art text tool.’ Then I typed the poem. A bit more convoluted than I was used to in photoshop, but easy once you’ve worked out how! Hope this helps your artistic friend, lols 😂 I’m afraid the pain is here to stay, and it’s a case of good days and bad days. Your love and well wishes make a huge difference. Hugs, my friend 💕🙂

  4. That was so cool, Harmony. I love the way you structured the poem. And heartwrenching. My husband deals with chronic pain, and it’s so hard on him. I hope you’re finding some relief. <3

    • Thanks so much, Diana! I hope your husband finds some relief too. It gets exhausting. Hugs 💕🙂

  5. I love the words in a circle just like those nights when the pain, mentally or physically take over and the moment only goes on without going forward.

  6. I liked the way you presented these poems, Harmony. It’s so creative. I have nerve damage from the chemo, so I take meds to calm my nerve, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all. Another med is for high blood pressure. That’s no way around it.

    • Yep, nerve pain is some of the worst. I hope your meds continue to help. Thanks, Miriam 💕🙂

  7. I avoid taking medicine when at all possible, but as Staci said, sometimes it’s necessary. Sorry about the hangover. But you made the most of it. I like the circles!

  8. The circle is amazing, Harmony – so very creative. My own addiction is sleeping tablets to help mask the constant pain. I’m not sure what’s worse. I’ve given up worrying about it. 😉

    • I think sometimes we have to give up on the worrying. Delighted you love the circles! Thanks, Laura 💕🙂

  9. Very cleverly done! Many years ago I had a slipped disc in my neck…
    There is just no way to get any comfort. Thankfully physical therapy worked wonders!

  10. Health crises take every bit of our emotional and physical strength. You inspire me, dear Harmony, with your courage — and your creativity. 💖 Powerful response to the prompt!

  11. Very creative, Harmony. The poems are powerful, but putting them into the circle takes them to a different energetic level. Great job!

  12. I try to avoid taking medication, too, but sometimes we just have to. I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well. I hope you feel better soon. (I liked the circles, by the way.)

    • Glad you liked the circles. They too were painstaking! Still learning how to use Affinity, lols. Yep, sometimes the only thing to do is take the medication, wanted or not. Thanks, Staci 💕🙂