Tag Archives: tanka

mask of neutrality (tanka)


men and women
stripped of their human rights
heads must be bare
government jobs lost,
cow behind neutrality

© Tournesol ’14

To read more: National Post

Prompt: Heeding Haiku with Ha – Human Rights

North Star (haibun)

November is often a dark morbid month for me. I find I have to get accustomed to the lack of warmth as well as the loss of colours, bare trees and shorter days announce more darkness. All seem so desolate and depressing. But then winds pick up, cool the air so much, clouds once heavy with rain turn into lovely snowflakes.

Soon the earth will be covered in carpets of white; I don`t feel the sunset at four so discouraging now for the snow gives light. It is pleasant walking on the snow covered ground, hearing the crunch of my boots on the spongy snow. We are less than one month before Christmas and now, finally, I am getting into the spirit of the holidays…Christmas meaning so much more than gifts and decorations but the spirit of a rebirth and giving; the sharing of love and warmth among friends and family.

winter stroll
looks up at the milky way
snowflakes on her lips

Christmas Eve
sylphs gather in concert
shaping snow sculptures
scheduled with the North Star
welcoming the messiah

(c) Tournesol ’14

Heeding Haiku with HA at MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie

la monnaie, spare change (haiku – tanka)

Our prompt today at Carpe Diem is Road Side Beggar (a haiku by Nana Fredua-Agyeman)
looking at the sun
for a silver coin –
roadside beggar

© Nana Fredua-Agyeman

our host has written keeping in the tone of Nana…

in front of the church
a beggar sleeps in his paper-box –
empty bottle of wine

© Chèvrefeuille

Here is my attempt thinking of our homeless people braving the cold on the streets of Montréal.

rush hour morn
wrapped in indifference
can’t see the beggar

stands in the cold,
chants: la monnaie-spare change,
merci, thank you
beggar holds the Métro door
extending his worn cap

(c) Tournesol ’14

halo on Mount Orford (Haibun)

Mont Orford on Lake Massawippi
Mont Orford on Lake Massawippi

The Eastern Townships are graced with many lakes and mountains. Lake Massawippi is one of those lakes facing Mount Orford and home to many lodges and camps for youths and adults. It is near St-Benoit du Lac, a monastery known for its amazing cheese. What a dream place to live in a small cottage like Wordsworth’s on Lake District and writing to my heart`s content surrounded by trees, water and mountains…and nature’s creatures bidding me good morning each day and the stars winking at me at night.

brunâtre du matin
roule doucement sur
le lac Massawippi
regard! la-haut au ciel
couronne sur Mont Orford

early rise
fog rolling slowly off
 Lake Massawippi
look! up to the heavens
halo on Mount Orford

© Tournesol ’14/11/11

daisies for life (tanka)

© Clr August 2014

Daisies are my favourite flower for reasons I have shared in the past. I relate to this flower in so many aspects. It is not especially stunning compared to so many other exquisite floras but it is still attractive and strong. Multiple petals show many facets of my personality…and still many to discover over a lifetime.

Sowing more seeds has allowed me to have daisies for life…children and grandchildren and it all starts with that first born. At that time I thought I would never have enough love to spread…I remember how much I loved my godchild before I ever had children and it worried me a bit. “Is it possible to love a child more than that or as much?” I quickly saw that it was certainly possible and when I had my second child, the love was still in abundance as there is more to spare for my grandson. Recently I’ve had two more grandsons added to our family and the heart seems to just swell more and more. How wonderful to see how the Great Spirit created our hearts and souls.

