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THF Monthly Kukai Voting Ballot — January 2023

This month’s theme:
gratitude

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.

Note: Anonymity is an essential part of any kukai. If you know who wrote the poem then that entry is no longer anonymous. Please respect the Kukai and do not vote for that entry.

The Ballot

 

1

      a coin tossed
into
       the guitar case . . .
his
       minor-chord nod

2

      a new day . . .
in the temple courtyard
first ray of the sun

3

      A prize to myself
A lighthouse built near the sea
Sailing for decade

4

      a young butter butt
foraging in fallen leaves —
the fun in nicknames

5

Abandoned labrador
adopted by a roadside beggar
on a wintry night.

6

      afraid I’ll cry
if I thank her nurse
— Alzheimers ward

7

after new year’s . . .
missing my mailbox . . .
that thank-you note

8

      after the fire a koala hug

9

      almost morning
the furnace rumbles
outside: january

10

      always thankful
bullets missed me
again

11

      among the confetti a private breath

12

      an elderly monk
plucks a cherry
before bowing

13

      anklets tinkle
awake in the cradle . . .
horizon glows

14

      another birthday
not the girl in the mirror
just me

15

      archery classes —
I begin to practice
my bowing

16

      As many as the
Stars in the night sky is my
Gratitude to you

17

      ashamed to thank you . . .
my mud, your breath, our feathers —
go, fly, feel those wings

18

      Beautiful dawning
The sun comes up in the east
Flower petals spread

19

beyond caring
my gratitude
to you

20

      bird wings
in all this gray
I find my light

21

      bitter winter
the warmth of home
away from home

22

      Blackout
the moon lights
the path

23

blizzard warnings
the dog and I curled
around each other

24

      blossoms open
like palms . . .
my eyes wide

25

      bronze soldier
between the boot and the butt
a swallow’s nest

26

      cancer blessings
voices from
the long-lost

27

christmas gift
new shoes cracking
fresh snow

28

cold spring rain
mother earths
first drink

29

      crackling fire feast
elsewhere a family
on the front lines

30

      cresting a hill
sunlight in my eyes
rising thanks

31

crisscrossing crowd
the beggar’s listless nod
for my tossed change

32

      crumbs on the windowsill . . .
song of gratitude
of a robin

33

      dad’s ta
always
heartfelt

34

      dandelions
my gratitude
takes wings

35

dark side of the moon
every moment I’m awake
I marvel at stars

36

      daughter’s headlights
shadows on my bedroom wall . . .
sigh of relief

37

dawn
so thankful
another day begins

38

      daybreak —
I bow to god
within

39

      dog sitting by me
gets intimate:
a selfie

40

      each and every day
something to be thankful for

41

      earth’s gratitude
in its own language . . .
petrichor

42

      earthquake rubble
a man in prayer
on a tattered rug

43

Evening walk
I hurry to look at
The lady in the hat

44

      eyes brim
the empty bowl
overflows

45

      fading horizon
I use the pain scale
to count blessings

46

      fifty-eight —
my gratitude
to the soul

47

      first act in morn
garlanding my avatar
all doors are open

48

      first great-grandchild
happy grandpa fixes
old rocking horse

49

      first raindrop
the blind man’s
toothless grin

50

      flour on the nose
scent of freshly home
baked cake

51

flower opens
honey
bee breakfast

52

      fresh rainfall
my family
attending

53

      golden setting sun
sustainable gardening
plant-to-plate dining

54

      gratefulness
I forget . . .
the spelling of regret

55

      gratitude
even if fallen, the leaf
kisses the earth

56

      gratitude —
horizon has no end
inside your eyes

57

      gratitude . . .
my pockets emptied
of regrets

58

      Gratitude offering for January

one line not two thank God

59

gratitude —
on the rayless poppy
a butterfly

60

gratitude
they name the baby
after the doctor

61

half full
or half empty . . .
drinking it all in

62

      harvest moon
lights the pounding surf . . .
more than enough

63

      her sweet
thunderous heartbeat —
rainbow baby

64

homecoming —
the four of us at last
around the kitchen table

65

      hospital Zoom call
he tells his children they were
the best part

66

      hydrangea
her caretaker
begins to cry

67

      i enjoy a breeze so gentle
as it gracefully comforts
with its dance of kindness

68

i’m so grateful
just because
you exist

69

ice everywhere
dissolved
by my dog’s licks

70

      in solitude I savour dark oolong

71

      in the city —
feeling grateful
for my shoes

72

      it’s the little things hummingbird

73

just a cookie . . .
a cute company all the way
this stray puppy

74

      length old magus
carried the gift, relative value
of myrrh 

75

Life ebbs away
Reflect on her legacy,
Gratitude and Joy.

76

lilac dawn . . .
my breath still
a part of me

77

local birds singing
beneath the steel-gray sky . . .
our gratitude

78

      long night
the cricket’s song
of absolution

79

lost and never found
i’ll assume i donated
to the most needy

80

      meditate saying
mantra mantra mantra i
meditate thank you

81

      meeting halfway
my dropped banknote
with his gratitude

82

      Mettled ophidian
Brings loneliness in me
Freeing faculty

(On seeing a desolate serpentine path inside Kalimpong forest in the Himalayas in India)

83

      mild spell
the mud at ease
with itself

84

moonless sky
even the apple tree
grows old

85

Moonlit night
Moon light peeks through the window
One’s hand holding other’s.

