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July 2008 Kukai

Dear Haiku Friends,

Here are the results for the July 2008 Kukai, wherein our Kigo subject was "Firefly" and our Free Format theme was "Documents".

Congratulations to Miriam Chaikin, 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.

July 2008 Results
Kigo Theme:
Free Format Theme:

First Place – Thirty-nine Points
- the night
finds its way in

miriam chaikin
(1,11,14) = 39 Pts

Simple . . . and so beautiful. Wish I were there.

Second Place – Twenty-four Points
first firefly
the electrician shuts
his toolbox

ed markowski
(1,5,11) = 24 Pts

A delightful association between the firefly and the electrician.

I like how "first firefly" gives clue to this person's awakening to the season but I snagged on the author's choice of "electrician". I doubt it was intentional but feels deliberate and clever.

Third Place – Twenty Points
mind empty
a firefly
fills it

Francine Banwarth
(1,5,7) = 20 Pts

Fourth Place – Seventeen Points
my attention span

tom painting
(1,3,8) = 17 Pts

The short attention span vindicated! Mind and firefly are one.

Fifth Place – Fifteen Points
through my fingers

Carol Pearce-Worthington
(0,5,5) = 15 Pts

This is very pleasant, as if in summer time too may be allowed to slip though our fingers, perhaps also the safety in which the relaxation of sleep may come.

Sixth Place – Fourteen Points
above the fire
a lonely firefly
follows the spark

Jacek M.
(1,3,5) = 14 Pts

It reads as a sentence so would normally not get my vote, but it's realistic.

porch swing —
fireflies rise
above the oaks

Carmen Sterba
(0,5,4) = 14 Pts

Seventh Place – Thirteen Points
tonight only —
and the moon

Garry Eaton
(1,3,4) = 13 Pts

now and then
the memories

(1,3,4) = 13 Pts

A very effective pivot, with a lovely link between the physical and mental.

creaking oars
the fireflies
echo the stars

Tore Sverredal
(1,2,6) = 13 Pts

Got my vote, though would be improved by dropping the first "the".

after the funeral ...
a lone firefly, blinking
quietly blinking

Carol Raisfeld
(0,4,5) = 13 Pts

Eighth Place – Twelve Points
a worn path
to the outhouse

Carmel Lively Westerman
(1,1,7) = 12 Pts

This one mixes 'high' and 'low.' Basho would approve.

Very funny mix of high and low, and fireflies would be in the damp spot, so quite truthful.

so plain
in the morning light
~ firefly

Paul Hodder
(0,4,4) = 12 Pts

It's refreshing to read a firefly haiku that shows us the contrast between day and night. Thank you!

Perhaps Issa's perspective.

Ninth Place – Eleven Points
falling stars —
the forest fills
with fireflies

Nancy Smith
(0,3,5) = 11 Pts

its light showing
the edge of one leaf

Ella Wagemakers
(0,2,7) = 11 Pts

Tenth Place – Ten Points
fireflies courting —
it's an on and off

Nancy Nitrio
(0,1,8) = 10 Pts

Dawn —
my firefly turns into
a beetle

Gosia Zamorska
(0,3,4) = 10 Pts

Torn between the two with this theme, but they say different things about life, so I vote for both!

Eleventh Place – Nine Points
firefly jar –
her sleeping bag close to
her sister's

Ruth Powell
(1,2,2) = 9 Pts

I love the perfection of this captured moment, with neither the sisters nor the fireflies there except by implication.

Twelfth Place – Eighth Points
tiny sparks of light
flit about my dark garden
fireflies or fairies?

