Poetry Friday—Autumn–Haiku & Tanka Prompt

daring dahlia
ignites eyes, and autumn’s
© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Autumn!

I’m sharing a Tanka poem from the Poetry Sister’s September Poem Prompt. Our challenge: respond to another tanka “poem we love from the Poetry Friday universe. Choose to respond to an original poem of any sort, from anyone who participates in Poetry Friday’s poem. Thanks to all, Tanita S. Davis, Laura Purdie Salas, Mary Lee Hahn, Liz Garton Scanlon, Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Andi Sibley, Sara Lewis Holmes, and Kelly Ramsdell, look for more of these poems tagged with #PoetryPals.

I wanted to write about Autumn, so I started poetry-tanka-hunting… I remembered that Diane Mayr has written many Ekphrastic tanka poems. I headed over to her blog site Random Noodling and found this glowing tanka poem that she graciously allowed me to share, thanks Diane!

Tanka Ekphrastic Poem by Diane Mayr © 2012 all rights reserved; Art: Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer l, courtesy of ibiblio.org..

the use of gold
is no replacement for
inner glow
our time would have been
better spent laughing

© 2012 Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

My responding tanka multi-stanza poem reflects on Autumn’s entrance and Diane’s poem. My structure refers back to Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’  post on her blog, Today’s Little Ditty, featuring a Spotlight on Margarita Engle, where she mentions to keep our tanka syllable count under 30 or even under 26 syllables.


Autumn Queen dons her
fall finery, adjusts
her allure, sprinkling
gold dust arousing earth’s
innate incandescence.

Earth’s critters captured
by her regalia, gaze
upon her in awe,
taking in her ambers,
auburns, and robin’s blues.

Celebrate she says—
Fill fall with contagious
joy, love, and laughter,
spread your inner warmth till
human hearts enlighten.

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Laura Purdie Salas at her blog Small Reads for Brighter Days is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Laura! Laura’s sharing a couple tanka poems and a sneak peek at her forthcoming book, If You Want to Knit Some Mittens, be sure to stop by her blog!

About Michelle Kogan Art, Illustration, & Writing

Michelle Kogan is an artist, illustrator, instructor, and writer, creating colorful allegorical figure, flora and fauna paintings and children's illustrations, which have a sensitivity to endangered species, and the environment. She is an art instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Evanston Art Center and offers Plein Air Painting Workshops at nature venues in the Chicago area including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Lurie Gardens at Millennium Park. Visit her online Etsy Shop at: http://www.MichelleKoganFineArt.etsy.com and her website: http://www.michellekogan.com
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17 Responses to Poetry Friday—Autumn–Haiku & Tanka Prompt

  1. lindabaie says:

    I love Diane’s tanka (& painting) & your response, Michelle. There are glorious phrases within your poem and I especially like “adjusts her allure”, a brand new attitude to take for fall! Thanks! (I love, too, the way the dahlia’s petals turn in.)

  2. gailaldousmsncom says:

    Michelle, I love how you captured the dahlia’s lit up shades of pink and peach petals contrasting the dark green leaves, and the bud; beautiful. I love the layers of petals in dahlias. Your photo inspired me to write a haiku! Your Tanka reads like a beautiful picture book with your images painted in it. I love your word choices, personification, and message of joy and light. I especially love the lines “sprinkling gold dust arousing earth’s innate incandescence.” I love the message in Diane’s Tanka and her amazing painting. Thank you for sharing and your inspiration.

  3. gailaldousmsncom says:

    PS I love your haiku’s personification. I think “Autumn’s imagination” is my favorite phrase; there all great.

  4. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, your beautiful dahlia and poem make me want more glorious blooms in my garden and more sparks to light up my writing. I am so glad that you brought back one of Diane’s tankas. It is so marvelous and your response is such a compliment to Diane’s poem.

  5. Tabatha says:

    Like the Earth’s critters, I gazed upon that dahlia in awe. Wow! Diane’s poem makes a good point. Nicely done, all!

  6. What a beautiful way to fill fall! Thank you, Michelle. I love Diane’s poem, too. xo

  7. Michelle–so many beautiful words in your response–perfect for the resplendence of fall!

  8. maryleehahn says:

    I like the way your Autumn Queen used her gold, and how she, too, reminded us of the importance of laughter!

  9. tee+d says:

    “Celebrate!” she says – so much is queenly about that line! I love the original and the way the responses take the reflection of that inner golden glow and set it ringing.

  10. jama says:

    Gorgeous dahlia! Great job with your response poem, Michelle. So many lovely lines: I especially like the first stanza with that “gold dust arousing earth’s innate incandescence.” And Diane’s poem is wonderful too!

  11. Denise Krebs says:

    Michelle, thank you for sharing the process you used and the link to the Engle’s Orangutanka interview. (Interesting that the example pages of her book are often with the syllable count of 5-7-5-7-7. So, it’s still confusing to me about how people count syllables in haiku, etc. poems. Haha.)

    I love your beautiful Autumn Reverence poem. (What a great word to describe what you write about. My favorite lines today:
    “Fill fall with contagious
    joy, love, and laughter,”

  12. haitiruth says:

    Such an uplifting post! And that dahlia is exquisite! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  13. “innate incandescence”—what a glorious way to embody Fall! These response tankas are fun, aren’t they?

  14. Oh my, Diane’s tanka is quite wonderful! You brought ambers, auburns and the contrasting robin’s blues as light slowly fails–nice!

  15. macrush53 says:

    I really like the first stanza of the tanka… that autumn is donning her fall finery. The dahlia is stunning as is the haiku.

  16. Elisabeth says:

    What beautiful inspiration – I love the opening lines of your response “Autumn Queen dons her
    fall finery, ” … thanks for sharing both your inspiration and your response with us!

  17. janicescully says:

    Aren’t dahlias breathtaking? Your photo captures the detail. I love Diane’s tanka that lead me to think about the choices we make, what we value. Your response really captures her work and I wish for a fall full of joy and yes, much more laughter.

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