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Last Chance to Vote in the September 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 black hole in this pandemic
2 a fawn
sniffs morning air
squeaky porch chair
3 a great falling wave
your armchair at dusk,
landless bird
4 a lily by the road
shall I pick it
or shall I go
5 a red leaf
clings to spring promise . . .
viral winds
6 adrift
counting faces
in the clouds
7 after she leaves
I wonder what
I meant by that
8 after years
the thrill of her hands —
friendship or love?
9 alien parts drift
on a black and white screen —
the first ultrasound
10 all the cranes
over the border
war headlines
11 at least half
the reduced plank
ding dong
12 At the end of the trail,
the beginning of the fog
Alone man
13 authentic Chinese restaurant
a fortune cookie
I can’t read
14 Autumn birds gather,
Is it time to go south yet?
Shall kids go to school?
15 autumn leave
winds in every direction
16 autumn sunset
a crossroad
takes shape
17 autumn wind
she flips the calendar . . .
cancer ward
18 autumnal equinox
at the tipping point
19 bands of Autumn light
shadowing through pines
uncertainty at dusk
20 bare olive tree . . .
the sense of uncertainty
of a sunset
21 bluejay whisper
I’m not sure if he wants
this baby
22 bombs fall
on my green youth
no direction home
23 bumper crop . . .
composting the fruit
of my labour
24 certain leaders
leading the rest of us
to an uncertain future
25 changing my mind
for the umpteenth time —
whistling wind
26 coastal walk —
the same sand
under new feet
27 Covid 19
the uncertainty of
a boundless sea
28 curtains
in the last chance saloon
a gambler draws
29 daisies in the wind
does he love me
or not
30 daisy petals
paying this bill
or that one
31 damselfly hovers
just above the blossom
32 Dandelions fur balls —
My Vulnerability exposed to
Million ways.
33 decision day
the wiped mirror
clouds again
34 deep winter
end certain without
my being aware
35 desirous looks
my husband
no longer aware
36 Doors shut, open, shut
World conundrum continues
Will virus relent?
37 downsizing —
the quails in a cage
stare at the queue
38 Easter morning . . .
they might be redbirds singing
Savior, Savior
39 ebb tide
the randomness
of beach pebbles
40 Eldorado’s dream —
in the darkness of the abyss
the peaceful shelter
41 election year
what happens
either way
42 empty days . . .
stars filling up
my soul
43 end of life
the core of a star
44 erasing
any doubt it’s spring
blackbird song
45 Estrangement winter
Do trees stripped of leaves  still live
Shame of nakedness
46 farmer’s last bet . . .
the drilling continues
another hundred feet
47 fever pitch
what will my daughter
48 field of daisies
he loves me
he loves me not
49 first cicada
do you still hesitate or . . .
just start protesting
50 fresh pencils
shoes squeak
six feet apart
51 Gnawing hunger
During times of pandemic.
He trades his mask.
52 halfway across
the squirrel pauses
election day
53 hanging noose
plea for mercy — decision
54 hanging on
all our heads the dead line
for pandemic exit.
55 Heisenberg put on
his pants one leg at a time
was it always right?
56 her arthritic hand
caresses the family album . . .
this uncertainty
57 his terminal cough
waking me every morning
              for 35 years . . .
58 hot night
listening for the creak
of wicket
59 how long before
our water cooler chats . . .
work from home
60 hurricane warning —
girl hugs her teddy
with uncertain eyes
61 I am waiting you
in the cherry alley
62 if a sparrow flies
into the poem, who am i
to stop it
63 kaleidoscope . . .
her eyes flip around
the patterns
64 lapachos in bloom —
the result of the swab
does not arrive . . .
65 large slug crosses path
I wince at its ugliness
who am I to say?
66 limb o’ the tree
rooks rock
with the wind

to his labored breath
to dial or not to dial

68 lockdown —
striving to prove to God
that I exist
69 longest night
I dither
over your DNR form
70 loves me
loves me not
I skip one petal
71 marshmallow
now or l a t e r —
decision trees
72 midwinter evening
the confusion locked
in Mama’s eyes
73 mirage
in the desert
camels carrying water
74 morning dark like night
pyrocumulonimbus clouds
turn the sky deep orange
75 moving forward —
I lift one foot
and keep it hanging
76 my wife says
no cars coming
I still peek
77 never lost
my best friend
78 new virus
the time it spends
figuring us out
79 nine lives
counting on her
to say when
80 not knowing
if lockdown will keep us
81 not placed in
just passing through . . .
flowers change
82 nothing certain . . .
the pupils drawing
peace pigeons
83 old love letters
all the men
I did not know
84 on the edge
of twilight sleep
the surgeon’s words
85 on the hills
shadows wander up
86 oncology . . .
‘it’s not good’ he murmurs
his eyes saying more
87 one word
may be too much
autumn wind
88 pacing back and forth —
thinking of the future and those
hard days ahead
89 picnic in the park —
even the pigeons
keep their distance
90 playing
God with nature . . .
weather news
91 raised awareness
a butterfly’s
hit and miss
92 red, amber, green:
all three blinking
at the crossroads
93 reggae bar
rhythms freeing me
of dread
94 results day . . .
clouds shape-shift
on the horizon
95 ruled shadows cutting
leaves paved valley
announcing autumns
in displaced summer
96 scattered look
whitewashed floor
of uncertainty
97 severe drought
wears farmers out . . .
For Sale signs gather dust
98 so many questions
about our life here on Earth
wise choices, blue sky
99 suddenly quiet
even the highest leaf
so still
100 summer’s last firefly
but i keep watch —
crow still cawing
101 swallows again
. . . from afar . . .
other migrants
102 tarantula web . . .
the uncertainty
of nearby lives
103 the hospital bed
Is this it? The sureness of things passing as things always have. The
   sound of a door opening —
a dog’s bark
104 the maybe
or maybe not of life —
dandelion fluff
105 the moon hangs barely
onto the shadow
of the scarecrow
106 The morning’s news:
Headlines collapse into black heaps
Like fainting goats
107 the name
of a nameless flower —
air of rain
108 The sky is gray
Before the door of autumn
Umbrella folded
109 the wait
or knots?
110 through lockdown
did I grow old
or did I grow lazy
111 through this floating world
my wondering life passes —
will the moon go too?
112 time of uncertainty —
the past more and
more brighter
113 tonight
she is less specific . . .
someone else too
114 uncertain path —
abandoned in rain
wedding veil
115 uncertain times
in her fairy garden
a gnome goes fishing
116 Uncertainty . . .
being still
still being
In the land of mortals,
Lord’s answers are left unheard and sands are ceaselessly shifting.
118 uncertainty is
when my Black life might matter
time will not tell us
119 visit to a ZOO —
I hear
opening the cage
120 waiting room . . .
the shape of a prayer
between her lips
121 weather forecast
the deep of her thought
still uncertain
122 wedding day —
is love
really enough
123 wedding vows
where was she
between I and do?
124 what next
the planet
125 what’s left of the path still autumn
126 when will they be blue again, the skies
127 white night
if not snowman
maybe a beggar
128 whooza good boy?
the purrs of grandpa’s
plush doggie
129 wildfire —
the monsters in the closet
have fled
130 winter’s grail
    the dormant rose
       appears dead
131 withered rose —
the uncertainty of sky
on my shadow
132 you make me mine
deeper for courage —
deep bows uncertainty

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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