This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


coyotes howl
3 AM
still  4 AM

     Yesterday I used the title of my poem to set the topic of the poem.  Haiku do not have titles, so I had to use the first line to carry the topic.  Do these there lines carry a whole story for you?  I'm usually not in favor of poems with the ambiguity of word having two meanings, but I think I used that little word still to that advantage here.  The still can mean that the noise is going on still, or it can be like quiet and still. Is that good or misleading to you?  Does it get in the way of the meaning of the poem?  Would it have been better to put that word at the end of the line?  I could have put a coma or a caesura after still, but that seemed too heavy handed to me.  I did put two spaces there though to subtly draw some emphasis to the word.  These are the decisions poets get to make. Now, I could have just as easily have said, I was up all night with the coyotes' howl--but this haiku was more fun for me.  I hope it worked for you too as you participated with the poem.
    Now it is your turn to have fun playing with poetry.  Try your own haiku.  I have a friend, Lenard Moore, who once told me that one needs to write at least a thousand haiku before you get any good at it.  I don't think I've written a thousand yet, but I'm getting close.  Of course, he is the person whose goal is to have 50 poems out for submission at all times.  I'm a long way from that, but it is always nice to have friends who make you stretch.
  Have a happy Sunday writing.


  1. Joy,
    I understood that the coyotes were still howling at 4 AM. I liked how you made it short and to the point. I never thought of quiet stillness. I don't remember the syllable count required for haiku, but you could show a qualifier or music term in the last line, like piercing, etc. Think of the emotional factor you felt or your reaction to the noise. Maybe the poem is asking to be longer than a haiku. Keep at it!

  2. I love the ambiguity of "still". And you know I like these ultra short poems that say so much.

    1. See, Robyn, I'm never sure about the ambiguity. I think the poet (me in this case) should make up her mind what she is trying to say. But, I'm with you on short poems that say a lot in a few short words. Thank you for the comment and good luck with your haiku panel and workshop in Atlanta.