Tanka is the less known, older (about 1000 years) cousin of Haiku. I say less known because I found many Facebook groups for Haiku but none for Tanka. But you will find it on every online poetic forms list site that matters.
Tanka means a short song. A Japanese poetic form of fixed format, it is exactly five lines comprising of 31 syllables in a 5/7/5/7/7 pattern. The 5-7-5 part is called “Kamino-Ku” (upper phrase) and the 7-7 part is called “Shimono-Ku” (lower phrase).
Unlike Haiku Tanka does not need a seasonal word. And there is no requirement to rhyme either.
A Tanka can be a love poem, a fantasy or about a social issue. What matters is the deep emotion it invokes in the reader.
Here is a Tanka (translated) by Ono No Komachi
Colour of the cherry blossoms
Has already faded away
While spending in vain
My life passes
As I had watched the long rains fall.
Here is my first try at writing Tanka:
A seed of desire
that grows at will anywhere
Dream, a wildflower
blooms where the soul dares to dare
Others remain unaware