7th Anniversary Blog Post

symanntha renn symanntha renn poet,writer 20180421_152104

I had a slow year as far as writing in 2017, but this year I have written many poems, and some of them are really good. I have started sharing them and will share them every week for the rest of the year. I have gotten over my fear of sharing my work in public, now I just have to choose the format in which I share my work.

longing to talk
afraid of what people I will draw
flowering cacti
  8-4-18

I looked back at my first post and realized that my goals are basically the same now as they were then. I want to share 1 poem a week with you, and I want it to be a haiku. I always share a new haiku on Monday. I want to share other forms of poetry a couple of times a week.

strange winds
blow through the tall hayfields
fighting my restless spirit
  Feb 5, 2017 

I have had themed days and weeks and that has been both fun and exhausting. I have done poetry challenges, blogging challenges, writing challenges, and photography challenges. They all grew me and even though doing them right was hard I am glad that I tried them all. I plan to try some in the future as well. I have shared my favorite poems by my favorite poets Emily Dickinson and Matsuo Basho. I have written some flash fiction and intended to write more, but I just haven’t been able to write anything good in that area for a while. I loved sharing quotes with you all but I felt like we see lots of quotes on Facebook and other social media sites and it was too hard to find unusual quotes to share. 

old leaves
on a new road
changes

Yes, I have also taken breaks, but that has been good for me too. I learned that my loyal readers would stay with me, even if I was quiet for a while. I learned that I could gain new followers even if I was barely posting, but I do get more likes and views if I am posting 3x or more a week. I think I am in a good place now, and I don’t think I will take any breaks in the future.

Thank you for reading my work and leaving me likes and comments. Thank you for your shares and your encouragement. I hope that you all stick with me as I share poems from both my past and my most recent work.

What is your favorite thing that I do? Which type of post do you miss the most? Which type of post would you like to see more of? Leave me some comments.

To look at my poetry throughout the years, go to this post.

poet symanntha renn failing at haiku image

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Where Basho got his ideas.

short iris,new iris,iris leaves,iris' leaf,

#248

rabbit-ear iris
it gives me an idea
for a poem

 

Basho took most of his inspiration from nature. I try to always use nature when writing a haiku, but I use nature in many of my poems, no matter what form they are. How often does nature show up in your poems?

Recollections of a Broken Back

Recollections of a Broken Back

Broken backs march to the next task
Wondering how they got so broken
On this path that was supposed to be so easy
This path, littered with pain
The birds sing the same year after year
Their songs don’t seem to change
So why am I aging
Why am I feeling the need to sit down
I feel the years clog my veins
The misadventures stretch across my skin
Shiny speed bumps to slow sensual thought
Where are all of the fine things
This broken back was supposed to bring me

DSCN1627

I wish I had dated my older poems. I thought that if I didn’t date them they would seem more mysterious. What do you think? Do you date your poems? Do you share the date when you share them?

 

Basho on a bare branch.

#120

on a bare branch
a crow settled down
autumn evening

 

This is, I think, one of Basho’s better-known poems. Comment below if you’ve ever read it before.

salmon sky,pink sky,light fading,sunlight,pink clouds,

PAD Challenge Day 11

poetry month photo for public use

photo curtesy of Poets.org

This post is for Day 10 and 11. I could NOT think of a poem for a deal, or a poem about no deal. I have decided in 2018 that posting every day is just not for me. I am also not one of those people that can churn out a poem every day. They say you should write every day, but I think “they” are people without children or people who can afford a nanny.

The prompt for Day 11 of National Poetry Month was to write a warning poem. I immediately knew what I wanted the subject to be on, but I couldn’t get my errands done and my brain in writing mode until today. So here is day 11’s poem. It is a Rispetto, the kind with 8 lines and 11 syllables in each line, it is not supposed to have end rhymes but they just kind of appeared. What do you think?

