The Shiki Monthly Kukai


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The Shiki Monthly Kukai

December 2008 Kukai

Dear Haiku Friends,

We wish each of you, our participants and readers, a most joyous Holiday season!

We also wish to announce a very special Kukai to bring the New Year forward.

The Shiki Team of Japan, The Ehime Culture Foundation which sponsors the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards, along with The Shiki Monthly Kukai Team are pleased to announce The 2009 Shiki Special Kukai in memory of William J. Higginson!

Invitations will be sent out on New Year's Eve.

The Shiki special kukai has not been held since the year 2000 and was once a much-anticipated part of the Shiki Internet Salon Haiku Workshop kukai. An experience like no other contest offered by haiku association before or since.

The Grand Prize of a round trip to Matsuyama along with commemorative gifts to 5 higher-ranking winners will be awarded for this special Kukai.

There will be questions and we'll be happy to answer them but here is a link you should check out regarding this most wonderful opportunity.

This is a page of links to past contest results. Of interest will be these links, also. They are the haibun accounts of the last two winners, Timothy Russell—1999 and Earl Keener—2000.

These accounts are a fascinating read.

There will be additional requirements with this kukai, so please read all directions carefully when the invitations arrive.

The 2009 Shiki Special Kukai in memory of William J. Higginson will preempt our January and February monthly kukai schedule.

Here are the results for the December 2008 Kukai, wherein our Kigo subject was "Hare or Rabbit" and our Free Format setting was "The Night".

Congratulations to Elena Naskova and Melissa Spurr, winners of our Kigo section and to Janice Hornburg, 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.

December 2008 Results
Kigo Theme:
Hare or Rabbit
Free Format Theme:
The Night

First Place – Thirty Points
no one called
she gently dusts
her porcelain rabbits

Elena Naskova
(3,8,5) = 30 Pts

The implied loneliness enhanced rather than diminished by the routine is poignant.

a jackrabbit springs
from stillness

(2,7,10) = 30 Pts

Great image!

As though the sun were its green light to GO...

Line 1 might make a stronger contribution.

Second Place – Twenty-one Points
warm December day
the cottontail feasts
on the snowman's fallen nose

Terri L. French
(1,4,10) = 21 Pts

Ha! Poor snowman. Very well done!

Third Place – Eighteen Points
          winter garden —
among the  beets a quiver
          of rabbit ears       

Nancy Smith
(1,4,7) = 18 Pts

Without mentioning any hue, this builds a vividly colorful picture for me.

a harvest moon
the rabbit nibbles a new path
through the garden

(1,3,9) = 18 Pts

I can just see him nosing quietly by the light of the moon. A nice simple moment. I like the use of nibbles as a moving forward verb.

Looks like the rabbit is doing his own harvesting. Nice one.

Would be stronger without "a" in line 1 and "new" in line 2.

an owl's feather
marks the hare's last track —
midwinter night

Janice Hornburg
(0,5,8) = 18 Pts

An uh-oh moment!

Fourth Place – Seventeen Points
a startled hare
moonlight leaps
from track to track

George Hawkins
(1,3,8) = 17 Pts

The movement in this one is wonderful.

shadow puppets —
all of this rabbit's life
in my hands

Dorota Pyra
(1,3,8) = 17 Pts

Haven't we all done this? A thumb knuckle for a twitchy nose!

Interesting and original though not seasonal.

So very perfect, and another subtle seasonal reference.

Fifth Place – Sixteen Points
fall harvest
she throws the last carrot
to the rabbit

Carmel Lively Westerman
(0,2,12) = 16 Pts

At first I did not detect a seasonal reference...fine performance!

A sense of finality; humdrum, but the best of the month.

Sixth Place – Fifteen Points
rabbit tracks
in solstice light . . .
craters of the moon

Bill Pauly
(1,2,8) = 15 Pts

rising moon . . .
the white flash
of a hare's tail

Susan Constable
(0,3,9) = 15 Pts

"white" might have remained implicit.

The moon and the rabbit tail echo each other with contrast.

Seventh Place – Thirteen Points
and kitten
touching white whiskers

Paul O. Williams
(2,2,3) = 13 Pts

midwinter —
I turn the rabbit ears
from V to L

Collin Barber
(1,3,4) = 13 Pts

falling snow —
rabbit tracks end
at the road

(0,2,9) = 13 Pts

I'm tempted to ask "Why are you telling me this?"

