Across Australia — We Burn

11 September 2019, Haiku/Tanka prompt word “burn”

Deborah Christensen
Sep 10 · 3 min read

fires out of control
burn throughout Australia
thick smoke fills our air
tinder-dry, no rain, high wind
livestock and wildlife perish


Burnt mother koala protecting her joey underneath her was rescued today

All-day the sky over our little town has been full of smoke and dust, and a thick haze stings the eyes, and blankets out the sun. Tonight even the moon is obliterated and unseen.

We are safe, but many people are not, and it is only predicted to get worse. This first week of Spring has seen temperatures up in the mid-30s already (93 degrees Fahrenheit). Drought declared over 65% of the State, high winds, no rain, and tinder-dry conditions have created this situation.

PROMPT: Write a haiku/tanka using the prompt word “burns” (or a derivative).

A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry totalling 17 syllables (in the English language) which are usually arranged in three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables.

It often references the natural world and more modern forms of haiku can also reference human nature.

A tanka is composed of 31 syllables in five lines (5, 7, 5, 7, 7).

It can be written in a series addressing the same subject matter.



Deborah lives in Queensland, Australia with her husband and little dog Lily. She has six adult children (and two beautiful grandchildren) who live throughout Australia. She is a published author and artist and has her own online counselling service speaking to clients both in Australia and Internationally. She can be found at https://compassionateconnection.com.au/

House of Haiku

Haiku is a form of poetry usually inspired by nature, which embraces simplicity. We invite all poetry lovers to have a go at composing Haiku. Be warned. You could become addicted.

Deborah Christensen

Written by

Seeker of Understanding, Explorer of Spirit, Writer, Artist, Believer/Doubter, Dreamer, Communicator, Counsellor, Bachelor of Science (Psychology)

House of Haiku

Haiku is a form of poetry usually inspired by nature, which embraces simplicity. We invite all poetry lovers to have a go at composing Haiku. Be warned. You could become addicted.