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The Shiki Monthly Kukai

June 2009 Kukai

Dear Haiku Friends,

Here are the results for the June 2009 Kukai, wherein our Kigo subject was "Graduation" and our Free Format subject was "Wood".

Congratulations to Tom Painting, winner of our Kigo section and to Beth Powell, 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.

June 2009 Results
Kigo Theme:
Free Format Theme:

First Place — Thirty-four Points
graduation day
her mother and I
test our civility

tom painting
(3,7,11) = 34 pts

The interconnected different aspects of life are merged in the common events of everyday life; graduating from school and commencing on new life relationships. Two wonderful occasion merged.

Second Place — Twenty Points
graduation cheer
a flock of starlings
takes the sky

Terry O'Connor
(1,2,13) = 20 pts

I like the implied image of the students taking flight, en masse, as well as the starlings. Nice play on 'starlings', too.

Third Place — Nineteen Points
graduation day
dandelion seeds
on the wind

frederick c gier
(0,4,11) = 19 pts

Like the dandelions, the graduates will undoubtedly travel far from their common starting point. Of course, we'll hope that they bring more joy and value to the world than dandelions do!

Fourth Place—Seventeen Points
graduation day—
their daughter's name

Bill Kenney
(0,4,9) = 17 pts

Fifth Place—Fifteen Points
graduation day
dogs present handlers
for diplomas

Rose Marie Stutts
(1,5,2) = 15 pts

graduation day
mom and stepmom
sitting side by side

Renee Owen
(1,2,8) = 15 pts

Sixth Place—Fourteen Points
spiked heels sinking
into the grass

Penny Harter
(1,2,7) = 14 pts

A picture that speaks to almost all my senses — a clear favourite of mine here! This haiku shows keen observation.

Talk about being brought down to earth!

graduation photo
half a century later
her eyes unchanged

Meredith Cavalieri
(0,5,4) = 14 pts

Seventh Place—Thirteen Points
graduation day...
dogs of various sizes
sit and stay

Elinor Pihl Huggett
(0,3,7) = 13 pts

Eighth Place—Eleven Points
a newborn
asleep at the breast—
graduation day

Ron Moss
(0,3,5) = 11 pts

fallen birch leaves
in the graduation photo
we all look the same

Beverley George
(0,2,7) = 11 pts

L2 provides a natural pivot and the last line is amusing, yet carries the ring of truth.

Ninth Place—Ten Points
country school bleachers
the scent of alfalfa
at graduation

(0,4,2) = 10 pts

Tenth Place—Nine Points
at graduation
all the flowers
in full bloom

Ben Gieske
(1,0,6) = 9 pts

Eleventh Place—Eight Points
taking its graduation—
high-grade butterfly

Virginia Popescu
(2,0,2) = 8 pts

remembering her first steps
magna cum laude

Horst Ludwig
(0,4,0) = 8 pts

Twelfth Place—Seven Points
the spaghetti strap
slips off her shoulder

Beth Powell
(1,2,0) = 7 pts

I remember how the spaghetti strap slipped off her shoulder, not quite a half-century ago.

One of those moments that are absolutely trivial, unless you happen to be the one involved. There is nothing unkind in the humor here.

graduation day
wild roses

Alan S. Bridges
(1,1,2) = 7 pts

graduation . . .
the speaker's wisdom
blown away

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

students and their tassels
seeking direction

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

Pick of the litter.

graduation day
the valedictorian's
ragged running shoes

ed markowski
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

Graduation Day—
mother picks off
a dandelion parachute

Ralf Broker
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

baby bird
spreads her wings...
graduation day

A. Dharma Bum
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

graduation . . .
the valedictorian shares
her lip gloss

Francine Banwarth
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

The feminine pronoun is, happily, no longer unexpected, but the "lip gloss" is a nice twist.

stuck in the
revolving doors
graduation day

Elena Naskova
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

bloom overnight—

Marylouise Knight
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

Simple, yet effective . . . the graduates blooming as they complete their program. Let's hope their bloom time, however, lasts longer than the peonies'!

kindergarten graduation
the empty bird's nest
above the doorway

Sjs Stevie
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

Thirteenth Place—Six Points
Graduation time
little bird shows its parents—
how well it observed

