dappled (a tanaga)

Brain is the forest dappled,
with foliage of thoughts, puzzled.
Each nerve struck a dried twig breaks
leaking rash words without brakes.

Heart is the sea uncharted,
with no fences yet guarded.
Each thump opens more chambers
only for brave wanderers.

©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

In response to Blogging from A to Z Challenge and NaPoWriMo 2018.
T is for Tanaga.
The Tanaga is a Filipino stanzaic form that was originally written in Tagolog which to my ear is one of the more musical of languages. (Kumusta ka? Mabuti salam at) The form dates back to the 16th century and has an oral tradition. The poems are not titled. Each is emotionally charged and asks a question that begs an anwer. This form was found at Kaleidoscope.  The elements of the Tanaga are:
  1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
  2. syllabic, 7-7-7-7 syllables per line.
  3. rhymed, originally aaaa bbbb cccc etc., modern Tanagas also use aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc or any combination rhyme can be used.
  4. composed with the liberal use of metaphor.
  5. untitled.



neurotic grooves

Neurons and synapses
used to grooving 
fast and relentless
then comes the
sudden screech,
stop, brake.

The drum’s
beating groove
surrendered to
the piano’s gentle
a shift in melody,
slowed down
the catastrophe,

for the first time
the neurons learned
how to pause
and take a break.

P.S. The change in job is giving my mind a bittersweet feeling. I am used to having a lot of tasks to do, resulting to a stressed out mind. Now I have less work to do, inching to almost boring. But then, change is as constant as breathing. So there. 🙂

©2017 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Tadas Mikuckis@tadasmikuckis

In response to dVerse Poetics: How Are You Feeling Today?




Illicitous: An Imayo*

Blurred eyes missed your intense gaze, as I come near you.
Your face’s illicitous look, reveals your soul’s crooked.
Your dark eyes take off my clothes, but I keep my stance.
I know my womanhood’s worth, you’ll ne’er stand a chance!

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Unsplash.com

Word Inspiration: Sarah Doughty of Heartstring Eulogies (Thank you, Sarah!)


It seems that whenever I research a Japanese form, it involves an alternating 5-7 or 7-5 syllabic structure. The Imayo (present style) of the 12th century is no exception. This form creates long lines broken by caesura separating 7 and 5 syllables in the line.

The Imayo is:

  • a 4 line poem.
  • syllabic, written in 12 syllable lines broken by caesura after the 7th syllable.

Heart vs Mind: A Somonka*


Heart vs Mind: A Somonka*

Superstitious mind
intelligence beyond heart
mind over matter
neurons versus heart’s fast beats
who should be your life’s leader?

Fear not ‘i love you’
sometimes they are really true
nonetheless, let heart
beat with your clever brain’s wit
’cause love needs both: heart and mind.

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit:McKinley Law

In response to Daily Post: Superstition and Napowrimo Day 9.


Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write.


The Somonka, is a Japanese verse form that takes the frame of 2 tankas and carries a central theme of love. From that point there are differences of opinion in the scope of the subject and in how many poets are involved. The earliest Somonkas can be found as far back as the Man’yôshû, 1st century AD. They were the exchange of romantic poems between court lovers. Viola Berg’s Pathways For a Poet-1973 refers to the Somonka as the Rengo.

The Somonka is:

  • a poem in 10 lines, made up of 2 tankas.
  • syllabic, 5-7-5-7-7 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per line.
  • composed in the form of statement-response,
  • often written by 2 poets, one writing the statement the other the response but a single poet can write both parts.
  • titled.
  • unrhymed.
  • built around the theme of love.