It happened almost by accident. I was looking for short story competitions to enter when I stumbled across the New Zealand Poetry Societies International Haiku Competition. I thought OK, why not? So I went and had a look at the examples of past winners and good poems on their website.
I spent a few hours writing, came up with a dozen or so poems sent in half of them and promptly forgot all about it. A few months later I got a phone call to say I'd won! Apparently there were over 700 entries from around the world.
Poetry has changed a lot since I was at school. Take the poem I wrote when I was ten years' old:
A pair of eyes watch
Hidden with fear they follow
They are my scared eyes.
This poem follows the traditional western syllable format 5/7/5
These days that's a no no, apparently. You aren't supposed to have any thes, as or ins etc.
A more modern version of this poem might be:
Hidden with fear
My scared eyes.
Personally I prefer the one I wrote when I was ten. It's more fun trying to restrict your words to a particular word count, I find.
Here's a link to the NZPS webpage: