WD Poetic Form Challenge: Huitain

The WD Poetic Form Challenge is your opportunity to write and share a poem (huitain this time around) for a chance to get published in the Poetic Asides column in Writer’s Digest.


New year, new WD Poetic Form Challenge. This time around, we’ll write the huitain.

Find the rules for writing the huitain here. It’s a French eight-liner with an ababbcbc rhyme scheme.

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.)

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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 January 31, 2020.
  • Poets can enter as many huitains 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  • All poems should be previously unpublished.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 email at rbrewer@aimmedia.com. Or just write a new huitain. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider huitains 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 email 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!

49 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Huitain

  1. AvatarPressOn

    PIPE DREAMS

    As dreams arrive to help survive the night,
    I’ll bid my sadness vanish in the air;
    I’ll wash my failures in their wispy light
    and watch my sorrows scatter everywhere,
    and if I feel an edge of deep despair,
    I’ll scan the mountains for the ledge of grey
    announcing that the wedge is hovering there
    when dreams of night are changed to schemes of day.

    — William Preston

  2. AvatarNot-Only But-Also Riley

    Feeling Freezey

    I’m in that walking when it’s cold out there
    kind of mood. Like I need my cheeks turned red,
    I want my finger’s frozen fishstick flair
    and my breath to be a whatfor warhead.
    I would savor how softserve shivers spread
    up through my stiff legs, torso, neck, brain,
    each more violent, each more cinnamon bread
    and less banana whispering campaign.

    -Riley Hysell

  3. AvatarTracy Davidson

    A Koala Cries

    His screams of pain are hard to hear,
    his struggle to escape the flames.
    Those desperate cries so full of fear,
    another victim the fire maims.
    Yet some will still ignore the claims,
    as climate change moves on apace,
    of who and what should bear the blame.
    Our planet spins and burns in space.

  4. AvatarPressOn

    SCINTILLATION IN APRIL

    A band of black and yellow birds
    are flashing under willow trees;
    the sight puts paid to my mere words
    as they present a scene to please,
    as lilies do on a fresh breeze
    or worries do when they take wing.
    Graces are free to one who sees
    these black and yellow birds in spring.

    — William Preston

  5. AvatarPressOn

    ON SPOTTING AN UPSIDE-DOWN BIRD

    Just yesterday I saw a bird
    with belly black and back of white;
    the whole of it seemed so absurd
    that it gave me a bit of fright
    to witness the topsy-turvy sight.
    I thought I had too much to drink,
    but then a friend said, with delight:
    “Oh, look! There goes a bobolink!”

    — William Preston

  6. AvatarTracy Davidson

    Big Kid

    Just because I’m over forty
    doesn’t mean I’m way past my prime,
    my childish side still gets naughty.
    I still like puddles, mud and grime
    and finding decent trees to climb.
    With swings and slides, and other stuff,
    for grown-up things I don’t have time.
    Old age will creep up soon enough.

  7. AvatarTracy Davidson

    Maternal

    I can’t explain the love I felt
    the first time I held my own child.
    My non-maternal heart did melt,
    for I was instantly beguiled
    by mewling infant, not so mild.
    Never thought I’d be so content
    to settle from a life once wild,
    but motherhood is heaven sent.

  8. AvatarPressOn

    SKY SHOW

    When northern lights caress the night
    with luminescent curtain falls,
    the sky is a friend, with laughs bedight
    that illuminate my soul’s hard halls
    when they dance their shimmering drawls;
    and when the dawn brings back the sun
    and floods with light the canyon walls,
    some might regret it. I, for one.

    — William Preston

  9. AvatarSasha A. Palmer

    PHOTO ALBUM

    A perfect day trip in July —
    the sea was calm, the sky was blue,
    the kids were little, you and I
    were ten years younger, seagulls flew
    and cried above us, hours were few,
    but stretched, and stretched…until at last
    ‘twas time — we rounded up our crew,
    and our day trip sailed to the past.

  10. AvatarNot-Only But-Also Riley

    I want to stay up late a night.

    I want to stay up late at night,
    so I might hear the wind’s blue hymn.
    I want to learn the way to write
    the notes which make the midnight swim.
    At night the world fills to the brim
    with secret whimsy unpossessed
    by humans who, with insight slim,
    will waste the night on dreams and rest.

  11. AvatarPressOn

    THE DAYTIME PATROL

    In parking lots across the land
    the gulls declare their war on cars:
    they gather, like a robber band,
    to leave their marks and splattered scars
    on autos parked at shops and bars
    and on the ground, with nary a lull.
    Sometimes I wish the wrath of Mars
    would settle on each bloomin’ gull.

