Here’s my tanka poem for Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Poetry Challenge. Two words were chosen and then we picked a synonym of them. Here are the words: Hint & Bold. I wrote this when our power was shut down, which meant I used my old paperback Thesaurus to find words to replace them.

The first line was going to be “The stagnant gray gloom.” That had fit the smoke we’ve been dealing with the last few weeks since those lightning storms.

But then came a strange dark orange that covered the skies from the fires this week. So I made a last-minute change. Thankfully, our power is back and we are still safe.

This is a surreal and anxiety-filled time for much of the west coast. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Ominous Orange

Filters through the evergreens

A rude reminder

Of the furious fanned flames

When nightmares come to life.

54 thoughts on “COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 194 #SYNONYMSONLY #Fires #orangeskies”

  1. What a timely poem, Denise! The sun here turn bloody red and ash is falling like snowflakes. My daughter sent me photos of where she is in Oregon and looked like yours also. We’re praying for miracles to stop the fires.

    1. Thanks, Miriam. I wish we did have snowflakes falling…my son is in Eugene and said how bad the air is there. He’s supposed to visit next week if he can get through I5. The orange was so strange to see. Yes, defintiely praying for miracles.

      1. Yes, someone said they got a evacuation warning. My daughter sent me photos of Portland. It was bad and she had power out since yesterday. Neighbor is in different grid and has power and they use an extension cord to get electricity.

    2. I’m glad your daughter can get power from her neighbor! We have a generator that runs some things for us which is great. Thank you, you stay safe as well xo

  2. Well done, Denise. You’ve captured the fear, the destruction, and the threat…all within a few lines. Bravo!

  3. It’s so scary what’s happening on the west coast. I’m glad your power is back and that you and your hubby are safe. I will definitely will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Your poem expertly captures this tumultuous and frightening time for the west. Keep safe, my friend!

    1. It is scary and hard to process how extensive it is. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for us.
      Poetry allows me to express what I’m feeling. Thanks, Mae xo

    1. Thank you, Eden. Yes the fires and air are both bad, hoping for early rains. I hope you are staying safe too xo

  4. Hi, Denise! Wow. You’re definitely in my thoughts and prayers. That foreboding orange sky in the photo pairs perfectly with your beautiful and ominous Tanka. You’ve captured the horror of the fires in the west coast. I’m happy you have your power back. Stay safe, my friend! <3 xo

    1. Thank you, Vashti. I’ve never seen anything like it before, it was more than surreal like being in a Mars landscape. I’m very happy to have my power back and have access to information over the internet. Hugs xo

  5. My heart ached for you as I read this post and poem, Denise. Fires ravaged much of our east coast last summer and that red glow became all too familiar. We spent three weeks on evacuation alert. I’ll hold you in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. I know just how stressful this situation can be. Stay safe. ❤

    1. Thank you Soooz. I was just thinking of your fires and this is becoming all too common now. It’s hard to stay on alert for lenghty periods of time. I’m hoping this doesn’t go on for the next several months and the rains come soon. hugs. xo

  6. Oh my goodness! I’ve been watching the fires on the nightly news. How terrifying! The orange color is so Apocalyptic! Please be safe, Denise. I know here in western Arizona we’ve gotten some of the smoke but nothing like what you are going through. Your tanka captures the terror you must feel. Hugs to you, friend. <3

    1. Thank you Colleen. That orange was nothing like I’d ever seen before and seeing it not only for myself but pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge its was likeI was looking at an alien landscape. I know the smoke is really traveling and I hope we get some rains soon. Hugs back xo

    1. Thank you Jessica. There have been some terrible fires the last couple of years, especially in Australia. This is the worst I ever seen here, but with less death so far.

    1. Thanks, Sandra, I hope I never have to hear that crackling unless it in my woodstove. So far safe though, but you are right it is dark times. xoox

  7. Great tanka! You managed to communicate the threat so clearly and so vividly. Hoping you and all those facing these fires stay safe and well, Denise.

    1. Thank you, Dora. Poetry is the best way for me to communicate what I’m seeing. I appreciate that and hope you stay safe and well too.

  8. The smoke is thick here today, as well, and I’m way up in Canada. I feel awful for everyone in the fire zones. Sending prayers and asking for rain dances winging your way {{hugs}}

    1. I can’t believe how far the smoke is traveling. Fingers crossed for the rain dance, I with you. Sending hugs.

  9. Denise, your poem captures the angst of everyone on the West Coast. My brother is in Portland, not super close to the fires that he has to evacuate, but the air is bad. I have lived in rainy Portland and south of Eugene in Cottage Grove. I never remember anything like this happening before. It is truly frightening. I’m praying for your safety.

    1. I hope your brother stays safe, Marsha. My son lives in Eugene as did my uncle. I never remember anything like this either there or here. Thank you. I’m praying for rain. Stay safe xo

      1. It is like a walk back in time, or at least it was the last time we were there. My best friend moved to Roseburg and we moved to CA. So the last time I visited her, we went there. But she’s been in Idaho for at least ten years. I am praying for you and all the fires up there. It is frightening. Keep safe, Donna. 🙂

    2. Eugene is a cute town with a goregous campus, I agree. We are doing pretty well in Nevada City so far. I hoping a good rain puts all the fires out soon. Thanks, Marsha xo

    1. I try to remember to check my spam, but don’t always. I’ve never understood why things get spammed or wordpress decides to unsubcribe me. Its never intentional though on any of our part;) Thank you, Jan. I lived in Northern California my whole life and seen droughts and fires but nothing like this. Its terrifying. Sending hugs.

  10. Extremely moving Denise, your words sum things up in a very concise way, steeped in empathy. Where you would usually associate bright colours with happiness, its so sad that this situation is completely the opposite. I hope things can cool down and people can keep themselves safe in these dangerous times.

    1. Thank you, David! Yes, orange is the color of a peaceful sunset or a flower but never a smoky sky from fires. I hope things cool down soon too and our fire season ends abruptly.

  11. So much different from enjoying an orange moon at the beach… (about a week ago).
    Stay safe and I’ll keep good thoughts for you and all who are living in that nightmare.
    I’ve got family who are also experiencing some fall out from all that smoke.

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