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The Shiki Monthly Kukai

April 2008 Kukai

Dear Haiku Friends,

Here are the results for the April 2008 Kukai, wherein our Kigo subject was "Any Herb" and our Free Format word or phrase was "Rust".

Congratulations to Francine Banwarth, winner of our Kigo section and to Melissa Spurr, winner of our Free Format section!

The haiku are listed in order of total points received from voters. The numbers reflect the number of voters who gave the haiku either three points, two points, or one point -- followed by the total points for all votes.

Those who were given less than three points and who requested anonymity in such a case are so noted.

In the listing below, after each poem the author is listed, and then a three digit code revealing how many 3-point, 2-point, and 1-point points were cast for this poem by the other participating poets.

(214 = 12) would indicate that the poem above received two 3-point votes, one 2-point vote, and four 1-point votes.

Voters comments are in italics below the respective poems.

April 2008 Results
Kigo Theme:
Any Herb
Free Format Theme:

First Place – Thirty-one Points
gathering thyme . . .
the thoughts that come
when I'm on my knees
Francine Banwarth
(1,9,10) = 31 Pts

For me 'thyme' has an echo of 'time' and by extension the timelessness infinity of prayer.

What is it about picking fresh herbs that brings us into a contemplative state? A beautifully executed haiku.

Second Place – Twenty-three Points
tax day—
a bit of parsley
in his smile

Josh Wikoff
(2,5,7) = 23 Pts

I really like the simple humor of this one, tying in with the innovative seasonal reference of 'tax day'.

Third place – Twenty Points
lavender —
even the old stems
(1,2,13) = 20 Pts

Elegant, just like lavender.

A perfect little morsel of a poem.

moonlit field
the cows knee-deep
in comfrey

(1,3,11) = 20 Pts

I don't even know what comfrey looks like, but this haiku conjures up a powerful image of cows, adrift on a sea of leaf.

Although I've never experienced this before, I have now. It's a treat for the senses, full of it's own lovely sounds.

Fourth Place – Fifteen Points
dark clumps
of wild onion scent
her dreams
Gene Doty
(2,2,5) = 15 Pts

Fifth Place – Fourteen Points
the empty house —
chives and parsley
gone to seed
Alice Frampton
(0,2,10) = 14 Pts

A good complementary juxtaposition.  Not sure if there's a 'deeper' meaning for this particular choice of herbs. If so, Google didn't tell me in time.

A lovely way to show loss and neglect, while giving us hope that all is not lost, as long as there are fertile seeds remaining.

the night she passed —
moonlight shadows
in wild lavender
Ron Moss
(0,3,8) = 14 Pts

Sixth Place – Thirteen Points
dried spring herbs —
I still
love her

Israel Lopez Balan
(1,2,6) = 13 Pts

Conveys loss and longing without overdoing it.

spicing up the stew
she hands me coriander
in that dress

rob scott
(1,1,8) = 13 Pts

Great, simple image from everyday life, with a dash of wit!

Seventh Place – Twelve Points
flowered curtains
the scent of lavender
drifts through them
Melissa Spurr
(0,3,6) = 12 Pts

silence of dawn...
I stir my tea with
cinnamon stick

Vanja Nikovic
(1,3,3) = 12 Pts

Eighth Place – Eleven Points
the first season without you —
preparing lamb
with powdered thyme

Joyce Clement
(0,2,7) = 11 Pts

nettle leaf
when I come home late
her tongue

(0,2,7) = 11 Pts

Ninth Place – Ten Points
cool shadows
under the cliff swallows' nests
water cress

Bridget Cougar
91,2,3) = 10 Pts

spring cleaning
sage retires
to a higher shelf
Deb Bauer
(0,3,4) = 10 Pts

Clever pun. I'm wondering if This 'sage' is a yang element.

the discolored Christ
in a roadside chapel
fresh chamomiles

Dorota Pyra
(0,2,6) = 10 Pts

soaking wet
under the witch hazel tree
your loud laughter

Elena Naskova
(1,2,3,) = 10 Pts

Tenth Place – Nine Points
long afterwards
the tang of wild mint
on your palms

Beverley George
(0,1,7) = 9 Pts

There is a hint of sensuality in this one. "The tang of wild mint" is a good construction.