(0,3,2) = 8 Pts

Thirteenth Place – Seven Points
fireflies —
someone wrote haiku
in their light

Horst Ludwig
(1,1,2) = 7 Pts

at your gravesite —
my watch stopped

(0,3,1) = 7 Pts

firefly hunt -
    almost there
                                        the light
                                        goes out

(0,3,1) = 7 Pts

Perfect would perhaps be no 'out' but just "___"

one firefly, two —
the small lap-lapping
as we drift from shore

Lin Geary
0,2,3 = 7 Pts

helpless laughter...
the Ferris wheel dips us
into the fireflies

(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

light my path
to the full moon

(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

losing then finding
that first thought —

Joyce Clement
(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

Fourteenth Place – Six Points
a field of fairy tales —
the many lights of

(1,0,3) = 6 Pts

A standout for economy and mindfulness.

like this firefly
in this dark night...
my life

Li Ree
(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

firefly haze
in the rearview mirror —
the drive back home

(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

To me this suggests the glow of a safe childhood, 'home' as sanctuary.

starlight reception . . .
the ring bearer brings
the bride a firefly

Bill Pauly
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

Fifteenth Place – Five Points
spotting a firefly,
the tiny ant stops and mulls...
what's wrong with the sun?

Abhinav Maurya
(1,1,0) = 5 Pts

the world a jar
firefly through
my door

(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

I love the way this turns things inside out in so many ways!

summer evening —
the random flash
of fireflies

Mary Lee McClure
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

the firefly and i wait for the sunset

w. f. owen
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

starless night
i let the firefly
guide me

Wojciech Wojnar
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

the baby asleep —
a reflection of fireflies
in the water

P M F Johnson
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

in tall grass
we chase the fireflies —
seven sisters

(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

I'm always charmed to see an astronomy kigo.

home village
above the deep well
a firefly

Lech Szeglowski
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

Sixteenth Place – Four Points
Firefly has gone
Silver lining of the cloud
Lit up by his soul.

(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

Midnight storm;
Where did they suddenly go?
Fireflies and the moon

manoj saranathan
(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

A contemplative question that sparks many thoughts.

firefly on her hand
the cold glow of
young widow's ring

Dorota Pyra
(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

after the rain...
trees filled with fireflies
Christmas in July!

Rose Marie Stutts
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

mother flashes the porch light —
in my cupped hands
a firefly's tickle

aom (tim)
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

Fireflies —
a smear of phosphorescence
on the toddler's palm

Linda Papanicolaou
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

Firefly —
lantern home for
nameless dog

Kurt R. W.
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

about my ancestors —

max verhart
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

wheat field —
parade of fireflies
at dusk

Cindy Bene
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

wedding march
the flower girl
chasing fireflies

Melissa Spurr
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

Something about the magical firefly that lures us away from 'duty'.

Seventeenth Place – Three Points
the tot
mesmerized —

Zhanna P. Rader
(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

Fourth of July
oh, firefly
how can you compete?

Barbara Campitelli
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

The firefly
Alights on my sleeve
Ignoring me

James Sawers
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

scent of sandalwood —
a firefly adds to
the light of incense

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

her face
beyond the fireflies
moving light

Jo McInerney
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

silent fireflies
in her throat a burning taste
of loneliness

Elena Naskova
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

tree house nightlight
the small boy sneaks one more firefly
into the jar

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

children shouting
"look, there's one!" —
the sound of fireflies

Shelley Krause
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

I recall summer

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

In the dog days of summer, to recall early summer nights when the heat was still welcomed and all of summer was ahead...nicely done.

holding flashlights
they twirl in the darkness —
pretend fireflies

Leslie Montgomery
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

favorite uncle —
we trade fireflies
for sparklers

John Thompson
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

restless mind
fireflies strobing
all over the meadow

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

rain drips
more slowly from the porch —
fireflies reappear

April Serock
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

sun rose late this day
little time to learn so much
life of a firefly

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

sudden blackout —
the old neighbourhood
full of fireflies

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

power outage ::
a firefly's slow progress
across the window

timothy russell
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

broken curfew
she tries to blame
the fireflies

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

hot night
the afterglow
of a dead firefly

Collin Barber
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

flash of shoes
children hunting
for fireflies

Jim Applegate
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

absent minded —
following the flight
of the firefly

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

firefly hunt galaxies in a jar

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

General Comments:

This was much more difficult than writing my entries! I ended up creating three lists pruning down my favorites! And I sorely wish I could vote for the ones I left out.

