The Shiki Monthly Kukai

September 2009 Kukai

Dear Haiku Friends,

Here are the results for the September 2009 Kukai, wherein our Kigo subject was Fog and our Free Format subject was Back to School.

Congratulations to Catherine J.S. Lee, 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.

September 2009 Results
Kigo Theme:
Free Format Theme:
Back to School

First Place -- 38 points
evening stillness
the fog creeps in
pine by pine

Catherine J.S. Lee
(4,5,16) = 38 pts

This one really creates a mood and picture for me. Pick of the litter this month.

I like this one, but it would be improved for me if the personification of "creeps in" was changed to something like "approaches" or "moves in".

Second Place -- 36 pts
autumn fog . . .
the river knows
the way

Francine Banwarth
(2,7,16) = 36 pts

This one stood out on the first and every subsequent reading . . . a haiku I'll remember.

Really like this one. A river's path is not swayed by the fog.

Third Place -- 16 pts
somewhere in the fog
of my mother's memory
my name

Tom Genovese
(1,4,5) = 16 pts

Powerfully sad.

a gray cat glides
in and out of the fog...
autumn stillness

Janice Hornburg
(0,2,12) = 16 pts

Since "fog" is widely accepted as an autumn kigo, the word "autumn" is probably unnecessary, but I like it anyway.

The grey on grey creates an interesting image.

Fourth Place – 14 points
low-lying fog
the houseguests outstay
their welcome

Jennifer Corpe
(1,2,7) = 14 pts

Could be an early scene in a gothic tale, or merely an uncomfortable situation. Works either way.

I like the juxtaposition here . . . the heavy feeling of fog and too-long visits by even the best of friends.

foggy night
the dog keeps leaving
me behind

Roberta Beary
(0,1,12) = 14 pts

The line break is effective, and the animal-human relationship, combining companionship and contrast, is nicely delineated.

I'd have given this more points if L2 read 'the dog leaves', but still . . . it's a lovely haiku.

Fifth Place – 13 points
dense fog
the whinny
of a wild pony

Carolyn Coit Dancy
(2,1,5) = 13 pts

I like the alliteration in this one as well as the contrast of icons, whinny/dense.

morning fog -
the old radio
still works

Israel Lopez Balan
(1,4,2) = 13 pts

The hope in this one appeals to me.

fall lake --
a kayak paddle slices
the fog

Ruth Powell.
(0,4,5) = 13 pts

Sixth Place – 11 points
still arguing
whether it's mist or fog
rear ended

-- andrea
(0,3,5) = 11 pts

All too believable.

Why am I chuckling when it's so sad?

ghostly fog ...
silence between clangs
of the buoy

Carol Raisfeld
(0,2,7) = 11 pts

Very atmospheric. Had I never encountered American buoys, I would not have known what this haiku is all about -- as it is, I find it very evocative indeed.

patchy fog
the palm reader conjures
a future

(0,2,7) = 11 pts

I passed over this one on the first run-through, but "conjures" makes it work.

Seventh Place – 10 points
foggy fields -
my mother walks
no path

Gosia Zamorska
(1,2,3) = 10 pts

foggy day market -
the fishmonger
shouted louder

olga neagu
(0,4,2) = 10 pts

Eighth Place – 9 points
morning fog clears-
the mountain reappears
in a poem

gillena cox
(0,2,5) = 9 pts

Perhaps this haiku would be better without "clears".

cold fog --
the balcony moss
all the greener

Isabelle Prondzynski
(0,2,5) = 9 pts

fogbound stream
the duck family
keeps formation

Paul Hodder
(0,1,7) = 9 pts

Ninth Place – 8 points
morning fog
he sips a second coffee
to clear it

Warren Gossett
(0,2,4) = 8 pts

tule fog
swathes the valley--
the cry of a calf

Terri L.French
(0,2,4) = 8 pts

Tenth Place – 7 points
blowing fog
the great nose of the bull
in the pasture

Michael McClintock
(1,2,0) = 7 pts

foggy morning
to see the lighthouse,
not to see it

Rita Odeh
(1,1,2) = 7 pts

roadside mist
all thoughts of the journey
set aside

Jim Swift
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

drawing up
the blanket
morning fog

Bill Kenney
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

afternoon fog
the sky
drifts away

Melissa Spurr
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

drifting asleep...
the distant sound
of fog horns

Andre Surridge
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

picking apples
a deer and I
share the morning fog

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

The sentimentality of "share" weakens an interesting haiku.