86

      morning after morning
the robin activity behind the window
what a beautiful gift

87

morning song
I hug the tree
before the bird leaves

88

      Mother’s Day
my jewel box overflowing
with pasta

89

      moving day
half my life
in a dumpster

90

      my mother
finally learns to text
laughter ensues

91

      My name she forgets
I feed her. I care for her.
She smiles. I nod. Peace

92

      near dawn
the poppy opens
for the bee

93

      negative result
his tears
on her cheek

94

new entry
in his gratitude journal
Basho’s frog poem

95

      new parents . . .
the neighbors’ casseroles
are a welcome sight

96

      new year
resolution . . .
a gratitude list

97

      new year treat
at elder’s home
toothless smiles

98

      on a meadow
with birds and butterflies
sharing light

99

      on replay
your last phone message
. . . forever

100

      on your death bed
thanks mum for
having waited for me

101

one more spring
the warm breeze softly blows
trough her wrinkles

102

      out of gratitude . . .
the memory that isn’t suitable
as a conversation starter

103

over the moon
a much stronger
positive line

104

      owls call
the coldest night
warmer

105

      quietly gazing
into my cat’s eyes —
I find hope

106

      removing a bur
from her paw
the dog licks my hand

107

      rescue shelter pup . . .
the eyes
say it all

108

      rising sun —
all the chances
of a new day

109

school break
even the winter clouds
disperse in cheer

110

      Seasons we took for granted:
how short a time to give gratitude,
as time raced, the moments.

111

      second-generation Chinese Cantonese
once again I mix up
our two thank-yous 

112

      seeing the light
in my child’s
eyes

113

      separate ways
bitter sweet gratitude for
still shared memories

114

      serenity garden
a prayer of gratitude for
the organ donor

115

      silence transcending
into eternal presence
. . . gratitude

116

      small radiant thing
beaming through the muddy leaves
her lost treasure

117

      smiles . . .
saying thanks
for life

118

      snowstorm . . .
no school today
a snowman’s smile

119

      snowy wood
the beauty
of silence

120

      soup kitchen
the tramp stays behind
to wash the dishes

121

      spring thaw —
a stray puppy licks
the dogcatcher’hand

122

      standard of living:
future people can thank us
if we reduce it

123

      step by step
adding more each day
thanks to science

124

still smiling
a new moon through the lattice
of the last leafed tree

125

sun seeks the moon
I seek you as my
kith and kin

126

sunshine
with his head down
a beggar

127

      survivor
of six weeks in bed
with my mom

128

      Surya Namaskar
his bow thanks the star
for everthing

129

      t  a  k  i  n  g    t  h  e    t  i  m  e    t  o    a  p  p  r  e  c  i  a  t  e    w  h  a  t    I    h  a  v  e

130

      tears fall, joining the cistern
rivers flow, into ice
giving thanks, we are one

131

tears of joy
mom comes back
from the hospital

132

      tearstains
on the thank you letter . . .
their late son’s heart still beats

133

      thanksgiving
a turkey lets out
some wind

134

      thanksgiving
in dad’s wrinkled hand
a shaking spoon

135

      the abundances
we keep track of —
reds of the maple bush

136

      the grandchild
gives a mini medicine Buddha
to her grandpa

137

the gratitude
in our dog’s eyes
the last injection

138

      the sheer joy
of gaining their trust
doves feed from my hand

139

      The sun rose today
Still in bed, I’m half asleep
Warming my eyelids

140

the trembling women
pray for the soldier who said
there was no one here

141

      three years out
life
even sweeter

142

      tiny palms
in grandma’s joined hands
son’s new sketch

143

      too late for thanks
all the traits my son gained
from his grandfather

144

      under the redwoods
rolling in clover
you lucky dog

145

unfurling buds —
there is no place
like home

146

      wading in wet fields
a turtle charms me
out of my shell

147

      waking up
from the anesthesia —
there you are

148

      walker out in front
white-haired nan gingerly moves
grateful for each step

149

      watchman’s funeral
for just this once I hold
the door for him

150

      waves by the freeway
says have a nice day
on his cardboard sign

151

      we live this good life
shaped by the toil of my idols
mother and father

152

      wedding day
fathers gnarled hands
folded in gratitude

153

      when seals
are clubbed
penguins rejoice

154

      Whispered prayers
For you dad
You gave me your love.

155

      Wife
lies beside me
glad she’s alive

156

Winter morning
the squirrel finds
a new stash of Kix

157

      winter night . . .
greenery bow down to nature
dews fall as boon

158

      winter night
tenderness of the moon
grasps my palm

159

      winter rain
the purring of a cat
under my coat

160

      winter sun
the warmth on this side
of the window

161

      winter sunshine
a cardinal calling
to another

162

      Woken up early,
I find the omelet ready –
so, we’re making up

163

      wolf moon . . .
silver fills
the beggar’s cup

164

      writing the sonnet
he thought was a punishment . . .
rainbow in winter

165

      yesterday’s rain
plant stems
straightened again

166

You open the door
Smile and sparks of eyes
Thank God! We are alive.

167

      young waitress greeting
the bearded old man by name
his face blooms 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!

 

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