    — William Preston

  12. Avatarcasplan

    Winter Pruning

    I feel the weight of the last year ease
    With each bare branch I trim and clip,
    Shaping and lightening dormant trees,
    Waiting for winter to shake its grip.
    Should memories as easily slip
    And peel away instead of cling
    To my brittle bones and weathered lip,
    I too could welcome another spring.

  13. AvatarPressOn

    AT THE OREGON COAST

    Last night at sea the sun set green
    while waters whispered all around;
    I think that I have never seen
    such peace surmounting sight and sound,
    the kind that marries sky to ground
    and bids the soul find quiet ways.
    I waited there upon a mound
    till Moon displayed her final phase.

    — William Preston

  14. AvatarHaikutopia

    Emptyish

    by Sari Grandstaff

    We thought we had an empty nest
    And all the hatchlings had flown free
    Knowing that we had done our best
    We toasted our freedom with glee
    In retrospect, prematurely
    As now a laundromat we ran
    A kennel and a free pantry
    Revolving door is now the plan

  15. Avatartaylor graham

    JUST THIS EVENING

    A boy is missing on the news –
    a common story but unique
    for every loss. The search for clues;
    the questions. Answers seem to peek
    out of the dark but will not speak
    out loud. So many children lost
    here, there, where? in a winter bleak
    as last fall’s leaves by chill wind tossed.

  16. AvatarNurit Israeli

    IN SPITE OF YOUR PLIGHT…

    “Dance, when you’re broken open.” – Rumi

    Don’t fault the darkness of your winter nights,
    you can’t roll back the swiftly fleeting years.
    But if you try, you might uncover lights,
    so, summon courage dormant under fears.
    See, smiles reside beneath the bitter tears.
    Put on music! A song that’s entrancing!
    Don’t just wait till all fog disappears,
    take a chance in advance – attempt dancing!

    – Nurit Israeli

  17. AvatarNurit Israeli

    IN SPITE OF YOUR PLIGHT…

    “Dance, when you’re broken open.” – Rumi

    Don’t fault the darkness of your winter nights,
    you can’t roll back the swiftly fleeting years.
    But if you try, you might uncover lights,
    so, summon courage dormant under fears.
    See, smiles reside beneath the bitter tears,
    put on music, a song that’s entrancing!
    Don’t just wait till all fog disappears,
    take a chance in advance – attempt dancing!

    – Nurit Israeli

    1. AvatarNurit Israeli

      Sorry for the duplication. I had a hard time posting yesterday (my comment initially didn’t show up). Anyhow, this is the correct version. Thank you!

  18. Avatarconnie-akron

    GIRLS LIKE THE SMELL OF GUNSMOKE, OR,
    YOU DON’T HAVE TO KILL ANYTHING TO SMASH THE PATRIARCHY
    by Connie Kopko Kramer

    The clerk’s brow raised as he stared at me,
    at the box, at my crumpled dollar: I saw his frown drip:
    for your brother? I shook my head as he glared at me;
    the blue box of roll-caps, the goal of this trip
    was now in my pocket, the plan in my grip.
    We sisters, in secret, got rocks from the weeds
    and thwacked out the day with the prized cache of strips
    unrolled with spark; exploded with gusto, with glee.

  19. AvatarSoLow-Steve

    -*-Rose Begone-*-

    For what it’s worth, the rose was red
    Beyond the season’s strict regime
    The envy of the living dead
    The hope of every blossom’s dream
    And yet we find the golden beam
    Grows weaker as the frost endures
    And life resumes her mortal scheme
    To bid the season run its course

  20. Avatartaylor graham

    SPIDER DANCE

    Against the kitchen ceiling, lit
    by dawn, a spinning spider dance.
    A hanging web; encircling it
    two spider-lives; a circumstance
    and pomp, and yes, an elegance
    of oh-so-slowly weaving limbs
    uncountable; the hanging chance
    in nature’s woven, silken whims.

  21. AvatarPressOn

    MARKING GRIEF

    As waves roll in throughout the day
    I draw my finger through the sand
    and watch impressions fade away
    toward the sea and time’s demand;
    I shake my head and move my hand
    in time to breakers’ rhythmic din,
    and wonder if this scene, so grand,
    will ease my soul as waves roll in.

  22. Avatarconnielpeters

    Wilma

    She lived her life for others, near and far,
    Seattle rain to land that’s dried.
    She nursed and taught. She was a shining star.
    She raised her kids with God inside.
    She healed the sick, the lost and those who cried.
    She gladly served the risen Lord.
    She loved to swim and that is when she died.
    And now enjoys His great reward.

  23. AvatarPressOn

    A GUIDE TO DISSEMBLING

    If you must fib, then do it well,
    be not content with limpid lies;
    a whopper rings, like truth’s clear bell,
    with something much like pure surprise
    as on it rolls in wondrous guise
    that begs belief as on you prate.
    Be bold; avoid all words and cries
    that limp as they prevaricate.

