Group Feature: HAIKU- Where Poets Create with Colors and Words

Group Feature: HAIKU- Where Poets Create with Colors and Words

Of the many word-based games played on ColourLovers, one of the newest is HAIKU PALETTES & POETIC PATTERNS where Lovers create palettes and poems at the same time from the words in the color names. The group began in January 2011 and quickly grew to 20 members in its first few days. Membership has more than doubled in less than the three to four months since the group was launched.

The Autumn Queen HPP

by Luna Rose

Upon rainbow throne
Bright and bold - The Autumn Queen
A sight to behold

April is National Poetry Month - A note from the editor

The month of April has many national celebrations, one of those being National Poetry Month. Before we draw this month to a close, we want to feature one of our most recent, popular groups, the HPP, managed by ketisse, a COLOURlover who is very passionate about writing and poetry. I personally think that it is amazing how she has invented a way for COLOURlovers to work with color, pattern and palettes to create poetry - the process is truly intriguing!

Today, the group currently boasts:

  • 178 COLORS
  • 179 PALETTES
  • 184 PATTERNS
  • 67 LOVERS

I hope you enjoy learning about the group itself and learning how to create a Haiku through palettes. ketisse has put together a very through guest post about her group and the creation process.

- Molly Bermea / Community Curator & Blog Editor

Creating Haiku's Using Color

A Haiku is created by combining colors while arranging the color names so they compose a poem.

The HAIKU Palettes and Poetic Patterns Group (HPP) challenges its members to be creative in two very different ways simultaneously:

  1. 1.) Combining colors while arranging the color names so they compose a poem.
  2. 2.) Working with words and colors this way can be a worthwhile exercise that helps expand personal creative horizons.

When making a palette or pattern, an artist can choose from every possible color available in the COLOURlovers' system, which can seem overwhelming. If you stick to the word games in the HPP Group Conversations, it might help you narrow your options and focus and sets a challenge to meet.

When you first enter the group, only five Conversations show, make sure you open up all of them. For instance there are only 5 of 13 Conversations showing (as of today), you'll find many other challenges if you view ALL 13 Conversations. With new challenge types, will come a new Conversation thread.

Haiku group discussions are distinguished by who names the colors.

It seems to be more of an advanced challenge if the haiku palette/poem was created using colors named by other COLOURlovers, than if the colors were named by the palette maker to complete the haiku palette. Some palette poems can be made up from a mixture of self-made colors and existing colors, these would be moderate to intermediate challenges.

"Crossovers" - palettes that qualify for two or more groups

This is where “crossovers” came in to play. These are palettes that qualify for two or more groups. The One-Lover at a Time (1LP) palette challenge was the first to be combined with Haiku for a crossover challenge. Periodically, a COLOURlover who has a lot of colors with English names is announced to the group and the palette/poets who accept the challenge use only that person’s color names to create a poem palette.
Crossover Palette Example / 1LP (One Lover Palette): notice all the color swatches are made from one COLOURlover.

Old Brain HPP + LP

by nfowler

Memory Dream Work
Fading Thoughts, Old Brain Butter
I Can't Remember.



Reading a COLOURlover Created Haiku

When viewing a HAIKU Palette, some may LOVE the palette after viewing only the color combinations. Unfortunately, viewers can move on without reading the color names and miss all the beauty in the artist’s poetic work. So, in group discussion threads, most palettes are presented in a way that allows viewers to appreciate the poems and the colors simultaneously. Of course, reading the color names of most HPP palettes is the same as reading a poem.

Shown below is an example by Donna Brock, aka COLOURlover: sunmeadow

Notice the correlation between the poem and the names of the colors swatches used in the poem.


The Rose

by Donna Brock / sunmeadow

The red blossom bends
and drips its dew
to the ground.
Like a tear it falls




HAIKU Poetry Café - Watch & Listen

Hidden inside this group, is the HAIKU Poetry Café. This is where ColourLovers can sit back, relax and enjoy some poetry performances by some very entertaining spoken word artists recorded in their own voices. Palettes inspired from this discussion do not have to be Haiku poems. The performance videos are chosen because of their powerful messages as well as their potential appeal to all audiences. For instance, some of the artists featured in the February series, for Black History Month, included Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Tupac Shakur and Jill Scott.


