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Current challenge: 30 Haiku (info here)
What happens when you randomly suggest a writing challenge that you think no one will participate in and then they do? You create a Tumblr! The Writing Tree is a place for friends (that's you) to read and submit their writing. We hope to encourage and inspire each other; so please feel free to submit. It's not about judgement or competition. I'll tell you a secret...you don't even have to complete the challenge. As always, the process is just as important as the goal. Just write.

NaPoWriMo 2014, Haiku Challenge & Other Goodies

thewritingtree:

It’s been awhile, I know, and I’m full of apology. 

However, it’s a new year and National Poetry Writing Month is upon us again. Without challenge there’s no change, so if you’ve fallen into a writing slump (which is completely of the mind), join us!

There are a great number of ways to celebrate NaPoWriMo (click here!), but my favorite way is…haiku/senryu. My challenge is to write one haiku for every day in April. This idea is not unique, many poets try to write a poem a day, but with this platform we can uplift, encourage and hold each other accountable. 

Why haiku?

1. It’s short and forces us not to waste any word/syllable. 

2. I think it’s a dope introduction to poetry for those who do not consider themselves writers.  

3. Our lives are busy and maybe writing a sonnet each day seems like a lot to commit to. I think haiku makes the goal seem a little more attainable. 

There are thirty days in the month of April. Can we write at least thirty haiku/senryu? I think so.

Submitting is easy.

Just make sure to let us know what number it is, along with a title (if there is one) and a link to where we can find you. If you have a preferred name/pseudonym, tell us that too. 

 If you’re posting on Twitter, make sure to use the hashtag “TheWritingTree”. 

That’s all.

The last tidbit I have to share with you is about Write Bloody Publishing. Andrea Gibson, a phenomenal poet, is curating an anthology with Write Bloody and they are currently accepting submissions. The work is to be called, “We Will Be Shelter”. Find more about it here. If you’re a poet interested in social justice, then I think you should submit.  

Fin. 

Happy Haiku-ing!

The Haiku Challenge begins today and I look forward to all submissions. 

NaPoWriMo 2014, Haiku Challenge & Other Goodies

It’s been awhile, I know, and I’m full of apology. 

However, it’s a new year and National Poetry Writing Month is upon us again. Without challenge there’s no change, so if you’ve fallen into a writing slump (which is completely of the mind), join us!

There are a great number of ways to celebrate NaPoWriMo (click here!), but my favorite way is…haiku/senryu. My challenge is to write one haiku for every day in April. This idea is not unique, many poets try to write a poem a day, but with this platform we can uplift, encourage and hold each other accountable. 

Why haiku?

1. It’s short and forces us not to waste any word/syllable. 

2. I think it’s a dope introduction to poetry for those who do not consider themselves writers.  

3. Our lives are busy and maybe writing a sonnet each day seems like a lot to commit to. I think haiku makes the goal seem a little more attainable. 

There are thirty days in the month of April. Can we write at least thirty haiku/senryu? I think so.

Submitting is easy.

Just make sure to let us know what number it is, along with a title (if there is one) and a link to where we can find you. If you have a preferred name/pseudonym, tell us that too. 

 If you’re posting on Twitter, make sure to use the hashtag “TheWritingTree”. 

That’s all.

The last tidbit I have to share with you is about Write Bloody Publishing. Andrea Gibson, a phenomenal poet, is curating an anthology with Write Bloody and they are currently accepting submissions. The work is to be called, “We Will Be Shelter”. Find more about it here. If you’re a poet interested in social justice, then I think you should submit.  

Fin. 

Happy Haiku-ing!

Hey Guys! Are you ready for another haiku challenge?

One we’ll actually finish?

Depending on feedback, we’ll start soon :)

Reblog + Support + Take Part!

The Voice Of A Receipt.

I hope you purchased everything you wanted.The
tapes that no longer have the rewinding capability
that created many playbacks. The brussel sprouts
that brought up tax-like emotions that you couldn’t
stop disliking. The televisions that accept your undivided
allegiance and attention. Did you satisfy the financial
appetite that lives in your pockets?

You’d think so, but 
I don’t.

These people will never see me when you throw me away,
nor will they hear my cries when you crush my spirits until they
are no more.  You see, they’ll never know about your dirty
deeds or how you’ll always pay per view even though you truly
can’t afford it. But as much as some people may take care of me,
while others may wish me away, all your spending secrets will
stay me, even if I expire.

- Smeek

Chimera: A Dialogue

by: Frances Ruhlen McConnel

(Source: here)

One of the strangest instances of the vanishing twin within the womb is twin cannibalism in which the surviving twin literally ingests or absorbs the remains of the other one. TLC.Discovery.com

Two in a pod, two in a hold, two in a teacup,
commas curled together, Yin & Yang tumbling end over end.
Yet one grows fatter as one thins. One drinks in
as one seeps away. One’s shape sharpens
as the other’s lines blur. One grows fingers and toes;
for the other, at the wrists and ankles, clumps,
then knots, then fraying threads,
as cells flake off, migrate across the black waters.