morning fog
the milk float's jingle

Fara Kamaza
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

The poem captures me enjoying the disappearing jingling as I stand holding my full milk bottle.

foggy morning
clothes on the line

April Serock
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

Ilove the irony.

dense fog--
the slight slurping sound
of the cat

Dorota Pyra
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

sunlit fog...
the sassafras drops
a mitt leaf

jennie townsend
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

I have a number of sassafras trees on my property and the leaf differences have always fascinated as does the root as tea and spring tonic. Mitt leaf is brilliantly descriptive.

Eleventh Place -- 6 points
foggy evening
the full moon
even fuller

Rafal Zabratynski
(1,0,3) = 6 pts

dense fog
the pale red pulse
of a neon martini glass

ed markowski
(0,3,0) = 6 pts

I liked this one so much that I plan on having one tonight!

foggy morning...
I play with her darker nipple

Kameshwar Rao
(0,2,2) = 6 pts

I was surprised to see how well this stands up to repeated readings. "darker nipple" There speaks the man who knows.

fog horn--
still no word
of ferry survivors

aom (tim)
(0,0,6) = 6 pts

Ferris wheel
the smell of fish guts
in the fog

(0,0,6) = 6 pts

An effective discord, nicely alliterated. And somehow the fog makes the smell more intense.

Twelfth Place -- 5 points
walled in
by fog

Alan S. Bridges
(1,0,2) = 5 pts

quiet slap of waves
the foghorn

(1,0,2) = 5 pts

early awake--
slowly, as the fog clears

Ellen Compton
(1,0,2) = 5 pts

main street
the fog muffled footsteps
of ghosts

Terry O'Connor
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

over the hill
a river of fog
flooding the valley

Ben Gieske
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

rolling fog ...
the youngest child
clings to my chest

Colin Stewart Jones
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

out of the clouds
and into fog--
final approach

(0,0,5) = 5 pts

kayak in fog
I take the wrong cut
into the chute

Garry Eaton
(0,0,5) = 5 pts

September stars
fog settles in & around

Pamela A. Babusci
(0,0,5) = 5 pts

Thirteenth Place – 4 points
package of bulbs
my wife disappears
into the fog

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

a foggy morning -
all men walk today
with their heads in the clouds

(0,1,2) = 4 pts

shoreline fog —
her cell phone interrupts
a haiku moment

Collin Barber
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

mountain fog
the echo of laughter
across the lake

Sjs Stevie Strang
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

Fourteenth Place – 3 points
cold earth, warm air
fog heralds the spring

Aalix Roake
(1,0,0) = 3 pts

night fog
anyway I remember
you moon

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

The evening fog:
invisible her hand
on my shoulder

(0,1,1) = 3 pts

barks in the fog
collect the bells on the pasture
back into the village

(0,1,1) = 3 pts

The fog makes us blind, but we can still "see" the scene with the sounds.

chill fog
a cricket’s lament
at summer’s end

(0,1,1) = 3 pts

out of the fog
sounds of geese arguing
over flight plans

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

10 a.m.
a forest of buildings
swallows the fog

Chandra Bales
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

foggy city...
I return again
in the same place

Jacek M
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

fog over paddy fields-
some of it skimmed away
by the owl's wings

(0,1,1) = 3 pts

banjo roll
through the fog
in some dark holler

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

morning fog —
a toot as the ferry crosses
the strait

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

land's smell -
on the lawn rests
the thick fog

Jordi Climent
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

in his fog-cloaked car
the drowsy policeman
licks his fingers clean

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

scenic highway
we turn to the sound
of a foghorn

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

sleepy hollow-
grape pickers emerging
out of the fog

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

Hauntingly appropriate for this time of year!

