WD Poetic Form Challenge: Haiku Sonnet

I’m hoping to announce the winners of the byr a thoddaid challenge next week, but in the meantime, let’s get started on the next challenge: writing the haiku sonnet!

Find the rules for writing haiku sonnets here. It’s basically four haiku and a couplet comprised of 7-syllable lines.

So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on September 30, 2016.
  • Poets can enter as many haiku sonnets as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com. Or just write a new haiku sonnet. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider haiku sonnets shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!


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In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. He’s also the author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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178 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Haiku Sonnet

  1. Sarah Metzler

    Rose Bush, by Sarah E. Metzler

    Important phone call—
    The warmth
    Of the receiver

    Only one of two
    Love birds—
    Open door

    Finally sitting
    In her empty chair—
    The worn out springs

    Her bleeding heart—
    Meteor showers

    Somehow—the tender belly
    Of the snail—thorn over thorn

  2. AFPrice

    Struggle Between Two Ways
    (A Haiku Sonnet)

    easy to tear down
    criticize past and present
    negative approach

    harder to build up
    present new plans for future
    proposal of hope

    in the positive
    there is room for partnerships
    to work together

    begin the building
    of excitement – energy
    creative thinking

    and in that building is faith
    in a future made for all

    © Copyright 2016 by Ann Freeman Price

  3. BDP

    “Yearn Garden”

    Will dark still pepper
    our spent repast come morning’s
    chagrin of rose buds?

    The moonlight glints on
    creature eyes: turn, our mirror
    twins flash hungry, too.

    Predators sneak near
    our door. Shouldn’t thorns protect?
    Our sins smell too close.

    What do prowlers know
    of our most human foible—
    ache spades into love.

    Cage our heart-quick wants: no more
    nights eaten nothing to show.

    –Barb Peters

  4. BDP

    “Our Mutti”

    One lurch from the nest
    a hatchling spreads unused wings:
    any age falling.

    We scrape straight-backed chairs
    to her bed. Eyedropper spoons.
    Her mind whispers cliff.

    The choice not to eat
    speaks over our urgent voice.
    Bed blanket of down.

    Our hands on hers, bone
    hollow—care to a small bird.
    We feel her life fill.

    Until this night, firmament
    failed to rise: now we see it.

    –Barb Peters

  5. BDP


    Honey locust leaves
    feather gold: migrant finches
    lift sky and wing off.

    Midnight critters slow
    wreck our fall garden into
    a carved three-tooth grin.

    Year-round cardinals
    gild the backyard when fresh snow
    crowns them royal red.

    Santa steers and reins
    a sleigh chock full of presents
    swallowed in two bites.

    Gingerbread puffs its bake pan,
    we need coats against hoarfrost.

    –Barb Peters

  6. Jane Shlensky

    Acorn Eaters

    like spirits, they walk
    from tree shadow onto lawn
    nibbling at morning

    a doe and two fawns
    freckled, frisky, their tails flecks
    of white fur, matched dots

    black button noses
    large liquid eyes, ears upright
    tuned to nature’s notes

    there at forest’s edge
    stands the twelve-point buck, stamping,
    huffing , warning them

    about cars and men with guns
    and the high price of acorns

  7. Jane Shlensky


    first frost and leaves turn
    yellow, red, orange, and gold
    tumbling to the ground

    migratory birds
    feel the chill reminding them
    instincts can save lives

    wedges of geese form
    winged constellations, arrows
    pointing flocks southward

    shoveling new snow, we will
    ponder bird brains and wonder

  8. Jane Shlensky


    He’s all tap and jive.
    She’s a lithe ballerina,
    all grace and balance.

    He’s a fast fiddle,
    playing life’s vast hoe-down.
    She’s sweet violin.

    He’s cold bottled beers;
    she’s aged wines, sparkling glasses,
    silk to his cotton

    drawn together by their love—
    to make the rest of us think.

  9. Jane Shlensky


    wet concrete invites
    random messages—footprints
    of children, dogs, birds

    initials in hearts
    graffiti solidified
    names and freehand art

    leaves float like outstretched
    fingers leaving imprints, proof
    of existence, notes

    dropped for others to read, acts
    of relative permanence

  10. JoCarroll

    Young cherries blossom
    Spring awakening color
    Lower the coffin

    The moist scent of earth
    Gardeners planting flowers
    Roses on a grave

    Song sparrows singing
    Flying circles in the sky
    A low elegy

    Misty shower falling
    Dew upon the hyacinth
    Tears on a headstone

    Springtime world awakening
    An everlasting goodbye

    by Jo Carroll

  11. AFPrice

    Haiku Sonnet for the Day

    no limit each day
    to the things that can be done
    sing Alleluia

    reach for the sun and
    all the stars that can be reached
    sing Alleluia

    climb over hurdles
    face problems – come out on top
    sing Alleluia

    keep the joy throughout
    the day and through the night-time
    sing Alleluia

    the chorus reverberates
    and anchors the time – in praise

    © Copyright 2016 by Ann Freeman Price

    Plan for the Day
    (Haiku Sonnet)

