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Wednesday Writing Prompt: Winter Haiku by Rochelle Melander

birdsinsnowI struggle to be present. When I’m exercising, I plan my writing time. When I’m writing, I worry about what’s lurking in my email. When I check email, I’m trying to figure out how I can answer 80 messages and find time to blog. Ugh!

Writing haiku helps me to connect to the present moment. In Haiku: Asian Arts and Crafts for Creative Kids, author Patricia Donegan writes: “Haiku is a way to slow down in our modern, speedy world. When we slow down, we are able to catch the moment of haiku, and then we can relax and appreciate things more.” (p. 14).

This past December, as part of my Dream Keepers writing program, I taught Winter Haiku to children and teens at five inner city libraries in Milwaukee. The young people embraced the idea and brainstormed their favorite parts of winter—the squishing sound when they stepped into the snow, the squeaking sound from their shoes when they came inside, the warmth of their winter clothing. The practice of dreaming and writing helped all of us pay attention to the present and find delight in the small joys of wintertime.

Your turn: This week, set aside fifteen minutes to experience the season and write a haiku poem that captures your experience of winter.

Get inspired! I’ve included a few poems from the Dream Keepers to inspire you. When I teach haiku, I do not insist on the traditional seventeen syllable count. We aim for a three-line poem that takes about a breath to read and uses juicy words. You will notice that two of the students had unique views of winter haiku!

Snow, snow, snow fall down

from the sky go on my

face and touch the floor.



Winter snow falling lightly

on the ground

but I’m inside drinking cocoa.



The Snow

I like to wear my coat and my boots and scarf

and my gloves,

warm and soft.



Orange ball bounces

take over the hoop

swoosh and score!




One winter morning

the dolphin got stuck.

Trainer rescued Winter.


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