night fog
our teen drives away
to his first job

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

Fifteenth Place – 2 points
misty memories
rise like a faint morning fog
bringing back...the day

(0,1,0) = 2 pts

September fog
vanishing - the steam of
gunpowder green tea

Merrill Ann Gonzales
(0,1,0) = 2 pts

the slow rise
of the fog patches
a deep stillness

Bruce Ross
(0,1,0) = 2 pts

pea-soup fog
rises from the river…
reaches the highway

Ida Freilinger
(0,1,0) = 2 pts

leaving wormhood behind

carol pearce-worthington
(0,1,0) = 2 pts

furtively daylight
pulls its bridal veil of fog
over the hillside

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

fog-bound freeway
I drive lost
in thought

Jan O'Loughlin
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

I like the juxtaposition.

Montana sunrise
he wades through chest deep fog
his fly rod held high

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

Autumn half term--
catching the fog
with a butterfly net

Ralf Broker, Germany
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

Line 3 is an amusing twist.

thick fog
swallows the cottage . . .
the edge of the cliff

Marylouise Knight
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

shallow water bay - -
emerging from the early mist
a common crane

Ramona Linke
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

This may be better without "emerging".

Village in fog –
only the church tower
raising from a lake

Petru-Ioan Garda
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

secret touch
fog drips from her
stone fingers

Elena Naskova
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

rising fog
mom's smile as she
hangs up the phone

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

patchy fog
a whitetail fawn sprints
across the road

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

Sixteenth Place – 1 point
My mind's in a whirl -
Am I coming or going?
This confounded fog!

Tanja Cilia

head and shoulders
out of the fog
white-tailed deer

Tom Painting

milky fog -
the wind turbines,


My boat disappears
into the September fog.
Morning angelus.

Horst Ludwig

windscreen wipers
swaying from side to side
night fog thickening

Keith A. Simmonds

putting on her glasses
didn't clear up the fog

Bill Hudson

ship's siren
hoots its lonesome call
somewhere in the fog

Frances McCarthy

through the fog
she looks much younger

J. J. Cushman

through the fog
mourning dove's blues
and her red feet

Diane Mayr

San Francisco
fog and radio static
take me home


morning fog
the empty can
of his shaving foam

Petar Tchouhov

canceled flight -
noses of the silver colossi
in the deep fog


chaos and creation –
through fog and trees
crepuscular rays

Daniela Bullas

fog blankets the strait
cut by eerie, eldritch trails
as ferries pass through

Deirdre Godwin

painting the sign of fall
the cat moves its ink
through the fog

Jon Espen Vassbotn

wedding day-
waking up
to a wall of fog


rising fog
drawn sunrays dripping
down the windowpane

Boris Nazansky

behind fog
the sun in drag
as the moon

Bill Gottlieb

morning mist …
in the ditch
I found the way

Johan Bergstad

full moon
diffused by the
drifting fog

Allen McGill

Swirling fog
shadows in the clouds.
Where are you?

Trevor Camp

Primary colors
Bold orb mounts triangled peak
Backlit fog rising.

Valerie Hanada

shrieks and squabbles
rising out of the fog
estuary birds

Barbara Snow

in the thin space
between fog and breakwater
a thickness of galls


from out of the fog
cry of an osprey
unending grief


ten minutes later
she again takes the dog out
evening fog


a startled deer
skipping up the bank
in fog headlights

Barbara A Taylor AU

No points this time, sorry.
a sail
appearing in the fog
lighthouse malfunction

Tom Conally

fog....... fog.........big red barn

miriam chaikin

dense morning fog
on the lake, behind my eyes
—grope for the coffee


Recession ridden
pay rolls now look more thinner
as I T fogs cloud


Fluffy landscape
fog spreading
my foot ice cold


rising fog
in the parachute
holding rainbows


White spectre
fog enshrouds
weeping angel

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black

city view
wrapped in smoke and fog
on my photograph


Yellow headlamps glow,
autumn cars immersed in fog,
ghostly spectres pass.

