Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: CALM & WILD

Happy POETRY Tuesday everyone!
Are you ready to get groovy with your poetry? Then, you’re in the right place! Pull up a chair, and let’s write some poetry.

Image credit: Brainy

My friend, Yecheilyah Ysrayl is hosting a poetry contest on my blog, and I’m one of the judges! Click HERE to read the post and enter the contest. There are prizes!


Since Renaissance follows the theme of The Harlem Renaissance and Black life in the South, poems should have something to do with these themes and can be as long or as short as you would like. The contest is open to all poets.

Yecheilyah says: “I understand not all of you are familiar with this era so I am opening this up a bit. The theme will remain the same, but it is not mandatory. Poems of all kinds will be accepted and considered for the win.”

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge you can write your poem in one of the three forms defined below:

HAIKU in English



You can do one poem or try to do one of each. It’s up to you – YOUR CHOICE. The instructions follow below:


Are you new to writing the Haiku in English poetry form? Please read my page, How to Write a Haiku in English.


Tanka poems are based on syllable structure much the same way a Haiku is written in the 5/7/5 format.

The Tanka form is easy to create: 5/7/5/7/7 and is a Haiku with two extra lines, of 7 syllables each consisting of five separate lines.

What makes a Tanka different from a Haiku is that the first three lines (5/7/5) are the upper phase. This upper stage is where you create an image in your reader’s mind.

The last two lines (7/7) of a Tanka poem are called the lower phase. Now here is where it gets interesting. The lower stage, the final two lines, should express the poet’s ideas about the image that was created in the three lines above.

Visit Jean Emrich at Quick Start Guide
CLICK THE LINK TO SEE THE EXAMPLES and to learn how to write a Tanka poem

HOW TO CREATE THE HAIBUN POETRY FORM shares how to write a Haibun poem. Please follow the rules carefully.

Writing Haibun

“The rules for constructing a haibun are simple.

  • Every haibun must begin with a title.
  • Haibun prose is composed of terse, descriptive paragraphs, written in the
    first person singular.
  • The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing must ever be overstated.
  • The poetry never attempts to repeat, quote or explain the prose.
  • Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail.
  • Thus the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – seemingly different yet somehow connected.

It is the discovery of this link between the prose and the poetry that offers one of the great delights of the haibun form. The subtle twist provided by an elegantly envisaged link, adds much pleasure to our reading and listening.

Some Common Forms of Modern Haibun

1. The basic unit of composition– one paragraph and one poem

We guide our canoe along the shores of beautiful Lake Esquagama. It is nine o’clock at night on this evening of the summer solstice. As the sun begins to dim the lake becomes still as glass. Along the shore, forests of birch are reflected in its mirrored surface, their ghostly white trunks disappearing into a green canopy. The only sound is a splash when our bow slices the water. We stop to rest the paddles across our knees, enjoying the peace. Small droplets from our wet blades create ever-widening circular pools. Moving on, closer to the fading shore, we savour these moments.

as a feather
on the breeze
the distant call
of a loon

2. The prose envelope – prose, then poem, then prose

Echoes of Autumn
I walk quietly in the late afternoon chill, birdsong silent, foliage deepened into shade, a rim of orange over darkening hills.

through soft mist
the repeated call
of one crow

Reaching the gate then crossing the threshold I breathe the scent of slow-cooking, the last embers of a fire, red wine poured into gleaming crystal, the table – set for two …

3. Poem then prose

(Rather than begin with a single tanka, I wrote a tanka set or sequence, followed by the prose. In contemporary haibun writing, the poems are occasionally presented in couplets or in longer groups).

The Road to Longreach
the coastal fringe
of green and blue
behind the gateway
to the outback

wheat, sorghum
and cotton stubble
in the autumn sun
as hawks patrol above

faces to the sky
the last blaze of colour
in the dryland’s
barren outlook

brown soil
of the rural strip
surrenders to
brick red, burnt ochre
of the open range

and further out –
in orange dust
a single cornstalk
displays its tassel

Days pass as we move through the desolate landscape, carved into two parts by the road we travel on, a continual ribbon drawing us straight ahead into its vanishing point, where only spinifex grass and saltbush lies between us and our destination.

4. The verse envelope — poem, prose, then poem

Winter Magic
silver light
thick hoar-frost
covers the window

Ice shapes resembling small fir trees stretch across the glass, while delicate snow flowers sparkle around them. Lost in its beauty, I move through this crystal garden as my warm fingers trace up and down, leaving a smudged pathway.
Mother’s voice interrupts, “Susan, come away from that cold window and get dressed or the school bus will leave without you!”

burning hoop pine
scent of a warm kitchen
oatmeal with brown sugar

5. Alternating prose and verse elements

The Sentinel
I climb round and round close to the outside wall, to avoid the railing where the stair treads narrow about their central post. A semi-circular platform rests high above. Its glass windows provide a sweeping view. Counting the last few steps, I finally reach the top of the Moreton Bay Lighthouse, where I gaze in awe at the ocean below.

the rising sun
an endless pathway
of molten gold

Outside the lighthouse, lamp is rotating. I disengage it as there is no need for its warning light. Now the bold red and white stripes of the lighthouse itself will become the beacon. I study the turbulence of the deep waters churning the rocky shore below. The subtle changes in the wind, waves, and tides are entered in my log book – these brief markers of the ever-transforming seascape that surrounds me.

ebb tide
a foot print shelters
one tiny crab”

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Poetry Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.


I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.