 

  The End of Time
your grandma told you when you were a child
it’s a story so old she heard it when she
herself was but a child on her dad’s knee
It’s all over but the shouting, so we wait
for when the angels blow that trumpet and shout
we will all rise up and the dead will come out
Jesus came once and is coming back again
when heaven is built, He will call us all home
    4-12-18

 

 

PAD Challenge Day 7

  Thorns of a Rose
the impatient thorns of a rose
catching your eye with her colors
so bright and cheerful but beware
under her petals are sharp knives

she will kiss you and cut you twice
the impatient thorns of a rose
pricking you as soon as you touch
she only lets you come so close

from afar the smell entices
you come in for a better look
the impatient thorns of a rose
she doesn’t taste sweet like she smells

for a taste you will pay dearly
that she would cut you was clearly
told to you but you went ahead
the impatient thorns of a rose

red roses fully bloomed,red rose bush, small rose bush,

rose's thorn, rose thorn  IMG_7036  single rose, rose bush

Here is today’s poem. It is a Quatern. I have never written one before today. I will probably not get tomorrow’s poem up on the blog until mid-day on Monday. We shall see.

Follow me on Instagram; I am sharing poetry on there too. I am putting my old tanka onto new photos and kind of making haiga. I feel like I have shared my haiku so many times, and that some of my tanka were overlooked. I will start doing true haiga with haiku soon. It’s a process to get it posted to Instagram, so bear with me! The more likes and follows I get the more motivated I am to post. I will follow you back on Instagram if you tell me you are a blog reader.

I am kind of in the middle of a following freeze on Twitter right now. I’m about to hit 2,000 following which means I can’t follow anyone until I get 2,000 followers myself. So follow me on Twitter and tell your friends to as well. I unfollowed a lot of accounts that looked inactive, or personal accounts that weren’t following me back, but I am quickly edging toward 2,000.

If you are reading this on your cell phone and want to follow me: you have to click on the title of a post, then scroll all the way down to the bottom until you see the pictures I’m posting on Insta and Twitter. Click follow to keep up with me on those sites. I post different things to different sites. Follow me everywhere to see all of the cool things I’m talking about.

I will try to do the PAD Challenge.

I plan to participate in the PAD challenge this year. I may not get my posts up every day, I might have to make 3 posts in 1 day, but I am going to try to write every day. I might revise a couple of old poems, depending on the prompts. This is held at Writer’s Digest.com. You can share your poems to my comments as well!

To learn more, here is part of this year’s announcement from Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Content Editor, Writer’s Digest Community. To read the whole thing go here.

picture by symanntha renn,photo,blog banner,

What is the April PAD Challenge?

PAD stands for Poem-A-Day, so this is a challenge in which poets write a poem each day of April. Usually, I’ll post a prompt in the morning (Atlanta, Georgia, time), and poets will write a poem in response.

Let’s break some lines together for the 2018 April PAD Challenge. This will be the 11th annual April poem-a-day challenge! 

Some poets share those poems on the blog in the comments; others keep their words to themselves. I don’t require comments on the blog to participate, but it does make it more fun when poets are firing away on the blog. Plus, I’ll try my best to recognize my favorite poems of the month this year by using comments on the blog.

Re-create Your Poetry!  Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

Who can participate?

Anyone who wants to write poetry–whether you’ve been writing all your life or just want to give it a shot now, whether you write free verse or traditional forms, whether you have a certain style or have no clue what you’re doing. The main thing is to poem (and yes, I use poem as a verb).

Here are some more April PAD Challenge guidelines:

  • Poeming begins April 1 and runs through May 1 (to account for time differences in other parts of the world–and yes, poets all over the world participate).
  • The main purpose of the challenge is to write poems, but I also will attempt to highlight my favorite poems of the month from poets who post their poems to each day’s blog posts. Some years this works out better than others.
  • Poem as you wish, but I will delete poems and comments that I feel are hateful. Also, if anyone abuses this rule repeatedly, I will have them banned from the site. So please “make good choices,” as I tell my children.