Jean Lewis

free concert
the rhythm of the fog horn
accompanies the ocean sound


The way is lonely
a lot of thoughts cross my mind
the fog is my mate.

Maria Griselda Garcia Cuerva

from, deep in slumber
low lying fog
slowly rises

Elinor Pihl Huggett

almost there
coming through the fog
—scent of barbecue

doris kasson

vague contours
beckon through a dense fog…

Shernaz Wadia

the sun rises
through a curtain of fog
the bridge white with ice

Elaine Riddell

a cloud merging
the mountain and the sky --
I lose my way

Patrick Wafula

fog covered lighthouse
the sight –
clears my mind

Jyothirmai Gubili

crackle of pyre flames...
and then silently
the rolling fog


funeral --
drooping eyelids feel
the dawn fog

David Caleb Mutua

my brain in a fog
college statistics on a
three by five card


The grand tree whimpers
As the chainsaw reechoes -
Fog on open waters

Nalini Hebbar

vending quilt-makers
fiddle dunais in the fog--
thinning cotton


Foggy afternoon.
No shadow in the room,
not a single sound.


the sun burning up
the morning fog --- memories
of last night's debauch

Conrad Sienkiewicz

employees scurrying
in from the parking lot
the executive floor still in fog

Deanna Tief

lost in the fog
a twisting forest path--
an owl hoots

John Daleiden

thick morning fog
backlighted by the sun
a golden moment


after the roar
a groan in the tule fog
one hundred cars deep

Karen J. McClintock

a weeping willow
shrouded in morning mist,
cranes' farewell calls...

natalia kuznetsova

fog in the valley –
the photographer looking
of the window


river colors
bleed through fog . . .
songs of the trumpeter swans

Bill Pauly

ocean fog
maya cries with the voice
of a gull


sandstone butte
looks like a tall ship
in morning fog

Jim Applegate

church steeple -
gracefully ascending
fog descending

Jeff Hanson

sunset ride
fog pours down the palisades
filling the river


First Place -- 36 pts
September wind
a school bus pulls away
from summer

Melissa Spurr
(3,8,10) = 35 pts

I like the juxtaposition of the wind and the moving bus.

I'd like this better if line 3 were dropped, line 2 were broken into two lines, and line 1 became line 3.

The sound of the bus stopping to pick up the kids across the street then working against the slight rise of our street, and the combined wills of the children aboard, is our official notice that summer is over.

Second Place -- 21 pts
same gum
under the same desk
repeating the class

Warren Gossett
(1,4,10) = 21 pts

Third Place -- 20 pts
joint custody
trying to figure out
the bus schedule

Diane Mayr
(2,4,6) = 20 pts

Not a situation I've ever been in, but, with the help of this fine senryu, I can imagine it.

and first day of school
his backpack
filled with summer

David Grayson
(0,5,10) = 20 pts

Fourth Place -- 18 points
slow grin...
taller this fall
than his teachers

Ruth Powell
(0,3,12) = 18 pts

Finally, in my Senior year…well, a few of the teachers anyway.

Fifth Place -- 15 points
back to school -
in a small, transparent box,
his spider

Zhanna P. Rader
(0,3,9) = 15 pts

Sixth Place -- 14 points
jumping in puddles
on the way to school
new shoes

Bill Hudson
(1,3,5) = 14 pts

Well observed, and an amusing little surprise in the third line.

back to school
standing outside
the same clique

Beth Powell
(1,3,5) = 14 pts

Love it even more!

I remember that feeling well.

lecture theatre
the crack of new spines
from each textbook

Harvey Jenkins
(1,1,9) = 14 pts

I can hear those spines cracking!

September rain
the sound of corduroys
on the school bus

(0,4,6) = 14 pts

Nothing says cooler weather like the “whit-whit” of corduroy.

