Posts Tagged ‘Haiku’

Contests and Other Things Fun

July 20, 2012 14 comments


The last few days have been interesting ones at Chez Young. Yesterday one of my Haiku poems was placed among the five finalists of a Haiku Poetry Challenge at Khara House’s website “Our Lost Jungle.”  That was exciting. My Haiku poem stood with poems from four other marvelous poets, all of whom I’ve admired for a long time.

Today, my inbox held contests, challenges, and Calls for Submission from websites and publishers of varied types, no few of which were for poetry.

The first was an easy contest from the sense of an entry. It was a give-away contest by J.L. Spelbring (ebysswriter). The prize for this contest was multi-faceted. And you betcha, I’m entered in this one and gladly.  will get copies of Dan Cohen’s book “Masters of the Veil,” either in paperback or PDF, and a chance at a B&N gift card at the end of summer.

The first Calls for Submission came from Robert E. Brewer of Writer’s Digest fame. Okay, so I’m a chump. You guessed it; I’m going for one of these slots, too. Robert’s looking for both how-to articles for the 2014 edition of Writer’s Market. He also calls for poetry to grace that year’s Poet’s Market.  Call me an over-achiever. That’s okay. I am, and I’ll submit here, too. I do write poetry, after all.

To top off all the contests, challenges, and submission calls was Jane Freidman’s Newsletter “Electric Speed” which gave me great writer/reader tools to check out in my leisure time.   How great is that?

With all of this going on, I’m going to be one crazy writer trying to keep up. My book of poetry “The Moon Sees All” is the in the hands of my beta readers, who are getting their responses and critiques back to me throughout this month. I’ll have that to finish off next month before going out to agents/publishers, That excites me as much as anything else.

For all of those writers out there who think they can’t compete, I ask this: how do you know? Have you don’t much of it? If the answer is “NO,” you might be short-changing yourself and your abilities. Remember: the only sure way to fail at something is to never do it. Be a doer, even if you think you can’t be good at it. Until you do, you can’t know.

Have a great weekend, peeps. Soak up the atmosphere wherever you are, smile at yourself as much as you do at others, and do something different with an hour or two. You never know—that something might become your next passion.

A bientot,



Power to Poetry Through Exposure

April 28, 2012 7 comments
metrical tree of an iambic foot

metrical tree of an iambic foot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the misconceptions about poetry is that you have to spend years studying it, learning every nuance about it, have an MFA degree in it, ad infinitum before writing your first poem of consequence. I’m sure some teacher somewhere planted that propaganda early, during the organization of educational systems, to terrorize the average student into the closet, never to pen verse again.

Odd as it may seem, verse began long before written language. When you find an ancient Viking, ask him. He can probably recite one of the sagas and leave you breathless for a couple of hours.

What is it about poetry that demands that it be written down in certain forms to be considered legitimate?

Consider this case: unless one is a serious scholar of poetic form, the truth about the small and unobtrusive haiku, with its few words and syllables, would never surface in this country. True Japanese Haiku has no title (Americans seem to find one necessary for meaning.) It uses 17 morae, which are not syllables.

For those who are really interested in a complete explanation of the difference between morae and syllables, Marc van Oostendorp published a marvelous paper on Mora Theory in 2005. Suffice it to say that individual languages, such as Japanese, are high in moraic qualities. Entire analysis formulas exist to document a language’s spoken moraic structure.

American English isn’t an especially moraic language. And there are probably few poets in this country that would rather do pure Haiku than use syllables and deviate. When I have at least a few months to devote to additional study, I’ll delve into this precision of thought. Until then, I’ll muddle through with the American version.

Here’s a simple haiku as an example.

 Water rushing now,

Stones weeping my memories

Time flows without end.

This verse, that I wrote many years ago, exhibits the common 5-7-5 syllable line scheme. The trick to Haiku, I’m told, is the juxtaposition of its subject elements.

Here I begin with rushing water, placing it in the present tense in the first line; nothing unusual there.

The second line acts as a transition to the next line/subject. The stones are weeping memories. Whose memories? Mine. I’ve placed myself in this short tale, which also combines the presence of now and the past of my memories.

The third line twists what has already been stated to take everything into another time zone. Subject has shifted to Time, away from Water. The last word completes the concept of never-ending Time. Yet both subjects are brought together by the verb flows.

To me, this verse silhouettes several concepts and story specifics. It may not be the greatest example of haiku ever written. I certainly don’t believe it is. I do think that it shows how such a verse is written and how the meaning morphs from one subject to another, using a transition line to make its case.

Please let me know what you think. Did my small poem do its job? Did it work as hard as it could to tell its story? Oft times only the reader can tell effectiveness. Drop a comment and give me your opinion.

