When Life Gives You Lemons…Write Poetry! #Poetry #WritingCommunity #IARTG #ASMSG #TANKA #CINQUAIN #HAIBUN @ColleenChesebro #tryingnewthings


It’s been a strange sixteen months for me on many levels. There were several deaths of pets, friends, and family, plus a period of things breaking. Then came 2020 with high expectations. Halfway through this year, I find myself wishing for someone to shut down the rest of the year. This is the point where my emotions caught up to me, following several weeks of being sick. It was bronchitis/sinus infection that was heading into pneumonia because I waited too long to see my doctor. After a surreal doctor’s visit and, yes, a painful COVID test, I found out twelve days later it was thankfully negative. Finally, I started feeling better, so I got out to trim some hedges, which flared up my shoulder and lower back.


So besides some editing, I found myself unable to focus on current stories. It was time to take care of myself. I got back into my exercise routine and then wanted to try something new. I have always had a love of poetry. When I write it, I’m visiting my soul, where I can reflect on my emotions and life. The free verse will always be my go-to, but I decided it was finally time to explore some different types of poetry that I have been enjoying lately. I tried Haiku a couple of years ago, and that stuck with me and a part of my normal poetry writing.


Last week, I took some notes on some poetry I’ve wanted to learn and headed outside to write, hoping for the best. Right away, I found I loved Haibuns, mixing prose poetry and Haikus. Then I tried Tanka that was like a longer Haiku which I enjoyed. The most challenging type for me was the Cinquains. I have a lot to learn, but here’s another way to express my deep feelings and explore my enjoyment of patterns while I heal in nature.

Some of my first attempts:



Hearing heavy words

Sends chills through the listeners

A surreal moment

Where hate and fear are enshrined

Love lingers just out of reach.



The flowing water soothes shattered nerves. The tall pines sway seductively in the wind’s gentle caress. The roses burst forth in their scented glory while rewarding the humming toil of the bees their ultimate gift.

Peaceful moment

Provided by a summer day

Soak in its splendor.

CINQUAIN (I admit this one makes me giggle…)


With black feathers

Perches on a branch cawing

Its mate answers in the same shrill

Bird love.


The bear

With a black coat

Lumbers through the forest

Scrounging for its next tasty meal


It never misses the garbage can

Noise sends it up a tree

Where it’s safe


 A special thanks and hugs to Colleen Chesbro and her wonderful blog for inspiring me to branch out and try something new! As time and creativity permits, I’ll be participating in her challenges soon and post them here:)

You won’t want to miss this week’s special edition blog.

Embrace your inner child by taking good care of you, D. L. Finn




52 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons…Write Poetry! #Poetry #WritingCommunity #IARTG #ASMSG #TANKA #CINQUAIN #HAIBUN @ColleenChesebro #tryingnewthings”

    1. Thank you, Teagan I appreicate that. I am doing better. Hugs on the wing right back to you xo

    1. Thank you, Joan. Yes It was. They used a long plastic stick that looked like a comb at the end. Nothing you want to add to a sinus infection…lol. Glad you liked my attempts at new poetry.

  1. Denise, I’m blown away with your creativity! I love your poetry and am so thrilled you gave it a go! Your poetry is spectacular! Isn’t it fun to write? I hope to see you jump into the challenges. 😍❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you, Colleen. That means a lot to me. I’ve been eyeing the different types for a long time. It was a matter of sitting down and learning how to do it. I have a thing about always looking for patterns so this kind of played into that and ended up being fun. Thanks for all your posts and information, you definitely inspired me:)

    1. It was definitely a little patch of things happening, but nothing we all don’t go through at one point or so. Thank you, Jacqui. Poetry allows me to express myself more fully:)

  2. Denise, its very brave to try new forms of poetry. Writing within the given limits is quite challenging. You have done a good job. Stay safe, take care.

    1. Thank you, Balroop. It was a challenge but not as difficult as I thought it would be. Although my rebellious side will always love the free verse my other side really dug into this new form. xo

  3. Wow, you’ve had a rough time, Denise. Poetry is beautiful for soothing the soul.
    I am so glad your COVID test was negative and that you are on the path of healing–inside and out.

    There are so many forms of poetry and I’m still learning the terms of most. You did a fantastic job with all of these–beautiful words and beautiful images. Thanks for sharing and take care of yourself!

    1. Poetry has been very soothing for my soul, thanks Mae. Yes the negative was a relief and a wake up call to go back to my more healthy habits.

      You are right there are so many forms of poetry and I don’t think I’ll ever cover them all, but you never know either 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed them. xo

    1. It sure has for everyone, Jessica. I think we are all lucky to have our writing to feel our way through some of this. Poetry really allows an expression that other types of writing don’t and frees us for sure.