Seventh Place -- 11 points
the yellow slicker
of the crossing guard
summer's end

Tom Painting
(1,2,4) = 11 pts

One of autumn's colors, "yellow" is nicely inserted.

first day of school,
that sinking feeling
as he steps in line

Charlie Rossiter
(0,3,5) = 11 pts

Wonderful memory!

first day of school
the softer voices
of birds

Francine Banwarth
(0,2,7) = 11 pts

Eighth Place -- 10 points
my cherry tomato
skipping through the lunch room
--new school

carol pearce-worthiington
(1,2,3) = 10 pts

I think this must be read as a memory-ku rather than the in-the-moment variety. It's the kind of moment you never forget, even after you can laugh at it.

SO embarrassing, right when you want to make a good impression!

wild geese
the professor leads his freshmen
around the lake

Mary Stevens
(0,4,2) = 10 pts

There is a nice intimation here of the start of discipline.

back to school -
she sharpens a pencil
until there's nothing left

Andre Surridge
(0,1,8) = 10 pts

Man, do I remember kids that did that repeatedly!

Ninth Place -- 9 points
September rain
a matchbox school bus
left on the floor

Petar Tchouhov
(2,1,1) = 9 pts

Tenth Place -- 8 points
Her first
school locker; the spider
moves out

Elena Naskova
(0,2,4) = 8 pts

Really nice. Poor spider booted out by a new arrival.

first day of school
the apple ipods
on the teacher's desk

Sjs Stevie Strang
(0,2,4) = 8 pts

first day of school
a bunch of sparrows twitter
on the playground slide

Rafal Zabratynski
(0,1,6) = 8 pts

Eleventh Place -- 7 points
high-rise flats --
a school shirt drips
onto another

David Caleb Mutua
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

I imagine the scene well and appreciate that it's not cliched. A suggested change is to replace "a" with "one".

first school day
the nun's ruler peeks
from her sleeve

Roberta Beary
(0,1,5) = 7 pts

Nuns sometimes get a bad rap. Pun not intended. Really.

Twelfth Place -- 6 points
new perfume
at the teacher's desk

(1,0,3) = 6 pts

French class--
her pencil lost
in Paris

Ralf Broker, Germany
(0,2,2) = 6 pts

first day
a freshman sizes up
the competition

Catherine J.S. Lee
(0,2,2) = 6 pts

sleepless night --
a mewing cat watches as
I pack my books

John Mwangi
(0,2,2) = 6 pts

back to school
the flaming leaves
upon the path

Gautam Nadkarni
(0,1,4) = 6 pts

back from spring break
the school bully

Paul Hodder
(0,1,4) = 6 pts

way to school
every sunflower
to the right

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

back to school -
retired teachers
gather for golf

Jim Swift
(0,0,6) = 6 pts

Thirteenth Place -- 5 points
geese flying south
over the school bus
a perfect V

Ben Gieske
(1,0,2) = 5 pts

back to school -
double-park cars
under the rain

Jordi Climent
(0,2,1) = 5 pts

leaving the dorm
each hug longer
than the last

(0,1,3) = 5 pts

first day of school--
still stooped in the field
brown children

J. J. Cushman
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

Back to school -
Guys still the same
but girls – wow!

Petru-Ioan Garda
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

first day back
a smell of new sneakers
in the change room

Susan Constable
(0,1,3) = 5 pts

crossing guard
a string of kids
. . . trailing

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

all the way home
from school
the smell of golden rods

Jacek M
(0,0,5) = 5 pts

Though this is in the free form section, the golden rods make it a special and specific time.

