Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG

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: Pinterest – Writing Quotes

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:

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 50th POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – VOICE & WATCH: (Please stop by and visit the other participants. Your support helps everyone. <3)

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 50 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: VOICE & WATCH – All About Writing and more

Echos and Reflections – Reena Saxena

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 50 Voice & Watch – Deepika’s Ramblings

The Watcher – Smell The Coffee

Grandfather’s Clock – nosaintaugustine

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Voice & Watch | Annette Rochelle Aben

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

So, here we are… – Playing with words

VOICE & WATCH #1 – HAIKU – Mick E Talbot Poems

Tanka Tuesday: Voice & Watch – Jane Dougherty Writes

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 50#Tanka: VOICE & WATCH | But I Smile Anyway…

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge Voice & Watch – Edwina’s Episodes

VOICE & WATCH #1 – HAIKU #2 – Mick E Talbot Poems

Your Voice (a Tanka) | Darkness of His Dreams

VOICE AND WATCH – Mick E Talbot Poems

Voice & Watch | thoughts and entanglements

Inspirational Challenge: Tanka & Haiku – MS ToyWhisperer

One Man Band – By Sarah

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 50 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: VOICE & WATCH – Afterwards

opinionated | like mercury colliding…

Golden Years | rivrvlogr

#Tanka (Double): Guardian | Charmed Chaos

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – The Bag Lady

Whirling around me – Storie Cantabile

The Syllabub Sea

 Autumn Song | method two madness

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 50 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: VOICE & WATCH | willowdot21

Hopeful romantic | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 50 Voice & Watch – Stuff & What If?

Watch This Voice (Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge #50 – #Tanka) | The Wolfe’s (Writing) Den

Vigilance – Inky Quill Blog

#Poetry Challenge – Voice and Watch – Robbie’s inspiration

Poetry Inspired by the Dragon Chronopage – Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 50 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: VOICE & WATCH | M J Mallon Author

Sky Show: Tanka | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Haibun – Voice & Watch | radhikasreflection

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 Michael, from his blog called Afterwords. Michael started with a Haiku, added a few more lines to create a Tanka, and then, he decided to take the plunge. He went full-on Haibun!

The best part of his poetic endeavors is that you can see how his mind works. Each week, Michael shares his humorous take on life. This week, he nailed it.

New shiny smartwatch

controlling it with my voice

Looking  like a knob

Not a bad start.  Now lets tanka it up, shall we?

New shiny smartwatch

controlling it with my voice

the king of the geeks!

You know you’re not on Star Trek

Wife looking quite embarrassed

True story…

How about we go full haibun.  Well as best as I can muster.  Still working on this element.  Poem, Prose, Poem for this one.

New shiny smartwatch

controlling it with his voice

the king of the geeks!

You know you’re not on Star Trek

Wife looking quite embarrassed

But proud he stands, connected.  One with his devices.  He is man, and he is confident – legs akimbo with hands on hips waiting patiently for her to emerge from the changing rooms and to see him with renewed eyes.  He feels taller, chin up, eyes bright as lesser men scurry laden with bags disconnected and alone.  But not he, not today.   Today is his day, and tonight he will delight her because he is connected and he feels alive.

Candles, wine, music

Children fast asleep in bed

warm breath on her neck

“Bloody hell you’re scratching me,

now you’ve laddered my stockings!”

Well, I guess its something…sorry Japan

©2017 Afterwards Blog

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: GIFT & SONG

(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.

60 thoughts on “Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG

  1. You have a new logo, Colleen. I like it. I’m here in Portland Oregon with my daughter. Her due date for the first baby is tomorrow. She started dilating but the baby is not quite ready to show up yet. I think I can do the challenge tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Made me laugh 🙂 My husband talks to a piece of kit – asking it to call phone numbers or to google something. Trouble is, because I jinkx electronic equipment, if I’m around it refuses to do what he tells it.

    Liked by 1 person

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