August 2015 NaHaiWriMo Writing Prompts


Selected by Vinay Ravindranath



Time. One of my favorite quotes from Frank Zappa is “Too many books, too little time.” And that is one thing that evades my grasp too, being a booklover. That’s the prompt for you to begin with too.


Tomato. One of my favorite fruits (or is it a vegetable) is the tomato. It’s one that we almost use every day in dishes here. And I give that as a prompt for you today. Hope to see some lovely ku.


Touch. Touch is one of the senses that matters most. It helps us distinguish between hot and cold, petals and thorn. But you could also touch a heart. Can you do so with your ku? Let’s find out. 


Thunder. The monsoon is upon us here, in all its glory. The thunder echoes through the sky in its grandeur. But you could also thunder when you’re angry. What thunder comes in your ku today, I wonder.


Tea. I’ve become a tea person these days, with coffee restricted. But tea on a cold morning is absolutely delicious. Where does tea take you in a haiku though?


Trunk. It’s auspicious, here in South India, to be touched on the head by an elephant’s trunk. It’s considered a blessing. But the trunk in your ku could be a tree trunk, or a trunk full of memories too. What will it be? 


Tail. A memory that remains fond to this day is that of my dog chasing her tail. Though the tail in your ku could also be the tail side of a coin or even tailgating. Hope you have fun.


Tap. Today, I’m hoping to tap your muse to bring out a haiku on tap. Be it the faucet tap, the tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker or even a tap-dance to a haiku. Have fun!


Tear. I’m quite emotional a person. Guess that’s the poet part of me. I tear up when I get sad or angry. But your tear could be tearing a paper or tearing apart something too. I wonder where it’ll lead you.


Three. A haiku, when I first knew of it, was a form in three lines. Even now, that hasn’t changed, though I know it has variants. So the word three has significance in the haiku form. But where does three find importance in nature? Three lines of poetry on three? This might be a challenge.


Twilight. Being an early riser, and also returning home at sunset time, the magic of nature around me is wonderful to see. Inspiring for a poet, and for a haiku too. What does twilight inspire in your haiku?


Tune. Music is important to me, but that doesn’t mean only songs. Even the tune of a songbird stays stuck in my head sometimes, and I wonder what it’s singing about. The word tune also makes me look back in time when we used to tune our old radio searching for FM stations, or tune back to life after a loss or moody phase.


Thought. I never thought I’d get a chance to put my thoughts as prompts again. But here I am, second time at NaHaiWriMo. Sometimes, the simpler prompts are the more challenging. What thought will you put in a haiku about thought? Waiting to find out.


Tickle. My niece is quite ticklish. Making her laugh is quite fun, and a baby’s smile just makes me forget any sadness that had been holding me back before then. Here’s a prompt that tickles your muse for a haiku, I hope. May your haiku bring laughter to you.


Tiger. India celebrates Independence Day on Aug15. The national animal of India is the tiger, also a species that is under threat. Of course, your haiku needn’t be about the animal, it can be about someone’s fierceness or even a tiger moth too.


Trail. When it comes to trails, I remember the path we took on a trip from school, as well as the trek with my college friends. And also the smoke trails that the jets left behind when they performed at the air show. What trail does your haiku lead you on?


Tepid. I’m grateful that the response to the prompts so far has not been tepid. smile emoticon But today, the haiku will definitely be (about) tepid. Tepid water, tepid applause... where does your muse take you today?


Tree. I grew up in a neighborhood where there are lot of trees, and the greenery enchants me. Even my native village has so much greenery, I fall in love with every time I visit. I even work in the lap of nature. Today’s prompt is simple and should bring many beautiful haiku, I feel.


Tarn. I quite chanced upon this word recently, and it just fits our need. A lake is one of the beautiful things about nature, and one in the mountains would be quite a sight, wouldn’t it? What’s your take on this word today?


Toss. I’m very restless at times. When I lie down on the bed, I toss and turn and take a while before going to sleep. But your haiku needn’t be about that. Maybe you can toss a coin, call heads or tails. You can toss a salad. You can write about trees tossing in the wind. Up to you.


Talisman. I’m not superstitious by nature, but I did have a talisman when it came to exam days. Maybe it was my effort, but I’d thought the talisman had something to do with it too. What brings you good luck? What’s your talisman?


Temple. While I’m not deeply religious, I find the aura of the temple in my neighborhood to be very calming. That’s one of the main reasons I go there. It helps me gather my thoughts, and that brings a haiku or two at times as well. Hope this prompt does for you.


Tranquil. Today, am giving you a spring kigo, and one of my favorite words. Be it the state of mind, or the calmness of the surface of a lake, the word tranquil is a beautiful word, I feel. I hope it is so in your haiku too.


Twinkle. Be it that of the stars, or the one in your eyes, a twinkle is what you get to write on today. Have fun, friends.


Tsunami. I read a novel recently that brought back memories of the 2004 disaster. The fury of nature is a saddening sight to see, especially when it brings about loss of life. That day was no different.


Tumble. At times, I’m so careless, I don’t notice where I’m going and tumble down some steps. But your tumble haiku can be about taking a tumble, tumbleweed, or even tumbledown shacks. Enjoy!


Taste. Sweet or sour, bitter or astringent, taste is an important sense. What food is too sweet for your taste? And what experiences do you want to, or not want to taste? I can’t wait to taste your haiku today.


Teacher. I’d not be writing poetry if it hadn’t been for a teacher who encouraged that passion from early on. Teaching is fun. But I think nature can be a wonderful teacher too. Don’t you think so?


Turtle. One animal that has intrigued me is the turtle. It makes me wonder if I need a hard shell at times. Then again, you could choose to write on turtlenecks or turtle doves too. Wonder where your haiku will head.


Tulip. One of my favorite flowers is the tulip, but I first noticed it not in a garden, but on that famous Windows XP wallpaper. Then I saw them at the flower show, and I’ve seen them in haiku too. I’m sure they’ll be blossoming in your poetry today.