Eleventh Place – Eight Points
always different
he names the puppy

Carmel Lively Westerman
(0,3,2) = 8 Pts

I love this!

spring crossing —
ants parade
from parsley to thyme

Mary Davila
(0,2,4) = 8 Pts

Love this one!

still pond
tiny ripples in the mint
and marsh grass
mike farley
(0,1,6) = 8 Pts

The ripples in the mint are beautifully unexpected.

Twelfth Place – Seven Points

exploring a new trail wild mint at the end

w. f. owen
(2,0,1) = 7 Pts

A beautiful thought, it brought me right to the scene.

A brilliant stroke--the one-line format is absolutely perfect for this depiction of a trail, with the word "end" cleverly and appropriately placed at the end.  The juxtaposed concepts of "new trail" and "wild mint" are ideal mutual compliments. This is impeccably crafted; a superb haiku.

Thirteenth Place – Six Points
gaol garden walk —
floating in the air
a sense of thyme

Lech Szeglowski
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

sagebrush sea;
swishing the scented air-
a sparrow.

manoj saranathan
(1,0,3) = 6 Pts

spring sun
even the thyme out
of the shadow

(1,0,3) = 6 Pts

A very subtle expression of the magnificent mechanics that tilt the earth on its axis.

bitter herbs,
apples, walnuts, honey —
life goes on

Robert Ertman
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

I like how this evokes Passover without spelling it out.

lonely spring
in my herb garden
shoots of rue

(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

spring wind
the rock wall draped
in woolly thyme

Susan Constable
(0,0,6) = 6 Pts

Fourteenth Place – Five Points
my fingers
fragrant all morning
mint shoots
Ann K. Schwader
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

country stillness —
butterflies create wind
around spring's yarrow

(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

the baby's diaper
mint sprig in her hair
Ben Gieske
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

A good combination of sweet and concise.

green chives garnishing spring

Beth Powell
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

wild mint
 a real estate agent praises
the shopping

ed markowski
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

spring rain
a sprinkle of dried thyme
goes into the pot

(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

mating season
the cat's unbridled passion
for catnip

Jennifer Corpe
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

bright morning
rosemary spills
into the shade

Jon Baldwin
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

seaward path —
each footfall yields the scent
of wild thyme
jon davey
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

warm neem leaves —
the smell of spring forest
in my bathwater  
kala ramesh
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

outdoor ballerinas
daffodils flutter
in the clover

(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

first day of spring —
she questions my cooking
with tarragon

Mike Montreuil
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

two drunks
pissing on the rosemary
April moon
Oliver Mead
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

This made me laugh.

fresh mint
at midnight —
first trimester
Roberta Beary
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

our old house
with its wild mint patch  —
all gone now

Shelley Krause
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

self sown
dill escapes
his ex-wife's garden

tom painting
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

Fifteenth – Four Points
tainted milk
they scour the pasture hedgerow
for wild garlic

(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

While I find the second line a little long, the image is pitch-perfect - just a few words to create a very detailed scene.

tea picking
a maiden's song
on my lips

Apurva Iyengar
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

chewing fresh mint
we kiss over the stove —
late dinner

David Grayson
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

spring term...
    sharing a spliff
  on the fire escape
Helen Buckingham
(0,1,2,) = 4 Pts

so green it throbs —
spring rain

Irene Golas
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

just to be blue...
in its secluded corner
rosemary blooms
Marlène Buitelaar
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

rubbing basil
between my fingers —
the taste of your kiss
Neil Muscott
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

the scent of lemon balm
in April moonlight
heat lightning shimmers

patricia a. boutilier
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

Sixteenth Place – Three Points
backpacking solo
the taste of mint tea

Agnes Eva Savich
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

high tea —
her son swaps parsley
for cannabis
Allison Millcock
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

This one made me actually laugh and go back to read it again.

sweet fennel leaves
near the river path
a down-filled nest

Barbara Snow
( 0,0,3) = 3 Pts

on a catnip high
my cat mistakes my fingers
for more lawful prey

Deirdre Godwin
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

pots of herbs
except for the mint
name tags
doris kasson
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

city garden plots
clay pots of sage and thyme
on fire escape steps

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

We have to get some
parsley, sage, rosemary, and —
what else did we need?

