Tanka: Where Peace can Grow

two whippets in winter jackets sniffing the frozen ground near wetlands

parallel lines
nature paints choices
between water and ice
reeds shuffle and wonder
how peace on earth can grow

© Xenia Tran

part frozen wetlands in Winter under a clear blue sky

We are deeply honoured and delighted that Frameless Sky Issue 13 on the theme of Our Connection with Nature is now available on DVD and YouTube link. The video features forty nature photographs by yours truly, poems by seventy-six poets from eighteen different countries, a special reading by Hemapriya Chellappan and music by Sascha Ende. A very big thank you to Chrissi Villa and Shloka Shankar for featuring my work and putting this beautiful edition together!

Frameless Sky Issue 13 Contributor Portraits

Wishing you all a very happy Monday and a happy Burns Night to our friends in Scotland,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 100, f/4.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/640 s – ISO 100.

PI Prompt: Parallel

Your Daily Word Prompt: Irenic

Looking Back at 2020 with Love and Gratitude

The mild Winter that began in 2019 continues into 2020 and we go hiking in other parts of the Highlands and Perthshire to make the most of the ice-free roads. Waves of Gratitude, Love at First Sight and Windows of the Soul become the most popular posts in this period and reflect some of these unexpected journeys.

News of the pandemic begins to filter through and on 23 March the country goes into lockdown. We can only go out once a day for exercise, all non-essential shops and services are closed. Many people begin to hoard and panic-buy, leaving the rest of us without essentials.

village store
the parrot tells us
there’s no bread

© Xenia Tran

(Bundled Wildflowers, Haiku Society of America 2020 Anthology)

Spring still has a few cold days before the temperatures rise. Our most popular posts of the season are Spirit Mountain, Pink Moon Rising and Circles and Spirals.

Without traffic and tourists, our air, our beaches, river and sea become cleaner than we’ve ever seen them before. The birds and wildlife are rejoicing. It is truly amazing to see nature bounce back as soon as humans retreat.

shaded meadow
a range of flowers
surrounds our nest
the lockdown gives us time
to see each other clearly

© Xenia Tran

(Ribbons, Spring/Summer , Volume 16 Number 2)

At the beginning of July our travel restrictions are lifted and we venture out for the first time in four months, avoiding all the tourist hot spots. Because it is crowded in the places we would love to visit we continue to spend most of our time close to home.

I learn how to make videos and include these with our new Look Inside and Shopping features for Sharing Our Horizon and Between Heather and Grass.

Trust, Buck Moon and Memories in Motion are the most popular posts in Summer.

We donated dog food, dog bowls and other items on the Wish-List to DOTS (Dogs on the Streets) with the proceeds from Sharing Our Horizon and made donations to Dogs Trust and Children with Cancer UK with proceeds from Between Heather and Grass. A huge thank you to all of you who buy and read our books!

Autumn begins with sunny, mild weather and glorious trails for walking. Aureate becomes our most popular Autumn post and the most popular post of the year, closely followed by Chosen Route and Daydream.

Through an unusual sequence of online encounters I meet someone who turns out to be a distant relative. He is able to fill me in about part of my ancestral history. Another contact provides me with old film footage that features them and the village they grew up in.

all souls’ night
my great-grandparents
play in the snow

© Xenia Tran

(Autumn-Moon Haiku Journal, Volume 4:1, Autumn-Winter 2020-2021)

two whippets in jackets looking at the beach and sea from the dunes

As Winter arrives we look back at an unusual year. We lost people from our haiku community and our local community, many local businesses struggled to survive. At the same time nature and wildlife were thriving.

the air so clean
in our lockdown days
a healing
pulsing through the stars at night
where earthlight weeps and breaks

© Xenia Tran

(Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2020, Volume 16, Number 2)

tidal outcrops in the firth with a cormorant drying its wings

We got used to new ways of working, walking, shopping and interacting with each other. We wear our masks and keep our distance.

two metres apart
no one walks between our words
on the pavement

© Xenia Tran

(Haiku Dialogue: Connection with Others, Troutswirl, 25 November 2020)

close up of two whippets on a sofa

With so many people now working from home, adoptions from animal shelters increased. It was lovely to see so many dogs and cats from shelters we support find their loving forever homes and we hope this is a trend that will continue.

