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Free Haiku and Tanka Poetry Samples

60 Haiku Poems

In rainforest woodlands
under tree umbrellas
the chanterelles grow

A sudden surprise—
it can take one’s breath away
with half of a chance

The concert went on
his music under the floor
—the cricket chirped

In the winter time 
where do all the homeless sleep?
—the nights are so secret

Forever at it
—people just like ants and bees
go colonizing

Patterns of the sun
are all in God’s work day done
and colors of the moon

Forever drifting 
the dreamer sat on a hill
and he sang his thoughts

The steelhead jumped
out of the water for the fly
—to see me on the bank

He outward stoic
—his dreams sweet and revealing
—love was in his heart

Aimless and confused 
the wayward boy settled
to became a man

She lucky with age
smiles inside her wrinkled face
now—older than most

He worries too much
he sits and prays to the moon
—to most everything tonight

He craves water 
he must find it—then boil it
—before he drinks it

Of most importance
between man and his landscape
—is the interplay

To grandma’s fiddle
the little children played
—they danced and sang

Take a deep—deep breathe
hold it in—and meditate
—now exhale—relax

The lady comes 
—the Spirit Lady comes
—talking in tongues

I saw the wild duck
—the one with the yellow eye
at the river today

One—two—three waves lap
over my feet at the beach
while—four seagulls squawk

Dandelions grow
in most every lawn and field
—a pesky salad green

My pet little flea
you, a nuisance and bother
—you never leave me

On foot he walked
a different path—to see
new—and welcome change

I go to the beach
to have a conversation
alone with myself

Life on earth is short
—be nice to all friends and pets
—you may meet again

The earth breathes life
as if an eternal dance
—it is never still

Meandering path
through woodland green
—he walks refreshed again

I mowed grass yesterday
today—more grass grows

That place which is plain 
demands a clean—simple mind
to get to pure state

I go the same path
to the same woods and stream
—to watch the changes

His meetings with friends 
were always cherished moments
and times not forgot

A garden needs care
some praying—with toil and work
or weeds will take over

Flowers do not grow
at the end of this last road
—adios my friend

gratification is just
a type of spoiled

The night was alive 
the moon and stars shined
with his woman’s love

The lonely hermit
in his singular retreat
loved his singing birds

Legs had given out
but her wit kept on laughing
and dreams kept coming

He died in his sleep
but his journey did not end
—his soul wandered on

Care and nurturing
of many ideas can grow
into a country

Clean water drops fell
continually from the leaf
to the lapping tongue

My dear loved friend
in time you may well forget
but for me—not yet

His mind—not enough
—he had to learn to know love
with matters of his heart

Board games are for rain
sun does not shine everyday
—come outside and play

A new day would come
—she lived for tomorrow
—just like her mother

He returns again
and again to his quiet place
by the banyan tree

Mouse in the feed bag
an opossum on the porch
the cabin door unlatched

The weathered miner
—only the skeleton knows
in lost fields of gold

No heavy thoughts
lost in night to love’s light
—only romance remains

Poverty mother,
lost father—the ghetto news
a child still can bloom

To sustain a life 
getting water from a well
is a precious thing

A clean window shows
the mountain covered with snow
—and keener sense of cold

There are young men—to
walk my steps and take my place
—now, that I am old

I satisfied her wants
then my lover said to me
—I love you, Romeo

Mockingbird’s up tonight
and mimicking everything
—with a full moon bright

At the headwaters
today—a rainbow flexes
at the waterfall

You a speck of sand
we lay under open skies
—me small like an ant

A long winding road
—many days and many nights
—but his life worth it

The honeysuckle
surrounds the arbor gate
—like too many soldiers

I satisfied her wants
then my lover said to me
—I love you, Romeo
Is the saguaro
awake with the owl tonight
when the coyote howls?

