in spires of red, hot pokers
your birthday candles
everywhere the flames burning
too quickly they are blown out
This poem is a tanka. I haven't written many tankas so I did have to go back to one of my form books to check that I had done the syllables correctly. Tankas were made popular by Chinese courtesans who published books of tanka written to their sponsor. Those books are some of the first poetry books published of poetry by women. The tanka has 31 syllables, five lines long in a 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 pattern. It is like a haiku 5-7-5, with two extra 7 syllable lines. Also, these poems encouraged the use of reference to the lover or sponsor.
Your challenge for today is to try writing your own tanka. Have fun.
And here is a thought, if you get stumped in writing.