November 2012 NaHaiWriMo Writing Prompts

 

Selected by Kat Creighton

 

1

Apparition/ghost.

2

Death poem in honor of All Soul’s Day/Day of the Dead.

3

River/stream.

4

Running/racing in honor of the New York City marathon, which is cancelled this year due to Hurricane Sandy.

5

Storm.

6

Choice or instinct. Some say life is all about choices. In the United States we have a big choice to make today, our next president. In nature it is more about instinct than choice but how often do humans rely on instinct when making a choice? Write a haiku about choice or instinct.

7

Awakening/waking up.

8

Insects. Issa was fond of insects. Or at least he wasn’t cruel to them. He wrote: Don’t worry spiders, I keep house casually. Do you shuttle your spiders safely outside or do you swat at flies with a rolled up newspaper?

9

Waning crescent moon. If you have clear skies tonight, look up and tell us what you see or feel or dream.

10

Experimental haiku. November 10 is World Science Day. In that spirit, try writing a haiku in a form different than what you are used to. If you write traditional haiku, try gendai; if you write about light, happy flowers and birds, try going to the dark side; if you resist 5-7-5, try it now. Go down a road less traveled.

11

War.

12

Peace.

13

Treasure. Robert Louis Stevenson was born November 13, 1850. His most popular book was Treasure Island.

14

Landmarks. Every nation, city, and neighborhood has them. The United States has many: Mount Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Empire State Building, whose tower lights are currently red, green, and white in honor of the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary. Write a haiku about one of your landmarks.

15

Children. Shichi-Go-San is a Japanese festival on November 15 that celebrates the well-being of all children.

16

The last leaf or the first leaf (depending on your hemisphere).

17

Sunset.

18

Feather.

19

Warmth.

20

Owl—real, fictional, or fairy tale.

21

Communication—of any sort with anyone or anything.

22

Sharing.

23

Family.

24

Evolution.

25

Wind.

26

Silence.

27

Honkadori-esque haiku. In your new haiku allude to an older, easily recognizable poem, book or song. The technique of honkadori (allusion) is a bit more complicated than that, but we can keep it simple for this exercise.

28

Full moon.

29

Tide.

30

Endings or new beginnings.