How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A. This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words that you need to use (in some form) in the writing of your poetry. This will be a challenge in writing your Haibun poem. Follow the rules carefully.

The two words can be used in any way you would like to use them. Words have different definitions, and you can use the definitions you like. Feel free to use synonyms for the words when the poetry form calls for it.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People participating in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

As time permits, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose



You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post:

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 41st POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – MUSIC & ART: (Please make sure to visit the other participants. We learn from each other. <3)

Wordlessly – Reena Saxena

Infusion – Reena Saxena

Tanka Tuesday: Beauty – Jane Dougherty Writes

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge 41 – MUSIC & ART – Mick E Talbot Poems

Art and Music – #haiku | Trent’s World (the Blog)



Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge 41 – #Haiku #MicroPoetry: MUSIC & ART | But I Smile Anyway…

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge 41 – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: MUSIC & ART – Ladyleemanila


ESCAPE | wandsandunicorns

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge #41 Music & Art

Truthful lies – Playing with words

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #41 Music & Art | Annette Rochelle Aben

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Art & Music/Robbie’s Inspiration

Melody in the Mist (Tanka) | Darkness of His Dreams

Humming and Arting | like mercury colliding…

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – 41 – The Bag Lady

Haiku – Music & Art/Radhika’s Reflection

#Tanka: Music & Art | Charmed Chaos

The Footbridge: Tanka | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Music Art – All About Writing and more

Haibun – An Artist’s Composition/Deepika’s Ramblings

Sunrise Calling – By Sarah

Tanka: Nature’s Art – My Feelings My Freedom

water, light, air | method two madness

Harmony – Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Don’t FORGET! If you are selected as my Poet of the Week, your poem will also be featured in my monthly newsletter. Sign up HERE.

This week’s Poet of the Week is Hec Blogger from his blog called Playing With Words. I loved his Haiku called, Truthful Lies. Hec Blogger writes some excellent romantic poetry. This is an example of one of his best, in my opinion. I love the twist in the meaning of the words – truthful lies. This Haiku really sends a powerful message made even more impactful with his lack of capitalization and the use of only one punctuation mark, a semi-colon.

seems you have mastered
the art; your truthful lies are
music to my ears

© 2017 Hec Blogger – Playing With Words

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: CALM & WILD

(any forms of the words AND don’t forget to use synonyms)

Remember, there are many different meanings to these words. Have fun and experiment.



About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on
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  1. Pingback: Final Destination ~ haibun | rivrvlogr

  2. Hopping in today with entry for calm and wild. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: UNEXPECTED DISASTER | Sweet aroma

  4. Condolences on the sudden loss of your furry member of the family. 🙁 Here’s my offering this week.

  5. Pingback: Call and Response: July Landscape | method two madness

  6. Hello Colleen,

    Here is my late entry:) I was truly on the move this week. Had to find my moment:)
    A good weekend to all!

    Pat R

  7. Pingback: Calm & Wild | thoughts and entanglements

  8. Pingback: The Muse: Haibun | Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  9. I’ll still refrain, as I do remain, poetically (erm…. ) Maimed! 😀 Mega hugs.

  10. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – my #Tanka – Calm & Wild | M J Mallon Author


  12. Pingback: Wild Woods | The Syllabub Sea

  13. Pingback: Living (Haiku) | Darkness of His Dreams

  14. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: CALM & WILD | willowdot21

  15. Pingback: Final Destination | rivrvlogr

  16. Pingback: #Tanka: Calm & Wild | Charmed Chaos

  17. Pingback: Colleen's Weekly #Poetry Challenge Calm & Wild

  18. I love the prompt words again this week, Colleen. Some wonderful entries as always, for last week and I love the featured haiku too! 🙂

  19. Love your new look, Colleen. I love your post also. Just too many years since I tried a haiku, although at times my muse settles on my shoulder and I manage to actually write down the words that seem to settle in my brain cell. Then I usually toss it, but on rare occasions will still manage to save it some place more secure than File 13.

  20. Pingback: Lonely – Playing with words

  21. Pingback: Poetry Contest – Closed – Pearls Before Swine

  22. Pingback: Home | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  23. Pingback: images of nature (tanka #12) – Stories

  24. Pingback: COLLEEN’S WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE – #HAIKU: CALM & WILD | But I Smile Anyway...

  25. I am enjoying the Haibun/Tanka combo. Here’s mine this week…Peace Colleen! ~kat

  26. Pingback: Her Eulogy | like mercury colliding...

  27. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge | CALM & WILD #41 – Mick E Talbot Poems

  28. Reblogged this on ladyleemanila and commented:
    Colleen’s poetry challenge 🙂

  29. My short link, in case the ping back doesn’t work

  30. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Calm & Wild | Annette Rochelle Aben

  31. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge | CALM & WILD #42 – Mick E Talbot Poems

  32. Great prompt! Here is a shortlink to my haiku attempt, Waking Up Thirsty:

  33. Pingback: Waking Up Thirsty – nosaintaugustine

  34. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge | CALM & WILD – Mick E Talbot Poems

  35. Pingback: Stormy #Tanka | Trent's World (the Blog)

  36. Pingback: Though I Roam Wild – By Sarah

  37. Pingback: Tanka Tuesday: Withheld breath – Jane Dougherty Writes

  38. Thanks Colleen for designating me ‘poet of the week’. This is an honor indeed, and motivation to keep striving to writing better…

  39. Pingback: Parallels – Reena Saxena

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