SADDLE-UP SALOON; COLLEEN’S DOUBLE ENNEAD CHALLENGE NO. 8

Written by Colleen Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on TankaTuesday.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Join us for #TankaTuesday! Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

September 20, 2021

Happy September! Welcome to a new Carrot Ranch double ennead monthly poetry challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at the Saloon with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have an entire month to write your poem.

HINT: You can find this post again by typing: double ennead challenge in the search box to the right of the Carrot Ranch banner. That will bring up the most recent challenge post. ?

Check out the poems from last month HERE

The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

With the first day of Autumn quickly approaching on September 22nd, my thoughts naturally turn to pumpkin spice, hot apple desserts, and warm cuddly blankets. Think about how this season interacts with our five (or six) senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.

“Your five senses help you take in information from the world around you. These senses are also a powerful tool to use when you’re writing. They help convey a message to readers by providing a strong image in their heads.” Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/article-5-senses-in-poetry

For example, think about Autumn and describe it using your five senses:

  • Taste: pumpkin spice, mulling spices, apples, pears, harvest foods, etc.
  • Touch: wet rain, cold fog, warm sunlight, soft blankets, bonfires, etc.
  • Sight: leaf piles, fall color, red gold and orange leaves, wheat sheaves, corn stalks, bales of hay, pumpkins, etc.
  • Smell: wet, moldy, wet leaves, decayed leaves, pumpkin spice, baked bread, etc.
  • Hearing: autumn rains, cool or stormy winds blowing, geese honking in migratory flocks, etc.

My example follows:

"Lady Autumn"

welcome Lady Autumn— 
wet dew on grasses,
foggy sunrise awash over the fenland
sunshine between shadows,
chilly to the touch

red-tipped maples glitter
embracing the Queen 
of all seasons, trouping their finest colors
like burnished leaves displayed
in a royal crown

nothing gilded can stay
every leaf must fall
for a vivid autumn is death's finest hour
cold rain despoils the bracts
death, decay follow

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

This month, write a double ennead poem dedicated to Autumn. Pay special attention to sensory words.

  • Post it on your blog or in the comments if you don’t have a blog.
  • Include a link back to this challenge in your post. (copy the https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Read and comment on your fellow poet’s work. Feedback from other poets is how we grow our poetry writing craft.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
  • I’ll visit, comment, and share your poetry on social media!

Now have fun and write some double ennead poetry!

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37 Comments

  1. Norah

    Beautiful, Colleen. I love your example. You make it look so easy.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Oh my gosh, it took me around an hour to write the poem. Thanks, Norah. I played with different words to get the right meaning. I can’t force it. I have to let the words come naturally. ????????

      • Norah

        It’s lovely.

  2. E.A. Colquitt

    I love Autumn! I think I’ll have a go at this one 🙂

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Great! Let the words flow! <3

    • E.A. Colquitt

      Here we are: https://eacolquitt.wordpress.com/2021/09/20/september-time/

      Some senses are more prominent than others, but this is only my first double ennead! Also, here’s my poem in the clearer font you get with these comments lol:

      September Time

      The Indian summer
      swansong brings wasps out,
      their buzzing, sharp, stripey warning. Time to hide!
      Rain brings aural release.
      Sweet, steaming cocoa.

      Music no longer rings
      through screens from Albert
      Hall, for cakes and sequins mist up TV, now:
      icy eyes stalk the tent,
      before glitter-belles

      and joyful Johannes
      feast on fashion. Time
      to flaunt my colours: deep green, bold burgundy,
      and thick, rich-purple socks.
      Time for Autumn’s shine.

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        How beautiful! I love your imagery. This is a fun form to write. I’m so glad you jumped into this challenge. <3

      • Charli Mills

        Great colors to flaunt, especially the socks!

    • E.A. Colquitt

      Thanks, everyone. I really enjoyed the ‘puzzle’ of fitting everything into 99 syllables (same with the 99-word flashes!). I’m afraid it’s pure vanity, really – I’m an Autumn, in terms of colour seasons lol. Always here for a good pair of socks, though <3

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
    Head on over and see Colleen Chesebro at the Saddle Up Saloon. Below is my response to her monthly double ennead challenge. Points awarded if you see how I bent the rules of the double ennead form.
    **************************

    Breathe in Autumn’s harvest.
    nature’s smudging cleanse!
    Every step a cidery press of scents
    green melting in fall fire
    summer ferns kneel brown.

    See Autumn’s praise-songs.
    Gatherings of voices!
    Choired trees exalting in crackling colored tongues
    tart air an apple bite
    wing strokes flute bell skies.

    Hear Autumn’s palette.
    Offerings of colors!
    Quicksilvered moonshadow songs of coyotes
    red leaves’ raining patter
    blue forgotten dreams.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      You know… it’s still 99 syllables no matter how you get there. LOL! All five of your senses are on overdrive and I love it. Your imagery is stunning, D. <3

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Aw, thanks. It’s a hard prompt to resist, this one, and all I had to do was look around me, and here it is. Autumn. I appreciate your flexibility with syllable arrangement! The double ennead’s been around long enough now, folks is sure to mess with it. 🙂

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        I need to say that in the next challenge. As long as we have 99 syllables, we should be good! LOL! 😀

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        And, it’s important to pay respects and to practice a form true to form before tweaking it. Just like any recipe. I did what I did to maintain the sort of repetitions in the beginning of the stanzas. But (mostly) adhering to the form made for a better poem, more focused and I like that I went longer than I might have but knew when to stop. I was going to try rhyming too but that was too much for me today and when you have another structure, like the repeating syllable count, it still stands as a poem. Yep, the double ennead is a thing. Good on ya, Colleen.

