1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace
  19. The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
  20. The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  21. The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
  22. The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
  23. The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
  24. The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
  25. The Exchange: Happy New Year
  26. The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
  27. The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
  28. The Exchange: Honest Haikus
  29. The Exchange: Foreheads, Haikus and More
  30. The Exchange: Softness, Water Bottles, and Movie Theaters
  31. The Exchange: Algae and Understanding
  32. The Exchange: we like it here!
  33. The Exchange: tag & waiting
  34. The Exchange: spare
  35. The Exchange: Marketplace
  36. The Exchange: some coffee
  37. The Exchange: A Scary Story
  38. The Exchange: Consumer Report
  39. The Exchange: Affirmations and Sunflowers
  40. The Exchange: Autopay and A Fast Summer
  41. The Exchange: Squirrels and The White
  42. The Exchange: The Taj Mahal and Rutina de Sueño
  43. The Exchange: The Garden
  44. The Exchange: Jess Taught Me My Body Is Trying Its Best
  45. The Exchange: Jollof Rice and Losing it
  46. The Rotation
  47. The Exchange: Definitely late, but here, and Doubt
  48. The Exchange: KonMari and Yoga
  49. The Exchange: “Unexpected” and The Institution of Dreamin
  50. The Exchange: Dating a Girl From Chicago, and See
  51. The Exchange: Un alma cotorra
  52. The Exchange: Time Travel and Chasing Love & Ambition

The Exchange is the Weekly’s poetry corner, where a poem or piece of writing is presented with a prompt. Readers are welcome to respond to the prompt with original poems, and pieces may be featured in the next issue of the Weekly

The Flower Knows A Lot About Vines
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

I have noticed, in order 
to grow, I must be 
watered. But, y’all…I can’t swim.

For Shame
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

My voice feels so meaningless
when I call the waiter 
and they don’t hear me. Yikes. 

Chima Ikoro is the Weekly’s Community Builder.

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Prompt

“Write a few honest haikus.” 

Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces. Haikus can be written in traditional format or freeform. 

Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to chima.ikoro@southsideweekly.com.

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Featured below is a reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found here

From The Womb to the Tomb There Lies A Good Name
by Kenneth Gregory Simmons, Jr. 

The journey from the womb to the tomb is as real…
Than surreal. 
It is a journey that travels beyond your control. 
But even in the midst of your soul lies a little troll… 
A Good Name. 
A name which is more valuable than birth…
A name which is more valuable than the earth… 
A name which is more valuable than death… 
And a name which is more valuable than wealth and health… 
For none of us asked to be born but we’re here! 
And since you’re here what are you doing for a world that’s so severe? 
When it comes down to someone’s problems are you a solution? 
Or are you a pollution? 
Are you here as a gift to create stars? 
Or are you here to sift by afflicting scars? 
If so then the world that was once obsolete will never be the same!!! 
But complete thanks to a good name…
A name in which there is nothing great to give or to gain… 
Only a living that will not be in vain… 
And in the end how long you lived your life would not matter… 
Only how well you’ve lived it to the latter…
Because from the womb to the tomb there lies a good name!!!

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1 Comment

  1. “Haikus can be written in traditional format or freeform. ”

    There is no such thing as a “freeform” haiku, just as there is no such thing as a “freeform” sonnet, a “freeform” ghazal, or any other sort of poem which has a strict definition.

    Haiku have 17 syllables, a seasonal reference, and a “cutting word” creating a pause . Haiku in English generally use a three line form, with 5-7-5 syllabification.

    You can’t just throw words together any which way and call the result a haiku.

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