Tag Archives: Tanka Tuesday

Poetry Friday ~ The Night Sky

27 Mar

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Photo by Mark Basarab

It’s the fourth week of the month – time for a Theme Prompt! Last month, Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge selected Sally Cronin to pick this month’s theme:

The Night Sky

I am the night sky

you are the feverish stars

that fill up my soul

You are the night sky

I am the stars you embrace

only to help me

shimmer all the more brighter

you hold me close until dawn

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a safe and happy Friday!

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Poetry Friday ~ Comfort & Worn

13 Mar

Welcome, everyone! Happy Friday the 13th!

I have several topics I want to address today, and it’s going to seem random. I apologize in advance.

Firstly, let’s talk about the coronavirus and COVID- 19. Unless you’ve been vacationing on the moon you’ve heard these terms before. The coronavirus has been around for a long time. It’s the same virus associated with SARS in 2003. COVID- 19 is the disease caused by the newly identified type of coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019.

COVID- 19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Now, these symptoms are similar to the flu, and we are in flu season so if you have these symptoms call your doctor and let her know, but don’t go crazy thinking you have COVID- 19. Don’t automatically go to the ER without speaking to your doctor first because if you don’t have it the ER (emergency room) is probably a great place to catch it, and if you do have it you’ll most likely pass it on to people that are probably in a more vulnerable state than you are. Please call your doctor and act calmly.

There is no coronavirus vaccine yet. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you’re sick.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds (about a round of Old McDonald had a Farm). Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.

I’m not a doctor, but I’ve worked in the medical field closely with doctors for many years. There are a lot of nervous people out there acting in panic, and that only makes things worse for them, others and people in the medical field who are only trying to help. You can calm your nerves by simply keeping yourself informed and by applying the 3 Ps: Positivity, Preparedness, and don’t Panic.

Let’s stay positive, but prepared, and please don’t panic it only makes things worse for you and others.

I also wanted to mention that someone sent me a DM (direct message) on Twitter asking why I only feature certain people on my blog. First of all, I’m an equal opportunity blogger and always have been. I’m constantly volunteering to host people on my blog. If we know each other, and you want to be featured on my blog let me know. Contrary to what some people may believe I don’t own a crystal ball. If you’ve never asked me to feature you on my blog don’t bitch complain about not being featured on my blog.

Lastly, don’t allow anyone to influence your thinking or how you feel about another person. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Before you reject, turn your back on or completely disregard someone because another person told you to do so, think for yourself. Judge someone according to the way they’ve treated you and by their deeds. Make up your own mind who that person is. Don’t allow anyone to do that for you.

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge (Synonyms Only)

Here are the two words selected by Ruth Scribbles, winner from last month’s Syllables Only challenge:

COMFORT & WORN

Photograph by Aimee Vogelsang @vogelina

With painted on smile

she raises silent uproars

Once she brought you cheer

and kept you safe through the night

you happily held her tight

***

Now she’s forgotten

in a dusty li’l corner

wearing tattered clothes

recalling when a simple

hug could heal that broken soul

Photograph by Dominic Romero @domr_

Have a fun, safe and creepy Friday the 13th!

Photograph by Franck V. @franckinjapan

Poetry Friday & Book Reviews

6 Feb

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 163, Poet’s Choice!

Photograph by Lacie Slezak @nbb_photos

I’d like to share the latest books I’ve read and my reviews for them. Firstly, I will share my poem called Book Reviews.

I adored this book

You hated every word

This book gave me chills

but for you, it was as if

you had taken sleeping pills

***

On any one book

we may not agree, and what’s

good for you may not

be good for me. If we all

agreed how boring we’d be

Book Reviews:

Caste Metal by Fiza Pathan

Caste Metal-Fiza Pathan-short-story-book review-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q

My Review:

Caste Metal is a fascinating and powerful short story about the life of an Indian boy and his family during the year 1877.