Today we celebrated the birth of my first born…

daisies for life
meadows seasoned with love
birth of a child
mother’s never-ending love
a family is born

© Tournesol ’14/11/07

Saint-Benoit-du-lac (tanka)

St-Benoit-du-lac, Québec

This prompt brought me to a monastery in the Eastern Townships, about an hour’s drive from Montreal near Magog at Saint Benoit du lac where monks do not only pray but they are known for their cheese.

au petit matin
et le vent montagneux
soufflant des cantiques
jumelant avec les moines
un pinson gazouille en harmonie

early morn
and mountain wind
blowing hymns
accompanying the monks
a finch tweets in harmony

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem

rainforest concerto (tanka)


The Time Glass  prompt today at Carpe Diem  Valley Stream, is to use the haiku composed by your host AND the photo of a waterfall.  It was tempting to complete this into a tan renga but he did mention a “solo” renga or a tanka.  I could not help but notice the waterfall was a photo in Maui, Hawaii. When I saw the last line of our host, “the silence” I thought of birds singing being masked by the sounds of gurgling streams OR the roar of the waterfalls.

I wanted to include birds from Hawaii and liked the sounds of the honeycreepers such as ‘l’iwi , hearing several examples on Youtube. I wanted to add the name of a tree that these birds inhabit and fell upon the Ohia lehua tree.  Well, that brought me to a legend and Carpe Diem is keen on legends and stories.

Legend explains the birth of the Ohia tree and its flower, the Lehua blossom. The legend is tied to the volcano goddess, Pele. This story explains that if you pluck this flower, it will rain on the same day (for a tragic reason).

The legend of the Ohia tree and the Lehua blossom

The legend says that one day Pele met a handsome warrior named Ohia and she asked him to marry her. Ohia, had already pledged his love to Lehua. Pele was furious  so she turned Ohia into a twisted tree. The gods took pity on Lehua and decided it was an injustice to have Ohia and Lehua separated. So, they turned Lehua into a flower on the Ohia tree so that the two lovers would be forever joined together. So remember, Hawaiian folklore says that if you pluck this flower you are separating the lovers, and that day it will rain.

What a beautiful legend…so romantic too!  Now to complete this prompt:

Our host wrote:

Gurgling valley stream
brings joy to the heart of Mother Nature –
Il Silenzio © Chèvrefeuille

l’iwi – wikimedia


drown echoes of wildlife
ohia tree
‘l’iwi chirps a concert
sucking on a lehua

© Tournensol ’14


I’iwi honeycreeper sees off an Apapane

little creatures (haibun)

The prompt today is about small creatures. Our host presents us with Issa`s Giddy Grasshopper as our first inspiration:

giddy grasshopper
take care…do not leap and crush
these pearls of dewdrop
© Issa (source)

then Basho`s haiku here is another inspiration; I am quite partial to this one.

how pitiful!
underneath the helmet
a cricket chirping.
© Basho (Tr. Ueda)

The goal of this new feature is to write haiku about little creatures and more importantly to take notice of your surroundings.

Our host has written “Little Creatures” haiku:

deep silence
this lazy summer evening –
song of a cricket
© Chèvrefeuille

Young children seem so fascinated by nature`s tiny creatures. My son would look at ants working busily for hours…one tiny ant hill and he would cry inconsolably if someone stepped on that hill or any insect. I love how children teach us adults or many times remind us of what we once found important in life.

I remember as a young child spending hours in the field behind my house searching for grasshoppers. My mother was a hairdresser and she would put me outside to play which sure was better than going for a nap. Even in those days as a young child I hated going to bed.

I would jump, startled, if one jumped by me, then I would follow it, chasing it like a hunter. It would tease me regularly, keeping me busy most of the afternoon. Once I caught it, I would cup it in my two hands to make sure it would not get away and ask it to give me molasses. Okay, I had no clue at 4 and 5 years old what the darn thing did but either it was scared and it pooped out of fear or it had no problems of “irregularity” (see me chuckle here. Almost every summer afternoon, I would spend hours searching, under the hot sun accompanied by the piercing sound of crickets.

Credits: Grasshopper

afternoon quest
child stoops low in the field
grasshopper jumps

grasshopper jumps
she holds it gingerly
“give me some molasses
come on grasshopper friend.”

she giggles
grasshopper tickles her hand
ooops,it jumps away

rests under the elm
mother nature’s lullaby,
crickets chirrup

(c) Tournesol

Posted originally by Cheryl-Lynn at Tournesol dans un Jardin 2014/08/17

Submitted for Carpe Diem’s Little Creatures #1 Issa’s “giddy grasshopper”