    a plan for the day
    bright-eyed morning ideas
    merge into a list

    for check-off as you live it
    things to accomplish

    first hour is the list
    too much detail – too little
    finding the balance

    energy gathers
    for the implementation
    excitement explodes

    this will be the one dream day
    where it all comes together

    © Copyright 2016 by Ann Freeman Price

  12. Karen

    Purple crocuses
    burst through winter’s stubborn crust
    Assertive beauties

    Orange trumpet flowers
    yellow and black bumblebees
    sweet nectar enticed

    Bushel baskets filled
    boiled dinner simmers in pot
    Indian summer sighs

    Crystal flakes drifting
    I am inside a snow globe
    snowed in for the day

    Time to relax and unwind
    Playing hooky from the grind

  13. Pwriter10

    SPELLING BEE by DeAndre Oolong

    makes these bees way too easy.
    French or Latin root? Bah!

    Just once I would like
    to see the origin as
    a poet’s palette.

    A word of greatness
    transcribed from a random mind.
    It must be random.

    Famous poets learn
    the words that they create sing
    songs that others know,

    with wisdom to strike the iron
    while it burns. A honeyed gift.

  14. Karen

    by: Karen Wilson
    Memories in a Shoebox

    The first pair of shoes
    hard soled white leather lace ups
    tiny feet resist

    New school shoes yearly
    penny loafers very cool
    never had a pair

    Just like the nuns wore
    short black zip ups with fur trim
    hated those damn boots

    Perfect strappy heels
    elegant black strapless gown
    I felt beautiful

    Some things are hard to give up
    Memories in a shoebox

  15. Nancy Posey

    Autumn Melancholy

    The last tomato
    plants grow leggy, bent over
    with unripened fruit

    Hummingbirds tremble
    over the memory of res
    blossoms, now turned brown

    Neglected okra
    pods rattle on the tips of stalks
    that can’t quit blooming

    Your back porch rocker
    where I’ve watched you all summer–
    Emory now, nudged by wind

    Metaphors and similes
    fall short of autumn’s changes.

  16. Chrismccaffrey86

    Bed-time Stories

    I’m in the top bunk
    You’re below – a thin film of
    Clear, bare, sanctuary

    In the hall, he’s soaked
    Head to toe. Saturated.

    The low frequency
    Of a thump shudders the wall,
    Cracks our fragile ears

    Fractured bones conduct
    The shocking pain, passing through
    Our souls like lightning

    Penetrating; plaguing our
    Consciousnesses forever

    by Chris McCaffrey

  17. Tracy Davidson

    The Hour

    she boils the kettle
    makes his breakfast, as though it
    were a normal day

    no words are spoken
    he hides behind his paper
    to avoid her eyes

    she watches the clock
    chain-smokes just for something
    to do with her hands

    she holds back the tears
    as the hour hand turns eight
    feels her throat tighten

    somewhere in a dark prison
    their son’s body stops twitching

  18. Tracy Davidson


    soft fingers caress
    each fragile fold and furrow
    skin glistens with sweat

    your eyes say it all
    much more eloquent than words
    love and lust combined

    the taste of your lips
    that curve of your thrusting tongue
    sets senses ablaze

    beneath satin sheets
    I finally feel alive
    in your warm embrace

    how you somehow find the spots
    I never knew existed

  19. SarahLeaSales

    Elemental Change
    by Sarah Lea Richards

    Sunshine fades, moonshine
    illuminates blue, green, brown—
    Big bang, formed by God.

    Fossil-fueled fumes,
    gray-dawn haze of consciousness—
    taking it all in.

    Great ball of fire,
    ashes, ashes, trees fall down—
    sun is closing in.

    Garbage floats like hope-
    lessness, sinking like despair—
    thirst overrules.

    Environmental unrest,
    snowfall follows no harvest.

