Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 48 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: STONE & TURN


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.


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

HAIKU in English

TANKA 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.


Here is how I suggest writing the Tanka poetry form in English. Please read my page, How to Write a Tanka in English.

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

  1. 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 …

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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 “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 allows, 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 and leave a comment. Remember – sharing is caring)

Separation – Reena Saxena

Facets of darkness – Reena Saxena

Tanka – Shadow & Light | radhikasreflection

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge/Edwina’s Episodes

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 47 – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: Shadow & Light – Ladyleemanila

Her playful curls – Playing with words

Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. Shadow and Light. | willowdot21

The Black – By Sarah

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 47 – #Haiku: Shadow & Light – Mick E Talbot Poems

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 47 – #Tanka: Shadow & Light – Mick E Talbot Poems

 Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry #Haibun: Shadow & Light – Mick E Talbot Poems

Eclipsed | like mercury colliding…

Light and Shadow – #tanka | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – The Bag Lady

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Shadow & Light | Annette Rochelle Aben

 Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 47 – #Haiku #Tanka: Shadow & Light | But I Smile Anyway…

Casting Shadows (Haiku) | Darkness of His Dreams

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 47 – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: Shadow & Light | M J Mallon Author

Clarity | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Puppet Master  – Smell The Coffee

Tank: Shadow light – Jane Dougherty Writes

Life’s Canvas | Willow Poetry

Black Noise | method two madness

sun and moon as one | rivrvlogr

#Tanka: Shadow & Light | Charmed Chaos

Shadow and Light (Tanka) – Uniquesus


Storm Music | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

“The Wraith,” A #Haiku – 🌼Colleen Chesebro Fairy Whisperer 🌼

Illuminating shadows | The Syllabub Sea

#Poetry Challenge – Light and Shadow – Robbie’s inspiration

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #47: Shadow & Light – Afterwards

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

This week’s Poet of the Week is Reena, from her blog called Reena Saxena. Her Haibun, called Facets of Darkness, featured alternating prose and verse which captured the prompt words perfectly. Yet, Reena also shows how the light and the shadows figure into her own life. The juxtaposition between the sun and the moon and their effect on the poet’s feelings reflect this same meaning in her Haiku and Tanka. When you read this Haibun (I read it several times) you feel the internal struggle between shadow and light. Great tension!

“Facets of Darkness”

A strange play of light and shadows dominates my life. In the physical world, the courtyard of my house displays varying lengths of shadows, as the sun makes it daily trip. Internally, I move from hope to despair several times in a day, as I coast along with the fictional characters that I create.

Influence of words

on minds is no less than

power of the sun

Today, the Sun spoke,

“Stay awake in the dark for a fortnight, and watch the myriad moods of the Moon. It teaches more about life than the steady path on which I move. I long for the rare event when it touches me, and I soak in its wisdom. Survival is the key word, and the New Moon always spells hope, despite the darkness.”

Hail the Moon Goddess

it lives on borrowed light

ignites minds

I asked the moon if a meeting is possible. It assumed different shapes and reflected different colors of light. The pretty vision I see, is a function of the Sun and the Sky, with clouds occasionally giving it a poetic dimension. What does its real face look like?

Darkness is my core

it kills me to inspire

from the depth of soul

let parts of me break away

reunite, become whole.

I salute the Moon silently. Unfortunately, earthlings admire its power, only once in four centuries.

 ©2017 Reena Saxena

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: STONE & TURN

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


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.

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