I liked how Trixxie also incorporated a pattern describing parts of the poem's points, being a phenomenal woman, in patterns with the same color palette (see below).




Making a Haiku yourself

Haiku poems have 17 syllables arranged in three lines with five [5] syllables on the first line, seven [7] syllables on the second line and five [5] syllables on the third line.

Because most COLOURlover palettes contain five colors and because the palette-poet must combine phrases found in color names written by others, the syllables may be spread over those five lines in any combination that totals seventeen. If a poem-palette doesn’t have 17 syllables, it is still a poem, even if it isn’t a HAIKU.

First, open MS Word, Pages or a notepad program, where notes and lists of color names can be saved outside of the CL system. A paper notebook, sticky notes and a pen or pencil can be used for this step, too.

Second, start searching for colors to use for your Haiku. When searching for existing color names, the poem might need to be edited if phrases from the poem don’t exist in the COLOURlovers system. To compare colors, consider opening a separate browser window/tab for colors that represent each idea.

Dissecting the Process...

For those who are ready to make a Haiku palette, but have never written a Haiku before, here is a glimpse into the creation of a recent One-Lover poem-palette: “INDECENCY” - made using colors named by ycc2106.


The color search for Inecency HPP 1LP began with using the word "SEA". Color names appeared in the search and ideas came to mind. The next searches were for words like WATER, FISH and SWIM, etc. Funny thing, “SEA” didn't even end up in the finished poem, but it led to the color names that did.

Each color name that had potential went onto a list on the notepad. If a color name contained a color word, it was skipped because most color names evoke an idea of color without actual color words. With a 17 syllable limit, color names that suggest colors are more expressively efficient (a good thing).

To develop the story of the poem, these questions came to mind:

  • Who would be in this water?
  • What would happen there?

The color name search was shaped by these questions. YCC2106 had written two color names "ARROGANT MOON FISH" and “SWIM NAKED”. These color names answered those questions.


The word "arrogant" evokes an emotional reaction; the "moon" part took on a double-meaning when added to “swim naked”. These were the first to be added to the poem. The paradoxical, oxymoronic color name: “WISE FROGS” was already on the notepad but not in the poem yet. The idea of “WISE FROGS” seemed to be the perfect foil or opponent for the “arrogant moon fish” and went well with “DON’T KNOW WHY”. The poem was almost finished.

To fill the remaining syllables, the word EMBARRASS seemed appropriate at this point. YCC2106 had one color name: “EMBARRASSINGLY” but with five syllables, this took the poem to 18 syllables (one too many for a HAIKU). A search on “CONFUSED” revealed “CONFUSED AS HELL”. With four syllables, this completed the poem perfectly. Placed intentionally between the "moon fish" and the "wise frogs", "confused as hell" can apply to either. Let the reader choose.

Here is the finished poem-palette (with syllable counts next to each line):


  • (5) Arrogant moon fish
  • (3) Swim naked
  • (4) Confused as hell
  • (2) Wise frogs
  • (3) Don’t know why
  • by ketisse
  • February 28, 2011




When you go to this palette, Indecency HPP 1LP, take a look at the comments (both pages). It's fun to see the reaction from a COLOURlover when you use all of their color names in a Haiku.

The creative process can vary, COLOURlovers who are members of the HAIKU PALETTES & POETIC PATTERNS GROUP, put a lot of time and effort into their poem-palettes. You may view other HPP palettes here (by searching "HPP" under Palettes).

Group badge pattern artwork: colored by ketisse, Original Template by sunmeadow and badge assembly by ycc2106. Pattern "Symea wrote a Poem" is also used in the header of this post.
Header color palette, "Indecency HPP 1LP" was made by ketisse.

Keep creating beautifully.

This group feature post was written by ketisse, Edited by MollyBermea

Showing 1 - 30 of 32 Comments


Wow! Well done! Now this is a complete presentation of the Haiku group with how to and all!
It's really fun to see colors you named become a story - Some seem just to have it! They manage I don't know how to make incredible haikus! I'm really no good at this which makes me even more amazed by what everybody manages to do!

