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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Hay(na)ku

Categories: Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, WD Poetic Form Challenge.

Time for another poetic form challenge!

This time around, we’ll write the hay(na)ku. This form was developed by Eileen Tabios and named by Vince Gotera. The rules are simple, which makes the poem fun to write (click here to read the original post).

Here are the rules:

  • 3-line poem
  • First line has one word
  • Second line has two words
  • Third line has three words

As in previous challenges, the poet who writes the hay(na)ku that I like best will be featured in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine (most likely the January 2012 issue). In fact, I might be able to squeeze a few entries in, since the form is so concise. Poets should paste their poems in the comments below; I will not accept submissions by any other means–or attached to any other posts.

The deadline for the hay(na)ku challenge is August 28, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time). That means you have roughly three weeks to write three lines. Now get poeming!

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

237 Responses to WD Poetic Form Challenge: Hay(na)ku

  1. c.lourdes says:

    iron heart

    stitched
    in wrinkled
    threads of absence

  2. c.lourdes says:

    1 x 1

    time
    comes once –
    with no request

  3. c.lourdes says:

    Roommate Laughter

    Make
    Room, and
    Laughter does Appear

  4. c.lourdes says:

    missed

    wonder
    not, if
    you are missed

  5. c.lourdes says:

    Once Fallen

    Once
    Upon a
    Time, we fell

  6. c.lourdes says:

    RiGHT – wrong

    measure
    ‘RiGHT‘, by
    songs of ‘wrong’

  7. c.lourdes says:

    marry you

    marry
    not a
    one, but you

  8. c.lourdes says:

    Will You?

    Never
    Will you
    Know tomorrow, Today.

  9. c.lourdes says:

    In Blue

    Funny
    Me, that
    Speaks in Blue

  10. Poems

    Pour
    down like
    rain, brain’s flooded

  11. Fib
    White lie
    Color is everywhere

  12. I
    ate a
    poem by mistake

    mistook
    it for
    angel food cake

    some
    poets thought
    it a riot

    another
    starving artist
    ruined her diet

    (c) jh 8/28/11 10:04 pm.

  13. This just in…

    Writer’s
    block devastated
    by Irene’s wrath

  14. Tracy Davidson says:

    honk
    of traffic
    the geese migrate

    hungry?
    chocolate good
    sex is better!

  15. Paint
    a picture
    worth staring at

  16. dandelionwine says:

    Without
    resistance, there’d
    be no flight.

  17. dandelionwine says:

    Precision
    allows conveying
    more with less.

  18. dandelionwine says:

    Dogs
    perfectly reflect
    their owners’ energy.

  19. dandelionwine says:

    Make
    me miss
    you– go away.

  20. dandelionwine says:

    Leaf:
    I,too,
    am let go.

  21. Tracy Davidson says:

    devil
    in disguise:
    mother-in-law!

  22. Tracy Davidson says:

    snapdragon
    petals crumble
    between careless fingers

  23. Sorry, Jacqueline. I wasn’t sure which one you wanted, and I don’t seem to have the ability to delete comments once they are approved.

  24. Wives

    Like
    dead batteries
    we’re often replaced

    Like
    old cars
    for newer models

    Thief

    Stole
    my heart
    I pressed charges

  25. OMG, how embarrassing!
    Sorry, everyone! :\

  26. Michelle Hed says:

    circles
    ripple out
    from fallen tears

    whiskers
    tickle toes
    as she sniffs

    dancing
    across darkness –
    comets streak by

    shadows
    chase us
    down the street

    shadows
    play across
    my window shade

  27. AC Leming says:

    this is for the dog which died in the same helicopter crash which killed the Seals in Afghanistan earlier this month

    dead
    dog howls –
    mourning its death

  28. AC Leming says:

    sinner,
    feel guilty –
    end the affair

  29. AC Leming says:

    texting
    morphs into
    sexting — yes! yes!

  30. AC Leming says:

    text
    double entendre
    divorce court beckons

  31. AC Leming says:

    Putting one in from last November…because I like it…

    Hay(na)ku

    fist
    meets face
    red snow blossoms

  32. Tracy Davidson says:

    sexy –
    Daniel Craig
    in blue trunks

  33. Tracy Davidson says:

    cheating
    husbands should
    watch ‘Fatal Attraction’

  34. Shake
    milk, earth
    where’s my mom?

  35. Writers
    black, white
    bohemian, wordsmith, ghost

  36. Baby
    shower, I
    welcome getting soaked

  37. cara.holman says:

    Three more:

    #1
    hawks
    catching thermals
    slow moving clouds

    #2
    the
    silence after
    the word “malignant”

    #3
    unmoored…
    the blur
    of hummingbird wings

    – Cara Holman

  38. Tracy Davidson says:

    poems –
    little snapshots
    of deep feeling

  39. Tracy Davidson says:

    First Date

    Kissing
    me gently
    on my neck,

    nibbling
    and sucking,
    a slight nip -

    his
    fangs flash
    in the moonlight.

