Day 21 Chalk Joy

Haiku Hope

Sidewalk messages,

children’s chalked writings of hope:

joy brought to neighbors.

Loved seeing this chalked sidewalk and other messages chalked by children around the neighborhood — a great way to say hello to neighbors who cannot get out and to send messages while remaining social distant.

A friend is sponsoring a Coronavirus Haiku challenge: An Invitation to Connect and Write Poetry NPM20 Day2. Inspired by the sidewalk messages, I used that to write my haiku and add it to the slides.

To learn how to write a Haiku, See children’s poet  Ken Nesbitt’s How To Write a Haiku.


  • Do some sidewalk writing to greet your neighbors.
  • Find some image of hope in your neighborhood and snap a picture.
  • Try some haiku, perhaps start a kid’s version slides, with your parent’s permission.
  • Or, try another poem form from others shared by poet Ken Nesbitt: Writing Lessons

Haiku to Tanka

If you want to challenge yourself, try writing a tanka poem — which really is a poem of two stories, building on one haiku.  See Ken Nesbitt’s excellent explanation here: How To Write a Tanka Poem.


I decided to do that with my haiku.  That meant I needed to revise my haiku — here’s my progression of revision:

1 First Haiku:

Neighborhood kids chalk

messages, writing out hope:

sidewalk connections.

2 Haiku:

Sidewalk messages,

children’s chalked writings of hope:

bring joy to neighbors.

3 Haiku:

To tell a story in my haiku that could be continued in my tanka, I needed the last line to be more of a statement, so I changed it to:

Sidewalk messages,

children’s chalked writings of hope:

joy brought to neighbors

“Joy brought to neighbors” can stand on its own. That way, it ends the haiku story so I can than add to that in a second story for the tanka.

4 Tanka:

Sidewalk messages

children’s chalked writings of hope

joy brought to neighbors

the elders alone inside

as children color wishes

Have a go at tanka!  It’s a fun way to combine stories, cause/effect, opposites, and always, hope.

About this post:

Be safe out there.  April is time for NaPoWriMo — National Poetry Writing Monthtry a bit of poetry and art to encourage others to be safe with each other. Something short. Something inclusive. Something of spring and hope. #NaPoWriMo/#GloPoWriMo

The Academy of Poets encourages us to write #shelterinpoems. Get some ideas there and share your own.

Tons of information can be found at Poets.orgNational Poetry Month and here: Virtual Programs.

National Council of Teachers of English also offers suggestions here.