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THF Monthly Kukai Adds New Feature

 

The THF Monthly Kukai is pleased to announce the addition of Dee Evetts to its staff.

Dee Evetts, internationally known haiku poet and author of “The Conscious Eye” series on contemporary themes in Frogpond in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has joined the THF Kukai team. He will provide commentary on the winning poems for each month’s kukai. The first set of comments can be found below, for the April kukai winners. Subsequent commentaries will appear at the time of the announcement of the winners, on the first of each month.

Results of Last Month’s THF Kukai

theme: hope

First Prize
starry sky
her words
in future tense
    — Nikolay Grankin (21 points — 5; 2; 2)
Who cannot identify with the situation conveyed in this poem? It must be universal to humankind that open spaces (and none are more open than the firmament above) prompt or liberate us to express our cherished hopes and plans. In the present context of the coronanvirus pandemic, involving as it does so many uncertainties, this is all the more pointed. As for the picture that the poet presents here, most readers will probably imagine a couple standing side by side and looking up, perhaps leaning in and embracing one another, and this serves to enhance the feeling of confidences being tentatively shared. 

Second Prize
cemetery walk —
so much faith
chiselled into stone
    — Andrew Shimield (18 points — 4; 3; 0)
We do not have to be judgemental to observe how widespread (within Christianity at least) is the belief that our loved ones live on somehow, beyond their bodily death, and even that we will see them again. At the same time, how transient are these names and words "set in stone", as the expression has it. Within a few centuries, a few tens of millennia at most — an eye-blink in celestial time — these slabs will be recycled into dust or magma, just as much as our own bodies will. All of which derive, as Carl Sagan reminds us, from stardust. For me this poem addresses all of the above.

Third Prize
another spring
the widower grows
a mustache
    – Bill Kenney (17 points — 5; 1; 0)
During an involuntary decade of celibacy as a young adult, I grew a substantial and not especially well-kept beard. I suspect that behind this lay something of the attitude, "See if I care". But a neat mustache can be something else altogether. Perhaps the widower here is making the most of his freedom to experiment, to try on a different persona: a fresh shake of the dice. There is the possibility also that in letting go of his old look, the subject is marking a transition — albeit unconsciously — from the relationship that has been lost. Regardless, the poem conveys a deep poignancy in the situation that it depicts.

Honorable Mentions
chemotherapy
  with the last few strands
    I braid hope
    — Vandana Parashar
in the tree’s scar a bud
    — Adjei Agyei-Baah
moving apart
we still hope to share
long silences
    — John Hawkhead
a mask imprint
on her tired face
spring breeze
    — Ernest Wit
how they rush
to greet me . . .
aquarium fish
    — Julie Bloss Kelsey
sunrise
a duck preens darkness
from its feathers
    — Sandi Pray
maybe this time first trimester
    — Tia Haynes
lockdown
my daughter’s first
origami crane
    — Sanela Pliško

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Thank you for adding Dee’s commentary! Someone else’s perspective always opens up the poem for me. I love the first selection in particular. And also ‘in the tree’s scar a bud’. Both lead us towards the future. Congratulations to all winners, and thanks for sharing this page.

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