Day 5 NaHaiWriMo 2017

strange winds
blow through the tall hayfields
fighting my restless spirit

 

If haiku isn’t your thing, check out my Other Poems that you might like better.

If you like what I am writing, be sure to follow me on all of your favorite sites. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow me by email, just scroll all the way to the bottom of this post and click follow.

scribbles in a notebook,poetry notebook,writing,blogging,haiku,

Symanntha Renn

A look at my poems from the last 17 years.

Since I have written over 900 poems I thought that  I would post some my poems here just for fun. Here are some of my poems that I have written on my 17-year journey. I have been writing since 1999. I wrote my first poem (The Run) when I was 11 so keep that in mind as you read through these. I meant to write this post in my 15th year of writing, but being a mom and getting a serious job has re-arranged my world.
Now, for those of you who would like to walk through my work, here you go:
 
#1 The Run
I am wheelchair bound until he says good riddance. This cast I say is a lot of pain
 
I don’t regret the pain for now my troubles are slain. Now I can run wild and free.
 
I used to walk high, now I walk with pride. I am loved by all. Now I can run like all.
 
They left me behind, but now they are blind, by the dust in their eyes.
 
Though I may moan I have backbone. Now I can walk out the door before they lock the door.
 
My mind says “No” but my heart says, “Go!” So watch now as I flow, run, skip, hop, jump, prance, and walk perfectly.
 
#100 Making the World Right
Sneaky fingers reaching out for my mind
Gut emotions squeezing my sides
Blindfolded people swinging out with clubs
Hateful words stinging the ears
Tears soaking my face, hiding truth
Hands gripping, holding on to the only clear thing
Love breaks through in the form of lips
Honeysweet words dance across skin
Flowing into ears sorting out truth
Love conquers all chasing away evil and hate
And at the end of the night, my world is just right
 
#200 Panic in the Forest (published on Poet Daily)
Like a wounded deer struggling in the snow,
I fear I’ll never rise again.
The fear makes it hard to breathe
 
makes the world seem so cold.
I see the blood dripping on the snow
and the panic chokes me.
 
Everything spins and I get dizzy.
I can’t get my legs under me.
The ground so solid comes rushing up
 
I am still…
 
#300 Thanksgiving at Grandma’s
We wipe the wet leaves off of our feet
and step into the warm house to look around,
thankful for several things including heat.
I put the food on the table
and go to the freezer to check out the desserts.
They’re all old favorites, none need a label.
I make my way back to the front of the house
an aunt grabs me and talks about how the kids have grown.
Someone makes a nice comment about my blouse.
We notice who has cut their hair and who has let it grow.
Some admit to dyeing their grays as we talk about age.
A baby toddles over, what a cute bow!
As we wait for the turkey to be carved,
we can smell the corn, stuffing, and gravy,
and we talk about how we’re starved.
After the Blessing is said, we line up,
and dip out food onto Styrofoam plates
walking in a circle, holding our cup.
Most find a place to sit, but some stand.
Someone mentions the cousin we wish was here
and not fighting in a strange land.
Later we talk about the kids and arrange
what kid got who this year,
we draw for the exchange.
We give long hugs and decide what to bring
next month when we get together for Christmas,
once again the doorbell will ring.
 
#400 Silent Battlefield
The battlefield at Carthage is silent now.
As silent as it was 150 years ago
before the people there grew angry
and a small creek ran red with blood.
It was a part of The Civil War
but there was nothing civil about it.
Brothers stabbed brothers
in the land of the free.
Guerillas bushwhacked soldiers
in the home of the brave.
More concerned with state’s rights than men’s
they shed blood on ground that did not care
about the color of the hand that tilled it.
Today that small wood is still
except for the singing of the birds.
The only dark place is the small cave.
Giggling children fail to realize the horror
that once stomped through these fields.
Some people still smell the powder burning
but they are relics soon to be stored
like the guns and uniforms at the museum.
It is a peaceful park now, with gentle shadows
and only signs to remind us of the war.
©Symanntha Renn 6-10-12
 
#500 untitled
traveling the road to work
same hawk in the tree
is he bored by me
 
#600 untitled 
my mouth can barely
contain the anger rising
poked rattlesnake
 
#700 Soft Like Velvet
They were red
soft like velvet
and smelled great.
But I didn’t know
it was the end
I didn’t know they
were graveyard roses.
 