    Watching
    blood gush
    like a geyser,

    screaming
    when I
    realise it’s mine.

  40. MIDSUMMER NIGHT

    Moon
    walks our
    deck – what dreams!

  41. Short-
    term memory
    shot – short poems.

  42. Kimberly G. says:

    Second to last one the first word should be destiny

  43. Kimberly G. says:

    Sleeplessly
    Awaiting you
    In my dreams

    Treasures
    Buried deep
    In Faith’s soul

    Developmentally
    Becoming one
    With my stomach

    Child’s best friend
    Go with
    Bubbles

    Destin
    Determined by
    Choices and decisions

    Controversy
    Over the
    Payment of alimony

  44. Tracy Davidson says:

    Alzheimers
    only fragments
    of memory remain

  45. Tracy Davidson says:

    the Royal Wedding –
    William and
    Kate,

    her
    beautiful dress,
    Pippa’s shapely derriere

  46. Tracy Davidson says:

    cats
    and dogs
    it’s raining again

    funeral
    no black
    she loved colour

    singing
    our song
    at her funeral

  47. Jane Shlensky says:

    Reading
    Good writing
    Makes me smile

    Questions
    Open hearts
    To treasure mystery.

    Illness
    Makes me
    Question life’s purpose

    Rehearsal

    Instrumentless
    He plays
    His toothy smile

  48. Jane Shlensky says:

    Dogs, you folks have been busy already. Such a fun form! You’re right, Nancy, addictive. Don’t know if we needed titles, but I did them anyway.

    Buoyed

    “Fat
    Floats” became
    Her swim-time mantra.

    Campground

    Laughter
    Echoes through
    The over-arching trees.

    Tweaks

    Failures
    Offer chances
    For vision adjustment

    Sunday Mornings

    Sanctuary
    Stained glass
    Colors the sunlight.

  49. Dying
    in front
    of your eyes

    and you don’t
    seem to
    notice

  50. Stress
    a dress
    I often wear

    and wish I
    could take
    off

  51. Cheetos
    little fingers
    what a mess!

  52. Tracy Davidson says:

    sex
    without love
    is second rate

    but if desperate
    I’d take
    it!

  53. Tracy Davidson says:

    waterfall
    the bath
    has overflowed again

    following
    faded footprints
    in the sand

    winter
    waiting for
    her last breath

    summer
    in Britain
    it’s raining again

  54. Did
    you ever
    ride a camel?

    I
    sure did!
    Was quite annoyed

    Wasn’t
    great to
    mount that mammal

    It
    gave me
    nothing butt hemorrhoids

  55. Poetic
    Asides, I’ve
    bills to pay

  56. Wrote
    some words
    Called it poetry

    “Words”
    got mad
    and clobbered me

    Left
    for dead
    beaten and sore

    I
    don’t dare
    do it anymore

  57. The reason

    Justice
    is blind…
    Healthcare in America

  58. Poets
    Ink mates
    Prisoners of words

  59. Ode to my baby niece

    Faith
    moves mountains…
    Strong little girl!!!

  60. STORM MUSIC

    Quartet
    for wind
    instruments and rain.

  61. POETIC DISCOURSE

    It
    would have
    been enough – one

    nod of the
    head, a
    greeting.

    But
    this poem
    you wrote to

    catch me in
    an image
    so

    I
    have to
    answer in kind –

    what sweet conversation
    between near-
    strangers.

    Suddenly
    we are
    best word-friends.

  62. P says:

    There
    They’re, their
    Wings broken there.

  63. DanielAri says:

    Lambs
    Rejoice. Meadows
    Promise new everything.
    Lambs
    rejoice—meadows
    promise new everything.

    DA

  64. Tracy Davidson says:

    babies -
    full of
    piss and wind

    serendipity
    beautiful word
    rhymes with zippity!

    love
    is a
    four letter word

  65. barbara_y says:

    calm
    inhale. exhale.
    beginnings breathe possibility

  66. imabluestocking says:

    rolling
    ocean whitecaps
    illuminated by moonlight

  67. cstewart says:

    About Her

    She.
    Ran away
    Again and again.