Horst Ludwig
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts


grass in pot
neighbour stares when told
it is for cancer
john tiong chunghoo
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

so much wild thyme —
an early robin
chirrups my hoe

Lin Geary
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

potted herbs
in the warming sun —
new apartment

Marylouise Knight
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

dinner guests —
the kitchen basil
max verhart
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

General Comments:

So many wonderful haiku from which to choose!

A Very savory bunch of poems in this Kigo batch.

The majority of the submitted haiku for the April kigo entry had more than one kigo. This multiplication of kigo diluted the effect of the haiku's resonance.

Specific Comment:

12th Place:
exploring a new trail wild mint at the end

By changing the order and getting rid of the verb (which is unnecessary as it is implied in "new"), wild mint is at the end for the reader too.   
a new trail...
at its end
wild mint

As I understand it, this time we had to ensure that our herb was to be used as the kigo, which means the haiku must be in harmony with spring. Many different plants were used as herbs, culinary and medicinal, but some excellent haiku unfortunately didn't really harmonize with the season [e.g. 41, 106], which would have been fine in the Free Format category. Some used double-kigo or double kireji and would improve with editing.

First Place – Thirty-six Points
night sky
the rusted tin roof
leaking moonlight

Melissa Spurr
(3,6,15) = 36 Pts

A very lovely image here.

Here the pleasant surprise of what is leaked almost overcomes my dismay at the throw-away first line.Moonlight tells us it is night and implies 'sky'.

Second Place – Twenty-six Points
bullet holes
rust bleeds down
the old sign

Neil Muscott
(2,3,14) = 26 Pts

I think the image here is just awesome. The word "bleeds" is perfect for this poem.

As if the color of old blood might leak from the man-made sign.

Again, there is that helplessness before inexplicable, random acts of violence.

Thinking of what else might have bled as a result of other bullets makes this thought provoking. "Bleeds' is perfect here.

Third Place – Twenty-three Points
rusted pickup
on the edge of town —
prairie wind

Beth Powell
(1,5,10) = 23 Pts

where the barn's tin roof
   rusted          through

ed markowski
(1,5,10) = 23 Pts

Excellent - I loved the contrast between the down-to-earth barn and the planet in the sky.

This, to me, is probably the best haiku in this section. So simple,
yet evocative and effective!

Very effective use of the space of the poem to contribute to the image.

Fourth Place – Nineteen Points
counting the years
since her death
the rusty yard swing

(2,1,11) = 19 Pts

Fifth Place – Seventeen Points
midlife crisis —
a little rust spot
on the red sports car

Linda Papanicolaou
(1,3,8) = 17 Pts

Shades of red, the one modifying or contrasting with the other, 'live forever' vs. 'decay'.

Fifth Place – Sixteen Points
priming the pump
the first gush rustier
than the can

Gene Doty
(2,3,4) = 16 Points

a rusty swing
seagull cries
on the wind

(2,3,4) = 16 Points

Good juxtaposition in the similarity of sounds from the swing and seagull's cries. Also the 'scent' link between the two is evocative of the lonely feeling that can come from our helplessness before the passage of time and the vastness of echoing space.

Sixth Place – Twelve Points
in a rusty rake

(0,2,8) = 12 Pts

rusty wind chimes
the wind
doesn't mind

Elena Naskova
(0,4,4) = 12 Pts

I love wind chimes! And the repeated use of the long-I sound makes this haiku musical.

nursing home visit —
same rust stain
in the sink

Roberta Beary
(1,2,5) = 12 Pts

rusty shovel
he lets his grandson
find the worms

Susan Constable
(1,3,3) = 12 Pts

Seventh Place – Eleven Points
colonial coin
in the rust
a young queen

john tiong chunghoo
(0,0,11) = 11 Pts

A keen observation!

Eighth Place – Ten Points
autumn colors
an abandoned school bus
rusts in the woods

Bill Kenney
(01,8) = 10 Pts

the neighbors
still don't speak
rust on the chain

(01,8) = 10 Pts

I love the analogy here. Cold war between the neighbors and the rusting chain.

What a great way to show a long-standing feud between neighbors.

Ninth Place – Nine Points
another spring
the rusted tractor
deeper in the yard

(0,2,5) = 9 Pts

All those things we want to get around to, yet another year goes by . . . and another and another. Soon we're buried in our "stuff," just like the tractor gets buried through neglect.

