#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 199, #Seville #Travels, #birthday #scarf 11/22/22, #THEMEPROMPT

Happy thanksgiving to all my friends in the US. No turkey here but perhaps I can offer you a freshly brewed coffee from Seville.

This week’s prompt seemed particularly apt as I just bought myself a treat with my birthday money. It was my birthday on the 17th November… I tend to keep this much to myself nowadays. We went away to Seville for a few days holiday and I absolutely loved it. What a wonderful city.

I didn’t buy the new scarf there. Hubby isn’t a big fan of shopping… But I did manage to get him to spend a little bit of time shopping – he bought me some lovely new clothes for my birthday.

Now… the new scarf, is from Tavira in Portugal and it is very colourful! But, this prompt asked for a story to be told in poetry about a grey scarf so I thought why not! Give it a go…

Anyway, the poem isn’t true to life as I have no intention of casting my new scarf aside but a little artistic licence is allowed…

On a whim I bought a colourful scarf
Like Joseph’s technicolor dreamcoat
It brings me nightmares and trouble!
My siblings are so jealous
So, I cast it aside
I buy a grey scarf
No one sees me
I sleep well
It brings
Joy

Me and my grey scarf have such adventures
Settling around my neck with ease
We paint the world in brilliance
Nothing is ever drab now
There is colour in dark
Fountains of rainbows
And no more sighs
Light in shade
Sunshine
Songs

Tomorrow is the launch day for my new poetry, flash fiction and photograph collection. Excited for that! If you’d like to wish me a belated happy birthday I’d love it if you bought a copy of my new book.

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@ColleenChesebro #TankaTuesday #poetry #challenge #specificform #kouta #prompt provided by @ReenaSaxena

Big bubbles don’t cause troubles
Not when friends are blowing them
Quick to catch they float away
Then we start again!

© M J Mallon

Champagne bubbles cause troubles
Hiccups, and trip ups
Oops. Giggles and then spill ups
Sore heads the next day!

© M J Mallon


FAST FACTS – VIA COLLEEN

The Kouta 小唄 (little or short song) is a popular Japanese verse form of the Muromachi Period, 14th thru 16th century. The lyrical song was resurrected as a geisha song in the late 1800s and is still popular today.

The form has several variations, though always short in only 4 lines, a 5th line is sometimes added. 

The theme reflects ordinary life and often uses colloquialisms and onomatopoeia. The most popular are love songs. 

The elements of Kouta are:

  1. a poem in 4 lines. (an occasional 5th line may appear)
  2. a standalone poem, but its often is accompanied by other Koutas with the same theme.
  3. syllabic, variable odd numbered syllable lengths, the most common patterns are written in lines of alternating 7-5-7-5 syllables or 7-7-7-5 syllables. 
  4. secular, personal, themes of ordinary life.
  5. often include onomatopoeia (defined above).

These are inspired by a day I spent with old friends and we blew bubbles in the sun!

The poem below on this theme appears in my soon to be released poetry, photography and flash fiction book, Do What you Love Fragility of Your Flame.

OLD FRIENDS PLAY WITH BUBBLES 

bubbles in the sun
playing a musical dance
basking in our sweet friendship
admiring her art
we both praise
a special day for Catherine

(Excerpt Do What You Love © M J Mallon)

Blurb

Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do.

With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future.

The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me
create clouds of sweetest joy
to do what you love
hold fate’s hand as we venture
near and far on life’s journey

(Excerpt Do What You Love © M J Mallon)

Release Date: 25th November 2022, able to preorder via the following links.

Buy Links Do What You Love:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/#

Reviews And Features:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/11/05/smorgasbord-book-reviews-photography-poetry-flash-do-what-you-love-fragility-of-your-flame-poems-photography-and-flash-fiction-by-m-j-mallon/

I am thrilled to say that two of my poetry collections, (Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit,) have been requested by prestigious libraries in the UK: The British Library, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin for Legal Deposit.

Add the book to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63114445-do-what-you-love

The cover of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend. Colleen also designed the interior and cover of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet.

https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services

Portfolio:
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/portfolio

https://wordcraftpoetry.com/unicorn-cats-publishing-services/

Media kit: https://mjmallon.com/2022/11/04/media-kit-do-what-you-love-fragility-of-your-flame-poems-photography-flashfiction-new-book-release-writingcommunity-poetrycommunity-mediakit-paperback/

Other poetry/flash fiction collections:

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet

https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown, (poetry, diaries and flash fiction – kindle)

http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit

http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Poetry also features in my highly acclaimed YA Fantasy series.  Each chapter begins with a short poem. The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone and Book 2 Golden Healer are published by Next Chapter Publishing.