    She.
    Became what
    She feared most.

    Face
    Up to
    Your created illusion.

    Pain.
    Stops you
    At the crossroads.

    Take
    Heart from
    Your sincere empathy.

    Take
    Hold of
    Your greatest fear.

    Make
    Fear bend
    To your will.

  68. cstewart says:

    Antigone

    Antigone.
    When love,
    Becomes a criminal.

  69. Michael Grove says:

    (7 more)

    Love
    Endures All
    Even thru pain

    Knowledge
    Understanding truth
    Accepting nothing less

    Prayer
    Bended knees
    Two way communication

    Lines
    Don’t cross
    Stand on them

    Arms
    For hugging
    Not for fighting

    Grace
    Freely given
    Enough for everyone

    Landmines
    Planted everywhere
    Step with caution

    By Michael Grove

  70. DanielAri says:

    Such
    an intricate
    doily comprises reality.

  71. Sara McNulty says:

    Farmer
    weeps handling
    scorched corn husks

    ———————————-
    Children
    starving, die
    abandoned in Somalia

    ———————————–
    Afraid
    of risk
    she chooses confinement

    —————————————
    Lies
    told often
    become his truth

    ——————————-
    With
    trembling hand,
    she raises teacup

    —————————–
    Balanced
    now, she
    opts for life

    ———————–
    Sixteen,
    pregnant, terrified
    of abortion’s retributions

    ————————————-
    Egg-shaped
    flesh formed,
    foreboding his fate

    ——————————-

    Storm
    brewed, rumbling
    like empty bellies

    —————————-

    Waited
    clutching purse,
    forlorn and forgotten

    ——————————
    Petaled
    eyelids
    drooped on sunflower
    drooped in death

  72. AFTER YEARS…

    Dog
    knows me.
    Does my husband?

  73. De Jackson says:

    a hay(na)ku of longing

    desire?
    just this:
    to know myself.

  74. barbara_y says:

    twinkle
    little sensor
    light/ stars /light

  75. cara.holman says:

    Two more:

    #1
    soaring
    above clouds
    above it all

    #2
    descending
    into evening
    the hawk’s shadow

    – Cara Holman

  76. cara.holman says:

    Robert- Is there a limit on the number of hay(na)ku we can submit? I seem to remember it was 3 at one point, but the link to the original post explaining the rules seems to be broken, and I can’t find it again. I can write limitless numbers of these– that’s why I ask. :) Thanks!

    Cara Holman

  77. Khara H. says:

    Wings–
    fluttering, you
    rhythmed inside me

  78. De Jackson says:

    Writer
    waits, wanting.
    Words wander home.

  79. De Jackson says:

    Poem
    pregnant pause
    waiting to exhale.

  80. De Jackson says:

    Quiet
    still, breathing
    her heart waits.

  81. foodpoet says:

    red
    swirl eye
    circles ever watching

  82. foodpoet says:

    Post
    User name
    Not on file

    This
    Poet cannot
    Figure out changes

    Writing
    New poem
    Will post again

  83. ARS POETICA

    Word
    obsession: every
    day a poem.

    Squirrel,
    oak tree,
    hawk – a poem.

    Always
    carry pen,
    pencil, and words.

    Poppy
    cracks through
    concrete: a poem.

  84. pblacksaw says:

    ignorance speaks
    loudly.. nothing
    secret remains

  85. Shonte says:

    *None of these are related to each other, just so you know!*

    Girls,
    think before
    choosing your men.

    Love,
    Eying you
    Stimulates the heart.

    Abandoned.
    You traverse
    an empty heart.

  86. RachelHoffman says:

    mehndi
    stains peacocks
    into my skin

  87. RJ Clarken says:

    The Ol’ Family Tree

    Your
    branch is
    the crazy side!

    Your
    branch is
    the ugly one.

