#TankaTuesday #Poetry #Challenge #265! #ekphrastic #haibun #writingcommunity #poem #hope #poetrycommunity #indiepoetry

Here’s is this week’s Colleen Chesbro Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #265. It is ekphrastic which means to write a poem inspired by an image.

This painting was chosen by Colleen and Selma.  Click here to find out why.

Like most, I am deeply affected by the images and stories coming from the Ukraine invasion and this came out in my words. It offers no answers, only a bit of faith and hope.  This is a haibun which is a combination of prose and haiku, or in my case a senryu.

Title: Russian Dancers Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris) Date: 1899 via https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459097


The women walk quietly to the field as the war erupts around them. Fields that once held abundant crops were withered death under their comrade’s blood. The cities once teeming with commerce and progress are reduced to rubble, while its people hide underground or fight in the streets. Hope is dim as these women’s voices are raised in song. They begin the sacred dance handed down through the generations for just this moment when hate and fear were the only options. The fighting rages on as their song grows, and a faint sparkle of joy moves into their feet and fills their bodies. They are the light in the darkness.

gift from ancient times

twirls in pink, blue, and yellow

healing dance of love

54 thoughts on “#TankaTuesday #Poetry #Challenge #265! #ekphrastic #haibun #writingcommunity #poem #hope #poetrycommunity #indiepoetry”

    1. Thanks, Jacquie! It is sure hard not to feel it and a few tears were shed writing it.

  1. I hope and pray that their ancient light still shines through the darkness, Denise! Well written. The illustrator for my children’s book is from Ukraine. I just searched for his profile but it’s not there anymore. How sad.

    1. I pray for the same thing, Miriam. I hope your illustrator has found a safe place!

  2. This brings to mind a short video I saw on Fox–maybe other stations, too–of a man walking peaceably down a beautiful street, green with grass and plants, when a massive bomb blows up in the near distance. It is jarring to say the least.

    1. The footage from there has been heartbreaking. To think everything was normal only a couple of weeks ago and now it’s not. Very jarring.

    1. Thank you, Mae 🙂 Their spirit reaches out and definitely inspires. There is always hope no matter how faint it is.

    1. Thank you, Staci 🙂 You are right it is sometimes hard to find, but its always there.

    1. Thank you, Colleen 🙂 It was an inspiring image to work from that brought up a lot of emotions.

  3. I’d say you’ve hit the mark on what’s going on over there, Denise. Beautiful and haunting haibun. I’m learning so much about the various styles of poetry from these posts. Thank you for that.

    1. Thank you, Mark 🙂 The image brought a lot to the survive.
      Glad to share what I’ve learned. Still so much more to exlpore!

  4. Very moving, Denise. I love the thought of women as the ones bearing the sacredness and hope of life, in spite of the destruction raining down around them. Beautifully done. Hugs.

  5. This is so inspiring, the situation caught so well. The Russians who are not zombified by the media know the truth and I am sure many of them would love peace and be happy to just end this war! So often the ordinary people can be the light in the darkness 💜💜💜

    1. Thank you, Willow 🙂 It is the ordinary people who can do so much and be that light. I think it more than we realize or that’s my hope. xo

  6. They begin the sacred dance handed down through the generations for just this moment when hate and fear were the only options.

    Beautiful and empowering, D. L.


    1. Yes, sonetimes we do. I will keep writi g through all the emotions to get to that point. Xo

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