Jenn McSweeney
(1,1,1) = 6 pts

the transgender boy
flips her tassel right to left—
graduation morning

Bruce H. Feingold
(1,1,1) = 6 pts

nothing beneath
his gown

Lex Joy
(1,0,3) = 6 pts

graduation day,
our daughter somebody else's
brown-eyed girl

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

This haiku tells readers immediately multiple meanings of graduation—a true commencement is recognized here. The voices of the haiku tell readers that the students, the parents and the future off-spring of the graduating couple are totally involved in on-going and developing relationships. What a positive expression of live is revealed in these powerful images. Great tenderness emanates from the haiku.

graduation day ::
catalpa blossoms
litter the lawn

timothy russell
(0,1,4) = 6 pts

red wings
for the caterpillar . . .
graduation day

Mary Davila
(0,1,4) = 6 pts

beneath the class clown's
graduation robe—
purple sneakers

Terri L. French
(0,0,6) = 6 pts

Fourteenth Place—Five Points
now the world
is school

Bill Gottlieb
(0,2,1) = 5 pts

after graduation—
dreams of cotton in the wind

(0,2,1) = 5 pts

graduation –
the toast of champagne
for a hawker’s son

Gautam Nadkarni
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

A subtle haiku that makes a point, without being preachy.

graduation day—
her diamond ring

Carolyn Coit Dancy
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

a peace dove
soils the soldier's cap
at graduation

Barbara A Taylor
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

graduation day
the long awaited peonies
making a statement

Audrey Downey
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

graduation day
removing the training wheels
from her bicycle

Tom Genovese
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

tough graduation
the swallow's first flight
and the air is full of hats

Jon Espen Vassbotn
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

only eighteen . . .
her graduation photo
in front of the altar

Susan Constable
(0,0,5) = 5 pts

a degree of mischief
in the black squirrel's stare
graduation day

Jennifer Corpe
(0,0,5) = 5 pts

Fifteenth Place—Four Points
parting messages
through the microphone
graduation day

(0,1,2) = 4 pts

last cherry blossom
my graduation photo
shows a weary smile

Harvey Jenkins
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

fallen mortarboard
a cygnet tilts its head
at the yellow tassel

Nancy Smith
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

damp eyed
through graduation—
hay fever

(0,0,4) = 4 pts

he adjusts again
the sails

(0,0,4) = 4 pts

So many images are forward looking—the ideal of graduation and setting sails for a course are wonderfully compatible; this haiku is forward looking and innovative.

graduation day—
over his gown a Maori
wears a feathered cloak

Patricia Prime (NZ)
(0,0,4) = 4 pts

In this haiku two ancient cultures collide—the aboriginal Maori of civilization of New Zealand and the medieval university system of Europe are meshed images; the irony of juxtaposition makes many apt social comparisons.

graduation dance
the school principal starts
a conga line

Garry Eaton
(0,0,4) = 4 pts

Sixteenth Place—Three Points
first day of college
admiring the caps and gowns
the new graduates

(1,0,0) = 3 pts

thinking caps in flight
jubilant graduates cheer
high expectations

Lorraine Marguerite Gasrel Black
(1,0,0) = 3 pts

on the college roof
graduation day

Andre Surridge
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

into the future
in medieval cap and gown

Elaine Riddell
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

hat toss celebration—
a dragonfly caught
at a graduation ceremony

Daniela Bullas
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

graduation day...
our daughter's scent
still in my memory

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

graduation day –
remembering only
smiles and tears

Tomislav M.
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

salmon run
old schoolmates return
for graduation

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

An apt juxtaposition.

General Comments:

I preferred those that found something fresh in the most familiar meaning of "graduation" to those that sought clever ways to avoid it.

Once again I don't feel this topic was very evocative. It would have been somewhat better if calling for 'anything suggesting graduation' rather than the exact use of that word. Exact words always make for soporific reading during the voting phase.

Once again it was really hard for me to pick them and I wish I could have been able to pick more to win.

I went back to studying after 20 years and I’m graduating in two weeks - our winter here in South Africa - so this topic is very apt!

