Tanka: Sweet Music

a brindle whippet in a yellow and black jacket on a forest trail

sweet music
where rain drops meet the flow
of a woodland stream
the way two waters meet
within sight of a mountain

© Xenia Tran

rain falling on a mountain stream weaving through an autumnal forest

It is six months ago today when we first met Misty and set out on our journey together. And what a blessing she has been and continues to be.

We are very grateful that we found each other and wish you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week.

With love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #228: Diagonals

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #155

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)

Meeting Misty

A warm-hearted thank you to all of you who showed so much kindness and love after the loss of our beloved Eivor and Pearl last month. Your prayers, healing, comments, messages and cards have wrapped us in a warm blanket of comfort, love and light.

We had no intention of fostering or adopting another dog so soon until angels both in heaven and on earth brought Misty into our lives. She was the much-loved only dog of an elderly couple, who have cared for her since she was a pup. The woman passed away six years ago and her widower passed away recently.

a senior brindle whippet in a red coat on the beach

Misty is used to a quiet life and needs to be the only pet in the house. Her family are great animal lovers with a house full of pets and a lively toddler.

They contacted rehoming charity Give a Greyhound a Home and asked if they could find a Forever Foster Home for Misty. Misty is on medication for life for one health condition and on a special diet for another. She is receiving supplements for a third condition and a fourth condition is currently not life-threatening, though needs to be monitored.

a senior brindle whippet in a red coat running across tidal sands

The family visited us with Misty the day before we were leaving for a short break. In the midst of all our grief, Misty moved between us with love, kindness and grace and we felt the possibilities for healing.

There were tears. Above all, there was love. They left Misty in our care with her food and medication, her beds and blankets and a warm red coat.

portrait of a senior brindle whippet in a red coat beside an ancient pine

Here a new journey begins. We feel grateful and blessed to be able to care for this sweet soul in her twilight years and remain in close contact with her family.

Our walks are shorter and quieter, giving us special times together with all the beauty and magic that nature has to offer.

We will post here on Mondays and Thursdays, and continue to post on our sister blog Tranature on Wednesdays.

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a blessed Summer Solstice/Winter Solstice tomorrow,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Middle

Tanka: Innocence

a black whippet in a winter jacket on a shingled bank looking back over his shoulder at dusk

dusk falls
between driftwood and stones
a dog sees
winter’s light on water
river’s spirit in the bay

© Xenia Tran

Findhorn Bay at dusk with purple clouds and a faint golden glow above the hills and trees

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.

Tanka Thursday: Winter

Word of the Day Challenge: Innocence

Puente Poetry: Walkway to the Light

a blue and white whippet in a pink winter jacket pausing on top of wooden steps towards the beach

on the weathered wooden walkway
marram grass bursts through the slats
birds rest on the handrails
human hands no longer touch

~ structures built to help us ~

are smoothed by wind and rain
the last two years have taught us
to seek the light again
where natural kindness rises

© Xenia Tran

pink light between purple clouds at dusk over the Moray Firth

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.

PI Poetry Prompt: Structure

Weekend Sky #53

Looking Back at 2021 with Love and Gratitude

a black and white whippet in a winter jacket on a sun-lit forest trail

First of all we want to say a huge thank you to all our blogging friends, fellow poets, photographers and prompters who make this such a wonderful space to meet and share in these extraordinary times.

We are also grateful to the health service, rescue services and the large number of volunteers who continued to provide support for people and animals in need throughout the year – your work has been amazing.

We’ll reflect on the year season by season, listing the posts you liked the most.

two whippets in winter jackets on the beach in the snow

The year began with new travel and meeting restrictions in place and we enjoyed a rare covering of snow. With less traffic, the air quality improved and wildlife moved into town.

all is quiet
in winter’s lockdown
nature gives
and we gratefully receive
the deer near our windows

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2021, Volume 17, Number 2

The most popular posts in Winter were Shapes and Shadows (also featured in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2021), Blanket of Snow, Light in the Glen (first published in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal), Festive Memories, Stepping Stones (later featured in Poetry Ireland’s Weekly Prompt Series), and Serendipity.

Travel restrictions were gradually lifted throughout Spring and we had more freedom of movement. The season of fresh growth and flowers also brought the unexpected loss of one of our much loved vets in a mountain accident and the sudden loss of a dear friend who died of a condition she did not know she had. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends for whom this is the first Christmas and New Year without them and with all of you who have lost loved ones this year too.

a shaman plays
the piano
past the sorrows, new rivers
flow into this world

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Fall 2021, Volume 17, Number 3

The most popular posts in Spring were Faery Spotting, Ancient Harmonies (featuring the Baglama Saz), Earth Tones, Wild Voices, Sometimes the Wind and Flower Moon, a tribute to our vet Martina.

