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THF Monthly Kukai Voting Ballot — February 2021

This month’s theme:
diligence

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 bee sucks honey
from a rose
without spoiling it

2

 a cormorant
ready for the catch
the photographer

3

 a ladybug
in my window box
I dot my i’s

4

 a little sparrow
prepares to take off
from grandma’s hands

5

 After snow storm
skating on ice
winter fun

6

 after the earthquake
a barn swallow family
repairing their nest

7

 after the stroke
dad’s vocal practice
sound by sound

8

 “amanda’s magic”
queen of the muses
poetic justice revered
love can reach us now

9

 an old man kneels
in the tea garden
scratching at the weeds

10

 another Sunday . . .
placing fresh carnations
beside his name

11

 ant

crept on a branch carrying a loaf of bread

12

 ant trail —
a cracked watermelon leaves
on a long journey

13

 At five each morning
My part of the world’s asleep
And I write alone

14

 at winter’s close
how carefully
she pens her farewell note

15

 autumn hills
changed colors
I’m still a fool for you

16

 autumn homework —
the ants are carrying
grain after grain

17

 backspace —
writing one more time
my story

18

 been writing haiku
going on fifty-five years
. . . still counting fingers

19

 beneath the floorboards
of the old homestead —
squirrels’ cache

20

 building site
blocking the horizon view
a spider’s web

21

 burdened workers
whirring blossom to flower . . .
deliver the queen’s gold

22

 chest compressions
the patient starts to breathe again
a nurse’s sigh of relief

23

 Cloak of diligence . . .
the nurses’ constant combat
with the Covid scourge

24

 cold moonlight
a street musician’s last song
without audience

25

 Counting loose change
On the kitchen table
For the third time

26

 daily practice
preparing
for adventure

27

 day job
a bread crumb moves slowly
in a line of ants

28

 diligence is nothing . . .
just a life of
a honey bee

29

 diligence
she does her job despite
her misgivings

30

 diligence was his watchword
though bright he couldn’t reach the top —
deprived of the precious favor

31

 don’t worry
immortality is just
one more poem

32

 due diligence
bees buzzing
from blossom to blossom

33

 evening breeze
my gardener’s hands shielding
a dandelion clock

34

 every day I sit
Spring Summer Fall Winter, Why?
no reason needed

35

 every noon
he waters the roses . . .
cutting days in half

36

 expressing milk
every hour
the intensive care fridge

37

 farewell . . .
she wears
my ring

38

 flowering diary —
petal by petal
all duties fulfilled

39

 for once I allow
the cobwebs to live
a fair diligence

40

 four leaf clover —
looking for luck
in the hay wagon

41

 From dawn until dusk
Scrounging twigs, yarn, tufts of grass
The jay weaves its nest

42

 garden bed
the ants and me
digging all day

43

 girlfriend’s coming
spiders run away from my
tidy up apartment

44

 grain by grain
the sparrow beaks
with diligence

45

 grandad
seeing God’s design
in every furrow

46

 great diligence —
all the bees in the field
only drones in the hive

47

 great nation
how they rush back and forth
the ants

48

 hands sanitiser,
masks, keys and wallet —
I wish I was a free bird

49

 hard work
long ago
blesses today

50

 Her heart was beating
with a careful persistence
Love song’s percussion

51

 high summer
the bumble bee drops
an octave

52

 his deft hands
in the weeds garden . . .
the hobo decamps

53

 his ears licked spotless
the diligent tiger cat
purrs in his sleep

54

 holiday farm
the sheepdog herds
the hikers

55

 home inspection —
I take the field mouse
back to the field

56

 honeymoon
in my secret bag
mom’s diary

57

 hurry home, young quails
I have the hounds
on hold!

58

 icy forest walk
with a dried up old pen
pressing harder

59

 labour . . .
pushing for hours, and yet
stillborn words

60

 late evening
steadily covers the snow
the garden’s path

61

 line of ants . . .
even as one falters
the others step in to support

62

 message from the wind
worker ants running around
a warm and quiet room

63

 metronome practice —
trying to keep up
in three-quarter time

64

 Midnight, all is well
The stillness of no riots
Means our cause was just

65

 moss in their beaks
chickadees fly back and forth
nest building

66

 mulberry leaves —
diligent silkworm
weaves its cocoon

67

 new construction
top floor still under the sky
on the first floor parquet

68

 new diopter —
the buzzing of the vacuum clear
and my nerves

69

 new habits met with
pompous resistance
vices deft, vigorous

70

 new moon —
at midnight, she starts
cookie decoration

71

 new variant
more human friendly
flavored pill

72

 on hold . . .
I revise
a doodle

73

 oppressive night —
a breeze from the fans
stirring up chitchat

74

 Ox in a harness
even the most diligent
are motivated

75

 pajama zipper
knotted fingers unspool thread
the eye of years past

76

 pandemic
the heart-warming zeal
of an overtime nurse

77

 persevering
each to her own
highest mountain

78

 Pregnant pause,
Nine months later the idea
Was delivered.

