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Last Chance to Vote in the October 2020 THF Monthly Kukai

This month’s theme:

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

1 a bird patching its nest
the half-burnt cherry tree
starts blooming again
2 a child’s furrowed brows
knit one purl one drop one . . .
starting over
3 A nest on the tree
Fledgling often comes
Near to mother
4 a one-legged grasshopper
climbing up the window —
pouring rain
5 a rat naps
as a raven arcs nearer
cranes preen
6 a red face
digging out
the bindweed
7 a three year old
on her shoulders
nesting sparrows
8 adult literacy class —
her toothless smile
in the reading light
9 after
a week long protest —
flowers sprouting
10 after the Tsunami
homeless child builds
another sandcastle
11 after third attempt
to thread the needle
granny wipes her glasses
12 after volcano eruptions
of battle . . .
tranquility of haiku
13 again and again
I fail to see the purpose
yet once more I try
14 again and again
the blackbird pecks the dry grass
again and again
15 an ant
finding her home . . . at each turn
a doubt
16 an uphill
a dung beetle
tries again
17 angel baby* —
my heart continues
to love

*angel baby is a child lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or

neonatal death
18 anniversary
we retie the knot
with twisted fingers
19 autumn leaves —
I write one more poem
I use one more page
20 autumn wind
a caterpillar crawls
up an old birch
21 behind the mask
her Duchenne smile . . .
ward to ward
22 breeze ashore —
the waves of the sky
come and go
23 broken branch —
the uninterrupted singing
of the cicada
24 brushstroke
after brushstroke . . .
Mona Lisa
25 burnt cake in the trash
in the middle of the night
mom bakes another one
26 ceasefire . . .
to his father’s funeral
on prosthetic legs
27 celestial bodies
distant though united
in our attraction
28 change of wind
same time as yesterday
the dance of pines
29 children cling
to her open arms
Mother of Thousands*

*a succulent plant
30 crying hard
another friend
31 culvert bomb closes road . . .
we row the boat
for our supplies
32 death spiral
the endless march
of army ants
33 digging my escape tunnel with a teaspoon
34 diploma in hand
she tosses the cap . . .
grasping her dream
35 Dissatisfied poet
Tears yet another page.
The clock strikes midnight.
36 editing
her wife’s eulogy
up to the burial
37 even ravens per se crave peace
38 failing luck —
once more the lesson
learnt from a spider
39 first baby steps
tumbles, stands up and again —
a bamboo in the wind
40 first walk
after lots of hurt
rode cycle
41 fully present —
the poet waits for
that haiku moment
42 geese calling
the season to come
43 grandpa’s war
picking rice
grain by grain
44 gripping the bars
he takes one step —

prosthetic fitting
45 haiku contest
checking the winners’ list
one more time
46 hale spider prevails
— we battle this mute killer
prone in its grip
47 harvest moon . . .
revising the haiku
one more time
48 he works so hard
then is cast off and replaced . . .
49 his muscles burn
it’s mind over matter
at iron-man
50 hospital room
I sing a lullaby
to my empty womb
51 hot chasing
until rat’s tail in grip
of cat’s mouth
52 I am a metaphor,
I am a poetry.
53 I breathe and ignore
the wicked beckoning fridge —
one kilo down
54 in the evening . . .
the same nightingale song
as at dawn
55 in the potting shed
a tiny bird is back with straw
family planning
56 in your inner vessel
sorrow waits and waits
for the heavy lifting
57 late spring snow
on a mourning dove
on her nest
58 leaf by leaf
through the crack
convincing concrete
59 lego days
the blue square
. . . the square hole
60 light snowfall
nursing her second-born, born
an only child
61 long hours . . .
the way the moonlight
fills her scars
62 lost look in the mirror
patiently trying to
recognize herself
63 meteors —
as small as grains of sand
make beautiful streaks
64 midnight —
I still try to touch the nose
with my tongue
65 mom’s deviled egg recipe
my daughter makes
family ties
66 moonless night —
a solitary flame
flickers in the wind
67 Morning fox
Surveying the sleepy coop
For a flaw
68 my PhD project
in the snail’s footsteps
to the top of Mount Fuji
69 Nana, Nana
guess what I got?
a Sonic mask!
70 needlepoint canvas . . .
she fills in the background
stitch by stitch
the fifteenth and the last day
of my prayer to the clouds
72 nesting season —
he finally
gets to yes
73 new band
ironing out
the kinks
74 ninetieth birthday
grandma’s cooking pot is ready
for the feast
75 old dog
in defiance
of autumn storm
76 one little leaf
still clings to the bare branch
fierce winds
77 outdoor jazz . . .
at last I find the note
in a blade of grass
78 Paralympic games
up in the four wheels
to see the sunrise
79 perseverance —
on my finger the same
engagement ring
80 perseverance
scarlet pansies pushing
through the snow
81 queen rules
. . . grain by grain
the anthill
82 sand clouds
stroking ground
with hoof
83 seeking light
through a roadside crack
to blossom
84 Sharpening its blade
Along winds —
Morning grass
85 she takes her first steps
at nine months
86 shy of sixty . . .
fine-tuning her guitar
for a melody
87 single parent
between dusk and dawn
a 2nd shift
88 so many folds in
these delicate wings —
89 so the tide recurs
morning made whole
90 son in OT
mother is praying to God
with teary eyes
91 still on the front-line
mankind tries to find a cure
for Covid-19
92 strange weather . . .
anyway all the flowers
go on blooming
93 strong wind
learning to stand erect
young poplar tree
94 teacher throws away
incorrect haiku; with care
he uncrumples it
95 Thanksgiving prep
Great Grandma insists
she’ll make the pies
96 the dog on the beach
fetches again and again —
waves lapping the shore
97 the unceasing
of buds
98 this bumpy road
yet my goal never far
from sight
99 this pet rock
trying hard just to
get it right
100 this summer too . . .
clinging on a broken pot
101 those scattered pearls
vein them in a string
and wear a beautiful necklace
102 verbal abuse
the rose’s stem
sustains its bruised petals
103 walnut tree
with every plop
she bends
104 what enters black holes
fills the void in my quill pen
autumn skylight
105 window shade
last of dusk
through it
106 winter morning
a sigh of relief
rich harvest
107 wombat’s charred ribcage
defiant in the landscape
cradles a seedling
108 worn-out shoes
trying to get
last votes

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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