Eighth Place – Eleven Points
empty snowy field
the scarecrow
points to a hare

Lech Szeglowski
(1,1,6) = 11 Pts

This is the moment I think most likely to stay with me over the course of the coming weeks.

childhood dreams —
looking for a rabbit
in the moon

Sunil Uniyal
(0,4,3) = 11 Pts

Ninth Place – Ten Points
mid winter stars
the frozen orbits
of the snowshoe's eyes

Garry Eaton
(1,2,3) = 10 Pts

This is so sad, and poignant; the universe's grandeur against the life and death cycle on earth.

thin soup —
a hare

Lin Geary
(1,1,5) = 10 Pts

a rabbit’s foot
mixed in with the cut hay...
bad luck

Kilah C
(0,3,4) = 10 Pts

Strange superstition, wonderful haiku.

a thin crust of snow —
the jackrabbit
freezes and listens

(0,3,4) = 10 Pts

Tenth Place – Nine Points
no rabbits
at the magic show
my missing scarf

Deborah P Kolodji
(2,0,3,) = 9 Pts

Eleventh Place – Eight Points
quiet winter trail
the giant hare there
and not there

Bruce Ross
(1,1,3) = 8 Pts

Perhaps. A bit zen...like one which scored well last month.

taxi rank
the fancy-dress rabbit
fumbles for his watch

Helen Buckingham
(0,3,2) = 8 Pts

Shade's of Alice's Wonderland rabbit.

The humor in this one is great, for me, a blending of the white rabbit from Alice books and the Playboy bunny.

Twelfth Place – Seven Points
fresh snow
a snowshoe hare's tracks
quilt the pine grove

Catherine J.S. Lee
(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

preschool tour
the caged rabbit
keeps watch

Roberta Beary
(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

Thirteenth Place – Six Points
moon over the snow
a candle burning
for our dead white rabbit

helge t.
(1,1,1) = 6 Pts

last page
on the calendar
rabbits footprint the snow

Francine Banwarth
(1,1,1) = 6 Pts

wolf moon —
a rabbit hops into
the scarecrow's hat

(1,1,1) = 6 Pts

cocktail party —
the rabbit necklace
leaps her cleavage

aom (tim)
(1,0,3) = 6 Pts

below the holly
a shadow moved

(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

hares calligraphy-
patterns of moonshadows
on the snow

jon espen vassbotn
(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

the taxidermist's
successful rabbit season:
— the walls have ears

George Hazard
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

Very clever!

Fourteenth Place – Five Points
chased by a hunter
the rabbit
rubbed his foot

(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

full moon desert
the sagebrush hare
darts from his shadow

Michelle Chandler
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

first snow
rabbit tracks appear
mid trail

Michelle V. Alkerton
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

Could they do something more forceful than "appear"?

rolling snow ...
covering tracks
of rabbits

(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

Fifteenth Place – Four Points
morning sun
a white rabbit darts
across the snow field

Tore Sverredal
(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

white hare
on the country road
— autumn's end

Jacek M.
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

with rabbit trap
a balanced meal

Bill Hudson
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

still form
in hedge dusk
the watching hare

Frances McCarthy
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

the rabbit
vanishes behind
a veil of snow

Marylouise Knight
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

by the icy pond
just a round hare, and its reflection
in the sky

Anne Zooey Lind
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

My favorite of all the haiku suggesting the rabbit in the moon.

early snowfall —
my leaf piles now graced
with rabbit tracks

Shelley Krause
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

snow on snow
on the path between us —
hare tracks

Li Ree
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

Sixteenth Place – Three Points
frost-struck fields —
hares dance
through a smouldering dawn

jon davey
(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

peace talk —
the rabbit's ears
fall down

Rita Odeh
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

a rabbit in the patch
leaps out
a strawberry missing

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

the rabbit
in the moon hides
in earth's shadow

Gene Doty
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

lazy day . . .
the tortoise slowly passes
a sleeping hare

Carol Raisfeld
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

chilly dawn —
a rabbit tail runs away
into the darkness

Grzegorz Sionkowski
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

This creates a vivid visual, although I think a different verb, such as 'bounces', might be more effective.

her furry hands
hop along the pew —
rabbit skin mitts

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

basking in sunlight
the leveret
becomes a hare

A.M. Scarpone
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

the tracks
of a hare

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

urban hare —
in the neighborhood
nibbling grass

(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

a rabbit books it
across the library lawn
exam week

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

under the porch
last year's easter bunny

doris kasson
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

Moonlit snow
hare and dog
then only dog

(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

in a hurry
across December's first snow
a rabbit's tracks

Jeff Hanson
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

snow hare
only it's tracks
give it away

Meredith Stern Cavalieri
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

on the garden walk
only the track of a hare —
sipping hot tea

John Daleiden
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

General comments:

Perhaps it's 'in the eyes of the beholder' but I had trouble assigning any points to the kigo section as 'rabbit or hare' seems to have netted work that tends toward 'whahoppened', 'so what' or forced. Not sure why.