    1. We all have our periods in life where we do. Thanks, Harmony. I’m glad you enjoyed the poetry. Hugs back.

  4. I can honestly say this has been the worst twelve months of my life, too. And 2020 still has so many months to go. Sigh.

    Love these poems, Denise. I haven’t dabbled in years, but you almost have me wanting to try. ALMOST.

    1. It has been for so many people, Staci. I’m sorry you are going through a bad period, I hope it gets better soon. I hope you do pick up the poetry pen, I’d love to read it! xo

  5. Beautiful and powerful poems, Denise. I’m with you in terms of these past 12 months and have spent much time – waiting in silence. What a journey. I’m grateful you are on the mend, as your skill with poetry attests. ♥

    1. Thank you, Gwen. Yes, it has been a tough several months for so many. I hope it changes directions soon and lessons have been learned. Yes, I feel like a lot of us have been there in silence. hugs

  6. You have had some rough months, Denise. And yes, then came 2020. I’m thankful your COVID test came back negative! Turning your thoughts inward and expressing through these different forms of poetry is just beautiful, and I’m sure healing on some level. Take care of yourself and keep expressing!! Remember that when you express a feeling, most likely there is someone else out there who will be inspired, comforted or encouraged by it! Hugs!

    1. Yes, been a rough period for the world. I’m relieved about the test too, especially since I had finally ventured out a bit more during that period. I feel like poetry is healing on that inner level and allows us to process those feelings. I always hestiate voicing this because I feel like I’m complaining, which stems from how I was raised, but you are right it helps when others hear they aren’t alone. One thing I learned is when a tuttle approaches me I will pay attention to what is going on, since I had two experiences right before things happened. Always a sign these moments will pass. hugs back

    1. Thank you, Jacquie. The Haibuns were fun for me to write:) Thanks and here’s hoping the world has a better last half of this year! hugs back

  7. I’m sorry to hear that it’s been a crappy 16 months. But I’m glad you’re coming through it. Your poetry is lovely. I love Colleen’s site and have become a fan of syllabic poetry because of her. Haibun is also a favorite of mine. Enjoy the rest of your summer, Denise, and keep the muse busy. 🙂 <3

    1. Thanks, Diana. Seems like that’s been the way for most lately. I was glad to find Colleen’s site and find syllabic poetry. It’s a different process to write them. I hope you are enjoying your summer too. Yes, here’s to busy muses!

  8. Sorry to hear what you’ve gone through for the last 16 months, Denise, from deaths of family, friends and pets, to physical illnesses. It sounds heavy. It’s good to see your poetry takes wings. I used to take part in Colleen’s challenge until last November. I too had a terrible allergic reaction and inflammation that last for months. I had the similar burning under the skin like what I had when going through chemo. I lost 60% to 70% of hair, it came out in chunks. It was scary. It just started to grow back not long a go and some are still a couple inches long.

    I hope you’ll be better for the rest of the summer. Take care. <3

    1. Thank you, Miriam. Poetry can be so healing. I’m sorry to hear you were dealing with the allergy inflammation! Plus, it brought back unpleasant memories for you. I hope you are feeling better now and figured out the allergies. That’s always tough, I’ve spent a lot of time seeing what affects me and what doesn’t. Nice when you get it all figured out. Take care of yourself and I can’t wait to see your smiling face when you get to hold your new granddaughter for the first time. xo

      1. No worries, Denise. Unpleasant memories don’t bother me.
        I had seen many doctors regarding the allergy. The couldn’t figure out. Several doctors just gave me “bandages” to get by and passed on to the next doctor. Some “bandage” prolonged the inflammation.
        Anyway, I ended up stopping almost all of my medications except one, stopped all the herbs, and even tea initially. Now I introduced tea to my body one at a time. The allergy is still unknown.

    1. Thank you Sally:) I had fun doing this. I hope the second half of this year goes better for everyone xo

  9. I’m sorry to hear you’ve not been well. It’s good that you’ve been inspired by Colleen’s blog to try syllabic poetry. You’ve done very well with it! Colleen’s blog has inspired and helped me as well during my own dark period this year.

    1. It is amazing we can all come together and share through our love of poetry. I’m glad you came by, Liz and hope the rest of the year goes well for you 🙂

  10. These are wonderful verses, Denise. I also discovered Colleen’s syllabic poetry challenges this year and have enjoyed participating. Although it is time to get back to it. I’m sorry you’ve suffered so many losses and then health issues this year. Writing and nature are the two best tonics. Good to hear you’re taking care of yourself first now. I look forward to your next post!

  11. Thanks, Lisa:) I agree nature and writing are so healing. I’m glad I found Colleen too and share such a great format of words. I’m so happy you dropped by.

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