#800 untitled
porcelain blue frog
doesn’t eat the red wasps
he is a fake
 
#900 untitled
traditional red
I have always liked the classics
rose bush
 
my latest: #
old hopes and dreams
erasing pins and deleting links
flowers that didn’t bloom
9-21-2016
 
poet symanntha renn failing at haiku image

A Week of Haiku

trees changing color,maple tree,fall,autumn,

blood maples are
the first to change their leaves
drive home from the doctor

So I know that I have shared a bunch of micropoetry lately, and I have only been sharing 1 haiku a week. To thank you for your patience, I am going to share haiku for a week. I will post 1 haiku every day this week along with a quote on Friday. This blog is mostly meant to be a haiku blog, but since I often fail at writing haiku the way you are supposed to write them, I like to share other stuff too. I will go back to sharing my micropoetry/small stone poems next week.

Asleep

still water

  Sleeping Prophet

Someone awaken
our sleeping prophet
we’re drowning
He arises unfazed
is he a prophet
or a mad man
the calm waves answer

 

I really like taking a prompt on Twitter, where people write the same boring micro poems about sex over and over, and writing one about Jesus. I hope that it stops people in their tracks. I hope people question what they have been writing about when they come across my micro poems. I mean come on guys! How many poems do you think people want about

kissing/licking/gazing

or sliding/caressing/walking/gliding

your fingers over her/his

[insert word for skin/flesh/lips here]

and it made me feel

[insert clever word for excited here]

If you click on the hashtag and read what others have tweeted, you will find at least 4 poems in a row like the one I just described. It is not original at all, and therefore not interesting or shocking or romantic. I also consider you a one-trick-pony if that type of poem is all that is on your timeline. There are several poets that I have quit following on Twitter because that same boring poem is what they tweet all day long. I’m not saying I’m great, but at least I’m trying not to be boring.

This particular poem was written for a #ntitle prompt.

My Poetry Stats

flower edit

I have written 769 poems as of yesterday. I have had 4 of them published. I thought as a fun little exercise I would list my stats here. I am also doing this because as I have said before, this blog also serves as a sort of time capsule for me. I meant to post this around 3 weeks ago right after I had titled and counted all of the poems after getting through the National Haiku Writing Month which is February. Today starts National Poetry Month and I am once again going to take on the challenge to write a poem a day for a whole month. After 3 years of NaHaiWriMo and three years of NaPoWriMo I feel brave enough to share my poems with you daily. So I am going to take a big leap and share my poems every night after I have written them. This may mean that I post them at 11:00pm at night, but I am going to try to do it. I had several people who had asked if I was going to share my haiku during NaHaiWriMo but I said no. So I will try it with this challenge this month and see how I do. So encouragement (Likes/Shares/Comments) would mean a lot this month!

I have written:

362 Japanese poems,
331 are haiku or senryu,
31 are tanka.

5 of my poems are cinquains.

I have written 257 poems in the last 12 months.

 

I will post an update of these stats in June and give more detailed stats if you would like to see them. If you want to see my blog stats go here. As of today I have published 684 posts on Failing at Haiku. You can look through the archive by scrolling to the bottom of this post and select a month to look at under the word Archives. There are 4 pages to this blog, which are the About Me and This Blog page, Poetry Definitions, What is Haiku? and My Personal Testimony (which is under the About Me page).

If you would like to see how many of my poems are titled vs. not, or how many of my poem’s titles contain the word “Morning” or how many are more than 12 lines long, let me know in the comments and I will give you those stats in June.