Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, April 26th 2017, a whole new challenge … troiku.


Dear friends of MLMM,

This week I had to do a post about haibun, but (and I hope you don’t mind that) I have chosen to challenge you all a little bit with a new creative way of haiku writing, Troiku.

Back in 2012 I created a new haiku form Troiku and I think it’s fun, but not an easy form. First I have to tell you something about the source of the name Troiku. It goes back to 17th century Russia.

A troika (meaning: triplet or trio) is a traditional Russian harness driving combination, using three horses abreast, usually pulling a sleigh. It differs from most other three horse combinations in that the horses are harnessed abreast. The middle horse is usually harnessed in a horse collar and shaft bow; the side horses are usually in breastcollar harness. The troika is traditionally driven so that the middle horse trots and the side horses canter; the right hand horse will be on the right lead and the left hand horse on the left lead.
The troika was developed in Russia during the 17th century and could reach on full-speed 45-50 kilometres per hour, which was at that time a very high speed on land for vehicles.

OK … up to the Troiku. Compared with the troika, haiku counts three lines and the troika was driven by three horses. A troika was (mostly) a sleigh and that … my dear haijin, visitors and travelers is what a troika made a troika.
In the Troiku, the sleigh is the base haiku from which we will start. The Troiku doesn’t follow the syllables count because that isn’t possible. Let me tell you how this new creative form of haiku-ing works.

E.g. the ‘sleigh’ of our Troiku is a haiku written by a classical (or modern) haiku poet. To explain Troiku I have chosen a haiku by Basho, yes … that famous one “frog-pond”.

furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizo no oto

old pond
frogs jumped in
sound of water

© Basho (1644-1694)

In this Troiku form it’s the intention to write three new haiku (the horses of the troika) starting with the seperated lines of the ‘sleigh’.
In this example you have to write a new haiku with ‘old pond’, ‘frogs jumped in’ and ‘sound of water’. Let’s give it a try heh …

The ‘sleigh’:

old pond
frogs jumped in
sound of water

The ‘horses’:

Horse one:

old pond –
the scent of the Lotus
overwhelmes me

Horse two:

frogs jumped in
the sound of rain far away
thunder and lightning

Horse three:

sound of water
dripping from the gutter
after the hurricane

Nice way of writing haiku isn’t it. For closure I will give the ‘lay out’ as I love to use; this ‘lay out’ looks somewhat like a troika:

Troiku Old Pond
Troiku “Old Pond”

And here is the challenge. You may use any haiku you want to use and try to create a Troiku with it, as shown above, no need to use my favorite “lay-out” by the way.

Well … I am looking forward to your Troiku ….

Have fun!

When you have written your haiku, please TAG Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefeuille and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.


  1. Sirius Dog Star
    terror of night skies
    you bite a bone moon

    Sirius Dog Star
    chasing a comet’s tail
    swift as cosmic dust

    you bite a bone moon
    but where in the heavens
    can you bury it?


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