Twin One:

Come to me then, you who are but a shadow,
a print in sand filling with water.
Gulping you down, I make you my own.
I make you immortal.

Twin Two:

One body is not one mind. One mind is not one thought;
even one thought is not without its undertow.
Your world ends where your senses end. 
Though you’ll think always what you see is.
I’ll know it is only what you see.

It’s better to be contained than container.
I, the cell and you, the mitochondria.
I’ll be the cell and you the bee larvae.

You, the cell and I, in prison.
You will be queen bee and all else slaves.

Then for your freedom, I give you my sleep;
I give you my dreaming.

Is this your dream then-my nightmare? 

I give you the choice of dreams: 
the nightmare is your defiance

The only other choice is to go quietly.

Quietly, then, dissolve quietly on the tongue 
as bland and gossamer as a wafer.
In this way we’ll share a blessing. 
And you needn’t ever be lonely.

And you will always be lonely,
remaining without; though you think
yourself sum and substance,
want will be your maiden name.

Why must you curse me?

Millions are cursed daily, as millions are devoured.
There is no devouring without the stain on the teeth.

There is no devouring without love.
For who would devour what one hates?

But many learn to hate what they must devour.

And you can give me no blessing,
though I bless you, as you go down.

Such blessing obliterates the supplicant.

It obliterates only your pain.

“Only” is all I have. Only in holding myself 
back can I save you.

Save me from what—from ourself?

Yes, if ourself is an illusion.
To grant the boundary of surface
is to grant breath-right to others.

You’ll have my senses. 
To share the same surface is the most complete love;
You’ll breathe when I breathe, suck what I suck.

Your desire negates surfaces, 
the skin where nerves lie. 
In the depths is only dumb satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

But I can satisfy both of us.

You’ll satisfy yourself only. 
There is no self without say-so, without yes or no.

Do you think yourself my conscience, then,
Old Crosspatch, Old Scold, Old Naysayer?

I am your supreme nothingness,
the distant plop of a bloody thing 
at the bottom of a dank well,
as amorphous as algae stink.

Not my nothing so much as your almost, your perhaps.

I’ll be the hesitation between desire and act
I’ll be the scoffer, your second thoughts
and your last failure of nerve.

You won’t see me in mirrors,
but perhaps in running water. 
My image will both confirm and cast suspicion,
both deepen and fracture, will bring you doubt
and make belief necessary.

Though you learn double-talk with your forked tongue,
I will be left with the old language 
of nudge and tickle, hiccup and slap.

Then preach no more, tiny flaw in my surface.
Slip away, tadpole, slip back to the egg
and before that the blind thrashing of last season’s urges,
go as the weak go into the maw of unbecoming.

I don’t say “goodbye.” I say in your deepest within 
will be an unknown darkness, a restless being 
you can’t reach, a question you can never resolve. 
If this is immortality, I give it thee.
Also if it is the buried pip of the Fall.

A tendril, a filament, plants itself in a soft skull and sucks.
A last gulp and the body is smooth as a pearl, smooth and smoky
with one dimple only where outside is in and inside closes over what is other and what is left but the need, desperate but not 
out of the question, for an Other, an outsider’s love.

separation anxiety

this is what it is
a pattern forced into groove
each first third and fifth
at the parking lot we meet
my fruit is scattered from me

north to x-husband
south to y-baby daddy
it is no wonder
z never really gained chance
I is still raging in me

real consequences
they could not be avoided
our tight trinity
made strong in adversity
daily we rise and we win

- eMinor

It Is You

I just want to live in the shelter of you
just want to feel safe in the presence of you
want to get lost in etymology with you
this is all I desire of you
I just want to get lost in the embrace of you
just want to be consumed by you
want to feed my lust with you
I only want the love of you
grow senior and wiser with you
I want to love us with you

eMinor

[Haibun] Smiles.

Pictures. How I would despise talking so much that I would close my borders because my slightly unaligned gates were never ready to be seen. Those close to me in the line would tell me to smile and as I did, my snow-covered tongue would be seen in the cracks & gapes, further influencing me not to open up unless asked to. The hours I’d operate on would never be as flexible as they are now.

White, shimmering smiles.
gates opened for visitors
never shutting down.

- Smeek

the real journey of a writer

(source here)

The real journey of a writer – or any creative – isn’t to publication, rewards, acclaim, but to your own voice.

When you find your voice, you connect to yourself, and then through yourself to the world. Your work resonates. As Thoreau once wrote in his journal, “The whole is in each man.” (And each woman.)

I’ve always felt that your voice is twofold: not just how you write, but what you write about. They inform and shape each other.

You need to read, look, listen, absorb. You need to take the world into you so you can reinvent it through your own point of view.

