Get Inspired with a Nature Haiku

Read the winning entries from National Wildlife Federation's haiku contest

09-10-2010 // Anne Keisman
American Goldfinch

In August, we asked you to express your love of the outdoors using one of the world’s most concise literary forms: the haiku.

The assignment: Write a nature-themed haiku, inspired by a summer outdoor adventure.

Soon after announcing the contest, hundreds of stunning 17-syllable poems filled our inbox, recollecting bird-watching, wave-jumping, mountain-climbing and other natural explorations.

It was very hard to choose, and we wish we could publish them all! The following three poems inspired us by combining unique word choice, striking visual imagery and a distinctive tone, all of which illuminated the wonder of connecting with nature. Enjoy!

Haiku: (n.) an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively. (

Goldfinch, yellow glow
Flies, flashing its golden wings
Summer in a bird.

Heather Graham, age 12, Missouri

Heather Graham, haiku contest winner


Clouds glow rosy-blue
Floating over sunrise gold
Mirrored in the lake.

Matti Horne, age 10, Massachusetts

Matti Horne, haiku contest winner


Rolling on the grass
My arms around my grandson
Green, blue, green, blue, green.

Kathleen Leonardi, Idaho

Anne Keisman is senior associate editor for the Be Out There campaign of the National Wildlife Federation. Got a haiku up your sleeve? Post yours (or your favorite by another writer) on our Green Hour Facebook page!
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