Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Weekly Challenge – Specific Format -#TankaProse – Murmuration by Sally Cronin

This week Colleen’s Challenge is to write in a specific form which is Tanka Prose.

We have a wonderful colony of starlings who drop in for breakfast, lunch and supper, and any time they need a quick snack. In Spain we were privileged to see a number of murmurations by starlings and also the swallows at the end of summer as they prepared to head to Africa for the winter.

Here we do get a gathering of crows at night before they head off to their roost using the telegraph wires around the house to wait for the moment the sun sets. Our house used to be a wooded area and we think originally it might have been a roost for them. Anyway it is a pretty impressive sight to see thousand of crows circling the house before heading off.

As with many natural phenomenon, scientists are studying the murmurations as they find ways to perfect the swarming of robots.

The masters of this incredible dance in the skies are the starlings and my poem today is a tribute to them.

Tanka Prose – Murmuration

Electricity pulsates through the air and sky. Watchers stand in awe beneath an aerial display that is a miracle of nature. Undulating through intricate manoeuvres, thousands of starlings perform a ritual only they truly understand. Is it to avoid predators, keep warm or simply the joy in their freedom to fly together in such harmony? We can only guess as we are privileged to participate.

avian ballet
backlit by the setting sun
a murmuration
iridescence in motion
defies laws of gravity.

©sally cronin 2022

Thanks to S B for sharing this starling murmuration in East Yorkshire


My most recent book is a collection of poetry and was published in July 2021

One of the reviews for the collection

5.0 out of 5 stars A MEMORABLE BOOK THAT SO BEAUTIFULLY CAPTURES LIFE Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021

This was such a special book for me. Sally Cronin has a true talent for marrying depth and simplicity and making it look easy.

Each poem in this wonderful collection is preceded by a photograph followed by a poem that complements it so naturally. What really impressed me was that the author so easily packs solid truths into poems of so few words. As a reader, I could tell how much thought went into every single word she chose as a brush to paint her stories. There wasn’t one poem that I didn’t read two or three times to fully enjoy its message.

I knew I would love this book with the very first poem, “Washed Up,” showing us the beauty of an object brought to the shore by the sea … one that should have disrupted the scenery, yet oddly enhanced it.

I also loved the poem “Our Legacy” that offered a simple truth about writers. It should be an anthem.

“Silver Lining to Isolation” brought forth truths that I believe most of the world can understand right now. I really appreciated the positive message in what has been a dark, yet revealing/enlightening time for many.

“The Crocodile,” which I won’t explain, was just entirely spot on. I’ll leave that there. “Advancing Years” is another poem upon which I heap similar praise: it was so eerily, yet stunningly, on target.

While most of this glorious poetry is short, its messages are far more poignant than much longer works I have read. I don’t want to mention every poem, but I want to say that I so related to Sally Cronin’s thoughts on climate change, ageism, immortality, and yearning.

Lastly, I especially loved the poetry, preceded by the author’s youthful photos, that so brilliantly captured moments of her early life as skillfully as the photos themselves did. They all resonated so deeply with me.

This is a book one could read (and look at the photographs) over and over and each time, the reader would find a new tidbit or truth not seen before. A truly lovely collection. Kudos to Ms. Cronin with a short message:. I’m so very glad you wrote this!

You can find all my books and buy links: Sally’s Books and Reviews 2022


Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed the poem.. thanks Sally.


50 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Weekly Challenge – Specific Format -#TankaProse – Murmuration by Sally Cronin

  1. Wow, Sally. That was fabulous on every level. A beautiful tanka prose about the magic of the starling’s murmuration. And what an amazing video. An avian ballet indeed.
    I had to giggle a little about the crows circling your house every evening. 😀 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A moving take on a stunning facet of nature. We’ve been lucky enough to see smaller murmurations here but our starlings have gone from literally over a hundred in the garden to half-a-dozen on a good day. You do have a way of capturing the essence of something so beautifully! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 13th – 19th June 2022 – Lilies, Top hits 1997, Roberta Flack, Podcast, Poetry, Reviews, New Releases, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.