Route 66
tumbleweed stuck
on a rusted gate

Sherry Weaver Smith
(0,1,7) = 9 Pts

Tenth Place – Eight Points
a robin splashes
in the rusted wheelbarrow
lingering rain

Catherine J.S. Lee
(0,0,8) = 8 Pts

weeds —
fencing pliers
rusted open

mike farley
(0,2,4) = 8 Pts

winter's end…
a wrinkled hand rubs
the fence's rust

Rita Odeh
(0,3,2) = 8 Pts

Eleventh Place – Seven Points
rusty sewing needles
on faded pin cushion
spring cleaning

Audrey Downey
(0,3,1) = 7 Pts

ground fog
the rusty aeroplane
flies again

Jacek M.
(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

summer passes —
the iron gate
still rusting

Marylouise Knight
(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

after so much rain,
can that be rust
in the blue jay's cry?

Shelley Krause
(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

Each time I read this, I hear a different variation on the jay's cry.

I'm not particularly fond of sentence haiku or of question marks, but they both work for me with this sense of humor!

Twelfth Place – Six Points
early spring
startled by the voice
of the rusty gate

Earl Keener
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

early spring
the old shed door
rusted shut

Meredith Stern Cavalieri
(1,1,1) = 6 Pts

weeks of April showers
even my bones
begin to rust

(0,3,0) = 6 Pts

the recluse
her front gate hangs
from a rusty hinge

(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

Thirteenth Place – Five Points
deep rust
on the letter opener
hunter's moon

Alice Frampton
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

Many layers in this one. Love "hunter's moon."

the clock above the bar
blurred with rust —
I order another beer

David Grayson
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

through the rust
of an old bicycle wheel
spring nettles grow

Frances McCarthy
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

old house —
wide open
rusty gate

(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

spring breeze
open gate's rusty hinges
join birdsong

(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

old iron gate —
still holding on
to the rust

kala ramesh
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

I sometimes feel like that old iron gate - holding on to things that are really no longer of use, but wondering what will be left in my life if I give all the unneeded things away.

fallen leaves
on a rusty merry-go-round
a man hurries past

Li Ree
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

There is a story in this one. Good image.

I like the mystery in this, the contrast between things and time.

on the keyhole
cottage for sale

(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

autumn rain
the abandoned ballpark
weeps rust

rob scott
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

old tree-house . . .
a shade of rust
in the sunrise

Ron Moss
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

a maze of
rusted nails —
a lonely ant

Vishnu Narayanan
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

two years a widow...
his garden tools
rust in the shed

Zhanna P. Rader
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

Fourteenth Place – Four Points
a parking meter
with a bit of rust
but not enough

Barbara Snow
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

missing dad
sandpapering rust
off his old tool box

(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

I really liked the combination of looking back _and_ moving on.

on the red wagon
his name
in rust

Lin Geary
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

spring again
rusty tools
from last year

Mr. PC
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

cold evening —
April rain falling through
the rusty roof

Stephen Nzomo
(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

You can really feel the desolation and chill in this place.

Fifteenth Place – Three Points
pottery shed —
rusty water sputters
from the faucet

(0,0,3) = =3 Pts

searching for the cat
through wrecked cars covered with rust
wind whistles and moans

(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

final anchorage...
sunset and rust on old
fisherman's hands

Dejan Pavlinovic
(0,0,3) = =3 Pts

all rusty
in the newly turned compost pile
the missing trowel

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

on the ring
more than one
rusty key

Francine Banwarth
(0,0,3) = =3 Pts

clapboard shack
the tap splutters out
a flake of pipe

Josh Wikoff
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

roadside Christ —
where the gilt was

max verhart
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

faded to rust
still clings to her branch

miriam chaikin
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

my key screeching
in the rusty padlock —
April rain

Patrick Wafula
(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

spring sun —
the rust on the bicycle
comes off easily

Pia Sosua
(0,0,3) = =3 Pts

General Comments:

Wish I had more points to spent. A fine selection of haiku!

These were especially difficult to choose, as many were very good.

Thank you for participating in the April 2008 Kukai! We will be posting the May Call for Submissions on Monday, May 5th. See you then!

With much appreciation,

Robert Bauer, Secretary
Gary Warner, Web Host

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