Haiku: Their Own Nest

close up of cherry blossom

their own nest
between rooftops
cherry blossom

© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal 5:2, Spring-Summer 2022

cherry blossom blooms and buds

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 and healing have brought us great comfort.

We had no intention of fostering or adopting another dog so soon until angels both in heaven and on earth brought a sweet elderly whippet into our lives whose owner had passed away unexpectedly.

We look forward to introducing her on our sister blog, Whippet Wisdom, early next week.

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Your Daily Word Prompt: Catenate

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 here 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

Wordless Wednesday: Scintillating Sunrise

sunrise over the harbour with a leafless tree reflected in the water
sunrise over the harbour with a leafless tree reflected in the water

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Your Daily Word Prompt: Scintillate

Weekend Sky #52

Haiku: Window Feeder

window feeder
a robin people-watches
while he eats

© Xenia Tran

a robin looking in from the window feeder

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Window

Your Daily Word Prompt: Amenable

Haiku: Entwined

cherry blossom
an old pen
fills with ink

© Xenia Tran

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

We are deeply honoured and delighted that the above haiku has also been included in the World Haiku Series 2021, with a beautiful Japanese translation by Mr Hidenori Hiruta.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Twine

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Silent Sunday: Swan Love

a pair of swans bonding with the cob dipping under water
a pair of swans bonding with their necks entwined
a pair of swans bonding on the river
a swan pair bonding on the river

The last cygnet has finally fledged and the swan pair are busy bonding and mating on the windswept river.

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/6.5 – 1/200 s – ISO 100, f/5.6 – 1/1000 s – ISO 400 and f/5.6 – 1/250 s – ISO 100.

Silent Sunday

CFFC: Birds of all Kinds

Your Daily Word Prompt: Overture

Looking Back at 2020: Thank you for the Love

The year began full of promise and we had a new pair of swans moving into the river before any of us had heard of Covid-19. Two days into Spring we went into lockdown and travel restrictions weren’t lifted until early July.

Many of us had to find new ways of working and being and I want to thank all of you who shine a light and are an inspiration to others.

The emphasis this year was on collaboration and I contributed forty-eight poems to a variety of journals, videos, anthologies and works of art.

My heartfelt gratitude for all our readers who read, comment and share our posts on social media. Below are the ones you liked best, together with some other highlights from each season.

redshank snoozing and sunning on tidal sands

We went into full lockdown on 23 March 2020 and focused on the beauty found in our local environment. In late Spring we revisited, virtually, a lovely fishing village we had travelled to the previous December in The Pier at Findochty. This was the most popular post in Spring and would become the most popular post of the year.

The other most popular posts in Spring were Lily of the Valley, Pink Flow, Lunaria Annua, Little Blue Flower and Yellow Curve.

Spring also saw haiku poets from around the world contribute to EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020 in honour of the Year of the Nurse. I contributed six haiku to this collaboration, two of which were later anthologised.

macro shot of a bumble bee feeding on lavender, seen from behind

Travel restrictions were lifted at the beginning of July and the Highlands were crowded with tourists from other parts of the country. We waited for everything to settle and did more virtual travelling, this time to Belfast, in order to pay homage to one of the teachers who inspired me in A Moment of Inspiration.

The other five most popular posts in the Summer were Angel’s Share, Morning Glory, Earthlight, Sweet Inspiration and Summer Meadow.

Summer also saw me guest-host the Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge on the theme of Sanctuary.

two swans with three young cygnets on the river

In Autumn we entered a Tier system according to the number of Covid-19 infections and people from higher tiers were prevented from travelling to lower tiers. This resulted in a huge reduction of tourists and we could walk more safely throughout the Highlands, which was in Tier 1, without running into visitors from high Covid areas.

The most popular posts in Autumn were Truly Tranquil, Walking Wonderland, Starlings on the Roof, Highland Heather, Along the Loch Shore and Harvest Moon.

Autumn also saw the publication of The Helping Hand Haiku Anthology, edited by Robert Epstein, which includes three of my poems, Bundled Wildflowers, edited by Bryan Rickert, which includes one of my poems and the Dutch anthology Aan het Woord 2020, edited by Ferre Denis, Maria de Bie and Nol Hovens, which includes three of my poems. In addition, one new poem was featured in the Haiku-kantelkalender (Haiku Calendar) 2021, edited by Ferre Denis. Falling Petals received an honourable mention in the International Section of the 2020 Haiku Invitational at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and ten haiku were featured in the World Haiku Series with Japanese Translations by Mr Hidenori Hiruta.

a red squirrel on a wooden squirrel feeder in a pine tree

After a busy Autumn we stayed closer to home as Winter rolled in and the temperatures dropped. It became a time for Christmas socials via Zoom and catching up with friends at a safe social distance.

The most popular posts in Winter were Treasures, The Name of the Flower, Making Lemonade, All Souls’ Night, Lines at Dusk and When Winter Melts Away.

Winter also saw forty of my images published in Frameless Sky Issue 13 where I was the Featured Artist and the release of the beautiful anthology Dance Into the Light, edited by Michael Dylan Welch, featuring one of my poems.

A very big thank you to the editors and publishers who featured my work throughout the year.

seagulls feeding in the surf

This has been a year like no other and we sadly lost a number of friends and members of our writing community to Covid-19 and to cancer without being able to say goodbye in the way we normally would.

It has also been a year of growing and connecting in new ways and of communities coming together.

A huge thank you to Frank, Kristjaan, Misky, Ronovan and the team at dVerse Poets for your inspiring poetry prompts, to Brian, Christine, Emily, Heather, Katherine, Ping, Punam, Kristian and Sheryl for your wonderful word prompts and to Becca, Cee, Jez, Lisa, Paula, Sue & Gerry, Terri and Amy, Ann-Christine, Patti & Tina for your fabulous photographic prompts.

We leave with you a song by Show of Hands that seems fitting for our times:

Thank you again for the love and we wish you all a blessed, healthy and happy 2021.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Tidings

Word of the Day Challenge: Wishes

Sunday Stills: Your 2020 Retrospective

Haiku: All Souls’ Night

a snowy winter scene in the Cairngorms

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

© Xenia Tran

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

close up of branches and heather covered in heavy snow

These images were taken in November 2017 at the start of a beautiful Winter.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/250 s – ISO 320, f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/320 s – ISO 250.

Sunday Stills: Winter Wonderland

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Leaves and Trees

Your Daily Word Prompt: Optimism

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

Wordless Wednesday: Truly Tranquil

a female mallard duck on an overhanging branch above the water
a woodland pond surrounded by leafless trees

We are honoured and delighted that two new haiku in Dutch as well as a Dutch interpretation of Little Blue Flower have been included in the anthology Aan het Woord 2020 – de geur van geluid, edited by Ferre Denis, Maria de Bie and Nol Hovens, published by Haiku Kring Nederland and Haiku-centrum Vlaanderen. A big thank you to the editors for including my poems and creating this beautiful anthology.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and Happy Thanksgiving to our friends across the water,

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 800, f/5.6 – 1/125 s – ISO 800 and f/4 – 1/160 s – ISO 200.

Wordless Wednesday

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #85

Your Daily Word Prompt: Tranquil