Mother Earth Whispers (tanka)

So here’s my second attempt at writing tanka…Again I had fun trying my hand at it.

Thanks to Ramblings of a Writer for hosting the Weekly Tanka Prompt Challenge.  The prompt for this week (week 19) is “earth and nature”.


Mother Earth whispers

Softly through trees, on the wind

Telling wondrous tales

The importance of nature

Once gone, it’s lost forever

22 thoughts on “Mother Earth Whispers (tanka)

  1. Hey Sammi 🙂

    Your poem is my first introduction to the Tanka form, so I had to read a little in advance before visiting to understand what it was that I was actually viewing. Google offers the following brief description, which to be honest, had me lost from the start lol 🙂 ‘Wa means “Japanese.” Therefore, a waka is a Japanese poem. Tan means “short,” and so a tanka is a short poem, thirty-one syllables long. It is unrhymed and has units of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables, which were traditionally printed as one unbroken line.’

    I am therefore suitably impressed by your virtuosity and accomplishment! Setting aside Tanka theory to concentrate on the message within the poem, and it is a delightful read with both a distinct and natural flavour demonstrative of your sensitivity and firm connection to Nature. The closing 5 words of your poem remain with me long after the poem is read…a very powerful sentiment indeed. I wondered if the title were strong enough to be a stand-alone 3 word poem all by itself! 🙂

    As to the photograph…you know how much I enjoy a woodland scene…but I was curious to know when this leafy image was taken? There aren’t many trees in the wood I walk through that remain so well dressed, so I was assuming this is from a little earlier in the year?

    You Tanka was very much enjoyed and appreciated. Thank you for posting Sammi 🙂

    Enjoy your evening. Take care 🙂


    DN – 21/11/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin 🙂

      I think if I googled that I would be lost too. Luckily for me, an easy to digest explanation is to be found with the challenge, so puzzlement averted! 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and glad you liked the poem. Those last five words scare me quite a bit. We are losing our green spaces far too quickly these days… 😦

      Hmm…a three word poem – that would be something. Can those three words really convey that much on their own? And yet, perhaps they can…You have me thinking now… 🙂

      I was rather lazy with the photograph and recycled one I had already used elsewhere on the blog (just checked the file and it dates from August 2011! – I didn’t realise the photo was that old). However, I think the colours and the slightly out-of-focus quality works well with the poem, so hopefully for once, my idleness is justified 🙂

      Have a great week, Dewin! Brightest Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good evening Sammi 🙂

    How you doing? Many thanks for your reply and explanation of the photograph. I too enjoy the subtle colouring and blurring of the image, it does indeed add a certain dynamic to the photograph: a sense perhaps of movement through a space, or a suggestion of motion within Nature herself. It is a clever device used to good effect, and your idleness is wholly justified 🙂

    I think the title, ‘Mother Earth whispers’ works as a highly distilled poem for it demands a thoughtful response and asks questions of us such as: ‘what is being whispered and by whom?’, ‘can I hear what is being said?’, and ‘what is my association/connection to Mother Earth as a result?’ The last 5 words are indeed haunting and evocative, and sadly all to true. Curiously, as I read your reply, my thoughts turned to a post-apocalyptic film I remember from 1972 called Silent Running….you may have seen it or heard of it before? I won’t detail the plot, Wiki has a good entry at: if you are interested in reading further, but the opening lines tell the tale all by themselves:

    ‘In the future, all plant life on Earth has become extinct. A few specimens have been preserved in enormous, greenhouse-like geodesic domes attached to a fleet of American Airlines space freighters, currently just outside the orbit of Saturn. Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern), one of four crewmen aboard the Valley Forge, is the resident botanist and ecologist who carefully preserves a variety of plants for their eventual return to Earth and the reforestation of the planet. Lowell spends most of his time in the domes, both cultivating the crops and attending to the animal life.’

    One hopes with all sincerity that the film isn’t prophetic but serves as a warning for us all.

    Many thanks for the post Sammi and the discussion that followed. Take care, stay dry, and always keep smiling! 🙂


    DN – 22/11/2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dewin!

      I like your thoughts on the photo – about motion and movement. They led me to think it’s as if Mother Nature herself is there and present and active rather than being there and yet also being remote.

