The Lovers, Double Ennead

This week’s #TankaTuesday challenge is Ekphrastic, featuring the image below:

The Expected One
painting by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (Museum: Bavarian State Painting Collections)

At first glance, it looks as if the young woman is holding a cell phone. But of course, that can’t be because the painting was completed in 1860. I’m sure the young woman is holding a prayer book, so there’s really no mystery in the painting. But it’s fun to speculate!

I’ve created a Double Ennead, a 99 syllable form comprising three stanzas of syllables (6, 5, 11, 6, 5). The three stanzas help to tell a story. Punctuation, end-rhymes, are all up to the poet.

The Lovers

He loves me—my prayer,
hazy daydream songs
recited on a pathway to nirvana
if only it were so...
my heart, he holds dear

She loves me—my request
without her I'm dust,
I wait to declare my love for her beauty
pink roses match her cheeks
dainty honey lips

A prayer to the gods
for sweet summer love,
clandestine moments shared between chaste lovers,
their arms entwined, hearts joined...
two stars in the sky

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Published by Colleen M. Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

50 thoughts on “The Lovers, Double Ennead

    1. Thanks, Jacqui. I found this image on Apple News… people thought the young woman was holding a cell phone. Most folks are too young to remember going to church on Sunday carrying a prayer book. LOL!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I really like how you focused on one in the first, the other in the second, and joined them in (chaste) anticipation in the third. I haven’t written using this form yet, but I might try it for the journal submission 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Double Ennead is so fun to write. I created this several years ago. I think it has great rhythm and flow. The best part is you can add rhyme, or not… there’s a lot you can do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Colleen, I thought you might enjoy hearing that a uk news site has an article that lists several photos which are supposed evidence of time-travels… this photo is one of them. Their caption of it says, ‘it appears to show a woman operating an iPhone.’ 😂
    I guess the new generations aren’t aware that prayer books and books in general were carried along with the reader back then.
    I’ll give you a link, if you want to see it. Let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

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