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THF Monthly Kukai Voting Ballot June 2020


This month’s theme:

Note: Voting procedures have changed. Please see new instructions below.

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 bud
must ache before
it blossoms
2 a cuckoo’s cry –
will I ever cease
to reopen this wound
3 a hum of tires
as the sunning lions
leave the road
4 a humblebee
where I left her
the closed tulip
5 a love affair
drawn to the dark
6 a sudden blow
bending the grain
lovers exposed
7 after months apart
my friend howls in joy
old-growth forest
8 after the darkness
the day
9 after the rain
a snail moves gently
among raindrops
10 again i open
to the pressed violet
mother’s cookbook
11 an innocent day
the windpipe contracts
into blue serge
12 ants in a queue
s-l-o-w s-l-o-w s-l-o-w
13 around the world
a slow dance
for four seasons
14 as if
nothing’s changed
morning glories
15 at last
opening my arms again
to hold you
16 back to the school
my girlfriend’s smile
behind the mask
17 bar reopening –
no one close enough
to talk to
18 bee’s delight
dawn reopening
crocus flowers
19 birth and death –
pear blossoms in spring
20   blooming crocuses . . .
the lawnmower makes
a u-turn
21 borders closed
we reopen to
one another
22 busy day
I keep opening the door
the guests keep closing
23 camera in hand
waiting for butterfly wings
to reopen
24 cones slowly being shoved
to unite the bustling sound
of two closed cities
25 corona virus . . .
a child’s fear
school’s reopening
26 COVID 19
again leaves unfurl
in the cup
27 creak of hinges
and bones on the trail
28 finally a pizza
I taste Italy
in its brick oven crust
29 finally a sign ‘we are open again’ –
behind his mask wanly smiling
he buys her white lilies
30 first blossom
the sonogram detects
a heartbeat
31 first flurry of snow
hidden treasure found
in last winter’s coat pocket
32 for months they’ve been closed –
mouths glued like chrysalises;
now winged, soft-beating.
33 from across the room
grandmother’s greeting
34 green shoots
on a blackened trunk . . .
eucalypt sunrise
35 healthy at home
growing lettuce
from lettuce
36 her last letter – reading the silence
37 high street bookshop
spaced out
smelling new works
38 hopping out
to water the harebells
(car-bun offset)
39 industry of bees . . .
hotel staff arrange
patio furniture
40       keys drill
backwards and forwards
 time running on sweat
41 lotus at dawn . . .
piece by piece
i unfurl, whole
42 masked and gloved
she walks into the store
I wait in the getaway car
43 mon Dieu!
and Poirot, mon ami
reopens the case
44 mother’s lost love
nature’s annual rebirth
breeding resentment
45 mountain night
angry buzz of a bee
trapped in the lily
46 national anthem
a white cop takes a knee
on a black man’s neck
47 nude beach reopening his double take
48 old suitcase
trying on
the memories
49 open pipe –
the poor
find a new home
50 opening my heart
to the possibilities –
peony flower
51                                                                                    opossum, too
                                                                        its sheltering abode
                                                                  to cross the green lawn
52 out of den . . .
the fear of hedgehog
at first touch
53 peony blossom
how she opens up to him
inch by inch
54 phase one reopening
toilet paper!
55 phase two reopens
runners walkers bikers birds
taking over streets
56 rebirth of movement
petals trampled under foot
clinging to worn soles
57 rehab
the picked scab
starts to bleed
58 reopen
the city park
bird song
59 reopened
for patio seating
everyone an outsider
60 reopened park
standing in a queue
for the wishing well
61 reopened wounds
the sky beyond the windows
loses its colour
62 reopening
everything new but
shopgirl’s smile
63 reopening
in the jack in a box
64 r    e     o          p     e       n       i            n            g
 the sun leaving one cloud then entering another
r    e     c          l      o       s       i            n            g
65 reopening –
all things I haven’t seen
66 reopening –
neighbor’s cats
between cauliflowers
67 reopening . . .
in the flight of butterflies
all the lawn
68 reopening . . .
the fitbit
gets a workout
69 reopening wounds
I thought I had healed
dagger moon
70 restoring
the natural pull of magnets
our hearts
71 Scallions push up through
the compost, green stalks reaching
from decay to sky
72 school reopens
in September –
the aster and the morning glory
73 single beam of light
as I softly open again
my fridge
74 slowly
come out of isolation
Earth doesn’t know
75 Spring birds sing again,
Last ash bud unfolds again;
Winds change direction.
76 Sun breaking into
dawn opening a vivid
burst of colors
77 teacher throws away
incorrect haiku – with care
I uncrumple it
78 tear gas
anger flaring
on the streets
79 the child in me
alive once again –
roadside hopscotch
80 the day before
reopening . . . illegal drinking
in a closed pub
81 the death
of a black man
old wounds
82 the family business
grandpa reopens
her letter
83 the fly trap
reopened and ready
for business
84 the rescue dog creeps
from its spot
into mine
85 the smell of car fumes
sweeter than the linden trees –
the new normal
86 Theatre of the Absurd
they took my temperature:
32° Celsius
87 time to show up
opening orchid buds
with the tweezers
88 today the sun reopens
its gold door of morning –
I step out, reopening to summer
89 treatment complete –
he checks his smile
in the dentist’s window
90 unfolding mimosa I let myself out of me
91 unoccupied beaches
without foot traffic
welcome shorebirds
92 unshut unplug unfurl us sunup
93 used bookstore
smells of nicotine and rain
new owners
94                        venturing
                       a short way from home
                       garden snail
95 virtual meeting
I reopen
my smiley face
96 visitors again
Mona Lisa smiles
a little wider
97 walking shoes
  she noticed
    they collected pollen
98 white crocuses
pine needles carried
into last year’s nest
99 wish they were here
discarded migrant labour
100 young magpie
just you and I
no longer
101 your flight, owl . . .
the ghost wind
in my dreams

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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