Cacchar was a gifted boy who had taught himself how to read, but because he was born an “untouchable” outside of the Hindu caste system, he was considered “the scum of the Earth” and was meant only for a life of slavery. He was not allowed to read or even touch books or scrolls. However, Cacchar was addicted to the sacred Hindu texts and was unaware of the severe consequences if he were caught reading.

He collected books and scrolls discarded by priests. He read them every day, sitting under a holy peepul tree, which he had cultivated using his own water supply, since the tree was dying in the heat, leaving him with only animal urine and blood to quench his thirst. He loved the words of the Hindu scriptures and enjoyed reciting the holy prayers.

I was outraged by the treatment of the “untouchables” and by the brutality, depravity, and hypocrisy of the so-called “holy” priests. Who determined how the Hindu people were divided into the different castes? If you’re poor, you’re automatically an untouchable, despite your intelligence and other gifts? And it seemed hypocritical how the girls in the lowest caste had to be married off at age ten in order to prevent priests and others in higher castes from raping them. These children are seen as disgusting subhumans––untouchables––whose footprints pollute the land, but it’s okay to have intercourse with them?

Fear not; in the end, the wrongdoers get their comeuppances.

This short story is fierce and not for the faint of heart, but I believe it needed to be so. Things happened that I wish had not; however, I was satisfied with the ending. The author’s writing style is beautiful and engaging, and I loved the way she pointed out the hypocrisy of the priests and rituals in subtly sarcastic ways. Like what she wrote at the end, “It had been a long ‘holy-day’ and he needed some refreshment.” I highly recommend this short story.

Just Her Poetry by D.L. Finn

My Review:

Author D.L. Finn’s diverse poetry collection Just Her Poetry is full of reflection, creativeness, and soul searching. The book is divided into nature poetry, the seasons, poetry written by her while riding on the back of a Harley, and emotional contemplations.

I enjoyed every poem in this book; although, the poems about nature and the seasons were my favorite. The heartfelt poems in this section reflect her love of nature. It seemed the author drew inspiration from nature to impart hope. As an animal lover, I enjoyed the poems “The Dog Stare” and “The Huntress.”

The poems in the other sections were meaningful and thought provoking. One poem in particular, “Your Words,” struck a chord with me in a positive way.

D.L. Finn’s free-style poetry is genuine, vibrant, and full of imagery. Her words came to life in living color in my head, invoking a plethora of emotions. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys beautiful poetry.

2121: Twilight’s Last Gleaming by Karl Morgan

My Review:

This is a fast-paced sci-fi dystopian novel about the USA in 2121, and a group of people fighting to stay alive, trying to take back a corrupted and decaying America from crooked politicians. The issues they faced were overwhelming: starvation, global warming, terrorists, and a bankrupt Medicare system.

A fourteen-year-old Jack Kennedy and his girlfriend are forced to leave their childhood behind in order to fight for their lives and the future of America. Senior citizens are thrown out of protected areas to die. There are cities governed by cannibals while gangs and terrorists overrun others. The weather is greatly affected by climate changes, causing deadly storms and famine.

Although there was plenty of action from beginning to end, some of the fight scenes dragged a bit. I was a little confused by some of the military jargon, and there were minor editing issues. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

What I appreciated most was the characters, especially Jack Kennedy. I also enjoyed the underline messages of love, hope, and friendship throughout. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fun, fast-paced read with messages of love and hope and wonderful characters.

If you’d like to purchase any of the books on Amazon, just click on the cover image, and if you’d like to connect with any of the authors on Twitter, click on the author’s name by the book’s title. I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Happy Friday!

Poetry Friday ~ Calm & Present

17 Jan

Hi, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

Colleen’s Poetry Prompt Challenge. It’s the second week of the month! That means Synonyms ONLY!

Here are your two words:

“CALM & PRESENT”

Photo by Aziz Acharki @acharki95
He always soothes me
generously giving me
the best gift of all
being present in the now
securing my existence
Photo by Becca Tapert @beccatapert

Have a Happy Friday and weekend!