Fourteenth Place -- 4 points
back to school
new name of a girl
on his arm

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

back to school
trying on mom's
high heels

Rita Odeh
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

first day of college . . .
an upperclassman gives me
the wrong directions

Collin Barber
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

back to school
a whiff of vomit from
her breath

Mary Davila
(0,1,2) = 4 pts

back to school
twenty years late
twice as scared

(0,0,4) = 4 pts

Fifteenth Place -- 3 points
first day back
the smell of kids

(1,0,0) = 3 pts

new term
a first-year dropped off
by her grandson

Terry O'Connor
(0,1,1) = 3 pts

back to school
at the senior center
computer class

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

back to school--
he mistakes her shampoo
for perfume

aom (tim)
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

back to school
mom signs up
for online classes

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

first day of school
hair slicked with mom's spittle
against the grain

Gerald Graffe
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

back to school
holiday weather

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

first school day
his parents do not notice
untied shoe-lace

Boris Nazansky
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

first day of term
white chalk powder on
my black trousers

K. Ramesh
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

in the coffee shop
on campus
no decaf

Deanna Tief
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

their son begins
school today

Bill Kenney
(0,0,3) = 3 pts

September noon
two sets of grandparents
in the school bus shelter

(0,0,3) = 3 pts

Sixteenth Place -- 2 points
lesson planning again --
dusting the syllabus from
the bookshelf

Patrick Wafula
(0,1,0) = 2 pts

back to school
the technicolor patterns
of fresh graffiti

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

skipping along--
new ribbons, polished shoes
crayola crayons

(0,1,0) = 2 pts

Past present future
Heartbeats race in fresh face time
Big hand small hand- Go!

Valerie Hanada
(0,1,0) = 2 pts

her notes
origami folded
waste can overflowing

Tom Conally
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

This paints a vivid picture of a student's frustration.

a big girl now
alone at the school bus stop
—hidden, mom watches

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

assembling her dorm bed
the bruises
I still have

Alan S. Bridges
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

school cleaning -
some tables with
carved names

Israel Lopez Balan
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

back to school
the thirtysomething dons
a faded tee

Jennifer Corpe
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

back to school --
a student removes
a cobweb from his shoe

Cecilia Peacock
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

Back to school
the ringing bells,
childrens' cheer.

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

back to school
such long faces
on short buses

Conrad Sienkiewicz
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

group project-
flat on our backs
under the tamarind tree

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

old book bag
among blunt pencils
the lost candy bar

(0,0,2) = 2 pts

migrating butterflies
a first day for
the new teacher, too

jennie townsend
(0,0,2) = 2 pts

Seventeenth Place -- 1 point
Starched, stiff, white collars;
Squeaky shoes and scratchy socks...
Pants torn at the knee!

Tanja Cilia

Labor Day weekend
he refuses to drive
into Boston

Bruce Ross

Being from the Boston area, this one really struck a chord!

a new blister
in place of the old callus...
first football practice

Janice Hornburg

school library-- busy iPods


back in school
my classmates
so much younger

Tom Genovese

she and her granddaughter
at the same college--
back to school

Terri L. French

School crossing
the new teacher's white teeth
against her deep tan


dissection class-
suddenly, Basho's frog
comes to life


back to school --
latecomers cleaning
the school compound

Joab N Peacock

back to school
a teen with a baby
on each hip


Most don't slow down
in the School Zone.
They'll never learn

Bill Gottlieb

dawdling trout
rejoin their school
spawn season

Allen McGill

grandchild’s first day
that same schoolroom scent
of crayons & floor wax


chemistry lesson –
the girls only have eyes
for the new teacher

Ramona Linke

the bell rings -
back to classroom

Barbara A Taylor AU

fall term's first paper
on the teacher's desk

Barbara Snow

old binder
a new backpack
on such small shoulders

Jim Applegate

opening day --
books and pens going
at double price

Jonson Malombe

cold morning --
students stranded
at the bus stop

Peter Nguribu

school again --
my dog barking for me
to wake up

Kelvin Macharia

no points this time, sorry
school will soon begin
sweaters pulled from the closet
moths learning to say goodbye