Running Around the Calendar

April 11, 2012 7 comments

Haiku (Photo credit: lux2night)

Seasons come and seasons go: isn’t that the old song? Today’s writing prompt for the month centers on Seasons. Choose a season, use that for your title, write a poem about it; that was the prompt.

I can do that. That’s a simple fix for my poetry habit. Haiku is the answer for days when time is running in short supply. I admit, though, that at least one of these is a bit irreverent. Can you pick out the one(s)?



Popcorn ball flakes sail,

With winds howling for fear’s sake,

Drifting to bring peace.



Seeds’ green heads waver,

Nodding to sky in joy,

Leaving Dark for Light.



Daisies keep cow friends

Company on sunshine days,

Giving selves as food.



Squirrels hurry on,

Gathering winter’s food choice,

Quarrel over safes.


I may take another crack at it late this afternoon, so stay tuned for developing events. Take care, all. Enjoy yourselves. Tell your friends to stop by. They’re not obligated to sign a contract or anything. TTFN

© Claudette J. Young  2012

Poetic Bloomings Wednesday In-Form Poetry Challenge

April 4, 2012 1 comment

These are my efforts in Tanka today. Each follows the proper form of 5-7-5-7-7. Each attempt to tell a complete story in five lines. I hope all will enjoy them.

Poetic Bloomings Wednesday In-Form Poetry Challenge for April 4, 2012—Tanka

Dancers’ Prayers

Drum beats bring dancers,

Prayers rise to Heaven’s gate.

Rain’s presence called forth.

Supplication pleases God

Who delivers needed rain.

Driver’s Mess

When sight fails for speed,
Events scream for attention.
Metalic paint scrapes,
Tempers flare for all to see,
Solving problems with nonsense.

Music’s Power

Strains, soft with whimsy,

Sliding behind closed eyelids,

Relax and write now.

Muse sends song’s delicate voice

To woo the vision within.

I’ll return this evening with my sestina for the day. Happy reading, all.

© Claudette J. Young 2012

Day 4 of April’s Challenges

April 4, 2012 4 comments

This is going to be a long month. And one in which little outside of challenges gets done. Today I have three separate challenge styles to post.

The first is from Poetic Asides. The poem format used is of my own decision, since no specific form was required—a common occurrence. This prompt was so wide-open that my mind reeled from the assorted immediate mental flashes of subject.

The following is what I selected, purely by Muse. I sat down and just began writing. The results were unexpected. I hope you enjoy the efforts.

April 4, 2012 Day 4 Prompt—100% (blank) Fill in the blank and make title


100% Humidity Out There Folks


And still pavement waits for rain,

Disguised under its carpet of dirt

With footprints scarring its surface,

Waiting for fat drops to splat and stain.


Prayers danced in circles, call forth

Relief from Earth’s ravishing thirst,

Call forth dancers to join rhythm beats

From drum and foot, always circling.


Belief of dancers rises to Heaven’s ears,

Creates wind to drive Rain’s stampede

Across land cracked by Sun’s gaze while

Voices join drum in supplication.


Soon Rain’s front strangles ground’s throat,

Rushing, pounding, driving those beneath.

Feathered dancers glory in prayer’s end,

Glorying in The Creator’s answer.


100% Correct


“The little lady down front is 100% correct!”

How can that be correct, when factors flow as water,

During each second of the question’s answer?


Each breath creates new conditions, redirecting life’s steps

Onto paths as yet unseen, unknown until actuality appears,

To add to previous knowledge concerning that path.


Each thought, word, and action take the user

On a joy ride, designed within the user’s response,

Determined by perception and intent as to correctness.


Does consensus decided something’s correctness,

Leaving each person knowing one reality

While others live in separate aspects of it?


Should I believe what you say, knowing I

Have a different reality from your sense of right.

Can anyone be correct about anything in life?


In a short while I’ll post my offerings for Poetic Bloomings. The In-Form challenge for today is: tanka. Tanka is a Haiku form that has five lines instead of three. Those five lines have specific syllabic counts: 5-7-5-7-7. Some of the finest tanka examples I’ve seen tell a complete story in those five lines, containing 31 syllables—no small feat, but breathtaking when done well.

I’ll do my best to not disappoint when I write mine.

I also have a poetry challenge on BlogHer for a Sestina poem. Sestina is a long form, comprised of six stanzas of six lines each, and followed by one “envoy” or triplet stanza. The complication with this form arises from the necessity of re-arranging the end words of each line of each stanza into a specific use pattern. The point of a sestina is to tell a complete story in lyrical form, since its origin came from French troubadours.

I have one of those yet to create, as well. When I finish it, I will post it here.

I won’t be posting my task-of-the-day work for Robert Brewer’s Author Platform Challenge. That’s a separate and different kind of challenge that will go elsewhere.

To there you have it, folks. Check back often today. It’s going to get crowded on this blog for April 4th.