      How very perceptive of you! I hadn’t quite thought of it like that and now those questions have been posed, I can’t but help ponder on the answers…something that can’t be rushed but rather, arrived at slowly, thoughtfully, methinks, following each thread that unfolds in its exploration 🙂 It’s amazing where three words can lead when someone points you in a particular direction…thank you 🙂

      As for the film, I have not heard of it, but after reading the excerpt I too hope it’s not a sign of things to come! How awful would that be! Surprisingly, reading about that film for some reason put me in mind of The Day of the Triffids… It’s interesting how one thought leads to another 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Dewin. It’s always appreciated, and always an enlightening experience 🙂 Bright Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good evening Sammi 🙂

        Hoping your day has brought a bounce to your stride and left a smile on your dial 😀

        One wonders where the separation between Mother Earth and little ‘I’ begins or ends…we are after-all ‘of the earth’…merely dust in the wind 🙂

        Regarding Triffids…I like the way your mind works – ’tis Mother Nature biting back with vengeance and great fury! 🙂 I recall once seeing a Valentine’s Day T-shirt bearing the following line: When words cannot express the love you share, say it with flowers….send her a bunch of Triffids! lol 😀

        I am still pondering the 3-word poem and shared it with folk at work today, seeking opinion and response. I think as an exercise in self-reflection it worked quite well, and most people’s response was positive and thoughtful. It is true what you suggest Sammi….drop a stone in a mindful pond and watch the ripples of thought expand slowly outwards to reach the furthest shore of the imagination. 🙂

        Your post is enlightening…you are the seed-bearer planting thoughts and tapping roots and nurturing us with your crafted words. Thank you Sammi 🙂

        Enjoy your evening!


        DN – 24/11/2016

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin,

        That t-shirt is hilarious! 😀 I can only imagine the reception someone would get for sending it as a Valentine’s Day present. Lol

        How exciting, and what a great exercise to be part of; I bet it was a rewarding experience, listening to people’s thoughts on the subject. Fantastic 🙂

        Thank you as always, for reading and commenting, Dewin. It’s appreciated 🙂

        Wishing you a blessing-filled weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi 🙂

        Happy to know you were amused 😀

        The little exercise at work provided a range of responses – from total confusion to mindful reasoning, and even one or two who thought they’d totally ‘got it’, but couldn’t verbalise their thoughts.

        Always a pleasure to visit Sammi, thank you 🙂

        Take care, enjoy your weekend!


        DN – 25/11/2016

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hey Dewin,

        I hope you have had a good weekend 🙂 In the hecticness (the red squiggly line beneath that word is telling me I am now making words up, and I’m happy with that – hecticness should totally be a word!) that has been the last few days, I thought I responded to your comment, but only now realise that I didn’t. I’m so sorry for that.

        Who wouldn’t be amused by a triffid joke. lol 😀 It was only this summer actually that I came across the Day of the Triffids book, not having ever seen the film. It was a radio production and a very good one at that, which was followed by the sequel (which I didn’t even know existed), The Night of the Triffids. Now I can’t help but look for the menacing plants whenever I go out into the countryside…just in case lol 🙂

        I can certainly understand how some might think they got it but not be able to explain what it is exactly they got. I suppose in a way I feel the same. I can also understand the confusion that might arise from it – “Mother Earth whispers what?” lol

        It’s always a pleasure to have visit, Dewin 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Wishing you the brightest blessings for the week ahead 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good morning Sammi 🙂

        Welcome to Monday 28/11/2016 :)Thank you for your reply….how are you doing? Despite November’s soggy constancy, how did the weekend pan out for thee? I trust your days were Triffid free, they’re really not best company! I thought I had one follow me, I ran and ran and tried to flee, but it would not let me be, that roaring running Snap Dragon tree! 🙂

        I’ve not heard mention of The Night of the Triffids? It is a title I will research a little more, thank you. Ah, so you have an audio production! Excellent…and I’m so pleased to hear it was thoroughly enjoyed., the audio format adds great depth. I wonder what file format the BBC production uses on your copy? As it happens, a good friend prepared a number of Kindle titles for me on DVD, and included in their gift the BBC dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings 🙂 I am itching to listen but have decided to hold back until Christmas, and then listen to them all back to back. Having seen the films, it will be interesting to compare them to the books. Whilst Peter Jackson’s vision is inspired, I hope it will not influence my imagination to strongly…part of the joy is creatively visualising the story for oneself. I’ll let you know what I think 🙂