Students murmuring
over the class test result:
the teacher's curved lips


start/stop/start/stop/start -
my path leads me to be
behind a school bus

Merrill Ann Gonzales

her grey hair
peeks through the crowd --
excited freshmen all


All kids toys take rest
in neatly packed carton box
school bells ring again


Telling a student
about my hip-replacement
during the summer

Horst Ludwig

there he’s been standing
- humming his songs -
drowned out by laughter

Gabriele Brunsch

the border guard
comes out of retirement
school patrol

Garry Eaton

a new challenge:
learning to fight the swine flu
back to college

Keith A. Simmonds

back packs
at the bus stop-
back to schoolers

gillena cox

Taking steps
towards open doors
school bell rings

Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black

Forward, bag in hand,
greet old friends along the way,
autumn college starts.

Jean Lewis

We go back to school
nice images of holidays
are still in our minds

Maria Griselda Garcia Cuerva

bare feet and shorts
traded for a yellow vest -
safety patrol

A. Dharma Bum

morning recess
kids rush to the computer lab
to play games


autumn bus stop
scrubbed children wearing
back to school faces

Frances McCarthy

bare walls
a jumble of packed boxes—
coming and going

Marylouise Knight

burned school -
children are showing sorrow
not very sincere


a handsome boy,
students, teachers and a college -
all new

Daniela Bullas

jeans so new they squeak
stiff backpack and stiff manners
facing a new school

Deirdre Godwin

back to school
no fuss –
it’s cheese cake day

Jyothirmai Gubili

empty tank --
all heads lug jerricans
to the school


busy morning --
cars pack and unpack
at the school gate

Esther O Peacock

back to school --
a repaired dress in the
tailor's window

Hussein Haji

new uniform --
a pupil laughs at
her friend

Maurice Peacock

note writing again --
a ball pen leaks into
my new bag

Duncan Omoto

schools open --
sitting in class from
Monday to Monday

Marion M Peacock

back to school --
students with plates
full of rice

Stephen N Peacock

tears on dad's hand
"don't let them make you fight"
small for school age


Once again
return to old friends
back to school.

Trevor Camp

back to school--
waiting for the bus
on the first day

John Daleiden

restart at school
books, doors previously closed
now gladly opened


new school year -
schoolboys stares at
new teacher's legs

Andrzej Dembonczyk

back to school
left the garden gate open
hard knocks


tough guy this fall
flunked out of
the school of hard knocks

Bill Pauly

first day of school...
under the teacher's desk
spiders playing criss cross

Dejan Pavlinovic

a truant
back to school
now running


back to school
patinaed roof shingles
under the moon

Jeanette Blain

walking towards
the loud buzzing swarm -
school recess

Jeff Hanson

turning leaves,
back-to-school sales —
the same new colors


holiday hangovers --
a student with unkempt hair
sent home

Vivian Adhiambo

looking for
the paraffin lamp --
homework again

Erick Mwange

fitting for new
shoes at the cobbler's --
last weekend

Carol Wanjiku

opening day --
sweeping the dust
off the desks

Martin Kamau

new term --
book-sellers selling books
at higher prices

Maxwell George

cold morning --
students in new uniforms
walking to school

Stephen Macharia

new term --
students queuing
for admission

Nassir Shaban

Monday morning --
promoted students wearing
new badges

Kevin Wansala

breezy evening--
mother patronizes as
I pack my books

James Bundi

at the corner
green chucks patiently wait
to board the school bus


before the first class
each student takes a deep breath
- watching the pause


General Comments:

There were so many great fog-haiku, it was hard to judge. But I think there were many so-what three-liners in the Free Format this time; and it was hard to pick out the few haiku or senryu.

I really liked this (kigo) topic choice!

So many great (kigo)choices this time!

This one (free format) was difficult for me to judge--there were many good ones!

A bit harder for me to cut (free format) than the Kigo kukai, but I made it.

I'm sorry (regrets not having more votes), many beautiful haiku! Great contest!

Thank you for participating in the September 2009 Kukai!

We will be posting October's 7th Annual Poets' Choice Call for Votes on Saturday, October 3rd.

With much appreciation,

The Shiki Kukai Team

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