Tanka: Gulls and Geese

a smiling brindle whippet in a red jacket walking across tidal sands

gulls chatter
on the other side of the rocks
looking round
the sky suddenly fills
with a thousand voices

© Xenia Tran

tidal pools, rock pools, rocks and the sea under a blue sky

In other news, we are delighted that my poems First LightEarthlightAccepting the Sun and Shenandoah have been included in The Haiku Way to Healing Anthology edited by Robert Epstein (2022) …

Robert Epstein The Haik Way to Healing Anthology

… and for our Dutch readers:

OchtendschemerRozen Snoeien and Nachtvissen have been included in Aan Het Woord 2022 – Lange Verhalen, edited by Riet de Bakker, Jan Guichelaar, Henk van der Werff and Jean-Marie Werrebrouck, published by Haiku Kring Nederland and Haiku-centrum Vlaanderen (2022).

Lange Verhalen, Aan het Woord 2022 Anthology

Dorpswinkel appears in the Haiku-kantelkalender 2023. The calendar features fifty-two haiku by poets from Belgium and The Netherlands and is available from Haiku-centrum Vlaanderen. A very big thank you to Régine Dendooven and the team for including my poem and putting this beautiful calendar together.

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Tanka Thursday: Round

CMMC: November Pick a Topic from my Photo (Water, Reflections)

Haiku: Rising Sounds

Black Linn Falls

close up of a brindle whippet in a purple harness in the forest

rising skywards
what we sense and follow
the sound of water

© Xenia Tran

silky waterfalls in the river Braan

We are delighted that our haiku Eyes so Blue, first published in Presence #72, March 2022, has been included in the Dawn Returns, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2022. Warm thanks to John J Han for including my poem in this beautiful collection.

Front Cover of HSA Members' Anthology 2022

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #148

Supporting Children with Cancer UK and Dogs Trust

We are delighted to make another donation of £150 to Children with Cancer UK with proceeds and royalties raised through Between Heather and Grass during the 2021-2022 tax year.

Between Heather and Grass is our second book of poems and images inspired by our beloved whippets Eivor (2010-2022) and Pearl (2011-2022), and was especially created in memory of our nephew Jamie.

Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children’s charity whose vision is a world where every child survives cancer. They work to develop safer, kinder and more effective childhood cancer therapies, with fewer toxic side effects.

They are there when families need help most. By funding welfare projects, delivering unforgettable events and fostering a loving environment, they strive to make the world a happier place for the children who are diagnosed with cancer.

It is with a warm heart and gratitude we are able to continue to make a donation to this amazing charity.

To find out more about their work or if you want to support the charity directly please visit their website here.

2022 Donation Certificate from Dogs Trust

We are equally delighted to donate the same amount once more to Dogs Trust this year.

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and has been caring for dogs in need for over 130 years. They take in dogs that have been abandoned or handed in by owners who could no longer care for them and find them new, loving forever homes.

They have twenty-one rehoming centres across the UK and provide Home from Home foster care for dogs who are not comfortable in kennels or when the kennels are full, and Freedom Project foster care, special foster homes for dogs from families fleeing domestic violence. In addition to these services they run educational programmes in schools, training programmes for owners and actively campaign on dog welfare-related issues.

To find out more about their work, adopting a dog, fostering, volunteering or to support Dogs Trust directly, please visit their website here.

haiku Divine Love by Xenia Tran from Between Heather and Grass

This book is now also a tribute to Eivor and Pearl and the wonderful journey through life that we were blessed enough to share.

A very big thank you to all you fabulous people who have bought a copy of Between Heather and Grass, left a review and helped to spread the word.

If the book is new to you feel free to click on the icon below for a peek inside …

Book to Look look inside cover for Between Heather and Grass

Wishing you all a blessed Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Journey

CMMC: August Alphabet – Letter ‘N’ in the Middle of a Word (Donation)

Supporting GAGAH

Give a Greyhound a Home

We are delighted we were able to make a donation of £105 to Give a Greyhound a Home (GAGAH) earlier this week with funds raised from the sale of Sharing Our Horizon during the 2021-2022 tax year.

Since we are currently caring for Misty as our Forever Foster on behalf of GAGAH and Misty’s family, it seemed a natural choice.

GAGAH was established in 1999 to raise awareness about ex-racing greyhounds and ex-working lurchers and to rehome as many of these wonderful hounds as possible throughout Scotland.

They are a non-profit organisation, run by a dedicated team of volunteers who give their time and effort for free.

If you are interested in supporting GAGAH directly through donations, fostering, adopting or buying goodies for your hound from their Happy Hound Store, please visit their website where you can find out how to make a positive difference.

donation certificate for GAGAH

A very big thank you to all of you who have bought a copy of Sharing Our Horizon, left a review and helped spread the word.

Warm-hearted thanks also to the Authors’ Licencing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and The Society of Authors (SoA) for launching Author Share, their Re-use Royalty Initiative for Writers where authors receive a royalty share when their books are sold second-hand through World of Books and Bookbarn International.

Every penny helps and more royalties received means more money to help hounds in need.

Sharing Our Horizon is the first book we published featuring poems and photographs from our blog, inspired by the walks with our beloved whippets Eivor and Pearl in the Scottish Highlands.