        I’m liking that word ‘hecticness’…one for the urban-dictionary, I think 😀 Its sound reminds me of a hiccup lol 🙂 As hectic as your weekend may have been, I imagine it was both fruitful and prosperous – and no doubt you’ll reel off a list of completed chores that will put my efforts to shame…it’s the same every week: you rise to write, and write to rise, and fill pages with your storytelling words. I struggled a little to get 200 lines done and down but not done and dusted…I’ve a feeling there’ll be a lot of edits to do. However…I sense the stories spooling threads are entwining upon a single reel, and there’s a little light at tunnel’s end. I may make the decision to publish Chapter 5 in three parts…not only to give me another two weeks to conclude part 3…but because it’ll be too long for one posting otherwise. I’m aiming for Wednesday evening to post part 1 🙂

        Mother Earth whispers…perhaps it is a prayer for her children to hear; perhaps it is the song in her heart? You know, maybe it is not so much ‘what’ She whispers that is important, more that we want to listen and might hear her when She speaks?

        I had a little moment of wonder when walking to work on Friday morning. It was Sunrise as always as I crossed the Heath and came to the foot of the red-leafed tree I mentioned once before…Her delicate branches are now laid bare, their braid a fallen red hue, the Sycamore’s have shed their golden stars, as autumn hurries through. I stood and watched as the wind caught the leaves and, still attached to the floor, lifted them onto their leafy points. Morning sunlight, cast bright in sour lemon, gilded the leafy stars with a transparent shine, and for one magical moment it appeared the Heath-land were covered by a blanket of fallen stars…as if the heavens had fallen to the forest floor, bled away her swarthy colour, and left her diamonds scattered on dew clad blades. Beautiful. I call such moments, Disney moments: hyper-real, enchanting, drizzled with magic and smothered in pixie-dust from the tip of Wendy’s willowy wand 🙂

        Well Sammi…it’s 12:55pm and time for lights out. This bedraggled cat must make hast to his bed and slip away to Zzzzzzzzz. Another long day at the Gulag beckons, another day tethered to a desk, weathered by disinterest, and buried under paperwork, R.I.P lol 😀 I’ll make it fun somehow!

        Hoping your day brings shine and warmth to your merry smile 🙂 Take care.


        DN – 28/11/2016

        P.S: Sizzles says, ‘hey you, what ya got cooking?” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin!

        I am doing well, thank you. I hope you are too?

        Yay! I’m so excited for Wednesday (if you decide to post the next part of the poem then, if not I’m excited for whenever it goes live, naturally 🙂 )

        As for your rhyming triffid ditty – Oh, how you make me giggle, Mr Dewin lol 🙂 I found both the Day of the Triffids and the Night of the Triffids on the BBC Radio 4 extra website, so I listened to it online which was great. Listening to the whole of The Lord of the Rings sounds fantastic – that’s how I like to watch the films as well as The Hobbit trilogy. You can’t beat it 🙂 I haven’t listened to the books only read them, but I really hope you enjoy them. And yes, you will have to let me know how it goes 🙂

        Yay for hecticness! Lol And hiccup – I totally get that! 200 lines is a hefty accomplishment, whether polished or not, especially in terms of your inspired poetry. My output this weekend certainly falls short…a few sentences here, a few lines there and that’s about it…

        Your walk to work on Friday sounds like a treat. I’m completely lost in the imagery you describe and I envy you for seeing such a wonder. The colours you recount are amazing, but it is the gilded leafy stars that linger after reading… I understand why you call them Disney moments 🙂

        And you can tell Sizzles (lol) that I’ve completed all the Christmas puddings and baked two birthday cakes in the past few days. Up next, Christmas cakes and mince pies…

        Have a bright and blessed week, Dewin! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Sammi 🙂

        My working day comes to a close and suddenly all seems well in life again lol 🙂 I rocketed out of work this evening and all but ran to get the early train…my usual 25 minute walk took 16 minutes, which must have set some record or another: at least it did in my book anyway!