Fireflies produced many evocative responses. Good poems.

It's something of a surprise that this magical (though traditional) topic seems to have produced relatively few good haiku. I wonder if participants were a bit haunted by the hundreds of years of haiku already written; perhaps such a weight may have inhibited imaginations.

First Place – Twenty-seven Points
rejection letter
folding another
paper crane

Melissa Spurr
(1,6,12) = 27 Pts

The "making lemonade" approach to rejection slips. This will appeal to non-violent types. For the rest, see ‘third drink’. The two make a great matched set.

A nice image!

I love the gentle humor - the making of lemonade from yet another lemon.

A very creative use for useless paper!

Second Place – Twenty Points
on the fridge
the to-do list
you left me

Roberta Beary
(2,3,8) = 20 Pts

Oh, the glare in that last line's eye!

Like the W. C. Williams "Plum" poem, this says so much!

This made me think of someone returning home after the funeral of their spouse.

birth certificate:
the name of the father
he never knew

Catherine J.S. Lee
(1,4,9) = 20 Pts

Oh, man, does this ever resonate. This haiku expresses so concisely and perfectly the thoughts a person has when contemplating the importance of a mysterious name on a document so official and so personal. Well done!

yard sale —
the faded diploma
of a country doc

Carmen Sterba
(0,3,14) = 20 Pts

Third Place – Eighteen Points
will writing . . .
a lawn mower
strikes a rock

Alice Frampton
(2,4,4) = 18 Pts

For me, it's naming the executors; for others, something else that brings the writing to a halt.

root canal ~
staring at the dentist's
graduation certificate

Paul Hodder
(2,2,8) = 18 Pts

divorce papers
the envelope
surprisingly light

Neil Muscott
(1,6,3) = 18 Pts

Fourth Place – Fourteen Points
her medicare card
in this morning's mail . . .
the girl that I married

Bill Kenney
(1,2,7) = 14 Pts

An arresting mix of melancholy and joy - bittersweet. I am indebted to the author for expanding my understanding of wabi/sabi.

So much tenderness and nostalgia is expressed in this haiku.

Fifth Place – Thirteen Points
chopped onions
on a new cutting board
divorce papers

Deborah P Kolodji
(1,2,6) = 13 Pts

shotgun wedding
the invitation arrives
by email

Susan Constable
(0,4,5) = 13 Pts

'Marry in haste; repent at leisure' ;-?

Sixth Place – Twelve Points
tucked away
with her important papers —
my first report card

Shelley Krause
(1,2,5) = 12 Pts

wind change —
flood water
up to the parking ticket

aom (tim)
(1,1,7) = 12 Pts

Doubly damned, but nature's power is greater than officialdom, wryly amusing.

death certificate —
that's all I hold
in my arms

Barbara Campitelli
(0,2,8) = 12 Pts

A poignant haiku; the unsaid says so much.

the divorce petition —
first raindrops

Jacek M.
(0,2,8) = 12 Pts

out of work
the framed diplomas
collecting dust

ed markowski
(0,1,10) = 12 Pts

Seventh Place – Eleven Points
youthful urgency
that love letter you wrote me
scrawled on a napkin

Conrad Sienkiewicz
(3,1,0) = 11 Pts

marriage license —
we squint to read
the fine print

John Thompson
(1,2,4) = 11 Pts

Eighth Place – Ten Points
in the parchment
of my hands —
reading the years

Donna Bauerly
(1,2,3) = 10 Pts

Utterly beautiful in all its silence and acceptance!

graduation . . .
grandma waves
her diploma

Carol Raisfeld
(0,2,6) = 10 Pts

I love the surprise of line 3.

The surprise contrast is uplifting.

Ninth Place – Nine Points
the VD clinic —
waiting for blood test results
I write valentines

Mykel Board
(0,3,3) = 9 Pts

Not to me, I hope. In other words, a most effective senryu.