First Place — Twenty-Eight Points
bending the fir
to fit the waves

Beth Powell
(3,4,11) = 28 pts

Human industry guided by knowledge of–and, I'd say, reverence for–nature. I'm not the nautical type, but this makes me feel the shape of the boat and the force of the waves.

What a lovely way to think about the shape of a hull! Nice alliteration and rhythm, too.

Second Place — Twenty-Six Points
spring fog
only the rhythm of wooden boats
knocking together

Kate Creighton
(1,3,17) = 26 pts

hauling firewood—
the wheelbarrow and I
both wobbly

Terri L. French
(0,7,12) = 26 pts

Wow. There is an intense network of connection between these images; just as the collector of the firewood and the wheelbarrow "wobble" so too does the flame as it burns in various stages. The 3 respective "wobbles" in this haiku vibrate with life giving energy.

I like the subtle humour that arises from truth and that brings a smile of recognition. Unfortunately, I can relate almost too easily to this!

Third Place — Twenty-One Points
short days
the old woodcarver
goes with the grain

tom painting
(0,3,15) = 21 pts

Would that we all learn to live our lives this way, instead of fighting every little thing that comes along. Lovely on both the literal and metaphorical level.

Fourth Place — Twenty Points
tracing the knot
in the wooden pew
~ Grandad's funeral

Paul Hodder
(1,4,9) = 20 pts

It seems that we often look for distractions in our moments of grief. Well worded, without a hint of sentimentality.

Fifth Place — Seventeen Points
pregnancy test -
a wooden Indian
offers cigars

(2,3,5) = 17 pts

Sixth Place — Fifteen Points
a plain pine box containing a complicated man

(0,3,9) = 15 pts

bamboo curtains
if only I could roll up
my thoughts. . .

(0,2,11) = 15 pts

Seventh Place — Thirteen Points
maple in rain—
the sweet curves
of the violin

(0,3,7) = 13 pts

waiting for news—
polishing, again,
his walnut desk

Bridget Cougar
(0,2,9) = 13 pts

The depth of reflection in highly polished walnut wood compliments the image of expectations in "waiting for news". The mystery of what kind of news is wonderfully withheld and allows the readers to freely speculate according their own mindsets at the moment of reading. There is a fine open-ended moment of reflection in this well wrought haiku.

the old teak bowl
has outlasted her marriage —
fresh salad greens

(0,1,11) = 13 pts

I felt that! Very moving!

A perfect fusion of pathos and humor, avoiding any trace of cynicism. This leaves a good taste in the spirit.

Eighth Place — Eleven Points
In a circle—
the sound of earth
on wood

Ralf Broker
(1,3,2) = 11 pts

under the
giant sequoia... the sky
further than ever

Elena Naskova
(0,1,9) = 11 pts

Ninth Place — Ten Points
from an ancient piece
of swamp cedar the sculptor
releases a frog

Andre Surridge
(0,4,2) = 10 pts

Interesting play on Michelangelo's statement concerning his sculpture of David, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

Tenth Place — Nine Points
midsummer night –
fireflies on the growth rings
of our garden table

Daniela Bullas, UK
(0,3,3) = 9 pts

alone in the woods
I say "i'm sorry"
after each fart

Jacek M.
(0,2,5) = 9 pts

Eleventh Place — Eight Points
the tree my
father planted

Robert Ertman
(0,2,4) = 8 pts

So understated and profound that I missed it completely on my first time through the list. The line ending on "my" remains a blemish, however.

handling chopsticks-
I become hungrier
and hungrier

Barbara Campitelli
(0,1,6) = 8 pts


summer nights
the smell of mesquite smoke
in her hair

frederick c gier
(0,1,6) = 8 pts

Through the use of scent his haiku evokes memories of campfire gatherings—of sitting in a close knit group, gazing into an intense fire and watching the spirits of the wood freely escape into the atmosphere becoming one with the natural elements; the cyclic rhythms of life forces vibrate through this haiku.

