Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - Haiku Riddles

If Not For the Cat, written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Ted Rand, is a collection of poetic riddles about members of the animal kingdom. Here's an excerpt.
I, the hoverer,
Sip the nasturtium's nectar
And sing with my wings.

Poem ©Jack Prelutsky. All rights reserved.
For some additional examples, browse inside the book.

I also rather like this haiku found in A Hippopotamusn't, written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Victoria Chess.
      Suddenly Spring wings
into the backyard, ready
      to play tug-of-worm.

Poem ©J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.
Since we haven't been writing to form in a while, I thought this would be a good time to begin revisiting a few favorites. So, the challenge this week is to write some haiku riddles. Leave me a note about your poem(s) and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. This looks terrific! I'll keep it in mind for my little girl (who is also a Patricia.) :-)


  2. I adore haiku but have never tried a riddle before. Here goes...

    garden buzz alarm
    blood sucking helicopter
    lands on my fair skin

  3. I wax and I wane,
    When I am all fired up.
    Happy birthday, friend.

    ---A candle

    Needless to say, child,
    I have lots of Christmas cheer,
    Though balsam for yew.

    Christmas tree.

    I often reflect
    On the state of my drinking.
    Clarity is best.

    --A glass of water

    c2009 Jane Yolen

  4. Jane I love all of your but the glass of water is my favorite.

  5. Jane, fantastic as always. I agree with Susan, the water haiku is my favorite.
    Susan, love the "blood sucking helicopter."

    I have Jack's wonderful book. I've used it with both elementary and middle school students and they love it!

    If I come up with anything, I'll post it later in the week.

  6. Green grazing on green,
    I chomp and I jump. I slurp
    bud's heart for dessert.

    Brambles saunter through
    the garden, sniffing for snails:
    shouldn't spheres be smooth?

    Hooligan by night,
    who-dunnit by day, dropping
    bone-and-whisker clues.

    Answers: grasshopper, hedgehog, and owl

    --Kate Coombs (Book Aunt)

  7. Fun!

    2 Haiku Riddles

    Clouds are cradled—safe
    In the arms of strong mothers
    Still, there will be tears

    Soldiers rise early
    Green-capped and orderly. Snap!
    I’ve captured them all.

    (#1 mountains & rain)(#2 asparagus)

    Ciao! Shutta

  8. Here's a haiku my pal Paul Janeczko admired and sent along to me. He confessed he did not know its origin, so perhaps a tip o' the cap should go to Mrs. Anonymous:

    Writing a haiku
    in seventeen syllables
    is very diffi-

  9. Here are two I wrote this morning.

    Look at me! BLINK! BLINK!
    Do you find me attractive?
    I’m the one! BLINK! BLINK!

    Powerhouse lifters
    An army marching afield
    to steal your picnic

    Answers: firefly and ant

  10. Oh, these are fun! I love the owl one, especially!

    Here are my first two:

    I’m caught dead center
    in summer’s sweaty tug o’ war
    with winter’s calm, icy pull

    I’m ocean’s dancer,
    echoing wind’s rhythms with
    my white-caped shoulders

    answers: autumn and wave

  11. Here are a couple:

    Inside me you find
    A plethora of stories
    But not any stairs

    -- a book

    Darting needle-sharp
    A flash of iridescence
    Skimming the pond

    -- a dragonfly

  12. I love the ones about the firefly, ant, and hedgehog.

    Here is one:

    Coat of many shades
    falling softly off my limbs
    bare when the snow falls

    answer: fall tree

  13. These are so good, I wanted to give it a try.

    I sit on the porch
    Smiling at all who pass by
    Knowing life is short


  14. One more this morning--the formatting won't stick.

    Raindrops on demand
    fall from bathroom’s popcorn sky
    Warm, hot—flush—ICE!


  15. Late in the game, but here's mine:

    I was bound to be
    beautiful, isn't it true?
    Dedicated, too.

    [A picture book.]

    As usual, Pat Lewis's takes the cake.

  16. Oh, I see Pat's contribution comes via Paul and is anonymous. But it sounds so much like Pat!