Earth’s Maiden #TankaTuesday #Etheree

elf forest tanka tuesday grass redwood tree

seen her here
before this day,
but she acts as if
I’m the one to invade.
“Good heavens,” I say, “Who’re you?”
Soft-voiced says she, “What is a name
but manacles holding the soul hostage?
The trees have not names, so why must I stoop
to this human, imprisoning game?”
I thought. “I suppose you should not.”
“I’m now visible because
you matured enough to
understand me.
Listen, learn,


This week, Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #174 is a photoprompt. To me, this is one of those pictures begging a story, so I had to take the longer form – a double etheree – to get that out.

Mama Grace – #Etheree #Tanka Tuesday

Pink Lemonade

With aplomb
Despite trouble
With her sister’s son.
Her sister was deaf, dumb,
And didn’t want pregnancy.
But poor thing didn’t have a choice,
So barren sister Grace took in the boy.
She raised him with joy, with love, with honor.
But he lived in the vein of his father,
Took the mantle of rapist himself,
Then was carted off to prison.
“You spoilt him,” cried folks at church.
“It’s your fault,” they accused.
She couldn’t fight back.
She made some pink


This poem was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #153, Grace and Style (synonyms in bold). When I saw the word “grace,” I instantly thought of that inimitable character I’ve spoken of so many times on this blog – Mama Grace – and how she seemed the absolute definition of grace to me growing up. I learned about her deep struggles after she died, but I remember sipping pink lemonade with her in a neat-as-a-pin house after her husband died.

I don’t know what happened to the sister.

Photo by jousi osorio on Unsplash

The Woman at 106 – #Etheree, #DoubleEtheree


Lives at
Rides a ten-speed,
Listens to a mix
Of classic rock and soul.
Once you get past the bricks
Guarding her house and her ego,
You’ll see to whom my heart is transfixed
But God says I must admire from afar.

Joined no
Stupid cliques
Back in high school
Where girls had no dicks.
I’d swim the river Styx
And challenge Pluto for her,
But I can’t cross the crucifix
As He stares me down and tattle-tells
To my boss, to my mom, to politics.

This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #136, a photoprompt. I don’t really know where this came from, but I just looked at that peaceful little housefront and tried to imagine who lived there. The bicycle drew my attention. With “women’s bikes’ relatively rare out there, I tried to cultivate this image of a person trying really hard to seem feminine. As a North Carolinian, I’ve had close exposure to extremely transphobic laws and situations, and I guess that inspired this poem.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Rains of March – #Etheree

close up environment flora ground

Drip down
Paths routed
With the first rain.
Pitter-patter sounds
Knock on leaf-littered ground
Waking seeds from earth-tucked sleep.
Sprouts pop out and reach for the sun,
From instinct observing nature’s wish
To praise the sky for bringing heaven’s gift. 


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #127, follow and lead.  The synonyms I used are in bold.  

For this one, I must admit that I chose to think of the ‘ed’ on a lot of past tense verbs as not a syllable (‘tucked’ is, I believe, pronounced like ‘tukt’).  So I might be off in your count, but I’m still fine with the way I counted it.  Thought I’d explain.  🙂

Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto on

Immortal Soul – Etheree


And be whole.
The planet spins
After our hearts fail.
Just because we don’t exist
In the future version of Earth
Doesn’t mean the past will be erased.
So live, immortal soul!  Give praise to time.


This is my first etheree for Colleen Cheseboro’s Tanka Tuesday!  I really wanted a very triangular etheree and spent a long time crafting it so that it was as close as I could get it.