As a whole, the rabbit/hare poems seemed less than satisfying. So many had mixed kigo, and more than a few included grammatical oddities.

First Place – Forty-three Points
sleepless night —
the moon shifts
from pane to pane

Janice Hornburg
(2,8,21) = 43 Pts

And from pain to pain...I'm having nights like that.

I really love the implied association with the homophone, 'pain.' This is a lovely haiku.

Second Place – Twenty-eight Points
moonless night
the wind whistles into
an empty bottle

Tanya Dikova
(2,7,8) = 28 Pts

I feel the length and loneliness of the night in this.

It seems that the bottle here, beyond being just 'empty,' becomes a vessel that holds the vast and infinite emptiness of nighttime. Well done.

Ooh, nice one. Has a very classic feel.

Truly evocative: Night, the wind, the world in a bottle. Empty? Hardly.

The implications of this one are sad and lonely but very effectively expressed.

settles on the city
starling by starling

Kilah C
(1,7,11) = 28 Pts

Yes! That's just the way it happens!

I really like this quiet imagery. Original and effective.

Third Place – Twenty-five Points
the night splits
into before and after
the phone call

Barbara Snow
(1,4,14) = 25 Pts

Certain phone calls will do that. I like the tension that runs through this poem, from the first line to the last.

Fourth Place – Twenty-three Points
moonless night
the jasmine's fragrance
leads me home

Jacek M.
(0,7,9) = 23 Pts

Fifth Place – Sixteen Points
silent night
the child moves
inside her

Josh Wikoff
(0,3,10) = 16 Pts

The seasonal reference has real force because it is so simple and yet radiant with meanings.

Sixth Place – Fifteen Points
long after the death
of a bonfire

Collin Barber
(0,4,7) = 15 Pts

Seventh Place – Thirteen Points
the rain that stopped
has started again . . .
the long night

Bill Kenney
(2,2,3) = 13 Pts

Such loneliness in so few syllables.

winter night, another long train slowly passes

Laurene Post
(0,2,9) = 13 Pts

The form compliments this one nicely.

The one-line format fits very well here. Wonderful!

Great simplicity, symmetry, and chemistry between the two things juxtaposed.

Eighth Place – Twelve Points
between street lamps
the rise and fall
of my shadow

Agnes Eva Savich
(0,1,10) = 12 Pts

A rhythmic, wave-like effect to this progression as one lamp releases the tall shadow to the next, then the shadow shrinks as it nears each lamp only to grow again. Energy and even moods are also rather like this. Very evocative.

Ninth Place – Eleven Points
cold night . . .
submerging cabbage hearts
in the soup pot

Michael McClintock
(0,2,7) = 11 Pts

Tenth Place – Ten Points
howl of a dog
empties the night
of silence

Michelle V. Alkerton
(0,2,6) = 10 Pts

rainy night —
with every step
moon under my feet

Katarzyna Predota
(0,1,8) = 10 Pts

Eleventh Place – Nine Points
goodnight kiss
he takes
his time

Roberta Beary
(0,3,3) = 9 Pts

Slight, perhaps, but well-crafted, with an eloquent (and elegant) break at the end of line 2.

my secret crush
our shadows touch
in the moonlight

Meredith Stern Cavalieri
(0,2,5) = 9 Pts

That's really sweet!

moonless night —
her face in the glow
of the cellphone screen

Mykel Board
(0,2,5) = 9 Pts

A well-written 21st century haiku.

A nice surprise as well as a reflection (a punning image!)

Contrasts the depth of a night's darkness in a fresh way.

Twelfth Place – Eight Points
2 a.m.
barefoot at the window
watching the snow

April Serock
(0,2,4) = 8 Pts

long night
my eyes strain
the personals

tom painting
(0,1,6) = 8 Pts

mountains near and far
become one

Melissa Spurr
(0,1,6) = 8 Pts

the night after
he left for war

Carmel Lively Westerman
(0,1,6) = 8 Pts

Thirteenth Place – Seven Points
imagine a haiku written
28 years ago this night
John Lennon's death

(2,0,1) = 7 Pts

night in the valley —
I follow
the shepherd's call

Gosia Zamorska
(1,1,2) = 7 Pts

silent night
the holiness of trees
in wet snow

George Hawkins
(1,0,4) = 7 Pts

moonless night
all shadows

(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

first snowfall —
newborn sleeps through
the night

Leslie Montgomery
(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

I remember that first night. Unfortunately, I still laid awake . . . listening.