Btw, this is the original pattern used in the HPP badge - I only combined & adapted what Ketisse had chosen:
Thanks for featuring my colors!

PS: And these are really cool:


Luna Rosa

Great feature article Molly and fantastic work Ketisse, you've both more than done justice to this unique and wonderful group:)
p.s. yes indeed, those badge thingies with the colour names are super cool =)


@ycc2106 I'm glad you enjoyed the feature by ketisse! I thought it was a great introduction. I'm hoping with her words and my visuals we covered the Haiku Group nicely representing how it works.

Thanks for clarification on the pattern badge (I have now updated the credit for it).

As for the image you liked - It would be cool to be able to make those palette-poems (my rendition) somehow automatically or as a 3rd party API tool to put in your profile or in the group... if I only possessed the ability to build that for the Haiku Group I would. Our programmers are maxed out at the moment. :D

- Molly
Community Curator / Blog Editor


@Luna Rosa THANKS!!! :) maybe if enough people like the poem-palette-badges, it'll get added to the list of cool things to add to COLOURlovers one day. lol :D


Wow! I am so excited to see Dawning Prospect here! Thanks so much, Molly. I love what you did with the palette and patterns - and of course love what you wrote. I am
truly grateful to have something of mine included in this Blog. :D :D :D


Wow! I am so excited to see my first CL blog published for all the world to see! Yay.
Thanks Molly for your excellent job editing and for those graphics; they're excellent!
Keep creating beautifully ~ ketisse


@ketisse thanks for writing it!
@Trixxie glad you enjoyed it! :)


I am a big fan of HPP - thanks for publishing this blog - poetry and color are a wonderful way to express ourselves and communicate with one another - ketisse has created a exciting new forum to do so.


What a lovely blog post! It's informative indeed! :D Thanks for sharing with us another way to love colours, and I agree that ketisse is one really dedicated Colour Lover!


Thanks Fae! ~ ketisse
Faeleia wrote:
What a lovely blog post! It's informative indeed! :D Thanks for sharing with us another way to love colours, and I agree that ketisse is one really dedicated Colour Lover!

synthetic innocence

congratulations, your first blog is a hit Ketisse!


Thank you for your comment!
kama smith wrote:
I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it.


Beautiful blog--SO well done♥♥♥


Thanks Twister! This is my very first CL blog!
twister wrote:
Beautiful blog--SO well done♥♥♥


Ketisse I loved, I copied the whole process and I intend to do with some students! Thanks for sharing something so beautiful!!!! >:D


@angelicallxx That's great! Let me know if you need anything extra to give your students! Like additional graphics / images or anything. :D


I am so glad ketisse organized this group and so many people joined immediately))Great job ketisse and thx Molly for posting this article))


what an interesting idea! The farther I delve into how to use these palettes and colors on this site, the more excited i get :)


Exciting! I hope this article results in even more beautiful creations for the HPP group.


I really appreciate Molly! I still have many questions! I have first to understand and then teach students!

mollybermea wrote:
@angelicallxx That's great! Let me know if you need anything extra to give your students! Like additional graphics / images or anything. :D


ketisse wrote:
Thanks Twister! This is my very first CL blog!
twister wrote:
Beautiful blog--SO well done♥♥♥

Congrats, ketisse! :)


HPP is a fascinating idea, and ketisse is wonderfully fanastic for having the idea ♥


HPP just welcomed our 80th member! We will celebrate with a Haiku Palette Writing Session in the Real-Time Group. An announcement will be posted here once finalized.
~ ketisse


Glad to see poetry being featured on CL to celebrate National Poetry Month. And yeah those graphics are very well made and the layout looks fantastic! Great work ketisse! And thank you Molly for featuring members and member groups, especially poetry (my other love, besides colours) and with such lovely visuals.



@Ketisse CONGRATULATIONS!!! That's amazing!! I just posted this notice to our COLOURlovers Facebook wall.

@xeenyth - wonderful comments! Really appreciate your kind words and effort to say so. :) We have another feature group coming up in May sometime too.


Here is your invitation to join other ColourLovers as we make Haiku poem-palettes in Real-Time. Send a love note to ketisse if you have comments or questions. ~ ketisse


HPP on YouTube, that's so cool!

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