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Last Chance to Vote in the July 2020 THF Monthly Kukai

This month’s theme:
social justice

Voting closes for The Haiku Foundation Monthly Kukai tonight at midnight (east coast time). So make those final decisions and let us know who you think did the best work this month.

Voting for The Haiku Foundation Monthly Kukai

Shortly after the conclusion of the submission period, an anonymous ballot comprising all submitted poems on that month’s theme will be posted to Troutswirl (The Haiku Foundation blog) on the THF site. Any reader of this ballot is eligible to vote for their favorite poems at this time. A voter may vote for up to five (5) poems per theme. A top vote will receive 5 points, a second-place vote 4 points, a third-place vote 3 points, a fourth-place vote 2 points, and a fifth-place vote 1 point.

Please use the Kukai voting form below to enter your selections, and then press Submit to cast your votes. No other votes will be recognized or honored. All votes must be signed (that is, no “anonymous” votes will be accepted, and the Submit button will not be available until both Name and Email fields are filled in), and no poet may vote for his or her own work. No commentary upon the poems will be accepted or published. Votes will be accepted from the appearance of the ballot on the 18th of that month through midnight of the 24th of that month. Readers may vote only once per ballot. Administrators of the kukai are ineligible to vote.

The Ballot

1a little boy
washed up on foreign shores
. . . all lives matter
2a river enters a river gender neutral
3a single drop
slides down her hot cheek
– food bank line
4another lockdown morning
more new bird songs –
other lives matter
violation of their rights
a fallen beehive.
6Big problems to solve
Our plates often piled too high,
Sacrifice required
the shadows between
8black clouds rolling . . .
the light over the raised hands
above the masked faces
9bowing together
to the wild wind
leaves of grass
open to the sky . . .
11city beggar
the faded tattoo
only skin deep
12closed poppy
I re-examine
my blind I
13coloured maid’s lower pay
for not being a white male
did god make us equal ?
14constantly changing
the migration paths –
passive-aggressive moon
15cookies and lemonade . . .
children ask us to pay what we can for
Black Lives Matter
16corona springtime
opens old discrepancies
to new awareness
17counting the spikes
of his barbed wire tattoo –
so many lost years
18court room . . .
how white the shirt
of the rapist
19court room . . .
the new shape
of an old bruise
20crowded protest . . .
a single child
holds his own hand
21deprived area
the rubbish bins
22double rainbow
she counts out
six shrimp each
23equal rights:
the same penumbral
lunar eclipse
24even in full sunlight . . . always too dark
25falling statues the gravity of conscience
26feeding the pigeons
off his bread wedge
the beggar in the corner
legal and not
blaring squad car
28first day of school
the teacher cuts an apple
into twelve parts
29five star restaurant –
scribbled on the man’s sign
“Money for food, please”
30food desert
the last banana
sliced four ways
31food kitchen
black beans, white rice
served together
the lines
on her face
33forgone vows, flesh fuels
hatred of misconstrued truths
burn the past anew
34free education –
girls get
a new laptop
35from the hilltop camp
the stuffed chair lands
upside down
36he ignores them
marching on television
not his problem
37his eyes
in constant motion
black jogger
38honour killing
the stuffing spills out
of the tattered doll
39hot summer nights
the dream that refuses
to let me sleep
40in the beach’s midday sun
the tourist sweats –
the vendor too
41in the classroom –
sharing the globe
with a refugee
42in the colored drawings,
children’s nightmares
Scenes of the “favela”
43in the holy land
all are welcome
but the oppressed ones
showers of Sinter Klaas peppernuts
everywhere in Holland
45kohl lined eyes
grandma still can’t see
black is beautiful
46little boy
carrying his sign
let me live
47lockdown lifted –
vowing to murder
the cereal browser
48many people
many races
One family
49marine layer
     dry coughs from
   the homeless camp
50marshy land……..
                                       withered teak leaves –
                                       beneath, creeping cobra
51maybe I need him tomorrow sunbeam in a jar
52mercy me
everyone deserves
the blue sky
53misty morning
the babel of office cleaners
at the end of their shift
no longer counting
the zeroes
55monsoon shower . . .
my goldfish from a bowl
back to the pond
56Mountain laurel and
dogwood blooming – bloodstain teardrops on every white petal
57my fist
old and white but raised
with yours
58national anthem
a white cop takes a knee
on a black man’s neck
59nature holds the key
to equal opportunities –
all flowers bloom
autistic lives denied
61night school the lingering weight of gunny sacks
62no longer guarding
the defunct statue –
dead-headed iris
63no sticks or stones
hate graffiti
hits the target
64not (just) a frozen water: (ice)
65old man’s blood weeps red
passing badges look away
now the world sees all
66older cars
filled with all their possessions
         children and dogs
67on a gator’s back an egret preens midday sun
68pass the file
midday meals –
69patriot statue
a bronze head
rolls to a stop
how social  change
spans lifetimes
71Privilege is blind.
Disparity encircles.
Justice is amiss.
72racism –
the child draws a white rose
with a black pencil
73rapist challenges
his death sentence
she dies a hundred times each day
74refugee camp
a family shares
their last injera
75refugee shelter
a few little boys invoke
all the Marvel heroes
a fallen bough
let’s go snail
77rich or poor
we need to understand
this earth is shared
78right field
we all view the same game
through the chain link fence
79seahorse moon
the way he is left
holding the babies
80She works fifteen hours
on her feet – Starbucks, Walgreens –
and smiles all day long.
81sidewalk poppies the stains that won’t fade
82sleep won’t come –
winter rain on the roof
of my car
83social injustice . . .
the cure must start
with me
84social justice
in the Eurasian jay’s pupil
85social justice
keynote speaker’s talk
shapes the mask
86social Justice –
through the needle hole
only the elephant
87songbirds mute
as eyes probe for their nest –
they dare not protest
88survival technique –
a woman gorging with dogs
from a garbage dump.
89tears in eyes
the refugee girl wipes
the cloud
91the crowding
potted on the deck
black petunias
92the hateful
of the knee is a new noose
93the homeless man
strokes the poster model
chilling breeze
94The hot dog vendor.
(Make me one with everything.)
The panhandler.
95the ICE cream man
handing out
96the parent bird
feeds each open mouth
enough, so simple
97through a hole
in the pocket – the narcan
I never used
98through razor wire
the refugee boy’s
thin shadow
99thrown out of the palace
by his son –
the land grabber
100toasting with wine
from the same hand
man and mosquito
101tribal man
each foot in a puddle
under a scorching sun
102urban summer
no child should pray
for less thirst
103voter fraud –
I plead guilty
to impostor syndrome
104waiting room TV
the protest for social justice
running on mute
105wheat field
this black child grew up
don’t shoot
106when weeds
can be proud
to not be roses
to not be weeds
107white privilege
at the bird feeder
albino squirrel
108Who made the call
About man walking in peace
Then shot on the back
109winding river –
bridges are better
than walls
110Zero Discrimination Day
the broadcast assistant hums
“Black or white”

Kukai Results

On the first day of the following month, results of the tally of the kukai will be announced. The top vote-getters as voted by readers will be posted, along with the number of points each poem tallied, and each poem’s authorship will be revealed at this time. Winners will be invited to select from a list of prizes provided by The Haiku Foundation. The theme for the new month will be announced at the same time, and the process repeated. Poems remain the copyrighted property of their authors, but The Haiku Foundation reserves the right to publish, display and archive all submitted poems for this and other purposes at its discretion.

Congratulations to all our participants!


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