As 2020 comes to an end, we’re reflecting on where we live by writing haiku-inspired poems about our neighborhoods.

We know the traditional haiku poem uses a 5-7-5 structure, but we are asking you to use the five digits of your ZIP code as the syllable count for each line.

How it works: Each digit of your ZIP code determines how many syllables to include in each line. A zero represents a blank line.

For example: 96825 – Hawaii Kai, Oahu
9 – Backyard sunset during quarantine
6 – Our neighbor jammed guitar
8 – And sang “No Diggity, No Doubt”
2 – We clapped
5 – And that’s how we met

Need some inspiration? Tell us about what COVID-19 has revealed about where you live. What did you notice in your neighborhood when the pandemic forced us all to slow down? What brings you peace during these unsettled times? Check out the 2019 winners for more inspiration.

When sharing, tag Civil Beat with @civilbeat and #neighborhoodhaiku.

The poetry contest ran until Dec. 31. Selected poems will be published on Civil Beat, shared on our social media and in our newsletter.

New winners will be posted on this page below everyday until the end of the contest.

Play Stop