If the blog or book are new to you please click on the icon below for a peek inside …

book to look widget cover for Sharing Our Horizon by Xenia Tran

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CMMC: Pick a Topic from my Photo (blue, waterscape, words)

Tanka: Sea Lace

an elderly brindle whippet in a red jacket climbing lichen-covered rocks

sea lace
the first step
so small
nobody knew
the size of the ocean

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2022: Volume 18, Number 2

lichen-covered rocks on the beach with the sea behind them

Wishing you all a blessed Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #131

CFFC: Landscapes or Seascapes

Thursday’s Specials: Pick a Word in June 2022 (Bouldery, Perched, Surging)

Tanka: Mist of Seasons

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket sniffing the grass beneath a wire fence

morning mist –
the slower I go
the more I see
kind souls who went before me
fly with me in the wind

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Winter 2022: Volume 18, Number 1

a senior black whippet in a winter jacket walking across a hill beside a fire fence

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Season

Tanka: Snow Melt

For Seamus

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket walking towards a forest stream

snow melt
how soon our seasons feed
the bubbling stream
I still see you bending down
to drink its water

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Winter 2020: Volume 16, Number 1

Member’s Choice Tanka, Honourable Mention, Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2021: Volume 16, Number 2

a stream filled with snow-melt in an ancient pine forest

Seamus, a sweet lurcher whom we adopted many years ago who lived to the ripe age of thirteen, would always stop here for a drink from the stream. Ever since his passing, we find ourselves pausing at the very same spot on our walks, as if we are still waiting for him to have a drink. One of those moments inspired the above poem, which was first published in the Winter 2020 edition of Ribbons.

The poem was subsequently selected by Susan Constable as a Member’s Choice Tanka with an Honourable Mention and published in the Spring/Summer 2020 edition of Ribbons. This was her commentary and interpretation of the poem:

Xenia’s tanka adheres to a more traditional tanka form, with its s/l/s/l/l lines (both visual and aural), and its use of vivid images. I appreciate the assonance (the rhyme of vowel sounds, not necessarily the repetition of a particular letter) which appears in the words seasons/feed/stream, the alliteration of B’s in bubbling/bending, and the numerous T’s throughout the tanka. There’s also a lovely rhythm to the lines which are written with an almost-perfect iambic metre. All these pleasing sounds echo and enrich the arresting imagery.

This tanka provides some comfortable dreaming room, so my interpretations may not match those of other readers or, in fact, those of the poet. However, I sense the all-too-fast passing of time as winter melts into spring, and the poet and/or narrator grows older. I also feel the loss of a loved one who once bent to drink from this stream and, metaphorically, from Life itself.

Thank you Susan for selecting this poem as one of your honourable mention poems and for your thoughtful interpretation.

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CFFC: Earth

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Guide

Word of the Day Challenge: Lyrical

Haiku: Eyes so Blue

two whippets in black jackets walking onto the beach from the dunes

eyes so blue
the child’s first glimpse
of the sea

© Xenia Tran

Presence #72, March 2022

shingle and dunes in the foreground above the beach and water

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

We are delighted that the above haiku has subsequently been included in Dawn Returns, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2022.

Front Cover of HSA Members' Anthology 2022

Word of the Day Challenge: Jubilant

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word – March 2022 (asperous, effusive)

Tanka: Pieces

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket on the shingle above the beach

driftwood trees
after the storm
men gather
with bent backs and rusty saws
we help pick up the pieces

© Xenia Tran

Take 5ive, Issue One, Twenty Twenty Two

close up of sawn off pieces of driftwood

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Variation

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Manifold

World Haiku Series 2021 (52) Haiku by Xenia Tran

The Akita International Haiku Network has organised the World Haiku Series 2021 ‘as a token of gratitude to our friends for their great contribution and their deep love of haiku’ and I am deeply humbled, honoured and grateful to contribute haiku and images to these special series too. A warm-hearted thank you to Mr Hidenori Hiruta for his beautiful translations, to the Akita International Haiku Network for the organisation and to all the sponsors who made this series possible.

Akita International Haiku Network

1

st brigid’s day

hand in hand we brace

the snow storm

(Whippet Wisdom blog, 1 February 2021)

聖ブリジッドの日

手をつないで気を引き締める

吹雪

2

settling down

three generations

of oxen

(Asahi Haikuist Network, The Asahi Shimbun, 5 February 2021)

くつろぐ

牛の

3世代

3

cherry blossom

an old pen

fills with ink

(Autumn Moon Haiku Journal 4:2, Spring/Summer 2021)

桜の花

古いペン

インクで満たす

4

desert flower

carving out this life

around the sun

(Haiku Dialogue, Troutswirl, The Haiku Foundation Blog, 4 March 2021)

砂漠の花

この人生を切り開く

太陽の周りで

5

lost and found

a barn key glitters

in the moonlight

(Asahi Haikuist Network, The Asahi Shimbun, 17 September 2021)

遺失物取扱所

納屋の鍵がきらめく

月光の下で

6

first light

we flock to save

the stranded dolphin

(Haiku Dialogue, Troutswirl, The Haiku Foundation Blog, 4 August 2021)

最初の光

救うために集まる

岸に乗り上げたイルカを

7

autumn leaf

this life and the next

one breath

(Whippet Wisdom blog, 7 October 2021)

紅葉

この人生と次の人生

一息

8

lighting the…

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