  20. AFPrice

    Morning Pages
    (A Haiku Sonnet)

    morning pages put
    space into day’s beginning
    whisp’ring: breathe…breathe…breathe…

    days can get crowded
    and stuffed with nonsensical
    pressure and rushing

    from start to finish
    the day collapses at night
    with pure exhaustion

    writing three pages
    first thing puts contemplation
    at the very start

    and changes the day itself
    into valued time — and joy

    © Copyright 2016 by Ann Freeman Price

  21. grcran

    SNAFU Angel

    Hoping to help
    She fought for her mother
    Fought for some other

    Broke at the ankle wrangling
    Victorian best

    Settled for jangles
    Taped up entangles semi-
    Resolved beforehand

    Afterwards out
    Of touch working remotely
    Closed inner circle

    Somehow staying open real time
    Removed Readjusted Sublime

    by gpr crane

  22. grcran

    The nut inside

    Biped stopped his watch
    He’d come to play, recreate
    At long last

    Lasting forever
    At least one piece of him
    Innocent party

    Partly perceived
    World constantly changes
    Ready or not

    Knot ever untied
    Roll with the fireworks brother
    These things do work out

    Outwardly clichéd, the truthful kernels
    Yet may shine through the darkest nocturnals

    gpr crane

  23. grcran


    found the way out
    way inside myself. twas shown.
    simple when it’s right.

    you showed me. again.
    over again. bearing down.
    all i could do.

    blessed beyond reason.
    giving thanks, the best response.
    not required, just best.

    moved to fruition.
    inspired. deft. in fits and spurts.
    won’t know for sure, though.

    arrived at last to fully ripe.
    glimpse edges of foreverness.

    gpr crane

  24. Tom Hayes


    Quite like a mirage,
    Indian summer slips in
    wearing summer clothes.

    Corn stalks in the barn,
    and pumpkins, ripe on the vine .
    Now summer returns.

    Like an imposter,
    These days mimic mid-summer.
    No one will complain.

    Six weeks to winter,
    and we stroll under the sun .
    A welcome respite.

    Warming us for these few days,
    soon, we fade to Autumn’s haze.

    -by Tom Hayes 2016

  25. Walter J Wojtanik


    the fall of autumn
    leaves of multi-colored hues
    mark summer’s demise.

    the skies grow colder
    we, growing older with them
    winter of life calls

    before the snow falls
    the leaves will flit and flutter
    decaying clutter.

    our days grow shorter
    our affairs are in order
    as our autumn fades.

    winter will ushers in spring
    life cycles by our aging

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  26. Pwriter10

    FOG by DeAndre Oolong

    The image is warped.
    A ghost of a ghost of you.
    A stumble, a fall.

    Memories that die
    don’t go to Heaven or Hell
    or Purgatory.

    They just haunt your mind
    through triggers and smells – through words
    unspoken. Shadows

    that dance out of reach.
    Glimmers of headlight float by –
    we’re too near the road.

    At least I am. I half-pray
    that your shadow still survives.

  27. PressOn


    Arcing overhead,
    bright in the sky at zenith,
    moonbeams make diamonds.

    Owl courses the land,
    sails silent into a pine;
    moonbeams silhouette.

    Oaks and maples stand,
    bereft of all foliage;
    moonbeams cast long shades.

    Cumulus clouds pass
    with diaphanous fringes;
    moonbeams grow to gold.

    Winter has no greater boon
    than the graces of the moon.

    —William Preston

  28. Pwriter10

    STARLIGHT’S OPERA by DeAndre Oolong

    A billion-year note
    if you believe in science.
    They sing – all of them

    through x-rays, gamma –
    every spectrum of wave –
    the length of heartbeats.

    I like to think that
    my light shines from me to them –
    it doesn’t get lost

    in black holes, darkness –
    gravity of the moment.
    They can sense my voice,

    as I whisper to myself
    songs that only Nature hears.

  29. DMK

    an hour and a half
    from Canadian border
    trees stand like soldiers

    giving needed air
    if you do not mind the cold
    damp weather or the ache

    Epsom salt for bath
    with some frankincense added
    I am good four hours

    otherwise my spine feels
    like it is about to collapse
    no medication

    cold north wind sway evergreens
    hope they will not fall on roof

    D Kvernenes 9/19/2016

  30. DMK

    ear to the window
    listening to rain come down
    like a soft shower

    Steven fixed heater
    for my cold sleeping quarters
    maybe now I can sleep

    coyote serenading
    his room as wet as cold water
    dogs hear him howling

    just have to comment
    at this late or early hour
    would need to comment outside

    like the wicked witch in Oz
    think that water will melt them

    dmk 9/19/2016

      1. Karen

        by: Karen Wilson
        Memories in a Shoebox

        The first pair of shoes
        hard soled white leather lace ups
        tiny feet resist

        New school shoes yearly
        penny loafers very cool
        never had a pair

        Just like the nuns wore
        short black zip ups with fur trim
        hated those damn boots

        Perfect strappy heels
        elegant black strapless gown
        I felt beautiful

        Some things are hard to give up
        Memories in a shoebox


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