If you are thinking about getting a dog or a cat, please consider adoption as your first option. Please consider adopting an older pet too if you can. We have done this several times and it is very rewarding.

his grey hair
full of sunlight
the sea retreats

© Xenia Tran

(The Bamboo Hut, Number 4, 2020)

two smiling whippets walking side by side on wet tidal sands

We want to thank all our readers and followers for your support and inspiration this year. We had more time to write and there was a lot to write about.

Feel free to browse the monthly archives for posts about the support within our community, a tribute to a poet lost early in the pandemic, the Hope project and many more moments that made this year so special.

Thank you to all the editors and publishers who featured my work in journals, anthologies and special features.

Huge thanks to Eve, Frank, Kristjaan, Misky, Ronovan and the team at dVerse Poets for a great variety of poetry prompts, to Becca, Sheryl, Kristian, Brian, Christine, Emily, Heather, Katherine, Ping, Punam and Tracy for your wonderful writing prompts and to Cee, Jez, Paula, Sue & Gerry, Cathy, Terri, Amy, Ann-Christine, Patti & Tina for your fabulous photographic prompts throughout the year.

A big thank you to all the healthcare workers and people who kept us fed and cared for during the pandemic.

We wish you all a blessed, happy, healthy and creative New Year!

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia.

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Tidings

Word of the Day Challenge: Wishes

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #129: Favorite Images of 2020

Tanka: Beloved Light

a black whippet in a jacket sniffing washed up leaves on the beach

shoreline gold
the scent of autumn
follows the river
each fleeting moment
we turn to the light

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a jacket sniffing autumn leaves washed up on the beach

We are deeply honoured and delighted that our poem Where Moss Flows has been published in Dance Into The World, The Tanka Society of America Twentieth Anniversary Anthology (2020). A very big thank you to Michael Dylan Welch for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful anthology together.

Front Cover of Dance Into the World

For a summary of recent poems featured in anthologies please visit our Anthologies page.

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.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 200, f/4.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 250 and f/5.6 – 1/100 s – ISO 200.

Nurturing Thursday: Like a River

Twiglet #206: Looking for Light

Word of the Day Challenge: Beloved

Haiku: Golden Glen

close up of two whippets in black jackets on an autumnal forest trail

breath of the glen
crowns of pine and leafless trees
stretch towards the light

© Xenia Tran

view across the glen towards the hills beyond

We are deeply honoured and delighted to have a new haiku (in Dutch) included in the Haiku-kantelkalender 2021. The calendar features fifty-two haiku by poets from Belgium and The Netherlands and is available from Haiku-centrum Vlaanderen (9 Euro per calendar plus postage). A very big thank you to Ferre Denis and the team for including my poem and putting this beautiful calendar together.

Haiku kantelkalender 2021

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/640 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/400 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100.

Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge #333: Life & View (Breath & Stretch)

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Crown

Haiku: Colours of Kindness

two whippets in winter jackets on a forest trail in autumn

fallen leaves
the kindness in
every colour

© Xenia Tran

Loch Dunmore in autumn with glorious colours

It was lovely to see the autumn colours at Loch Dunmore and we came home to some exciting news.

A Wish (the poem from which the second line became the title for our book Between Heather and Grass) and two haiku that were first published in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020: The Year of the Nurse, have been included in a heart-warming new book edited by Robert Epstein:

front cover of The Helping Hand Haiku Anthology

From the back cover:

Helping or serving is not only vital for survival, it is essential to living fully. As human beings, we all depend on one another in a myriad of ways. Across the spectrum, the coronavirus pandemic has magnified the urgency of mutual care and kindness like nothing else. Through acts of love, generosity, giving, sharing and caring, we make life a little easier, a little more bearable, for one another. We elevate ourselves in doing so and thereby embody the better angels of our nature. Join with the poets and artists from the world as they share the many fruits of giving and receiving help, care and compassion on behalf of fellow humans and nonhumans alike.

A very big thank you to Robert Epstein for including my poems and putting this beautiful anthology together.

Born from and for these extraordinary times, the Helping Hand Haiku Anthology is filled with kindness-centred poems and treats for the soul.

Wishing you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/80 s – ISO 400, f/3.5 – 1/60 s – ISO 250 and f/3.5 – 1/100 s – ISO 100.

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Autumn Stroll

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #120: What a Treat!