We were blessed with a long, warm Summer. People travelled from far and wide to spend time in the Highlands and most of us stayed close to home to avoid the crowds. In the season where it barely gets dark the days were long enough to make a few day-trips to quieter places.

waiting or leaving
the choices we make
when we’re free

© Xenia Tran

The Asahi Shimbun, 31 December 2021

water flowing down through a rocky gorge

We were delighted to be able to continue to support three charities close to our heart with the proceeds of Sharing Our Horizon and Between Heather and Grass:

The most popular posts in Summer were Dreamtime, which was also the most popular post for the year, Waves of Grass, Walking Back in Time, Kinship, Waterfall (later featured by Catherine Ann Cullen in Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence Blog) and A Fair Wind.

The warm temperatures from Summer continued into the first half of Autumn before the weather turned. With fewer tourists, this was the perfect time to roam again.

cinnamon tea –
the warmth that fills
an autumn evening

© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal Volume 5:1, Autumn/Winter 2021-2022

two whippets climbing over rocks on a hilly forest trail

The most popular posts in Autumn were Autumn Sun, Soul to Soul, Moon Gazing, Autumn Turns, Trees for Life (about our new involvement with the Trees for Life Conservation Project) and One Breath.

We want to say a warm-hearted thank you to the international haiku and tanka journal editors who featured my poems throughout the year.

Special thanks to Mr Hidenori Hiruta of the Akita International Haiku Network, who translated ten haiku poems by me into Japanese for the World Haiku Series 2020.

We were honoured to contribute to three anthologies in 2021:

… and delighted to contribute to two calendars for 2022:

Thank you again for all the love and support throughout the year.

two whippets by a dog bed looking up at the camera

As we wrap up and prepare to sing Auld Lang Syne, we send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2022.

May you be blessed with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Finale

Word of the Day Challenge: Auld Lang Syne

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #180: Favorite Images of 2021

Tanka: Halo Around the Sun

a black and white whippet in a winter jacket running through the dunes

the seamless flow
in letting go
when frost that starts at night
melts when the sun rises

© Xenia Tran

dunes and marram grass with the sea beyond under a blue sky

The halo around the sun in the header image was caused by ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

We will be back tomorrow with a special Review of the Year as we are preparing our countdown to 2022.

Wishing you all a happy Thursday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekend Sky #51

PI Poetry Prompt: Start

Word of the Day Challenge: Countdown

Sestina: Soul Circle

For Catherine Ann Cullen

A generous poet brings us a gift
of prompts and words and musings.
Raven nest with eyes that see
a circle of souls who share their quest
to nurture the earth and keep her wild,
when Imbolc gives rise to new voices.

Ideas that float can find a voice,
the shrine is lined with gifts.
In Heritage Week thistles in the wild
breathe with butterflies, amused
by truths in prickly questions
fallen from a paradise Dante could see.

The stepping stones we climb to see
eavesdrop on oceans’ voices.
They encourage a parallel quest
to both receive and share each gift
pulled from a hat by the muses
and marbled deep waters of the wild.

Autumn glitters in the wild.
The scattered leaves we see
by the gate are gathered by a muse.
The wind whistles through her voice.
There appears to be no limit of gifts
carving the path of this quest.

A blinding light eggs on our quest
and barbed beginnings in rewilding.
The saplings of poems are also a gift
that follows the moon and sees
a healthy world laced with voices
as ageless as that of our muse.

Thin ice and forbidding shallows spark the muse.
Our pockets are lined with questions
on love and nature’s survival. The voice
of the wind is a friend in the wild,
old pains are soothed by the sea,
each cushion of moss is a gift.

On an epitaph for the wild we can see we tried
guided by spirit and muses. Their voices remain
a sacred gift that shapes our soul circle’s quest.

© Xenia Tran

Catherine Ann Cullen, Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland, has been hosting a weekly Poetry Prompt on twitter throughout the pandemic and inspired forty three new poems I would otherwise never have written.

As her residency is drawing to a close I have attempted to incorporate all the prompt words I responded to with individual poems in the above Sestina.

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

PI Poetry Prompt: Gift

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #179: Serene

Haiku: Light in the Glen

a black whippet in a winter jacket looking past the wide trunk of an ancient pine

autumn gold –
the glen lit up
with double rainbows

© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Volume 5:1, Autumn/Winter 2021

late autumn sunshine on golden grass, heather and pine

The double rainbows were a wonderful sight and I captured them in the haiku as I couldn’t fit them in the frame with the lens I had with me.

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.

CMMC: December Color – Your Favorite Color

Wordless Wednesday: Run with the Wind

a black whippet chasing a ball on the beach, watched by a blue and white whippet
a cloudy sky over a windy sea with rolling waves

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Weekend Sky #50