Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: HEAT & CONFUSE

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: gallery

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
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
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:


(Please make sure to visit the other participants. We learn from each other. <3)

Parallels – Reena Saxena

Tanka Tuesday: Withheld breath – Jane Dougherty Writes

Though I Roam Wild – By Sarah

Stormy #Tanka | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge | CALM & WILD – Mick E Talbot Poems

Waking Up Thirsty – nosaintaugustine

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

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Calm & Wild | Annette Rochelle Aben

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

Her Eulogy | like mercury colliding…


images of nature (tanka #12) – Stories

Home | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Lonely – Playing with words

Images of Nature/Stories – a part of Life

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge Calm & Wild

#Tanka: Calm & Wild | Charmed Chaos

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge/Edwina’s Episodes

Final Destination | rivrvlogr

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

Living (Haiku) | Darkness of His Dreams

Wild Woods | The Syllabub Sea


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

The Muse: Haibun | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Calm & Wild | thoughts and entanglements

Call and Response: July Landscape | method two madness

Following the Heart/Stuff & What If…


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 Kat, from her blog called Like Mercury Colliding… I loved her Haibun/Tanka called, Her Eulogy, for a couple of reasons. True to form, her prose portion discusses a woman who is wild and calm, perhaps filled with grace. Her word choice makes you want to this woman because she sounds so interesting. The Tanka portion is the actual eulogy, which you wouldn’t see coming from the prose. That is the real essence of the Haibun. Your prose and poem selection should be unrelated yet somehow connected. This is an excellent example of that concept.

Her Eulogy

She was the kind of girl who lit up a room. Not in a flashy over the top sort of way. She had a calming presence, but it was more than that. Grace perhaps? It was something special, hard to describe. I remember the first time I saw her sitting along the far edge of a room full of boisterous people, heavy into schmoozing.  She was deep in conversation with our host’s Labrador Retriever. Otis was his name I think. And Otis, well, he hung on her every word, just as I drank in her every move, breathless.

I underestimated her that first meeting, you know. Of course, I made it a point to get to know her better. Wouldn’t you? She opened herself to me like an ocean, given to tidal swells of emotion, teeming with life just under the surface, fierce yet healing. I hadn’t expected to find a wild spirit beneath her calm demeanor, but it endeared her to me even more. Over the years I learned about wild things. Only one so confident, comfortable in their own skin can exude such grace. Only one so free could dance through the layers of suffering and cross over into death… and in so doing, teach us all… teach me, what it is to live.

light fading, flicker
death swept you away too soon
how graceful you were
dancing with death, like lovers,
your final breath seizing mine


© 2017 Kat – Like Mercury Colliding…

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: HEAT & CONFUSE

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

This image conveys the message of confusion. 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: August 2017 | method two madness

  2. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: HEAT & CONFUSE | M J Mallon Author

  3. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Tanka: HEAT & CONFUSE – Mick E Talbot Poems

  4. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku – HEAT & CONFUSE – Mick E Talbot Poems

  5. Hi Colleen,
    Been offline 10 days, all sorted now,

    feeling the heat
    confuse… keep one guessing
    starlight… history

    I am onto to your challenge, confuse, and heat, love it!


  7. Hello Colleen! here is my post in the event the wingback did not work. Hope all is well.

  8. Pingback: #Tanka: Migration | Charmed Chaos

  9. Pingback: Silent Parade: Tanka | Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  10. Pingback: Fanfare | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  11. Pingback: “Doubts,” A #Haibun – Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

  12. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: HEAT & CONFUSE | willowdot21

  13. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: HEAT & CONFUSE – Ladyleemanila

  14. Pingback: Colleen’s weekly #Poetry challenge – Heat and confused – Robbie's inspiration

  15. Something weid happened so here is my link again…somehow I posted the same post twice:)

  16. Pingback: Heat & Confuse | thoughts and entanglements

  17. Colleen, I have always written poetry without any rules. Recently I have started experimenting with Haiku and would also like to learn Haibun, which seems more challenging. 🙂 Thanks for the guidelines…trying to understand!

    • Take your time. I like the rules because they make the forms truly what the Japanese intended. However, I don’t believe in stopping your creative processes. I love Haibun. Read those rules carefully. The Haiku or Tanka portion should be unrelated but somehow connected. I love the Tanka too. Not as brief as a Haiku and you can really tell a story with your choice of words. I use the syllable counter for composing. We’re all learning at different levels. You are always welcome to join in. This challenge is about support and experimentation. <3

  18. Pingback: Confusion (Tanka) | Darkness of His Dreams

  19. Hi Colleen. Thank you so much for the kudos! I am honored. Here’s a link for this week’s Haibun/Tanka. I am really enjoying this form. Have a great week! 😊

  20. Pingback: Tea with Mom Haibun/Tanka | like mercury colliding...

  21. Hi Colleen, here’s my response to your challenge. I used the word ‘confusion’ instead of ‘confuse’. I hope that’s ok.

  22. Pingback: Yellow Crystal Seeds | Collages

  23. HI Colleen,

    Here is my entry for this week. A good week to all:)

  24. Pingback: Heat & Confuse | thoughts and entanglements

  25. Hi Colleen. I used ‘burning’, instead of ‘heat’ for my haiku.

  26. My short link, in case my ping back doesn’t work!

  27. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Heat & Confuse | Annette Rochelle Aben

  28. Pingback: You #Tanka | Trent's World (the Blog)

  29. Pingback: Colleen's Weekly #Poetry Challenge Heat and Confuse

  30. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka : HEAT & CONFUSE | But I Smile Anyway...

  31. Pingback: Tanka Tuesday: Illusion – Jane Dougherty Writes

  32. Pingback: Did I just say that? – Reena Saxena

  33. Such fabulous entries this week, Colleen as always. 🙂

  34. Pingback: Shy soul (Tanka) – Uniquesus

  35. Pingback: Unravelling – By Sarah

  36. Pingback: Blowing hot and cold – Playing with words

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