Two Forms of Inspiring Poetry 5/12/2020

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by Carmen Peone

Never in this world did I think I would love poetry.  

Until God touched my heart with Haiku and Elfchen 

Elfchen is newer form of poetry for me, but I have come to love its simplicity. It’s a place I can hone in on God’s creation and love.  

In this time of fearuncertainty, and quarantine, we can create a safe place within verse to bring us back into God’s hope, love, and protection.  

Elfchen is an eleven-word patterned poem written across five lines.  

It is also called an Elevenie. Elf means eleven in German, and chenat the end of a German word makes the word wee or enduring. So, an Elfchen is essentially a little poem.  

Here’s how it works:

One word for line one 

Two words for line two 

Three words for line three 

Four words for line four 

One word for line five 

Here are a couple of examples: 


God’s protection 

holds us close, 

In times of fear  



each other… 

in trying times 

we lift up another 


Haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poetic form that consists of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables.

A haiku expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words. This form of poetry gained distinction in the 17th century, when Basho, a Japanese poet considered the greatest practitioner of the form, elevated it to a highly refined art. It remains Japan’s most popular poetic form.

I learned how to write a traditional five-seven-five syllable haiku years ago from Japanese students who came to the United States to study abroad. They came to the after-school program I had coordinated at the time and worked with our youthoffering them a creative outlet.

Haiku has given me the means to worship my redeemer and appreciate all He has created. With my photos, I can zoom in on minute details and offer various perspectives.

The traditional haiku poem should accompany a photo and looks like this:

cherry blossoms

God’s glorious love 

Blooms like spring cherry blossoms 

He bathes us with hope

Cedar Roots

God’s Word offers life 

as our spiritual roots  

burrow into Christ

Now you try.

I’d love to see what you come up with in either Elfchen or Haiku.

About the Author:

Carmen PeoneCarmen Peone has lived in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988. She had worked with a Tribal Elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes Language and various cultural traditions. She owns and trains her horses and competes in local Extreme Challenge and Mountain Trail competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. With the love of history and western woman lifestyle, she brings stories of hope, family, relationships, and faith to her novels.

These books were a labor of love, especially the second edition of the True to Heart Trilogy. Thank you to my cover model, Shayna Palmanteer of the Colville Confederated Tribes, for your willingness to be a part of this adventure. Visit my website for information on the workbooks that go along with my young adult books at

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