  88. ameyrowitz says:

    Justice Prevails

    Culprit
    running fast
    not fast enough

  89. barbara_y says:

    donates
    her time
    while that lasts

  90. notice
    all is
    contained within small

  91. Faith
    moves mountains
    strong little girl

    (for my 4 year old baby niece) ^^

  92. Faith
    moves mountains
    strong little girl

    (for my 4 year old baby niece)

    ^^

  93. This one’s for my 5 year old niece, a very silly piece…

    Faith
    moves mountains
    strong little girl

    ^^

  94. This one’s for my 5 year old niece, a very silly piece…

    Faith
    moves mountains
    strong little girl

    ^^

  95. Once
    upon a
    time in Greece

    an
    american caught
    writer’s block disease

    bought
    a ticket
    flew back home

    and
    wrote one
    hundred thousand poems

  96. Words
    whispered weave
    webs worth wandering.

  97. Sit
    down, shut
    up, and listen.

  98. Hands
    entwine, while
    desperate bonds unravel.

  99. Genevieve Fitzgerald says:

    plunging
    through darkness
    light becomes light

    reposted with my whole name, which some of you will recognize – Hi, everyone!

  100. Poetry,
    like food,
    must be digested.

  101. Geni says:

    plunging
    through darkness
    light becomes light

  102. Collect
    stuff quick,
    dispose of forever.

  103. Genesis 1

    In
    the beginning,
    God created everything.

    And
    He called
    all creation good.

  104. Name that Movie

    Mawwiage,
    that dweam
    within a dweam.

  105. Sharp Little Pencil says:

    These are also on my blog, which mentions a bit about the form and gives a link back to Poetic Asides. Hope my formatting worked here as well as it did on my blog! Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/haynaku-a-fun-little-form/

    As Seen On TV

    Drug
    It’s new!
    Ask your doctor

    Squandered

    Money
    is wasted
    on the rich

    Like a Mighty Stream

    Justice
    is ensured
    only through action

    Jesus, Gandhi, King

    Peace
    cannot flourish
    without unconditional love

    Mel Gibson’s Passion

    Jesus
    was not
    an action figure

    America

    Hatred
    is not
    the new Normal

    All poems © 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  106. dented85 says:

    Single
    bay calling,
    Empty beach stalling.

  107. dented85 says:

    Aggregate,
    Bouncy canine,
    Dodgy echo fogs.

    Gold,
    Horseshoe iris,
    Jovial killer lemmings.

  108. RJ Clarken says:

    Here’s two more (which are also on today’s prompt page):

    Music Class

    School
    of fish
    swims in tuna.

    ###

    “What
    is your
    favorite subject?” “Recess!”

    ###

  109. RJ Clarken says:

    Ooops – I made the same mistake. Words! (Not syllables.)

    Well, a couple of mine still work, (Heavy sigh.)

  110. RJ Clarken says:

    fire
    London
    burns with rage

  111. RJ Clarken says:

    Pi:
    Small slice
    of PiZza

    Eat
    your peas.
    Love, Your Mom.

    “There
    is no
    try.” – Yoda

    Where’s
    your gum?
    It’s…oh. Ew.

    It’s
    okay.
    I like dirt.

    Does
    this make
    me look fat?

  112. Michelle Hed says:

    snow
    falling down
    white wedding dress

    politics
    will never
    come between us

    withered
    her skin
    crackles like leaves

  113. Nancy Posey says:

    Oh, Robert, this is addictive.

    London
    fires erupt.
    Blame the bakers.

    Summer
    ends tomorrow.
    Alert the weather.

    Announced
    your divorce:
    Changed Facebook profile.

  114. sberg says:

    Wise
    Men know
    They are fools.

  115. sberg says:

    Fools
    Masquerade in
    Wisdom’s ill-fitting clothes.

  116. sberg says:

    Life’s
    too short
    to sweat it.

  117. sberg says:

    Memories
    Snapshots of
    Life and times

  118. sberg says:

    Future…
    an illusion
    just beyond reach.

  119. sberg says:

    Love
    blurs flaws
    the eyes see.

  120. sberg says:

    Life
    is time
    quickly zooming by.

  121. sberg says:

    Our
    future quickly
    becomes our past.

  122. sberg says:

    Future…
    an illusion
    just outa reach.

  123. sberg says:

    Now…
    an instant
    or an eternity?

  124. sberg says:

    Heaven’s
    only a
    whisper away… Listen.

  125. Michael Grove says:

    Doing
    Taking action
    Better than trying

  126. Michael Grove says:

    Peace
    Always desired
    Rarely brought forth

  127. Michael Grove says:

    Mamihlapinatapai
    Confused looks
    Waiting and wishing

  128. Michael Grove says:

    Life
    Precious commodity
    Gifted not earned

  129. Michael Grove says:

    Decide
    which one.
    Want or need.

  130. Michael Grove says:

    Silence.
    Sweet serenity.
    Greater than golden.

  131. Michael Grove says:

    Love
    for everyone
    for all eternity.