  24. AvatarNancy Posey

    Cathedral Fire

    We wept when they reported fire
    engulfed the fabled Notre Dame.
    We watched in horror as the spire
    collapsed. We’d barely made it home.
    Two newlyweds abroad, we’d come
    so close to cutting short our tour.
    Instead, we’d entered, felt her calm.
    Her permanence had seemed so sure.

  25. AvatarRJ Clarken

    (This is a rewrite of an older poem of mine.)

    The Art of the Handwritten Note

    “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.” ~Lord Byron

    There is an art to putting pen
    to paper, where you could compose
    some friendly words, since now and then
    a bon mot tells, and also shows.
    In solitude you juxtapose
    peculiarity with norm,
    like poetry with bits of prose.
    It shouldn’t be a lost art form.

    ###

  26. AvatarWalter J Wojtanik

    SHE, by Walter J Wojtanik

    She sure has a certain grace about her,
    an aire that sets her apart from the rest.
    Nothing she says would cause me to doubt her,
    the beginning and end of this man’s quest.
    She has been the pulse that beats in my chest,
    but as my mind falters, it gets the blame.
    She is so loving, she makes me feel blessed,
    yet sometimes I can’t remember her name.

  27. AvatarPressOn

    DAYBREAK

    When purple limns the morning sky,
    announcing sunshine coming soon,
    it heralds colors standing by
    to grace the garden’s show at noon;
    it feels so pregnant, like a boon,
    this herald of another day,
    and bids the rising light festoon
    each flower with a caressing ray.

  28. AvatarDarlene Franklin

    We’re star-crossed lovers, you and I.
    Our paths were never meant to cross.
    No thought we’d meet under the sky.
    We sat upon the same cave moss.

    When we left that darksome cave
    A mutual trust emerged, full formed.
    Confident in love’s sweet grace
    Our match outlasted ev’ry storm.

  29. AvatarPressOn

    AN ALTERED PASTORAL

    Big trucks are in the field today
    where waving grasses used to be;
    they soon will pave the staked-out way
    that stretches, like a threnody,
    from road to trees, across the lea,
    to cast blue soot and smoke and sparks
    and end the serendipity
    of orioles and meadowlarks.

  30. AvatarRon Wright

    Judgement

    He sat upon the bench so high.
    Frowning black gowned grizzly bear man.
    Heeding words for a falsify.
    Some words allowed, some he did ban.
    Grasping all, a twelve member clan.
    Back and forth rants til truth is learned.
    Verdict read in solemn dead pan.
    Grizzly bear growls, court is adjourned.

  31. Avatartaylor graham

    SKEIN OF GOLD

    A wondrous find it was, indeed.
    You brought me to a polished stone –
    remnant of the Deep Blue Lead,
    an ancient river’s golden bone
    buried in land we thought our own.
    The rock veined richly amber, blue
    as evening sky. So much unknown
    that underlies us; shifting, new.

  32. Avatartaylor graham

    AURIFEROUS

    A wondrous find it was, indeed.
    You brought me to a polished stone –
    remnant of the Deep Blue Lead,
    an ancient river’s golden bone
    buried in land we thought our own.
    The rock veined richly amber, blue
    as evening sky. So much unknown
    that underlies us; shifting, new.

  33. AvatarPressOn

    NOTED AT THE WEDDING

    The two of them, like sky and sea,
    form a harmonious display:
    thoroughly complimentary
    as they proceed throughout each day;
    listening to the other’s say
    and always singing the other’s song.
    May storms never impede their way,
    and may that way be smooth and long.

  34. AvatarSara McNulty

    The Dance

    Dance with me, the girl implored
    her brown eyes fixed on his ocean blue.
    Walked home from theater, their hearts soared.
    On deserted street, they were only two.
    Romantic dancing in film imbued
    in them a carefree, dreamy feeling.
    He took her in his arms; the moon approved.
    They whirled to their own tunes, sky their ceiling.

  35. Avatarstevenrrobertson

    Not What You Know
    by Steven R. Robertson

    Artists’ wisdom: draw what you see,
    not what you know. But it’s so hard
    trusting not-trusting my brain. Feels
    unfaithful, ungrateful, like part
    of a conspiracy or war
    against myself. Funny enough––
    when I listen, even just start,
    my eyes get easier to trust.

  36. Avatarstevenrrobertson

    Loop-de-loop
    by Steven R. Robertson

    Merry-go-round or loop-de-loop,
    Kids’ toy train set or subway line?
    When it’s through––if it’s ever through––
    Where does it leave you, this Time?
    Elusive hours spitefully fly;
    The minutes’ hands lead gently on.
    The second a second goes by––
    Is it renewed, or is it gone?

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