Crystal Prison Guards – #Haiku #TankaTuesday

Crystal Christmas Landscape

Icebound sentinels
Overlooking valleys grim
Sun holds prison keys


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge #156, poet’s choice of words.

I took this picture something like a decade ago, during a winter storm that coated every branch, leaf, and needle with a thin, exacting layer of crystal ice. You couldn’t drive anywhere, the electricity was down, and the phones were all useless. The mountains felt like a prison.

November #Haiku #TankaTuesday

winter squirrel

Meadow mist freezes;
Fur-bearers curl in slumber,
Insects chirp their last.


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #152, poet’s choice of words. It’s finally getting to be fall/sprinklings of winter here in North Carolina, and I was moved to write a haiku about it.

Her Warmth – #Tanka

Road beyond Denver

Her humid heat gone,
My lips crack in dry, cold air.
I wrap myself
In blankets near the fireplace
And weep ’til her return.


This was written for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #113, in which no synonyms were required!

Y’all, I can’t express how much I love summer.  So many people were all ‘PSL!’ when fall came, and now everyone’s happy about winter.  So this tanka is about summer and the change from a quick fall to winter.  

Squirrel in the Winter – #Tanka

A squirrel chitters
Outside double pane windows
I sip hot chocolate
While she eats frozen acorns
I stay quiet, she feels secure.


This was written for Collen Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Tuesday #112 – Cold and Safe.  When I was growing up, we hunted squirrels vigorously – but one winter, a tiny squirrel climbed up on our porch and ate our dog’s food.  She would cuddle up against the window, from whence I suppose some heat emitted, and eat her bounty.  Our poor dog was basically Gandhi and wouldn’t defend his food, so we eventually started putting cereal grains and nuts out on a table so she’d have preferable goods to eat. 

Pomeranian Dog

Spud – basically dog Gandhi

In the spring she had a nest full of baby squirrels in a tree nearby.  They grew up bigger than her, took her territory, and kicked her further into the forest where we never saw her again.  We later shot them and ate them. 


Current pupper Hector who was bought because of Spud’s breed and turned out to IN NO WAY be dog Gandhi (but I still love him because he’s bold, brave, and fun)

Priceless Per Pound


A snowflake weighs such a miniscule amount.  Yet as they pile up, they become heavy.  Dense.  Oppressive.  Crystalline water coats places otherwise comfortable, habitable. I would normally sit on this park bench and read, but I wouldn’t want to be so cold nor get so damp.

Yet there is something – something lighter than snow – that pummels the morning frost with unstoppable power.  Sumbeams melt the snow, heat the earth, and bring life to everything.  Snow, so light, is ended by something that weighs so much less.

So don’t discount your thoughts just because they weigh nothing.

(95 words)


This was written for the FFfAW Challenge #192 with a photo from Yinglan.  Thanks for the photo!