Poetry Friday ~ Give & Shake

13 Dec

Give and Shake are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Photo by Jaakko Kemppainen @jaakkok

The

planet

is dying

Man has planted

seeds of pollution

The world breaks and quivers

as the sun’s flames cease to burn

You’ll welcome Hell’s raging fires

when days turn to nights and our bones freeze

And December will be the cruelest month

Photo by Todd Diemer @todd_diemer

Have a great Friday the 13th!

Poetry Friday ~ The Love of Books

6 Dec
Colleen's Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge

The first of the month is ‘Poet’s Choice‘ at Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge. I chose to share a poem by Julia Donaldson, that’s sure to make you fall in love with books.

I Opened a Book
By Julia Donaldson
I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

I hope you enjoyed the poem. It’s one of my favorite poems about books and reading. I also wanted to share my reviews for a book and two short stories I read recently.

Click on image to buy on Amazon

The Altar Boy is a true to life coming-of-age story. Carl Sanders grew up in the 1960s in a Catholic household. The Catholic Church was revered in those days, and so were its clergymen, but for Carl and his family, a priest brought nothing but pain.

I didn’t like Carl’s mother; she was selfish and hypocritical. His father was not perfect either, but he did try his best to keep the family together and didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Looking at the life of this Catholic family in the 60s through Carl’s eyes as a young boy was both hilarious and heart wrenching. Carl’s mischievous antics made me laugh while his fear, confusion, and unconditional love for his mother chipped away at my heart. Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions.

If you enjoy stories with well-developed characters that make you feel an array of emotions, this book is for you.

Click on image to get your .99¢ eBook on Amazon!

The Author, Rhani D’Chae in Zombie Dawn, brilliantly chronicles the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. The author wasted no time building tension and providing an overall sense of horror from the beginning. I sat at the edge of my seat until the end of the story and then wanted more.

This is the story of a small neighborhood where everyone knows each other. The kind of neighborhood where you can leave your doors and windows open and youngsters can walk the streets at night without fear. That is until an elderly man named Elmer Duncan dies of seemingly natural causes only to open his eerie milky eyes as he was reanimated as a zombie. From this point, the story escalates into a chaotic set of events that’ll have you quaking in your chair. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and read it in one sitting. The story is well written, fascinating, and descriptive. If you’re a fan of zombies or horror, you will enjoy this short story.

This short story is FREE on Amazon Kindle! Click to get your copy.

This short story is a metaphoric expression of the author’s life growing up in an abusive household.

Her mother was a narcissist, and the author did a great job of relating the frustration she underwent dealing with a person who lacked the ability to love and feel empathy for others, including herself. Others were blind to her mother’s abuse because, as a narcissist, she knew how to cover her tracks well. The author’s father and other family members and friends unknowingly defended and enabled her mother, adding to the detriment of the child.

This is an inspiring, powerful, and compelling read that many readers will relate to whether they have suffered abuse at the hands of a narcissist or not. In the end, the daughter escapes her abusive prison.

Connect with these authors on social media!

@psteph55 on Twitter
@ChristinaWinds on Twitter
@rhanidchae on Twitter

Just a quick reminder that all my eBooks are on sale for .99¢ through Sunday! Get your eBooks!

Click on image to go to Amazon and get your .99¢ eBooks!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Thank you for a visit, and have a Happy Friday and weekend!

Poetry Friday ~ Grace & Style

15 Nov

I’m always striving to be a better writer. My goal is to make sure my writing is the best it can be. I want every book I publish to be better than the one before.

Writing every day is a good way to realize my goals. Reading every day is also extremely important. I used to read only books in my favorite genres, but now I read books of all genres because I realized that they help with the different aspects of my writing. I used to read only books by famous, proven writers, but I’ve learned that there are excellent indie writers out there. I read more indie books than ever now and truly enjoy them.

I’ve also discovered some helpful and informative books that have helped me grow as a writer. I will be sharing some of those with you today.

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

DeSalvo describes the work habits of successful writers (among them, Nobel Prize laureates) so that readers can use the information provided to develop their identity as writers and transform their writing lives. DeSalvo skillfully and gently guides writers to not only start their work but immerse themselves fully in the process and create texts they will treasure.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White is a classic. Reviews all those rules you should only break if you have a really good reason.

Good Prose—like Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style—is a succinct, authoritative, and entertaining arbiter of standards in contemporary writing, offering guidance for the professional writer and the beginner alike. This wise and useful book is the perfect companion for anyone who loves to read good books and longs to write one.

There are of course many more writing books out there but these are informative and beneficial to new writers as well as experienced ones.

I write from the heart
Through the darkness of genres
I purge my sorrows

To all my writing friends participating in NaNoWriMo Happy Writing and may the Muse be with you!

Poetry Friday ~ Spell & Treat

25 Oct
Vashti Q-the writer next door-Vashti Q-poetry friday-tanka-spell-colleen chesebro-poetry challenge

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

Spell and Treat are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

I dance around flames
Outstretched arm cast magic charm
But now you’re the witch
making me forget my name
Your sweet, sweet love is to blame

Poetry Friday-Friyay-Vashti Q-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-tanka-poetry

I hope you enjoyed the Tanka. I used magic charm and sweet as synonyms for spell and treat. Thanks for the visit!

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-tanka-I put a spell on you

Have fun
and be safe!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

18 Oct
Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Colleen Chesebro-Tanka_Tuesday-photo prompt challenge

It’s Colleen Chesebro’s Middle of the Month Poetry Photo Prompt Challenge!

This month we will use a photo prompt chosen by last month’s “Photo- Prompt” Poet of the Week ~ Diana Peach.

It was the mating season in “La Marisma,” and Ramita was excited because he had finally come of age, which meant he could select a mate. Who he chose was a no brainer because he only had eyes for one female. The only problem was that Orquídea was the most beautiful of the Orchid Flies in La Marisma, and she had many suitors. So, Ramita decided that the only way he could win Orquídea for himself was to impress her, but many others would try the same. He would have to impress her more than anyone. How could he do that? He wasn’t a fancy Mantis, Ulysses butterfly, or Christmas beetle; he was only Ramita.

Then an idea sprung in his head; he would give Orquídea the last Chocolate Cosmos flower in existence. It would not last long after he picked it, but she could wear it like a crown, its deep brownish-red color would complement her pretty green and blue jewel tones and she would enjoy the flower’s rich chocolate fragrance as she wore it. Yes! He was thrilled with his idea. But, there was yet another hitch to his plan. The Chocolate Cosmos flower was protected by a sorcerer snake.

His grandfather once told him that there was a field filled with these flowers and the chocolate smell was intoxicating. Unfortunately, one by one the flowers were picked until only two were left. The sorcerer snake then decided he would protect the flowers before they became extinct. Ramita’s grandfather told him that a wise creature discovered the only way to get one of the flowers was by putting the snake in a trance with music. That’s how Ramita planned on stealing the last flower. He was a good flute player.

He rose before dawn and began his journey to steal the last Chocolate Cosmos flower from the sorcerer snake. When he arrived he immediately came face to face with the snake.

“Who are you and what are you doing so far from home?” the snake asked.

“If you don’t know my name how could you know I’m far from home?” Ramita said.

The snake frowned and said, “No one lives in these parts. You’re here for the flower aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am.”

“You know it’s the last one in existence, don’t you?”

“I do.”

“But you’re still willing to rip it out of the ground and kill it knowing you’ll never see or smell another like it?”

Ramita looked to the ground. “There’s someone I need to impress and only this flower will do.”

“Really?”

Ramita furrowed his brow, making his long, thin antennae wiggle. “Well, I love her, and she’s the most beautiful creature in La Marisma. If I want her to choose me over all the suitors, I have to impress her.”

“And you think to give her a flower that she’d never be able to enjoy again will impress her? Besides, it’s not worth being with someone you have to impress all the time.”

Ramita sat crumpled on the ground, shoulders hunched, staring at his flute, looking defeated.

“Pollination and fertilization have occurred, and the Chocolate Cosmos flower will soon develop seeds. Then perhaps she can produce a field of flowers, but if you take her now, that will never happen, and the flower will be gone forever. I leave the choice to you.”

Ramita thought long and hard. “I will leave the flower be,” he said.

“Excellent choice! You could have played your flute, and rendered me helpless, and stolen the flower, but you made a wise choice not to do that, so I will help you get your mate.”

Ramita jumped to his feet, displaying a smile only someone genuinely happy can wear. “Will you use a magic spell or perhaps a love potion?”

“No, no, no. None of that is necessary. If the special one is worthy of your love, she will be so impressed by your choice that she will fall in love with you. Bring her here and let her see the flower you saved, let its decadent chocolate fragrance waft into her nostrils, and entice her. She will be truly impressed then.”

Ramita did as the snake told him. It wasn’t easy to convince Orquídea to go with him, and of course, her annoying older brother and grandmother had to come along as chaperones, but he managed to bring them to the magical place where the flower grew.

The sorcerer snake greeted them and told the story of their encounter, and the wise choice Ramita had made. Orquídea was beyond impressed, and so were her family. She chose Ramita for his bravery, kindness, and wisdom. Every year on their anniversary, they visited the snake. The exotic flower reproduced successfully, and the ground was covered with them, and its fragrance filled the air.

Today’s poetry form is called a Senryu. I hope you like it.

Too good to be true
You love me, and I love you
I am your love bug

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”

~John Joseph Powell

Have a fantastic Friday!

Poetry Friday ~ Calling All Weirdos​!

11 Oct

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Photo by Kim Carpenter ( @kimberly123 )

What does it mean when someone calls you a weirdo?

If you describe someone as a weirdo, you disapprove of them because they behave in an unusual way that you find difficult to understand or accept.

Well, some people may feel that way, but this is not my definition of a weirdo. In this day and age, it’s weird for someone to be their genuine self. It’s strange to speak your mind, regardless of others’ opinions. In these times, when so many people pop pills in order not to feel, it’s strange for someone to wear his or her emotions on their sleeve. I like weirdos. They’re my kind of people, honest, open, free thinkers. They don’t fear to be unique. They think outside the box and go with their creative flow.

It’s refreshing to be with people who are not numb to the world around them but instead embrace every emotion that makes them human.

Sometimes I’m surrounded by so much apathy and hate that it becomes unbearable. Why are there so many desensitized people? Stop popping pills every time you’re in danger of feeling something. Be a weirdo and feel. It’s normal to be sad when you lose a loved one. It’s okay to feel angry, scared, unsure, insecure sometimes. Deal with it because that’s what makes you human.

I understand that there are people who genuinely need to be on medication, but there are too many folks out there taking medications they shouldn’t be, and this has a dehumanizing effect.

I’m tired of being in the presence of cyborgs. I want to be around real people. Being a genuine person comes with a price, though. Not everyone will like you, but then not everyone should matter to you. Calling all weirdos!

Empty and Space are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

weirdo-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-author-Tamara Bellis-poem-be kind-be real

Photo by Tamara Bellis @tamarabellis

Here’s my contribution to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The Poetry form is an Etheree.

There’s
no where
to suffer
in this dark place.
Oh, my vacant life
there’s no happy surprise.
I pop a pill the moment
I realize that I’m alive.
Then I’m hollow, no feelings inside.
There’s only this disguise of constant lies.

Photo by Bart LaRue ( @bartlarueeppler )

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Have a Happy Friday!