Twelfth Place — Seven Points
pine smoke—
the toasted skin slides
off a marshmallow

(0,1,5) = 7 pts

Thirteenth Place — Six Points
nine sacred woods
laying the bonfire
on Beltane eve

(1,0,3) = 6 pts

sunset –
a dragonfly rests
at the dry stick

(1,0,3) = 6 pts

moon through the woods
the light draws
us in

Francine Banwarth
(0,1,4) = 6 pts

chimney swept...
a spider carried in
with the wood

Diane Mayr
(0,1,4) = 6 pts

Fourteenth Place — Five Points
cutting trees
with every strike
leaves tremble

Mariusz O.
(1,1,0) = 5 pts

reflecting pond
the decomposing

ed markowski
(1,0,2) = 5 pts

wooden corals-
on a woman's neck
the weight of years

(1,0,2) = 5 pts

he settles on a piece
of driftwood

Susan Constable
(1,0,2) = 5 pts

the name of . . .
the Gingko tree

Donna Bauerly
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

Their names faded
in the recesses of bark-
on the old oak tree

Jenn McSweeney
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

grandfather's oak clock
I hear the passage of time
in the living-room

Harvey Jenkins
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

the crackle
of an applewood fire . . .
summer rain

Catherine J.S. Lee
(0,0,5) = 5 pts

Water...fire...and air unite in this powerful haiku, providing a fundamental feeling of well-being, a uniting of elemental forces.

Fifteenth Place — Four Points
oak, ash, elder, thorn
the old ways still have power
in mankind's autumn

Deirdre Godwin
(1,0,1) = 4 pts

I enjoy the archetypal elements in this one.

the scent of pine
whittling the symbols
on the dreidel

(1,0,1) = 4 pts

hot cross buns —
a hint of wood texture
in the pale cross

~ Isabelle Prondzynski
(0,2,0) = 4 pts

No decisions yet;
Can't see the wood for trees...
But I won't give up

Tanja Cilia
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

a maple ablaze
over the wooden cross-
ten years after...

natalia kuznetsova
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

a splinter
from the boardwalk—
the heat

Bill Kenney
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

scent of pine
a flame robin shivers
in the dew

Ron Moss
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

Christmas kiss
the smell of pine
in her hair

Meredith Cavalieri
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

heart of the woods
a red fox scampers
over beech leaves

Beverley George
(0,0,4) = 4 pts

Gran's apple pie
Dad feels of the sting
of a wooden spoon

Terry O'Connor
(0,0,4) = 4 pts

in a rosewood box
her mother's ashes

John Daleiden
(0,0,4) = 4 pts

chopping root vegetables—
so many old cuts
on the board

Penny Harter
(0,0,4) = 4 pts

Sixteenth Place — Three Points
Trembling, the old priest
sets a carved old plate with bread
beside a wine jar

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

aged tobacco
and curly briarwood pipe
memories of Dad

A. Dharma Bum
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

catching time
in autumn leaves
without her

Barbara A Taylor
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

sandalwood fan
the sweet scent
drives away the heat

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

fog overtaking
footbridge and creek . . .
the dripping woods

Michael McClintock
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

the pine watch
as spring catches

Bill Gottlieb
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

coffee mist...
the carpenter caresses lightly
an ebony coffin

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

midnight passes
wooden stairs
sound the alarm

Ben Gieske
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

this cross I carry
if only
it were of wood

Shernaz Wadia
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

cedar, birch bark, glue
the journey begins with
building the canoe

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

blue glint
on the telephone pole –
a carpenter bee

Tomislav M.
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

first light
smoke from the wood stove
rising through the trees

Elaine Riddell
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

on the meditation room wall -
a woodpecker

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

deep massage . . .
a lingering aura
of sandalwood

Ellen Compton
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

General Comments:

I really enjoyed participating in and reading the June Kukai.

These are very hard to pick from. I like haiku so much I think I really like everyone’s works .If nothing else everyone should get points for writing these poetic gems just for the sheer enjoyment.

A mixed collection, with many different interpretations of the theme.

Thanks, this was fun!

Very hard to narrow down from 14, initially.

The best were so good that I was forced to exclude several that I'd certainly have voted for in many another month.

This topic worked far better than the one for Kigo.

Thank you for participating in the June 2009 Kukai! We will be posting the July Call for Submissions on Sunday, July 5th. See you then!

With much appreciation,

The Shiki Kukai Team

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