World Haiku Series 2019 (199) Haiku by Xenia Tran

We are deeply honoured and delighted to share our haiku with haiku friends in the world and appreciate each other’s haiku as part of the World Haiku Series 2019, celebrating the 330th anniversary of Bashõ’s visit to Kisakata at the same time. A special thank you to Mr Hidenori Hiruta for his beautiful Japanese translations.

Akita International Haiku Network

World Haiku Series 2019 (199)

Haiku by Xenia Tran

blossom haze

spring is passing

before our eyes

– from Between Heather and Grass – Poems Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets by Xenia Tran (Nairn, UK: Holistic Linguistics, 2019)

花のもや

春が過ぎて行く

目の前で

light rain

around the buddha’s feet

a sea of diamonds

– published in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2019 (Winchester, VA: The Haiku Foundation, 2019)

小雨

仏の足の周り

ダイヤモンドの海

sea pinks

sunlight draws her colours

around the rocks

– published on Whippet Wisdom blog

海のピンク

日光が色を描く

岩の周りに

these colours

the new and ever never

gifts from the sea

– from Between Heather and Grass – Poems Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets by Xenia Tran (Nairn, UK: Holistic Linguistics, 2019)

これらの色

新しい、かつてない

海からの贈り物

empty salad bowl

too beautiful to eat

these flowers

– published on Tranature blog

空のサラダボウル

美しすぎて食べられない

これらの花を

stillness of trees

the wind picks up where she left

View original post 285 more words

Haiku: Dreamcatcher

a blue and white whippet on the beach on a misty morning

dreamcatcher
our old telepathy
works again

© Xenia Tran

tidal outcrops in the firth with a cormorant drying its wings

Dreamcatcher was first published in Frameless Sky Issue 12, a poetry video journal featuring artwork by Hemapriya Chellappan, music by Corine Timmer and poems from more than fifty poets from all corners of the world. A very big thank you to Christine L Villa and Shloka Shankar for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Into the Warp and Woof, an anthology with a selection of contributions from the first ten issues of Frameless Sky, is now available in pdf and paperback format from Velvet Dusk Publishing.

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100, f/4 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 125.

Nurturing Thursday

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Connection

Haibun: Memories in Motion

a black whippet walking through the dunes below a pine forest

It’s our first journey to the bay since the hundred days of lockdown. In my mind’s eye we visited this pebbled shore a few times, walking through old photos and the memories collected. Now I can feel the wind buffet around us, see my grandmother’s face appear in the clouds once more.

learning to fly
the kindness of herring gulls
on bright water

© Xenia Tran

During lockdown I’ve been looking at new ways of merging poems and images and participated in a few collaborative projects with other poets, artists and photographers. The above video is the first I wove together and you can see the second one I produced in A Star Follows.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx.

Photographs and video by Xenia Tran.

dVerse Poets Poetics: 8th Year Anniversary

Twiglet #185: A Bookish Day

Word of the Day Challenge: Movable

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

Haiku: Firefly

a black whippet standing in a garden by a low wooden fence and japanese lantern

white currant blossom
in a world of his own
this little fly

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of white currant blossom and a little fly

We’re delighted that this haiku is featured in Haiku Dialogue: The Way of the Gardener, Troutswirl, The Haiku Foundation Blog, 10 June 2020. A very big thank you to guest editor Craig Kittner and post manager Lori Zajkowski for putting this edition together.

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/400 s – ISO 160, f/2.8 – 1/640 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/250s – ISO 100.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #142: Firefly

Word of the Day Challenge: Joy

Recent publications in journals, anthologies, video and full-length collections:

Taiga Video Feature

After an invigorating walk on the beach this morning, we received some lovely news from our friends across the pond.

an image of Loch Morlich with a tanka poem by Xenia Tran

Last month we were honoured and delighted to have the above taiga (a haiga with a tanka) featured as part of the Tanka Society of America’s 20th Anniversary celebrations. Twenty-one taiga were featured in total, created by tanka poets from around the world.

Christine L Villa has now brought these contributions together in a beautiful video for all of you to enjoy:

A very big thank you to Susan Burch and Christine L Villa for this wonderful project!

The original tanka and image from which our taiga was created can be seen in last year’s post Zen Meditation.

We wish you all a very happy Monday and a beautiful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #27

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Thingamajig

Word of the Day Challenge: Novice

Recent publications in journals, anthologies, video and full-length collections: