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The Shiki Monthly Kukai

November 2008 Kukai

Dear Haiku Friends,

Here are the results for the November 2008 Kukai, wherein our Kigo subject was "Trees" and our Free Format subject was "Everyday People".

Congratulations to Melissa Spurr and Roberta Beary, winners of our Kigo section and to Gryta Wansdronk and Jan O'Loughlin, winners 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.

November 2008 Results
Kigo Theme:
Free Format Theme:
Everyday People

First Place – Twenty-five Points
an owl in the elm
...not in the elm

Melissa Spurr
(3,4,8) = 25 Pts

Wow! Perfect visual!

in the glow
of the red maple
autumn's end

Roberta Beary
(2,5,9) = 25 Pts

Second Place – Twenty-three Points
acorn cap
sometimes all I know
is emptiness

John Thompson
(1,4,12) = 23 Pts

Appealingly small and sweetly poignant.

Third Place – Twenty-one Points
wet snow
another year weighs
on the century oak

tom painting
(1,5,8) = 21 Pts

Fourth Place – Twenty Points
pine fence
the tiny spider
mends a knothole

(0,4,12) = 20 Pts

This had, for me, that satisfying "of course" feeling... such a natural pairing, spiders and knotholes.

Fifth Place – Seventeen Points
Hiroshima . . .
an autumn gingko
blurred by tears

Beverley George
(2,3,5) = 17 Pts

Extremely powerful and full of emotion.

abandoned house
on the mulberry tree
a cicada shell

Sheri Files
(1,1,12) = 17 Pts

I liked how this played with my mind's expectations... I was thinking the house was going to be on a hill or street, so the tree was a nice surprise.

Sixth Place – Sixteen Points
platano tree —
every leaf falling
in its own way

Tomislav M.
(1,3,7) = 16 Pts

Seventh Place – Fifteen Points
an oak falls —
the old man's song
goes on

Rita Odeh
(1,3,6) = 15 Pts

Eighth Place – Fourteen Points
acorns —
the tree my
father planted

Robert Ertman
(1,0,11) = 14 Pts

Ninth Place – Thirteen Points
hard frost
the old oak's branches
cage the full moon

Catherine J.S. Lee
(1,2,6) = 13 Pts

This is perfectly executed; great imagery and word choice.

days of rain
the willow loses
its reflection

(1,1,8) = 13 Pts

Tenth Place – Twelve Points
Oak grove
in the space between daydreams
an acorn falls

Kilah C.
(0,1,10) = 12 Pts

Reality will intrude.

birdless oak
I listen to the song
of a winter wind

Collin Barber
(0,1,10) = 12 Pts

I like the "water mind" aspect of this... moving from listening to what used to be there ("should") to what actually IS there.

Eleventh Place – Ten Points
first snow —
silence among
the aspens

(0,2,6) = 10 Pts

Twelfth Place – Eight Points
all saints
only oaks
around the tomb

Wojciech Wojnar
(1,2,1) = 8 Pts

all hallows eve
the ghost face
in half a walnut shell

Francine Banwarth
(1,1,3) = 8 Pts

under the morning frost
the smell of pines

Dejan Pavlinovic
(0,2,4) = 8 Pts

autumn wind —
between oak branches
a lone star

Israel Lopez Balan
(0,1,6) = 8 Pts

Thirteenth Place – Seven Points
In our home
both the moon and stars...
the Christmas Tree

Vasile Moldovan
(1,2,0) = 7 Pts

It happened that
my apricot tree to blossom
just on your birthday

Adina Enachescu
(1,2,0) = 7 Pts

autumn moon —
kneeling under the pine
one shadow to another

tori inu
(0,2,3) = 7 Pts

Fourteenth Place – Six Points
gentle rain at dusk
drips softly from cedar trees
missing my father

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

A lime tree
at my window pane...
sere leaves

Magdalena Dale
(0,3,0) = 6 Pts

evening star —
the last poplar leaves
still rustling

Isabelle Prondzynski
(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

snow melt
beneath the maple
leaf after leaf

Susan Constable
(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

Japanese maple —
through brilliant leaves and rain,
that black trunk!

Shelley Krause
(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

cold dawn —
bare oak limbs reach
for the sun

Nancy Nitrio
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

Fifteenth Place – Five Points
standing tall
poplars and willows
breaking wind

carol bleicher
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

The juxtaposition of utilitarian function with cultural humor is particularly interesting. What it lacks in subtlety, it regains in imagery.

an old man prunes
the olive tree’s branches
no peace here

Meredith Stern Cavalieri
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

a haiku
on her oak desk
autumn leaves

Mary Davila
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

piano class
even an old oak rustles
in mazurka rhythm

Jacek M.
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

Good one - the spirit of the trees catches the vibe!

visiting home
daddy's memorial oak
now shades the house

Hazel A. Witherspoon
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

Sixteenth Place – Four Points
cherry leaves
falling on the red currant shrub —
the first white frost

(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

the widow's oak
holding a leaf
Christmas evening

Dan Schwerin
(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

weeping willow —
even my eyes
get moist

Katarzyna Predota
(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

dried oak leaves
swirl like ribbons
in the wind

(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

A vivid image musically rendered. An example of 'rule breaking' which works excellently well (one sentence rule & don't use 'like'.

waving in the wind
from the bough the of pine
the spiders banner

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

cold north wind
the willows
bent backwards

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

indian summer —
she leads me behind
the old bare cottonwood

Mike Montreuil
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

Missa solemnis.
Imagining maple trees
in autumn colors.

Horst Ludwig
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

west wind strums
the silver birch

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

black walnut tree
bumper crop of nuts
and squirrels

deanna tief
(0,1,2) = 4 Pts

a willow —
sprouts in my garden

(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

autumn ginkgo
pieces of sunlight flying off
in the breeze

Audrey Downey
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

in the twisted walnut branches
a thin-curved moon

(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

last light
through last leaves
old cottonwood

Ann K. Schwader
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

birds singing
on a pepper tree —
a hot day

Judy Muthengi
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

Seventeenth Place – Three Points
a cold clear day
the yellow leaves spread out
from the last maple

Bruce Ross
(0,1,1)= 3 Pts

by the royal empress tree
he gets a quick kiss

Raquel D. Bailey
(0,1,1)= 3 Pts

playing peek-a-boo
among the banyan roots
November moon

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

years since
I've heard those words
bittersweet winds up the oak

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

I see you possum —
climbing my persimmon tree!
I have the ripe fruit.

Rose Marie Stutts
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

Hunter's Moon —
oak leaves lace
the gutter

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

stained hands —
a squirrel feasts
under my walnut tree

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

open field
a threadbare oak
leans into the wind

todd eddy
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

burr oak
the old horse stays in the shade
pestered by flies

(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

oak sapling
its few leaves
turned to gold

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

a strip of pink
beyond the bare Linden tree —
day breaks

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

little china
the sliced bamboo shoots
in my clear soup

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

Something so satisfyingly simple here... with a nod towards the futility of possession.

General Comments:

I found that this month's topic seemed rather difficult for many poets to address without getting sentimental or clichιd.

First Place – Twenty-three Points
family day —
my house too small
for their voices

Gryta Wansdronk
(1,6,8) = 23 Pts


Jan O'Loughlin
(1,4,12) = 23 Pts

Love the breathlessness of this piece.

Despite the grammatical ambiguity here in which it is the train which is pressed, I like this one-liner best of the group. Running the words together gives a gut level sense of the commuter jostle and crowding.

Ingeniously crafted. I love the visual effect of letters crowdedtogetherononeline!

Second Place – Sixteen Points
morning mist
the milkman's voice
from door to door

Jacek M.
(0,3,10) = 16 Pts

I find a cozy feeling in this one; the friendly voice of a traditional home service person without whom children could hardly manage a few years ago, making his rounds in the mist which snuggles him to each house and family in turn.

Bravo! This is beautifully done!

dusting off
his baby picture —
the convict's mother

John Thompson
(0,1,14) = 16 Pts

How very sad. Everybody is somebody's baby.

Third Place – Fourteen Points
the old man
watching his cat watch the mouse
falls asleep

Bill Hudson
(2,1,6) = 14 Pts

early darkness
the warmth
of her kiln

tom painting
(0,4,6) = 14 Pts

The kind of heat that draws you in, such a tactile haiku!

homeless man
the postman delivers
a smile

Elena Naskova
(0,4,6) = 14 Pts

Nice play on words in its warm and tidy simplicity.

combat medals
the times he never
talks about

Catherine J.S. Lee
(0,4,6) = 14 Pts

turning cold
an old man asks
what day it is

Bill Kenney
(0,4,6) = 14 Pts

It takes a change of season to draw his attention back to the world, I'm left wondering what his story is.

homeless guy
the santa hat finally
in season

Roberta Beary
(0,2,10) = 14 Pts

Sadly believable.

I love someone like this, not a homeless person but my daughter who is all about Christmas all year long.

Fourth Place – Eleven Points
some passengers go
some passengers come —
autumn wind

Israel Lopez Balan
(1,1,6) = 11 Pts

The wind swirls people like Mary Poppins or leaves. A sense of oneness in the passage of time.

new father
the gentle darkness
of his stubbled face

Frances McCarthy
(0,2,7) = 11 Pts

This one is so sweet.

Fifth Place – Ten Points
bank machine
expectant mother waits
her turn

Harvey Jenkins
(1,1,5) = 10 Pts

snow drift
a hitchhiker points his thumb
to the south

Melissa Spurr
(0,0,10) = 10 Pts

Sixth Place – Nine Points
before the sun
even before the rooster
a farmer's wife wakes

todd eddy
(1,2,2) = 9 Pts

an evening walk —
in the empty beauty shop
laughing hairdressers

D.V. Rozic
(1,2,2) = 9 Pts

trickling through stones
a child's laughter

Josh Wikoff
(1,1,4) = 9 Pts

election day —
a crossing guard waves me on
with his STOP sign

Neil Moylan
(1,0,6) = 9 Pts

dawn light —
voices of the
street sweepers

(0,2,5) = 9 Pts

Seventh Place – Eight Points
fallen leaves —
she sits alone
in bankruptcy court

(0,2,4) = 8 Pts

stranger's greeting
on the mountain path
melting snow

Dorota Pyra
(0,1,6) = 8 Pts

I really like the pivot here; I love to imagine that the warmth of the greeting might have caused the snow to melt. Nicely done.

Nice multi-layered capturing of the sweetness of thaw.

Eighth Place – Seven Points
below zero
the beggar, still
on his knees

(0,3,1) = 7 Pts

street vendor
his shoes
the color of sky

Francine Banwarth
(0,3,1) = 7 Pts

Simple words, plainly stated, giving us a glimpse of the skill and pride someone takes in their work, an honorable life.

clear sky
the window washer
watching us watching him

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

binding me and
fellow commuter —
a silent nod

Vaidya Narayanan
(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

park bench
the vagrant's whole house
in one plastic bag

(0,1,5) = 7 Pts

Ninth Place – Six Points
the flustered cashier
sighs "om mani padme hum"
morning commute

Jeff Hanson
(0,2,2) = 6 Pts

friendly gardener
the estate's watchdogs
become bilingual

(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

I'm a sucker for dogs who actually listen more to tone than words.

the scarf
she never finished
brown pine needles

Deborah P Kolodji
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

Oregon rain
the roof drips
the roofer too

Barbara Snow
(0,1,4) = 6 Pts

I liked the sound of this one, and the somewhat surprising appearance of the roofer.

Tenth Place – Five Points
crowded lorry
a child counting
one soldier ..two three

Rita Odeh
(0,2,1) = 5 Pts

she can hardly walk
in her string bag
a can of cat food

miriam chaikin
(0,1,3) = 5 Pts

I ask the whore
for directions

Earl Keener
(0,0,5) = 5 Pts

Ha! There's an amusing subtext here. I love the intentional ambiguity!

Eleventh Place – Four Points
on her knees
planting pansies —
old jack-o-lantern watches

Terri L. French
(1,0,1) = 4 Pts

in the bathroom
preparing to shave —
she is everywhere

tori inu
(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

Satisfyingly tight.

Fired today —
steering wheel scorches his hand
as he exits the lot

Janice Hornburg
(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

The richness autumn:
in the grandma's quince tree
more leaves than fruits

Constantin Stroe
(0,2,0) = 4 Pts

summer twilight
the roadside palmist
looks at the sun

Narayanan Raghunathan
(0,0,4) = 4 Pts

Twelfth Place – Three Points
chlorophyll and melanin
changing colors

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

in the garden of ordinary people
a dandelion
smiles like a child

(1,0,0) = 3 Pts

after mass
a char brushes the dust
from her knees

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

a florist
around her
still spring

(0,1,1) = 3 pts

frosty night
the paperboy on his rounds
sips hot chocolate

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

corner boys
with warmer hoodies
night falling

Beth Powell
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

autumn dawn
the stockbroker
shuts his drapes

Pαll Ingi Kvaran
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

busy cafι
the cook chops beefsteak
from the menu

Susan Constable
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

autumn light —
on the back of grandma’s hand
the tree of life

Nancy Smith
(0,1,1) = 3 Pts

Thanksgiving Day...
the beggar's hat filled with
guilty conscience

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

foreign country
the florist and I
planting gestures

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

I can relate to that and like the humor here.

white night —
a drunk vagabond
drifts into church

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

good morning!
a flash of gold
from the grocer's smile

Tanya Dikova
(0,0,3) = 3 Pts

A flash of recognition, a familiar face, or someone just open to strangers...it's an easy way to make the world around us a better place to live.

General Comments:

I found many of these haiku touching - they brought such varied happenings, some I haven't experienced but they came across vividly. A tapestry of images of ordinary life expressed in ways that ring true.

If that sounds too emotional, it's because that's how I felt each time I read through them.

Senryu is difficult and a number of entries came off as didactic and clichιd, my own included although I didn't think so at the time.

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

We will be posting the December Call for Submissions on or about Monday, December 1st. See you then!

With much appreciation,

Robert Bauer, Secretary
Gary Warner, Web Host

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