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/golden-healer

https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon

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MJ Reviews August Catch Up – Book Reviews #bookreviews #poetry #flashfiction @SarahBrentyn @BalroopShado @Frank_Prem

I’ve been behind on adding my reviews to my blog due to lots happening in my personal life plus my blog tour for my poetry and flash fiction collection: The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet which released mid August!

This is review catch up 1, and there will be catch up 2 next.

So, here are three fab books I recommend, the first is flash fiction and the last two are poetry. Enjoy!

On the Edge of a Raindrop by Sarah Brentyn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


If you have ever wondered about the power in the brevity of words then this collection by Sarah Brentyn is for you! It’s a wonderful collection of flash fiction which I loved reading.

It is divided into three sections:
Mindscapes, Lifelines and Micro bursts (the shortest of which! )

Here are 3 of my favourite microbursts:

We wake the same as we slept. Strangers.
Dreams cling to our eyelashes as we sip coffee & pretend to believe the beautiful lies we tell.

Fed up with death, she entered the reincarnation lottery, returning as a farmer famous for her prize-winning ghost peppers.

I wake to hundreds of spiders crawling across my floor, up the walls. They are everywhere. I want to scream. But I feel them on my lips.

Highly recommended especially to those who enjoy flash fiction and as a fine introduction to the form.

View all my reviews

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

You can find her online at www.sarahbrentyn.com

Emerging From Shadows : Poetry by Balroop Singh by Balroop Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Balroop Singh’s collection of poetry is thoughtful, emotional and stirring to the soul. Her love for the natural world, love of words, and her inner resilience shines through in her light and dark poetry.

Really enjoyed. Highly recommended for poetry enthusiasts.

The Call of Calmness is one of my favourite poems in the collection.

View all my reviews

THE CALL OF CALMNESS


Gentle breeze breathes a quiet message…

I am here to bless you

To softly swing,

Sway with your dreams

Don your dewy dress of harmony

Hold me in your arms lightly

I can take you beyond branches

Of those trees, stirring serenely

Inhale that cogent calmness

Expunge all angst and anger

Trust my trail, believe in hope

Breathe in breezy light of love

We can fly beyond boundaries

I can show you the gale of happiness

It follows us wherever we go

It changes its face when it has to flow

Over the vales of wishes

Even the dales of despair

Surmounting them all

Into the lucid light of serendipity.

Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in California. You can visit her blog at http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

I read Frank’s poetry a while ago while I was in Portugal! And shared my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Here is the review:

The Garden Black by Frank Prem

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Thank you to poet Frank Prem for an advanced copy of The Garden Black. It seemed the perfect opportunity yesterday to read this poetry collection while I was relaxing on a beach! It’s a little different from some of Frank’s other collections with a speculative fantasy vibe to it. Being a keen fantasy reader and author I enjoyed it. Frank’s free verse form of poetry is always a delight, easy to read and enjoy and reflect upon.

My favourite poems with their titles below:
I who am, (I liked this for its references to: wind, sun, dark, soil, leaf, bough, root, bark, sap, wood, tree!)
the hunter writes a letter
swell, (this poem relates swimming to driving!)
storm and the sea (bubbles of foam)
I dig (a forest)
it is not clear (from the dream below)
a song for the (far) horizon
a line of destiny
pain control
garden black
isosceles and me (and the war over the pond,) – very unusual but in a good way!
davey’s interview (pre-recorded)
in the stone: through the water
a song for the (deep) horizon
the second beat.

View all my reviews

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word.He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia. https://FrankPrem.com

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

All my links are available via: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

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News!! And New Review Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose #poetry #prose #photography #review

I’m delighted to announce that there is a new review for Mr. Sagittarius from fellow author S C Skillman. Many thanks Sheila!

And I have had a request from the following prestigious libraries for copies of Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit Poems About Absurdity!

A legal deposit record for these books are to be held at the British Library, National Library of Scotland, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, National Library of Wales, Cambridge University Library, and the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

This is an exquisite collection of poetry, prose and photos reflecting upon the joy, comfort and peace that is to be found in the natural world and in a beautiful garden. This author’s playful, lyrical style conveys an atmosphere and message which is at once magical, poignant and compassionate. Her central theme is that of ‘transformation’. I loved the Old Man of the Snow; the Bubble Monster; and the Rainbow Shell. As with her novels, I find that this author handles fanciful ideas with elegance and grace. Highly recommended.

S C Skillman

Exquisite collection of poetry, prose and photos (amazon.co.uk)

Do check out all my books under my publishing imprint Kyrosmagica Publishing.

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet kindle releases 15th August 2022 (able to preorder)

https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Poetry, Prose and Photography: Mr. Sagittarius

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown

http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit

 http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Flashfiction #Poetry – The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M.J. Mallon

Many thanks to Sally Cronin for this wonderful advanced review of The Hedge for the flash fiction and poetry collection The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M.J. MallonThe collection is on pre-order for 15th August.

Sally’s Review:

This is a poetry and flash fiction collection seeped in nature and illustrates the love the author has for the environment, particular the forests.

The first pages share the delightful love story of the Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet, bringing two solitary characters together in the sanctuary of a magical forest far from the human world.

This story is followed by poems and flash ficton, some of which are poignant such as the tribute to a ginger cat in Chester, Don & I, and bewilderment voiced in The Network of Trees as they stand in danger from the human need for progress.

There is also the sad reflection that much of the beauty and adventures to be found in the forests are being missed as children find themselves engrossed in the online world instead. The author makes sure to include the fun they could be enjoying instead.

The Teddy in the Woods probably should come with a tissue alert.

There are some reminders of poems from another collection which I also enjoyed Mr. Sagittarius Poetry; one of my favourites being Rainbow – Parasol of Light.

In the second section of the collection there is a series of poems inspired by other writers. Set in the woodlands and the beauty they offer. This includes the ethereal The Forest King.

The forest king lives in the shadows
his hair and beard, a flame alight
in his crown, the fairy queen sits
far from the tangled roots of his throne.

This is a collection to savour and to dip into when the technical world we inhabit becomes too demanding, or we are in need of a touch of magic. I recommend to lovers of nature and fantasy.

Head over to pre-order the collection for August 15th: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US

Read the full review and content on Sally’s wonderful blog: https://wp.me/p3ZnNr-Fnh

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Portugal travels, Vila Nova de Castelo, Almancil, Altura and Vale De Lobo #poetry #haiku #travel #portugal

I took these photos last autumn while I was travelling in Portugal. So, with colour poetry, taste the rainbow as the theme for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday, it seemed the perfect opportunity to share these now, along with some haiku.

muted life’s colours

tranquil portuguese autumn

bringing me much joy

blue sky and blue sea

green leaves but autumnal earth

orange underfoot

golfer’s paradise

val do lobo is so green

autumn algarve day

my favourite spot

empty of souls only shells

autumn on the beach

I’m excited to reveal that I am working on my next poetry collection: Do What You Love… I will share more about this soon!

Also, I’m delighted to be a contributing author in Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships compiled and edited by Kaye Lynne Booth and Robbie Cheadle.

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Tanka Tuesday #poetry #challenge #tanka #haiku @ColleenChesebro #theme #prompt #war #ukraine

For this week’s #TankaTuesday challenge, Yvette M. Calleiro, selected the theme of beginnings and endings, the war in Ukraine came to mind.

We are still suffering living with covid and now this…

We all long for peace.
No more death and destruction.
It beggars belief.
Covid, now this; please no more. 
Ukraine is on all our minds.

green field under white and blue clouds during daytime
Photo by Kostiantyn Stupak on Pexels.com
Why begin such pain?
I can't comprehend your mind
Neighbours shouldn't war
A simple plea but heartfelt
Please no more war in Ukraine.



A haiku - No One Wins



No one wins in war
Past history tells us this 
Why ignore the truth?

If only we could all… live in peace.

Join in writing poetry via Colleen: https://wordcraftpoetry.com/2022/04/26/tankatuesday-weekly-poetry-challenge-no-271-4-26-22-themeprompt/

Latest News!

Contribution to Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships

Poetry Treasures 2 Relationships compiled by Kaye Lynn Booth and Robbie Cheadle.

Here is the buying link: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK

Bye for now, while I have a chat with Mr. Seagull about life and everything.

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#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 270 #PhotoPrompt

This challenge by Colleen Chesebro explores Ekphrastic poetry, inspired by visual art or photographs. D. L. Finn provided the photo for this month’s challenge:

My poem is a diatelle, which is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is: 1,2,3,4,6,8,10,12,10,8,6,4,3,2,1.

with the rhyme structure abbcbccaccbcbba.

Come!