        Happy to hear your Monday went smoothly and that the weekend was fruitfully enjoyed in various tasty ways. Sizzles, who always blushes when you speak to him (lol), said he somehow knew you’d been cooking baked treats…apparently when he woke late Sunday afternoon, his room was filled with the wonderful smells of baking cakes and Christmas puddings thick and fragrant in the air. I thought it might inspire him to grab the mixing bowel and get cracking, but alas, I think he’s already winding down after a long year and considering beginning his hibernation early lol 🙂 I guess that means I’ll have to make my own cakes this year, again. Good grief! 🙂

        Thank you for advising on BBC’s Triffids adaptation. I’ve just a wee peek and it doesn’t seem available at this time, but I’ve successfully located another option, with free download at:: 🙂 Chapter 1 is playing now…the remainder I shall peruse at my leisure as and when time permits. It’s very enjoyable so far…the writing excellent, the story a classic, and the narration, easy to listen to. Thanks Sammi 🙂 I shall let you know what I think of LoTR.

        The Heath will be sorely missed when I change offices in a couple of weeks time…which is the compromise in transferring to a location closer to home. She has been very generous and loving to me over the past three years and provided many treasures and keepsakes. I’ve come to accept very easily that the hearth of the Heath is the heart of my beautiful green goddess. A colleague who has recently started commuting to work alights at the same stop as I and now joins me on my morning jaunt. He is also a Virgo, of similar age and with similar interests to mine and we enjoy the wander each morning. It somehow seems appropriate that as I leave my leafy Queen, so she is joined by another Virgo soul with a penchant for Nature and the arts. It speaks of a continuation in her, another appreciative soul who will grow to love her as I do and keep her company for an hour each day. I like to know she will not be alone. This morning I showed him the enchanted pond secreted away in the woods, which is now swollen full again following recent heavy rains. She was cast a light shade of pink today, still calm and serene and unruffled, and with the tall thick-trunked trees surrounding her lit with deep orange fire…another Disney moment perhaps? She looked amazing, and I am certain to miss her terribly 🙂

        Glad to hear the Triffid ditty mused a giggle, left a smile and was enjoyed – pesky Snap Dragons, one just cannot trust ‘em! 🙂

        Thank you for replying with both fun and laughter. You’ve teased me with talk of cakes and left me eager to get to the shops for something sweet to accompany my cuppa! You minx you lol 🙂

        Look after you Sammi and best wishes in all ways for always and always. Have a wonderful week!


        DN – 29/11/2016

        P.S: I trust your Anthology project is going well! 🙂 I ran out of time to submit on this occasion, I’m sorry…perhaps next time. Also, I wanted to take a little time to enjoy your recently published stories, so have bookmarked both for the weekend. Something to look forward to. Thank you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Dewin, again 😀

        Wow, it sounds like you were eager to get home and put work thoroughly behind you for the evening. I hope you were rewarded with the most pleasant of evenings. 🙂

        Aw, Sizzles is just the sweetest thing on this planet 🙂 And I don’t know how you can tell when he blushes, through that bright pink fur lol Aw, poor Dewin. When cuddly bears won’t do as they are told, I don’t know what you are to do 🙂

        Kindred spirits are always a blessing. How amazing to find someone so alike who will appreciate her as you so obviously do and just in time to pass the baton, as it were, to them. Synchronicity, perchamce? What a relief to know the heath will be in good hands after you change offices. The “enchanted pond secreted away in the woods” sounds so magical, so special. No wonder you will miss her. And I will miss your tales of her 😦

        Me? Tease you? *slaps forehead with back of hand in shock * Never! 😀 I’ll be thinking of you as I eat my mince pies…(I was totally laughing as I typed that!)

        The anthology is almost complete – I’m both really excited and terribly nervous about it. It’s looking good and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each piece in it. No apology is necessary for not submitting 🙂

        Wishing you the Brightest of Blessings for the rest of the week!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Weekly Tanka Prompt Challenge – Week 20 – Thanksgiving & Black Friday – Ramblings of a Writer

  4. a tanka reply
    your empathy shared
    your tanka nice read
    your grasp of nature ailing
    sad voice to our ears
    breezes whispering
    down woodland glades
    nature crying help
    ere the world could understand
    evolution dissolving

    Take care,


    Liked by 1 person

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