Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 52 ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: “SPIRIT & JOY”

Happy POETRY Tuesday everyone! Are you ready to get groovy with your poetry? Then, you’re in the right place!

Do you know what today is? It’s our Anniversary!


We’ve been writing Haiku, Tanka, and Haibun for one year now!

After you write today’s poem, you will have written 52 poems. That’s enough to fill a book of poetry!


Happy New Poetry Year!

Next week, we will have some new poetry forms to explore and try.

I would like to recognize all of you fine poets for participating each week, come rain or shine. There’s something to be said for your loyalty. I have learned and grew in my own writing because of all of you. In fact, it’s been GREAT fun learning together!

Thank You!

Image Credit:

I’ve been participating in the Carrot Ranch Literary Community Weekly Flash Fiction Challenge. It occurred to me that writing flash fiction was akin to writing Haiku. Each piece is abbreviated in style, yet must carry a powerful punch to make it a cohesive story. With that being said, I would like to invite you all to spread your wings. Carrot Ranch is hosting an exciting writing challenge during the month of October… and there are prizes!!

Click HERE to read about the Flash Fiction Rodeo!

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 51st POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – GIFT & SONG: (Please make sure to visit the other participants. Remember, we learn from each other. <3)

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG – All About Writing and more

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku: GIFT & SONG – Mick E Talbot Poems

Floating Songs – Reena Saxena

The Gift of Poetry – Inky Quill Blog

The Gift – #Tanka | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Tanka: GIFT & SONG – Mick E Talbot Poems

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Gift & Song | Annette Rochelle Aben

#Tanka Tuesday 9/19/17…my entry for Colleen’s #poetry #haiku #haibun #tanka – Frank J. Tassone

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge Gift & Song – Edwina’s Episodes

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku : GIFT & SONG | But I Smile Anyway…

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG | The Shower of Blessings

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG | willowdot21

The Larrikin – By Sarah

My Melody – Smell The Coffee

Gift and Song – Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge – Afterwards

“Acceptance,” A Haibun – The Fairy Whisperer – Colleen Chesebro

Life Music | like mercury colliding…

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge 51 – The Bag Lady

Reverse | method two madness

Gift & Song | thoughts and entanglements

The Gift (Haiku) | Darkness of His Dreams

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge 51 – Stuff & What if

The Gift of Song (Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge #51 – #Haibun) | The Wolfe’s (Writing) Den

A Gift – Storie Cantabile

SONG OF THE HEART | Sweet aroma

#Poetry Challenge – Gift and Song – Robbie’s inspiration

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG | M J Mallon Author

Dawn Chorus – A Haiku – In Emma World

#Tanka: Nightingale | Charmed Chaos

Tanka: Gift/Song – Willow Poetry


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 Kat, from her blog called Like Mercury Colliding… Her Haibun/Tanka/Haiku, named Life Music, was my favorite this week. Her prose tells the story of her humble beginnings as a songwriter which then leads into her Tanka and Haibun.

Life Music

By Kat Myrman

Kat Myrman – Late 1990’s – South Central Virginia

Life Music

Before fiction, flash, and poetry, before this blog, I wrote songs. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say, I heard songs in my head and had the good sense to write them down.

Pages and pages of rhyming words set to melodies filled my head; a gift from the universe, I had supposed, that sustained me during some of the hardest times of my life: poverty, domestic abuse, isolation. I was a troubadour then, performing for my supper, more often than not, in living rooms, nursing homes, hospital rooms and meeting halls.

I never truly considered them “my songs” because they seemed to come from somewhere outside of myself. In retrospect, I realize that they were every bit me. My hopes, my dreams, my longings, wrapped mellifluously in simplicity to help me express what I was feeling, how things were and how they could be.

I still make music, but somewhere along the way, I stopped singing the words. These days I hum, and that suits me just fine. The earth, the trees, the wind, the sea; they all hum. I’m content in knowing that I am in good company.

sometimes the words come
like an old friend, familiar,
they meant something once
more than a sweet melody
desire set to music

what a gift they were
those streams of consciousness
these days I just hum


© 2017 Kat Myrman

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: SPIRIT & JOY

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


87 thoughts on “Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 52 ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: “SPIRIT & JOY”

        1. Ohhh, sounds romantic and quite lovely. I drank a glass of wine to your anniversary last night! LOL! 😀 ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, how sweet, thank you Colleen. By the way I’m starting a full-time job tomorrow so sadly won’t have much time for blogging at the moment. Only have weekends free and a lot of them will be taken up with days out/uni visits for my youngest, etc. It’s a temporary office job (to get me back in the swing of things,) until March 2018 so I’ll see how it goes. xx

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Marje, that’s marvelous. We’ll keep the Rainbow Club up and running. I so hope this job works out for you. Fingers crossed. Don’t stress, just take each day as it comes. Your family comes first. ❤

              Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I messed up #51, so added 14 syllables and this week’s words for a #52 tanka. I’m late to the party, but Happy Anniversary to you and all the poets. I do love haiku, for as you stated, it is, like flash, succinct, distilled.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would like to stay as close to the forms as possible because we are students of poetry. However, I don’t want to stifle anyone’s creativity. This challenge should be fun. Also, the syllables could change because of how the words are pronounced, as in British English, vs. American English. I want to be as flexible as possible. Hugs. ❤


  1. How splendid, Colleen! I didn’t get a chance to participate last week (though I loved the prompt words and might come back to them)–book manuscript deadline and another project both due this week.
    Happy Year of Poetry Tuesdays! I’ll see if I can get this week’s in to celebrate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Colleen,
    I am so honored and happy that you were touched by my haibun this week. Congratulations on a year of wonderful challenges. I can’t wait to see what forms you challenge us with next! But for now…first things first…my spirit is considering joy. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL! Yup, I’m working on two books so I need the pj time. LOL! Hugs! ❤


    1. Can you believe it’s been a year already? Stay tuned. More fun ahead. Many thanks, Helene. ❤


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