We’re near,

Our home’s here…

Sister Dolphins,

Free to swim, folk drink beers,

Praying no more wars, or who wins,

Not encumbered by human bloodshed’s limbs,

We rise up, chitter chatter, play in the hot sun,

We are four proud playful fish without sins,

Who denounce all wars against kin,

Ditch those awful sad tears,

Join with us in…

Seas. Love. Dear.

No fear.

Fun!

Poetry features in most of my books, do check my publications and buy links via this post: https://mjmallon.com/

My latest poetry is featured in the following anthology. I’d highly recommend you get a copy as there are many great poets in the collection compiled by Kaye Lynn Booth and Robbie Cheadle.

Here is the buying link: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK

That was a tricky one to write. I’m not a huge fan of writing rhyming poetry but I gave it a go…!! Hope you enjoyed.

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Word Weaving: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse: #1 New Release in Japanese Poetry & Haiku – Colleen M. Chesebro @ColleenChesebro

Congratulations to Colleen Chesebro on her new release Word Weaving – its doing so well!!!

So pleased to be a contributing poet with so many amazing community members being a part of it.

My review:

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse by Colleen M. Chesebro

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’m thrilled to be a participating author in this lovely collection of poetry compiled by Colleen Chesebro and edited by Jules Paige. My review relates to the other authors in the journal.

It begins with an introduction by Jules Paige in which she discusses the choice of theme in this particular collection.

There are haiku, senryu, tanka, tanka prose and many more forms, all of which are fabulous with so many favourites…

dancing in moonlight
in the autumn of our years
still chasing blue skies

Pat Raffington.

the empress rises
summer and winter curtsy
nature holds its breath
while the symphony begins
fireflies dance in the moonlight

Gwen M. Piano

Other highlights include D. L. Finn’s Moon’s Magic which I loved – about a lone black cat on the edge of the world, under the harvest moon and her “Harvest Moon,” Butterly Cinquain.

The collection concluded with a Best of Issue Poetry with favourites chosen by Jules and Colleen. The chosen poems were by D. L. Finn, Merril D. Smith and Ken Gierke. All excellent.

D. Wallace Peach’s “Moon-spun” tanka prose idyll – so magical and enchanting and her “Revolutions” Butterfly Cinquain.

Merril D. Smith’s Crapsey cinquain entitled “October Night,” her shadorma sequence “Harvest Moon,” and her abhanga “Through the Leaves.”

A new poet to me Sujata Khanna wrote a lovely double inverted etheree entitled “A Viaduct.”

And I particularly enjoyed Bill Engleson’s nonet, “Her Winged Way,” and his diatelle “Above Campbell Bay on a Hot August Night.”

Loved Colleen Chesebro’s Luna’s Soft Glow.

Shadorma took me to a “Moon Dance” with Ruth Klein’s contribution.

There was a “Meeting of Minds,” with a Badger’s hexastich written by Susmita Ramani and her “Autumn Half-Dream” “Prom-ises.”

A Triple Abhanga by Annette Rochelle Aben was lovely too.

I could go on and on. Do read this wonderful collection you won’t be disappointed.



View all my reviews

Find out more about this from Colleen….

Source: Word Weaving: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse: #1 New Release in Japanese Poetry & Haiku – Colleen M. Chesebro

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Flicker by PJ Reed #book #review #poetry @PJReed_author

FlickerFlicker by P.J. Reed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’m very behind on my blog reviews… so here is a fantastic poetry book I read some time ago from P. J Reed.

My Review

I didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t read poems from P J Reed before. I was interested to see that some of the poems in Flicker are about COVID19, a subject which I have also written about too.

There are observations of a child standing apart from a long lost friend. The impact of closure of public toilets. Overheard conversations from disbelieving binmen. The UK governments eat out to help out scheme. Nature’s revival in roaming wildlife seen in our streets during the first Lockdown in March. Hoarding of toilet rolls and the impact of selfishness on the vulnerable. Poetic commentary about the public’s inability to wear face masks properly, and amusing face mask faux pas!

There are so many wonderful poems expressed in so few words. The power of poetry at it’s best!

Such a great variety of poems – poetic observations about plastic surgery, homeless men, the blessing and curse of social media, modern war, the authors rescue dogs, tourist watching abroad, magical observations of the moon, sea and nature, to light-hearted and amusing coffee shop anecdotes.

Plus a wonderful intro by Karen Jones.

My recommendation: a fantastic collection of poetry. I loved it.



View all my reviews

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