    • Charli Mills

      Your 11-word lines are a joy to the ears! My favorite was “Quicksilvered moonshadow songs of coyotes.”

    • E.A. Colquitt

      I love this. Along with Colleen’s example above, I can really feel the cold mists when reading!

  4. denmaniacs4

    Not quite what you asking for, Colleen, but as I sat in the Gymnasium, scrutineering for my political candidate, who won reelection, by the way, I worked on this one…The Shape of the Season-A Taste of a Canadian Fall Election

    A light sprinkling of rain,
    a hum of voices,
    a slow-moving line of Covid citizens,
    a masked electorate
    democracies feat.

    The Gymnasium is cool,
    fresh autumn air flows,
    a penetrating sound shakes the old hall.
    Rusty bolts on the move
    as hammers pound in.

    From eleven to one
    scrutineering fun,
    carrot, banana, orange, nary a gun
    under grey cloudy skies
    we shall overcome.

    http://www.engleson.ca

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      An autumn election from our northern neighbors certainly works for me! Thank goodness it worked out. I personally felt a sense of relief. It’s brilliant imagery which is what I was looking for. ????????

  5. Jules

    I saddled sideways and went in a slightly different direction… (I think I’ve touched on the senses, all though not specifically…And have used autumn as a season of life to fit with the other prompts):

    Esprit Egression

    Esprit Egression
    (Double Ennead)

    In the autumn of life
    The inkwell was still
    in use by the paper thin skinned hand that now
    shook just a little more
    while filling the page

    Letters scritchity scratched
    Black India Ink
    Ran, danced, echoed memories real and
    Imagined from the pen
    Capturing moments

    Until the cold winter
    Arrived leaving just
    The bare bones to drape on the author’s desk chair
    Would fame come now that death
    Had taken all else?

    © JP/dh

    Esprit: sprightliness of spirit or wit; lively intelligence.
    Egression: egress; a going out

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      That’s fabulous, Jules! I like where you went with the prompt! Yes… I love the imagery in your words. This: “…paper thin skinned hand…” tells us the age of the person writing without saying they are x number of years old. I love this description. <3

      • Jules

        I ‘modeled’ that line after some of my grandmother’s hands…

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        Excellent description. I like that. <3

    • Charli Mills

      Fame awaits the bold and the dead, Jules. I think perhaps fame after life would be the easier transition for paper-skinned author who has inked quietly through life undisturbed by paparazzi.

      • Jules

        You reminded me of a book I read of a gal who avoided the paparazzi – a writer, who then went disguised to her families hotel just to keep tabs on them – to make sure that they weren’t taking advantage of her largess. Complicated murder mystery – but the family had a replica of the authors house to give tours etc.

  6. robertawrites235681907

    I love your poem, Colleen, and I love the lead up to Halloween in the USA.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks, Robbie. I love Autumn. You’re at the opposite end of the spectrum and spring is starting for you, right?

      • robertawrites235681907

        Yes, and I love spring and summer. Autumn is nice but I hate winter.

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        LOL! I’ve gotten to the place where I appreciate all of the seasons. I shouldn’t complain at all. <3

  7. Charli Mills

    Okay, Colleen, I chose courage over comfort. I broke out of my prose-only familiarity and counted lines and actually enjoyed the pattern. Not sure if I got what I set out for but it’s my first. Thanks for our inspiration!

    In the Shadow of Pumpkin Lattes & Fall Sightseeing by Charli Mills

    pumpkin spiced hot coffee
    lures locals to drive
    thru the steel girders of the Keweenaw lift bridge
    defying construction
    zones and stalled traffic

    cars emit fuel fumes waiting
    to hum across the
    water that divides the peninsula
    where colorful autumn leaves
    beckon fall tourists

    the taste of pumpkin spice
    erases the thought
    that it wasn’t worth the costs to cross the bridge
    denial or excess
    we thrill to burn gas

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      That’s fabulous, Charli. You picked up on the natural rhythm! I love how you ended up with conservation message in conjunction with Autumn! Yay! You did it! ????????????

      • Charli Mills

        Ha! I didn’t pay attention to rhythm, I just kept counting. The double ennead works like a word constraint in the way that counting prevented me from overthinking. Thanks for the growth!

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        It’s like a word puzzle. It really makes you pay attention to your word choice.

  8. WildChild47

    Lovely poem Colleen 🙂 it certainly captures the essences and ambiance of Autumn, in all her/its complexity.

    I’m not a huge fan of syllabic poetry, but I did spend some time tinkering with this new-to-me form and came up with several different versions/ideas. I’m not sure I managed to really dig into Autumn from a sensory perspective – too many aspects to consider, but nonetheless, it was an interesting experience and form to try. Thanks for hosting the challenge 🙂

  9. Colleen M. Chesebro

    You’re most welcome. Syllabic poetry, like flash fiction, teaches us how to dabble in precise word choice. Of course, my favorites are the Japanese forms, haiku, tanka, etc. I like inferred meanings in poetry and there can be more than one way of interpreting the words. Syllabic poetry isn’t for everyone, but I’m thrilled you gave it a chance.

  10. RuthScribbles

    my link is here^ my muse left me. I decided to submit anyway. hopefully next month (few days?) my muse and i will be working together again!

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      We all need breaks. I need a huge break. My muse wants to break up with me because she’s worn out! ???????????????????

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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