Tanka Prose: The Field of Everything

the cairn at Culloden Battlefield with fresh wreaths and flowers

The first gorse is in bloom and its warm scent of coconut and vanilla greets us as we follow the path across the moor. The rookery at Leanach Cottage is full of rooks and hooded crows. I wonder about the music the men who rest would have danced to and all their loved ones, who wanted to keep them safe.

ancient battleground –
the place where men fell
brimming with life
pilgrims and progeny
hear a skylark sing

© Xenia Tran

a path meandering through shrubs, moorland and trees with a blue flag on the right

This is another poem from a series I wrote at Culloden Battlefield during my visits in February and April. You can read two earlier poems here and here.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Elude

Highlights of 2021 – Thank you for the Love

First of all we want to say a warm-hearted thank you to all of you who visited, commented, inspired and prompted us with photo and poetry challenges. It has been another extraordinary year with beauty and loss, where kindness and magic was still to be found when we were ready to see it.

As in previous years, I am delighted to share a gallery of the posts you liked the most, season by season.

Winter

The most popular posts this season were Sunlight on her Wings (a haiku later featured in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2021), A Dash of Dazzle, Special Moments (featuring a tanka first published in Ribbons), Softly Softly, Happy Homecoming and Violet Ray.

Spring

Spring gave birth to many beautiful and creative initiatives where we could meet virtually and lift each other’s spirits.

In April 2021 Placing Poems invited poets to write about real or imagined journeys away from the stifling realities of the pandemic to create a poetic cartography of adventures for everyone to enjoy.

I am honoured and delighted that my poem Presence was selected for inclusion. You can find it on the map when you scroll north and click on the marker for the Cairngorms National Park. Presence was the most popular post in Spring and became the most popular post of the year.

Other popular posts in Spring were Natural Healing, Welcome to the World, Gold in the Shadows, Wonderful World (featuring haiku first published in the Asahi Shimbun, Autumn Moon Haiku Journal and Sharing Our Horizon) and Lily of the Valley.

Summer

Travel restrictions were lifted and tourists flooded into the Highlands. We decided to stay close to home to avoid the crowds and enjoy the magic of familiar places.

We also wanted to protect our area’s natural beauty for future generations and started the Tranature Grove with Trees for Life. The trees in our grove are carefully planted in protected sites in the Scottish Highlands where they will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future.

The most popular post in Summer was Caring for River Wildlife, featuring the calendar I contributed four photographs to in aid of our local wildlife trust. Other popular posts this season were Red Rose (featuring a tanka first published in Ribbons), The Changing Season, Dandelion Clock, Colours of the Setting Sun and A Postcard from the Country.

Autumn

Autumn started off warm and offered some glorious walking days where the colours were just beginning to change. A new calm had returned to the area and it was a joy to be out and about.

The most popular post in Autumn was Weathered Wood (featuring a haiku first published in Haiku Dialogue). Other popular posts were Garden Gold, A Serene View, Community Spirit, Stars on the River (featuring a haiku first published in The Bamboo Hut) and COP26 (featuring a haiku first published in the Asahi Shimbun).

Thank you for walking along with us here.

If you want to read more about our year, feel free to check out the 2021 highlights on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom.

We send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2022 – may your year be filled with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

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

Tanka: Red Rose

a red rose
how grandmother blushes
when she sees him
after all these years his voice
the longest in her mind

© Xenia Tran

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

When my grandmother moved into a retirement home she met her first True Love (from High School) at the breakfast counter and it felt as if they’d never been apart.

He placed a red rose on her breakfast plate each morning and they had one blissful, love-filled year together before he passed away.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #154: One Photo Two Ways

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Tanka Prose: Special Moments

faint green aurora just above the mountains across the water with a lighthouse and pier

As sleet mingles with snow, we find ourselves in a new national lockdown. To protect ourselves, to protect each other, we want to do the right thing. We stay at home once more, create our own rituals in the lull between storms.

lighting candles
on your beach and mine
we close our eyes
open them in unison
and feel the love arrive

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Winter 2021: Volume 17, Number 1

a faint green aurora over the hills under a star-lit sky

We had a faint aurora on Friday night, visible with the naked eye, and the hand-held taken photographs with a low shutter speed created an almost abstract effect.

The poem was written three months ago and we’re hoping to start easing out of lockdown in mid-April.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/8 s – ISO 3200.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #139: Special Moments

Weekend Sky #20

One Word Sunday: Light

Tanka: The Light Always Returns

snow-covered trees next to lit victorian street lights and parked cars

deep at night
the moon on snowy windows
sparkles, sparkles
the light always returns
your smile behind the lens

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Winter 2020: Volume 16, Number 1

dawn breaking in a snow-covered street with the street lights still lit

Wishing you all a wonderful new day,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/15 s – ISO 1600, f/5.6 – 1/20 s – ISO 1250 and f/5 – 1/25 s – ISO 800.

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Tomorrow

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word – Quintessential

Word of the Day Challenge: Generous

Tanka: New Year’s Day

part of a large driftwood tree on the beach covered in frost

winter moon
her frost flowers
crystallise
ancestral blessings
from this year to the next

© Xenia Tran

close up of part of a large driftwood tree covered in frost

Wishing you all a blessed, happy and healthy New Year!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/200 s – ISO 100, f/5.6 – 1/80 s – ISO 160 and f/5.6 – 1/125 s – ISO 320.

Carpe Diem #1842: End of Year

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #171: New Year’s Day

Tanka Thursday: Year

Tanka: Ambient

an abandoned shed in the woods

blackbirds sing
around the cobwebbed shed
a key turns
for a glimpse of you
tapping and chiselling wood

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Fall 2020: Volume 16, Number 3

an abandoned shed in the woods

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/80 s – ISO 400, f/2.8 – 1/160 s – ISO 500 and f/2.8 – 1/80 s – ISO 250.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #125: You Pick It

Your Daily Word Prompt: Ambient

Word of the Day Challenge: Architecture

Tanka: New World

close up of a small firepit on the beach

words of old friends
create new worlds …
by the firepit
we marvel as the sun sets
in fading lines of surf

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Fall 2020: Volume 16, Number 3

a lensball on a rock in the water at sunset

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful new week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/40 s – ISO 250, f/5 -1/8 s – ISO 1600 and f/4 – 1/20 s – ISO 800.

Earthweal Open Link Weekend #43

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #122: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Your Daily Word Prompt: Tidbit

Tanka: Only Silence

a church lit up at night with reflections in the water

there is no sound
from the puddles in our street
only silence
where the wind just blew
and rattled all the rafters

© Xenia Tran

The Bamboo Hut, Number 4 , 2020

light falling through the night sky

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/8 s – ISO 1600, f/6.5 – 1/15 s – ISO 4000 and f/6.5 – 1/1 s – ISO 800.

Carpe Diem #1837: Blowing in the Wind

Tanka: Morning Glory

a herring gull chick stretches one leg and wing

morning glory
a seagull chick stretches
one leg , one wing
on the unlit rooftop
where she will learn to fly

© Xenia Tran

a herring gull chick on a rooftop tilting her head at the camera

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/160 s – ISO 100, f/5.6 – 1/400 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #153: Morning Glory

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge #12: Seagulls

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Posture