This month, The New York Times put out a call for Haiku about the city. With a deadline on April 5, 2014, I had little time to waste. I haven’t written haiku in a long while, but I do love the little form.

The criteria for the NYC haiku was:

Your haiku must relate to one of six categories relating to New York City. Those topics are:


6 a.m.

You don’t have to include the word, just let the topic inspire you, and relate it to your experience of New York City.

For those who may have forgotten the rules of writing a haiku, here’s a quick 101 guide:

• Only three lines.
• First line must be five syllables.
• Second line must be seven syllables.
• The third line must be five syllables.
• Punctuation and capitalization are up to you.
• It doesn’t have to rhyme.
• It must be original.

The did leave out the part that Haiku generally has something to do with nature or the seasons, but I won’t hold that against them.

Here is what I came up with, but I only submitted three:

Amtrak thumps rails north
anxious heart, loud silence here.
clammy hand held down.

St. Paul camouflaged
in Spring’s green, shadowed by steel
fulcrum: past, future

Central oasis
spring fever fields full out
below Essex, free

“Imagine,” he said.
blooms, friends — city wonderland
diverse harmony.

Maze of rat tunnels
rumbles on rails, sardines tight.
Jump inside, smiling.

What would your haiku be about NYC or your own location?

This is part of the 2014 National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon Blog Tour, click the button for more poetry:


  1. And you were worried about yours. They are great! If I was in a creative mood, I would write haiku about my favorite public transit crazies LOL!

  2. Thank you for posting this! I think I got mine in under the wire…They were sort of rush work, not perfect, but here they are (or at least one version of them…I may have changed them in the process of posting them in the comments 🙂

    Lost amid a crowd
    someone opens a door –
    lighting the dark path.

    Commuting at daybreak,
    the air chilled under a pale sky,
    hands wrapped around coffee.

  3. How fun! Good luck to you! If I were to attempt a haiku about New York it would be about Times Square. I guess that could fit under the topic of strangers.

    • Kathy, I thought about doing one about Times Sq. but I ended up getting distracted by a sick kiddo. So I didn’t write any more than the five above.

  4. Beth Hoffman says

    They are all terrific. My favorite is Amtrak!