Adoption – #TankaTuesday #Haibun


The medicine man draws the marks of the chosen one on her forehead, her cheeks, with a muddle of red clay and pure springwater. The gourd bowl he draws from is stained red by years, decades, and generations of uses before. It is a holy day, and a gift must be flown to the gods. He places a bearskin cape on the chosen one’s back, the horns of a deer on her head, and precious shells in her hands. He commands her,

Stretch your holy wings –
the gods’ gift on sacred days.
Brave the daunting jump!

And so she leaps, the cape flapping in the wind, feathered wings of the gods sprouting from her back. She becomes the bird, the bear, the deer, and radiance as the child soars to her new, adopted parents.


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #184, a picture and form prompt! We were to write a haibun inspired by Frank J. Tassone’s picture of a New York natural area. I went a fantasy route.

Gather – #Cinquain #Haibun #TankaTuesday


I chop down the leaves, and the nicotine haze makes me dizzy. Others in the field do as I, but these older folks have bigger bodies, more mass to spread out the poison. The field is full of people here to help Mr. Clay, who is ill. As I pile the leaves of burley onto the stake, I recall his amputated toes on the gangrenous foot. I mull over the smell of his room, sweet like the sugar in his blood.

I chop, I pile, I sweat, I sing. Whether God takes Mr. Clay home or leaves him here on this soil, I’ll help take his rescued crop to the trade house.

Friends, family.
Machete burley leaves,
Render service for suffering.


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #146, Fall and Give. This may also be the most North Carolina thing I’ve ever written.

This was based off a true story.


Alien – #Haibun


We appear diff’rent,
Yet our thoughts are indistinct.
Who here is alien?

I sure hope it’s not me. 


This was written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #94, ‘Indistinct.’  I invite you to think of alien both as space-alien or as an international alien.  I think it works for both meanings.

The Chase – #Haibun

adorable animal animal photography animal portrait

The water of the creek smells clean, like something that has trickled out of the water table and onto leaf litter.  I lap it with my tongue, tasting with care, then drink to slake my thirst.  I hear thunder rattle through the mountain pass, and lift my head to sniff the air.

Scent of saltpeter
Humans chasing their quarry.
Danger stalks these woods.


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #124 – Game and Trouble.   Synonyms are in bold!

Photo by Pixabay on

Magnetism – #Haibun

old couple walking while holding hands

Photo by Noelle Otto on

An old woman eats her grapefruit and toast quietly while her husband reads the newspaper.  The man barely skims the words, but his actions are habit now.  They know each other, all the good and bad, and their lives conform to bring the other happiness, ease.  To shape each other, both poles of their sexuality and senses and skill, they’d aligned their wills long ago.

When dipoles align

Electrons court protons

No longer stranger.

The old man smiles over his newspaper, and the woman raises the corners of her lips to match.


This Haibun was written for Tanka Tuesday no. 119, mystery and attract. The synonyms are wide, but hopefully you will forgive me this. 🙂

The Palm Reader – #Haibun


Hands rest palm up
Eyes interpret lines
Curious, wise

I bite my lip and waited for the witch’s response.  The basement air, heavy with spices and musk, matches the bulky curtains and rugs that hid concrete walls.  The zing of magic tingles between her fingertips and my palms, sending electric thrill into my bones.  Tarot cards sit on either side of my arms, displaying my past, present, and future to all who wish to look.

The witch shows a
Delightful future
I can achieve.


This haibun was written for Colleen Cheseboro’s Tanka Tuesday #110.  I can hardly believe how much my poetry has improved!  I would like to thank everyone who has read and been encouraging for helping me learn to appreciate this art.  Who knows where I’ll be after I’ve done 110 Tanka Tuesdays?!  

Write your own poems and participate in Colleen’s challenges.  I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

I Am A Nuclear Reactor

Nuclear Plant

I broil deep within, tiny pieces of myself breaking down and building up, releasing heat.  The cost of this heat is disorder, as the spark within me slowly dims over the course of years.  The world around me boils, as humankind stacks up another layer of steel to encase me.  I build up pressure, roil beneath my steam, become powerful, unstoppable, critical, super-critical –

encased in steel rods,
I no longer scatter neutrons
such that others die.

I avoid prompt criticality, and Chernobyl is avoided once more.


This is for Colleen Cheseboro’s weekly Tanka Tuesday.  This week, the prompt words were ‘energy and vigor.’  This reminded me of the scientific difference between ‘energy and power,’ which is why I chose to write a Haibun from the perspective of a nuclear reactor core. 

Incidents such as the one depicted happen extremely rarely.  I am admittedly pro-nuclear power – it’s one of the few current technologies we have to stop the onslaught toward global warming and give ourselves a few more centuries to figure out something better.