You need to tune out external voices that speak in the language of the shoulds – you should do this, you should do that – and move into the secret life of your intuition. This other life has its own mind. It will guide you to places that, because they are yours, remain – as yet — unknown and uncharted. For all the self-help and how-to that fills our culture, success is, in the end, as unique to you as a fingerprint. You can only make that path by walking it. It unfolds in front of you. Sometimes it carries you along.

So you need to write.

And write.

And write.

You need to write past the point of self-consciousness. You need to quit trying to write: to be clever, witty, pretty, poetic. (Perhaps your true voice is none of these things.) You need to fall through the words into something else entirely.

(Blogging can be exceptionally good for this.)

We start by imitating the styles of others. That kind of mimicry – conscious or not – is like a trapdoor opening beneath you.

It drops you into yourself.

It’s when you lose yourself that your true voice starts to come out of the dark. It might be raw and naked. Or howling and slightly mad. Your soul is stamped all the way through it.

Finding your voice – what to say, how to say it, how to speak up in the world – is about making your truth manifest. When you’re moving in the grooves of that soulprint, you know it. And so do others.

This is art.

Art happens wherever your soul’s on the line.

(via shanyceboom)

Examples: Haibun

1. Days of Summer

by: Dan Hardison

Before plastic bottles, soft drinks (also known as soda pop) came in glass bottles. To encourage their reuse, the empty glass bottles could be returned for a deposit. But even with its bounty, glass bottles could still end up along the roadsides much as their plastic counterparts do today.

As a kid, we would bicycle down the road and collect these discarded bottles, and return them to a grocery store for their reward. Then we would buy candy and baseball trading cards with our newfound wealth.

clap, clap of cards
on the spokes of bicycles …
days of summer

2. Words, loves

by: Steven Carter

bAdd unwritten poems to the laundry list of lost things—not that astronauts saw anything unusual when they cruised above the moon’s dark side!

Today I plop down on the bank of the Swan River, right where it bids farewell to Swan Lake on its way to Flathead (as big as Tahoe). I pick blossoms from a wild apple tree and toss them into the green ripples—each one a thank-you for a job I didn’t get, back in the day. 

As I watch the river disappear around a bend, this thought: the universe = a computer programmed to solve a problem, the problem being.us. 

Big Bang, Big Whimper, so what? We’re here, or seem to be. Stars at eleven a.m.: invisible, like (you guessed it) so many unwritten poems.

So: not what the words mean, not what they “do,” not what’s beyond them or even between them; what the words are—that’s the skeleton key. To what? Haven’t the words, of course. 

              our back-and-forth—
                            snow-geese know
                                        the other way from us

3. The Question Unanswered

by: Chen-Ou Lin

slanted sunlight
in the Meditation Hall
a drift of dust

"Every question you answer," I say timidly, "leads to another question." The air conditioner continues its rhythmic humming.

"And do you have another question?" the master asks. For the first time, I notice that there is a small twist to his mouth.

More info here/here.
Examples here.
"The prose should add depth to the haiku. The haiku should add meaning to the prose."

Robert D. Wilson, editor of the e-magazine Simply Haiku, includes these features for a haibun:
"a linked form. The link is between narrative, prose sections and one or more haiku."
wide range of styles and content.
minimal repetition of words and phrases; “what is written is tightly constructed”.
strong haiku that can stand alone as poetry.
"Haiku … relate to previous prose sections yet not be an extension of the prose. The oblique but relevant association between haiku and prose is the defining moment of the haibun. … The haiku link offers readers a springboard to multiple, and often unexpected, meanings."
Literary magazines that publish haibun:
Haibun Today
Contemporary Haibun
A Hundred Gourds

More info here/here.

Examples here.

"The prose should add depth to the haiku. The haiku should add meaning to the prose."

Robert D. Wilson, editor of the e-magazine Simply Haiku, includes these features for a haibun:

  • "a linked form. The link is between narrative, prose sections and one or more haiku."
  • wide range of styles and content.
  • minimal repetition of words and phrases; “what is written is tightly constructed”.
  • strong haiku that can stand alone as poetry.
  • "Haiku … relate to previous prose sections yet not be an extension of the prose. The oblique but relevant association between haiku and prose is the defining moment of the haibun. … The haiku link offers readers a springboard to multiple, and often unexpected, meanings."

Literary magazines that publish haibun:

Haibun Today

Contemporary Haibun

A Hundred Gourds

SunnyDay Tanka

Sunshine at first glance

Days like this I love to breathe

Plans ahead, break free,

Feet to green Earth, walk lightly

Aim: celebrate gracefully!


- eMinor

Cold Reality

My mind, a labyrinth
My warm body, a haven
In my embrace: waste
My heart; like a pendulum
Search me, degrade me, leave me.

- eMinor

Tanka: #4 Night/Day

the woman dances
rivers rise and fall and break
she doesn’t notice

morning after. she cools her
tea and shakes palms. unaware.
- Shanyce

Tanka Time: tangles

If you sink your hands
in a woman’s kinky hair,
you can’t just pull out.

Hangs on you like orgasm;
You smell islands in your sheets.

-bellum.