I love the comfort the blanket of snow brings.

Fourteenth Place – Six Points
longest night —
the Pleiades unwind
their string of lights

Shelley Krause
(1,1,1) = 6 Pts

A nice winter sky image.

a snowy owl
cries from the cedars ...
the night deepens

Bridget Cougar
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

wake —
how he'd talk
of the stars above the foxhole

aom (tim)
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

winter night
the harbour light blinks
across the ice

Beth Powell
(0,0,6) = 6 Pts

autumn night
only the rustle of leaves
of an old novel

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

Fifteenth Place – Five Points
Quite alone
wandering through the polar night...
the lodestar

Vasile Moldovan
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

the old furnace
creaks and groans
comforting bumps in the night

Bill Hudson
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

A comforting sound on a cold winter's night.

autumn leaves —
the last bus departs
almost empty

Israel Lopez Balan
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

The gap between the set-up (line 1) and payoff (lines 2-3) leaves the reader just enough to do.

drizzly night —
tiny stars dance
on my glasses

Isabelle Prondzynski
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

the long night
regular start/stop
of the fridge motor

(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

3 a.m.
last night the silence
tonight the rain

Kate Creighton
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

Sixteenth Place – Four Points
steep canyon walls
with each rumble of thunder
the night feels longer

(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

spring night —
frogs outshine
the stars

John Soules
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

his words linger
all night the patter of rain
on the window

(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

embracing father
for the final time —
old moon in the new moon's arms

jon davey
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

city night
last-minute shoppers jostle
the homeless man's cart

Catherine J.S. Lee
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

A sad commentary. What is Christmas without charity and compassion for our fellow man?

And I read "cart" as "shopping cart." Why say everything?


(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

Seventeenth Place – Three Points
heading to work
a raccoon's brief shadow
under the old moon

Harvey Jenkins
(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

Holy Night...
twinkling stars nestled
among the branches

Dejan Pavlinovic
(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

o — this night!
no moon no stars
up three times to pee

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

all night
I play hide-and-seek
with the full moon

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

counting stars . . .
huddled close, bundled up
against the night

Carol Raisfeld
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

their first night
behind a veil of clouds
the smiling moon

Gryta Wansdronk
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

winter solstice —
sparks fly from the fire
towards the stars

Daniela Bullas
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

Lovely image of the sparks and the stars together -- warmth and cold, movement and stillness -- this haiku immediately caught my eye!

lovers moon —
venus and jupiter tryst
at twilight

Darrell Byrd
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

moonlight in Ohio
a frog has leapt
from Basho's hand

Earl Keener
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

final descent . . .
a hill temple lights-up
the night sky

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

the door closes in
on a moth

Nana Fredua-Agyeman
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

out of
the deep night
first snow

Marylouise Knight
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

cold night
I cover with my body
my shadow

Lech Szeglowski
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

under a blanket
grandma's winter tales
warm the long nights

frederick gier
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

than Letterman —
midnight mockingbird

Joyce Clement
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

Nature's entertainment triumphs! I like the unexpected subject matter.

night game —
a long line of sad football fans
walking home

Dominic Riendeau-Krause
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

shyly undressing …
it’s always night
on the abyssal plains

A.M. Scarpone
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

late night calm
my shadow wonders through
the empty streets

Elena Naskova
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

a dark night
one or two lights shining somewhere
through the rain

Garry Eaton
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

parent-teacher conference
a halo around
the moon

Deborah P Kolodji
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

her skirt
shorter than her boots —
night out

Susan Constable
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

deep frost
the feral kittens
curl into the night

(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

the moon
straight up —
night chaser

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


General Comments:

There were so many good poems; this was a very difficult choice.

'The Night' seems to have been a very evocative choice of key words, stirring the participants to some very good haiku.

Thank you all for participating in the December 2008 Shiki Monthly Kukai.

Thanks to our poets who entered the December 2008 kukai and special thanks to our guest poet, Jane Reichhold, who lent us her work for the free format sample!

Invitations for submissions for The 2009 Shiki Special Kukai in memory of William J. Higginson will be sent on New Year's Eve. See you then!

With much appreciation,

Robert Bauer, Secretary
Gary Warner, Web Host

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