#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 256, Colleen’s Specific Form: haiku


This week’s form is:


I’ll pick someone to select a form for us to work with in February on the recap post next Monday.

Here’s a quick review of haiku:

Haiku is a form with 3 (or more) lines following the short-long-short, 3-5-3, 2-3-2, (5-7-5 traditional) form of approximately twelve syllables. Haiku are written about nature, the seasons, a beautiful moment in nature, an emotional experience while in nature, or change. No title. Kigo optional. No rhyming.

How do you write a haiku?

Here are a few suggestions to find your own poetic inspiration:

  • Get outside. I know it’s cold, but experience the moment with all six senses. Observe the world around you.
  • Take notes. Keep your observations and thoughts in a notebook or written in your phone.
  • Take photos. If you photograph your inspiration, you can write about how the photo captured the scene and memorialized it for that moment in time.
  • Write about your own experiences.
  • Read other poetry written by the greats and new poets.
  • Free-write your thoughts for five minutes and see what inspires you.
  • Create a vision board!

Yes… create a vision board for your poetry. This is a fun exercise. If you love to take photos, create a vision board for your poem.

I used a vision board to create this haiku. I went through a bunch of photos on Canva.com for inspiration. You might want to use your own photos.

Things to note:

  1. Haiku are untitled.
  2. My syllable count for this haiku is 3-5-3.
  3. My kigo is loud thunder—which signifies a season (really any season). It can thunder in all four seasons depending on where you live in the United States. I enjoy using a kigo, so I guess I’m a traditionalist when it comes to writing haiku.
  4. The ending should be a surprise. This is the pivot. That is when you talk about one thing and then switch to talking about another thing. In my haiku, sunshine rain is the pivot.
  5. The pivot is where we create that juxtaposition of divergent or convergent images that complement each other. We recognize this reaction as the “aha” moment.

We hear the thunder and see the clouds swirling. Then, the sun breaks through and the rain falls. It looks like it’s raining sunshine. It’s a magical moment, one that we can remember by immortalizing it with a haiku.

Here’s music that might inspire your haiku:

Here is my haiku inspired by this musical piece:

winter winds echo
throughout the snow-covered woods...
owl answers the call

© Colleen M. Chesebro

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

Not sure how to write syllabic poetry?

READ THIS FIRST: How to Craft Syllabic Poetry

Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet





Word Craft: Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry


  • Write your haiku and pay close attention to the rules on the cheat sheet. Remember, try not to use “ing” ending words to satisfy the word count. If you need additional inspiration, use the musical piece above to inspire you.
  • Post it on your blog before noon on 1/16/2022, so I have enough time to compile the recap.
  • Copy the link of your published post into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink). You might have to delete your previous entry.
  • Please click the small checkbox on Mr. Linky about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name, and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.

Follow the schedule listed below:

Now, have fun and write some haiku poetry!

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53 thoughts on “#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 256, Colleen’s Specific Form: haiku”

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  5. Gwen M. Plano

    Thank you, Colleen. I’ve so much to learn and you’re an incredible teacher.

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  15. Once upon a time, I used to write haikus, but I never realized they were supposed to focus on nature. I also didn’t know that the third line needs a pivot. I love how clearly you explain everything, Colleen, and your example helped a lot. I think I’ve come up with something that meets the parameters and will post it later today. 🙂

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  17. I was in a nostalgic mood today at having to do what I had to do (you’ll understand when you read it) Then this prompt put me in a very good mood. So thank you.
    Hey, Colleen, I’ve scheduled this one to go out later. Morning, really. Deviating from my norm to see how that works for me. So what does that mean in terms of Pingback? Mr. Linky? Should I still add it? Or wait until after the post goes live? My non-techy brain does not understand.
    I’m about to call it a night. If I add it and it’s not supposed to work, could you kindly remove it for me? I will then repost it in the morning. Please. Thanks so much. And sorry too. I want to learn this. Thanks.


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