  132. Michael Grove says:

    Poetry
    in motion
    gifts the Muse.

  133. Pipes;
    my muse
    with a melody!

  134. gelo says:

    sundown …
    the shimmer
    beyond the bay

  135. gelo says:

    rising
    at dawn
    to catch you

  136. Behold!
    {{{{{{ Drum roll }}}}}}
    Beat you all!

  137. Hush!
    Silence, please…
    … a poem’s born!

  138. mac1239 says:

    Writers
    one vein
    tell-tale heart.

  139. KrisK says:

    Go
    Go Inward
    Light Streams Outward

  140. KrisK says:

    Tail
    Wags Dog
    Usually Means Accident

  141. KrisK says:

    Cart
    Before Horse
    Means Extra Work

  142. KrisK says:

    Spice
    Brings Joy
    To My Tastebuds

  143. KrisK says:

    One,
    Two, Three,
    Makes a Community

  144. KrisK says:

    Rain
    Gentle Rinse
    Feels So Good

  145. Bruce Niedt says:

    I used a similar theme for a poem last year, but this seemed like a fun form to revisit it:

    Six-word Spoilers

    Rosebud’s
    Kane’s sled –
    who’d have thought?

    Vader
    tells Luke:
    “I’m your father.”

    Norman
    slashes folks
    dressed as Mom.

    Heston
    finds ruined
    Statue of Liberty.

    Shrink,
    Dr. Malcolm,
    is a ghost.

    Date-
    night shocker –
    Dil’s a man!

    Devious
    suspect – Verbal
    is Keyser Söze.

    What’s
    Soylent Green?
    Yuck! It’s people!

  146. Hide
    your face,
    storm-painted sky.

    We crave thunder,
    not daylight,
    today.

  147. house fool says:

    spiraling
    purple crescents
    moon wrapped shoulders

  148. house fool says:

    tweak
    staid gravity
    tickle fate’s ear

  149. barbara_y says:

    abscent
    your smell
    absent your voice

  150. P says:

    Ask
    Just ask
    And ask justly

  151. barbara_y says:

    drought
    lawn mower
    scentless dust haze

  152. seingraham says:

    Straddling
    the abyss
    Means spiraling down

    Weary
    of life
    riding razor’s edge

    Whoa – this is taking me places I didn’t expect to go … think maybe I’ve played with this form enough for now … interesting though …

  153. Marie Elena says:

    Survival:
    The lies
    We tell ourselves.

  154. Marie Elena says:

    Truth:
    Beauty is
    As beauty does.

  155. Loneliness
    Determined compassion
    Connecting once again

  156. Darkness
    sheds light
    on our perception.

  157. Light
    cannot be
    known without darkness.

  158. You
    call it
    Texting While Driving –

    one hand steering,
    other gripping
    pen,

    scribbling
    first lines
    of a poem

    on a scrap
    of old
    paper,

    catching
    my inspiration
    on the road.

  159. Ellie.C says:

    love
    peaches
    uncorked wine

  160. Ellie.C says:

    amber
    follows gold
    segues to winter

  161. Bruce Niedt says:

    missile
    perfectly aimed -
    strike three call

  162. sberg says:

    Honk!
    Angry cars
    Going nowhere fast

  163. sberg says:

    Butterfly
    flutter by
    in iridescent flight

  164. sberg says:

    Mightier
    than the
    sword: the pen

  165. pmwanken says:

    Oh
    my gosh!
    There’s Santa Claus!

  166. Stalker.
    Eerily watching.
    Careful, with love.

  167. Thomas Wigington says:

    Annie’s
    birds have
    died. Unexpected freeze.

  168. gas137 says:

    Entropy

    remains constant

    beyond our demise

  169. robinaburrows says:

    Words-
    fateful threads
    woven through history.

  170. Death
    has no
    rival, but life.

  171. Obstacles
    of life
    challenge the heart.

  172. Serenity
    is peace
    with volume muted.

  173. Gale,
    a wind
    quite full blown.

  174. cara.holman says:

    hay(na)ku -
    a haiku
    or a sneeze?

  175. Willy says:

    With
    this ring,
    I, thee wed.

    At
    the table,
    bow your head.

    Give
    us this
    day our daily

    bread.
    Once spoken
    it’s been said.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    [multiple hay(na)ku]

  176. dented85 says:

    Fiesty epilogue delivered,
    Consumed by
    ape.

    Zoology
    Yields. Xanax
    Wakes victim up.

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