34 Tanka Poems

There now dry your eyes
don’t be upset little man
things will get better
everything will be okay
Rome was not built in one day

I lived my life
the sun rises as usual
it is my last one
it is my last sunset—too
goodbye—I now leave this place

The kettledrums call 
you have to learn to play them
it just takes practice
just feel the beat and practice
Carnegie Hall is waiting

Across dewy grass
the slug trail winds like a snake
but no doubt lucent
—a slug path to be sure
it skips and disappears

Racing down through hills 
in southern California
come dry—hot winds
from the Upper Mojave
—the Santa Ana winds blow

He had no worries
without urbanization
in a simpler life
when he became a caveman
and drifted back into time

She may never know 
—she does possess a special gift
of giving kindness
those who know her feel blessed
—they know she’s better than the rest

Could be déjà vu?
I’ve got to be on my toes
—this closeness to you
—temptation comes to call
I’m back in the danger zone

Oh, medicine man
you and your feathered headdress
do you hear me call 
to you in your jungle home 
can you cure what ails me?

Echo Springs tells me
I am once again at peace
—in tranquility
—I’m back in nature’s spell
—my healing and needing place

Outlaws lie in graves 
with the good—the bad—and ugly
—and a few great men
—reading tombstones—he did the math
of when they had all come and gone

Hard labor he did
his life was a rocky world
he was a man lost—
he had no computer skills
—a man in a changing world

In the summertime
Okanagan sunflowers
bloom in the east cascades
—among the rolling hills
with yellow petals flashing

He learned from books
and he learned as he went
he kept on learning
—he learned from his lovers
—and from nature—his common friend

In fog—wind—and rain
the North Head Lighthouse stands
—lights on dusk to dawn
warning ships of sand and surf
at Columbia’s mouth

Dirty tramp at door
he begs for soap—not food
he wants to be clean
—with water hose and soap bar
—he scrubs himself in my yard

Oh, where might he be?
on a highway of cars?
he awakes in the dark
—or a rumbling train he hears
—maybe the ocean roaring near?

Along the river
tree leaves over rushing water
—they dance in the wind
—all a glitter with sunlight
—on this summer’s shinning day

Beggars and peasants 
the destitute and homeless
they go hand in hand
living life on a shoestring
nonmaterial to the max

Sunset Kalaloch
out beyond the driftwood beach
on the horizon
where the sky meets the sea
a fading sun disappears

He spoke his wisdom
—there is no beginning or end
just deeper contact
with the eternal beyond
and one’s love for nature

No water and weak
lips dry and parched from thirst
the sun beats—hot desert
—a blue wavy sea in distance
is that a mirage he sees?

Enjoy the moment 
nothing remains as is—for long
time frames jump quickly
all things are transitory
here today—gone tomorrow

I am thankful for
tiny animals transparent
in the deep blue sea
—all food for fish—whales—and me
—without them—I may not be

Not the cold far north
—he hungered more sunlight
and Mexico’s warmth
—he learned to speak Spanish
then he traveled south for good

At one with nature
in the middle of the night
—he crazy or not
under the moon’s reflection
—he swims naked with the fish

I’m in heaven 
everything’s copacetic
right where I’m at
I think I’ll just settle
—this place called satisfied

For perpetual help
don’t pass up this free offer
—eternal life policy—
one can be saved again
all that’s needed—honest prayer

Practice more practice—
guru—don’t hand me that jive
—meditations take time
I have family—I have wife
—how many hours—in my life?

Driving in thick fog
everything hides in my sight
undefined views
just silhouettes and shadows
—I can’t see distinctly

Inner self—my soul
my inner self—my real self
will not let me drift
—my inner self sustains me
—it is my faith within me

He cries to the trees 
to the animals he bawls
—shaman’s wailing calls
with his rattles and his moans
—he chants for higher wisdom

do not matter in any case
—when it’s death to face
—under sod—all dead will lay
unless be ash—and blow away

The farmers planted 
and the life of man went on
—the warriors killed
and more mayhem came about
—what is a warrior-farmer?

Free Haiku and Tanka Poetry Samples