Tenth Place – Eight Points
the long awaited letter



Carol Pearce-Worthington
(1,0,5) = 8 Pts

tired thoughts
my diary and the gray noise
of a downpour

Ella Wagemakers
(0,3,2) = 8 Pts

Eleventh Place – Seven Points
rainy attic . . .
Mother's faded
birth certificate

Bill Pauly
(0,3,1) = 7 Pts

third drink—
framing the rejection slip
with my staple gun

Lin Geary
(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

Gratuitous violence. I love it. But is this the only way to deal with rejection slips? See ‘rejection letter’.

morning mail —
a letter to my son
from traffic court

Linda Papanicolaou
(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

power of attorney ::
mother tends the garden
in the nude

(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

Twelfth Place – Six Points
next school report —
her pet doll
covered by dust

Dorota Pyra
(1,0,3) = 6 Pts

roadside diner
on the menu
a family history

deb koen
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

Thirteenth Place – Five Points
divorce paper
a half of fresh orange
in his hand

(1,1,0) = 5 Pts

first passport —
looking time and again
at the photo

Horst Ludwig
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

a gnat
forever at takeoff —
the document's clauses page

jean cully
(1,0,2) = 5 Pts

with the farm
deeds of a lifetime

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

again reading
his death certificate before
I return to nothing

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

cause of death
on the pathology report:
God only knows....

Marlθne Buitelaar
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

"God only knows" why I like this one but I do.

Fourteenth Place – Four Points
four hundred years old
a monastery Bible
I turn the vellum page

Rose Marie Stutts
(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

such a long life
and a good one —
such a short Will

(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

Words on a paper
Stiletto stabbing a heart;
Will and testament.

(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

using the Deed
as kindling for a campfire
after foreclosure

(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

prairie drought
he stares hard at the horizon
divorce papers

(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

autumn twilight
the pauper sits down
to write his will

Gautam Nadkarni
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

This is intriguing; what does the pauper have to will? The juxtaposition feels very right here.

the ''to do'' list --
my orderly mind
on paper

(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

"on paper" sneaks up on you; quietly effective.

A juxtaposition of similarities.

Fifteenth Place – Three Points
divorce decree
child cries on courthouse steps
balloon flies free

Cindy Bene
(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

the child stands
not knowing which hand to take
divorce papers sealed his fate

(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

door closed
she hunts
for his wallet

(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

Headline —
my ex-wife

Garry Eaton
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

my passport photo

tom painting
(0.0,3) = 3 Pts

with a kiss
I seal an envelope —
you touch my red lipstick

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

forty-eight years now
safe in my underwear drawer
my PhD

Paul O. Williams
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

Rolled in a cardboard tube ;-?

smiling children
receive their certificates —
parents' day

Beverly Achieng
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

forest fires. . .
a new lease signed
in indelible ink

(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

pardon me
...the judge
hard of hearing

Colin Stewart Jones
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

The double entendre of L1 is perfect. Thanks for the smile.

new year's night
feet touch paper

Jennifer Corpe
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

reading of his will —
the sour expressions
on their sons' faces

Zhanna P. Rader
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

the sky darkens —
a hesitation before
signing the contract

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

passport control —
all he wants to see
is her smile

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

General Comments:

This was much more difficult than writing my entries! ‘autumn twilight’ is the best haiku in both the kukai categories according to me. Reminds me of the masters of haiku and the haiku as it is supposed to be! I ended up creating three lists pruning down my favorites! And I sorely wish I could vote for the ones I left out.

I'm always afraid that poems on my short list that don't make the final cut will wind up with zero points, giving the misleading impression that nobody liked them. And I'll try to keep this in mind for my next zero.

Some really creative responses to the documents prompt.

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

We will be posting the August Call for Submissions on or about Monday, August 4th. See you then!

With much appreciation,

Robert Bauer, Secretary
Gary Warner, Web Host

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