79

 pruning shears the shape of life in shape

80

 pumpkin leaf
the slug crafts
a love symbol

81

 rainstorm —
a man continues
to plough the field

82

 rainy day . . .
an ant climbs up
the wall again

83

 revolving door
Alcoholics Anonymous
this time for sure

84

 rush hour
a swarm of bees foraging
on linden flowers

85

 same music
on the piano keys . . .
woodpecker at the tree

86

 scarecrow —
standing guard
in the snow

87

 scuffed tile
the nurse’s dash
to code blue

88

 sea at twilight
and still a fish crow
ashore

89

 Segregating rice
from plate of stones
to be cooked

90

 (s)he steadfastly learned
Prince Hamlet’s soliloquy —
que sera, sera

91

 Since early summer
Food, treats, but still so skittish
feral kittens

92

 snowy day
the terrier tries
to keep up

93

 soldiers never die
in eternal vigilance —
sentinel’s creed

94

 squirrels
eye the bird feeder measuring
angle and arc

95

 still sitting
still waiting
still smiling

96

 stillness in motion —
the heron
stalks its prey

97

 “Strive on with diligence,” said Buddha.
Motivated, disciplined, devoted, responsible,
with full concentration,
she is the first in her family.
Spring graduation from the university.

98

 that apple
still on the tree
if only . . .

99

 the last train . . .
nuts and bolts
in trackman’s dream

100

 their lullaby
for my afternoon nap . . .
busy bees

101

 tiny homemade envelopes
my dad’s stamp collection
diligence with tweezer

102

 tireless —
mother’s caresses
polishing my character

103

 to gather pick out
through attentive effort
words of love due care

104

 top of mountain —
from my hiking boot
an ant descends

105

 treading waves
until the sand banks
rise to meet you

106

 two ants
from apposing ends of
the grasshopper

107

 unblinking watch
over ripening corn crop
scarecrow

108

 uncle jack’s hammer
he never quite fixed
that loose head

109

 understanding why
he does what he does
the snail climbing Mt. Fuji

110

 Uprooted
A tree unmoored
Time to replant

111

 waggle dance
diligence conveys
the way to get there

112

 washing
each utensil
meticulously

113

 weaving
for the next life —
a caterpillar

114

 weekend homework
he asks me the meaning of “diligence”
from bed

115

 with a soft voice
the nurse dresses
an invisible wound

116

 without halting
the line of worker ants
carries food away

117

 work-from-home
her frown eases off
on the last mouse click

118

 Years in the making
Millions of workers
Termite mound

119

 yet another attempt
at baked eggplant —
dredging up a smile

 

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!

 

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. The voting statement on the ballot says to enter the selections; does that mean to enter only the number of the selection, or does it mean to enter the number and the text of the haiku.

    I entered both the number and the text, but my ballot came back to me. Then I re-entered the number without the text, but before I could correct the last (5th) item everything disappear Now I do not know if I have voted or not.
    John Daleiden

  2. I agree that it’s up to the reader, Elaine.
    But as I understand it, the beauty of haiku is its brevity. That’s what distinguishes it from other forms of poetry. Even if we don’t follow 5-7-5 count, I feel that sticking to writing under 17 syllables is desirable. Otherwise what would separate a haiku from free-verse?

    1. I agree with brevity. However, because of your post, I re-read this piece. I still feel the Haiku-ness of it. I’m not disagreeing with you because I agree with both paths of thought.

      Thank you for replying to me, and adding a valuable input. Of this we learn!

      Elaine

      1. John, you have to enter only the number of the entry, and your name and email in the required fields.

    1. Hard question to answer : ‘what is Haiku?’ Are there set rules? Research and readings bring me to a thought. It is up the reader, perhaps. This reader felt Haiku as it was read.

      Elaine

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