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THF Monthly Kukai Voting Ballot

This month’s theme:

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 favorites poems at this time. All votes must be sent via The Haiku Foundation’s dedicated kukai email address using the subject line KUKAI VOTING. No other votes will be recognized or honored. All votes must be signed (that is, no “anonymous” votes will be accepted), 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 for one full week. Readers may vote only once per ballot. Administrators of the kukai are ineligible to vote.

A voter may vote for up to three (3) poems per theme. A top vote will receive 3 points, a second-place vote 2 points, and a third-place vote 1 point. Your voting email to us should look something like this:

First Choice (3 points): [your selection number here] Second Choice (2 points): [your selection number here] Third Choice (1 point): [your selection number here]


The Ballot

She turns a cartwheel
off of her two hands
2      a backyard Jedi
on the hunt for Darth Virus
with his lightsaber
3      A blackbird chirps
Auspicious song of hope
Time to restart
4a gazelle
hidden by the wall –
hope, hope

a glimmer of light
gray colors
in the silence

6      a long winter ends – –
   under my Harley’s seat
      young sparrow’s peeping
7a mask imprint
on her tired face
spring breeze
8      a microscope
   reveals the
      bug’s Achilles’ heel
9      a reward
one tutti frutti
mischief no more
10a robin’s song
the half-withered branch
gleaming again
11a safe place
the spring
in my hand
12a swallowtail –
hovering until swept back
by the sea-breeze
13      a treasured button
four small windows into
a child’s hopes and dreams
14a tulip larger
than the sky and mountain range
my niece’s painting
15after everything predawn light
16      after fire
every gum
    plays green sleeves
17      after lockdown…
green shoots from
charred trees
18      after the firestorm
a rescued koala bear
in the firefighters arms
19after the storm
the sky brighter
than before
20      after the tsunami
  waiting for next year’s blossoms
21      after the tsunami butterflies
of ripe pear- – –
my apology
23      almond flowers
changing the colour
of my pregnancy test
24almost Summer –
a child is pedaling
without wheels
25always the same
window pane …  the moon
it’ s crescent now
26      always there
the sun
behind the cloud
27an empty village
of lego bricks …
contagions’ descent
28      an open road …
  the butterfly resting on
     a long-lost glove
29another spring
the widower grows
a mustache
30      apple blossoms
a ladder
from his hands
31      april fool
the eagle sighting
kept to myself
32      April puddles
the flash
of tiny rainboots
33autumn melancholy –
the comforting touching
of the fallen leaves
34      autumn windfall
even now she hopes to find
an unbruised apple
35      bare limbs
   in the wind
36      beach plums
the wings of a butterfly
changing everything
37      bedridden—
floating in the magic
of the dawn chorus
38before I say it
you know
chestnut tree in bloom
39better after death.
the myna whistles
at her like he used to
40      blind date
  a sliver more of moonlight
    as the clouds shift
41      blooming camellia —
I hope my son will receive
a full scholarship
42blooming tulip—
another day
another day
43bluewater sailing
a bell among the
outermost skerries
44      border crossing
the sunlit edges
of dark cloud
45                                                                                  boundary talk
                                                              two dogs across the fence
                                                                                           wag tails
46breath by breath
my child holds up her world…
soap bubbles
47      brightening sky
a chickadee lands closer
to my open palm
48broken-winged butterfly
I get overwhelmed with
49ceasefire agreement
a mourning dove brings to nest
an olive twig
50      cemetery walk-
so much faith
chiselled into stone
51      chemotherapy
  with the last few strands
    I braid hope
52      cherished dreams
all the more reason
to try again
53cherry blossoms
on the cut branch
spring lullaby
54cherry bough
I wait
for my turn
55      children’s ward
paper angel wings
on the barbie doll
56      chrysalis
trusting itself
to transformation
57      cicada corpses
  my dreams
    of another life
58      cloudless sky
the dawn warbling
of magpies
59clouds traveling-
each window
has its dawn
60coffee in hand she
flings herself out the front door
into the new day
61      cold drizzle
the yellowest green
of early spring
62      coliseum
the Christians’ agoreuphoria
quickly fades
his  hope   after removal
of   malignant growth
64coming over
the barbed wire
spring birdsong
65corona virus-
from a peach flower
the day starts
66corona virus. . .
neighbor’s car won’t
leave the house
strangers in this strange new land
reach out to help each other
68      crocuses
the winter ends
69daffodil bulbs
left in an empty bucket
bloom anyway
behind the back
will he kneel down
71dandelion tea –
a little bit bitter taste
of this spring
72dark april sky –
each drop
a rainbow
73      dark dusty corner
  shivering spider hiding
    spring cleaning
sparrows chattering
among the rubble
75dawn Lights
in every fold
of the flag
76      Dawn quietly slips
through the slats of my window shade
A new beginning.
77day after Easter
my son lifts an earthworm
from the wet pavement
78day five
a garden snail peeks
into the rain
79deep in the forest
the silent chorus
of trillium
80deep winter
a stray dog
follows me home
81      don’t lose your nerve
because the hope dies the last
but revives the first
82      Down in my street
Feeling the crackle of leaves
New day ahead
83      drifting clouds
  still two rocking chairs
    in the veranda
84      during covid-19
   first signs of well-being
      in the garden
85      during quarantine
in free-flowing water
spring moon
86each one hoping
for different outcome –
pregnancy test
87each spring
filling in the blank spaces
cherry blossoms
88eagle eyes-
sharpened the sector of distancing  
among the bricks
a dragonfly
90Easter morning
a half empty bowl
by the bird bath
91empty shelves
after the storm
the full rainbow
92Falls forgotten leaves –
the daffodils blooming through
93faulty traffic lights
a girl on the other side. . .
a foggy morning
94flood over…
the rainbow links
a broken bridge
95      fog lifts
the road home
96foregoing family,
doctor on-call waits and prays –
may there be fewer
97      forest bathing
under a canopy
     of birdsong
98      four in the morning
  miserable song of a lonely bird
    waiting in its nest
animals thriving
in no man’s land
100full moon laughter
my lock-down neighbours
two meters apart
101full pink moon
      slowly opens
102full rainbow—
a four-leaf clover
in the fairy ring
103      gently to the door of rainbow picnic less rain
104giant sequoias
“There’s something you need to hear.”
I stand very still
105      glowing sun
daffodils raising their heads
after the snow
106good man
    I’ll never find a mile away
        metre more
107      grandma’s rocker
the comfort
of rosary beads
108green tinge covers
the fire ravaged forest…
a bluebird’s song
109growing sky –
the echo of the first beat
in the ultrasound
110harvest moon above
not a chance of writing
mind slips its moorings
111      holding my breath
the last little whelp
makes a sound
112home all day
my castles in the air
113      home library
wiping down my copy of
The Journal of the Plague Year
114      home lockdown
  still following the sun
    from one room to another
115homebound still
the sound of a letter
through the slot
116hope flying through the storm finding rainbows
117      hope is watering dead grass
118hope kick starts migration
119      hope takes a look at me
I remove my dark sunglasses
It’s time to try again
120hope with which the meadow greets crocuses
121      hope, flicking your
life’s savings
into a wishing well
122      hope, I feel you now
a bright light in the dark sky
better days are coming
123      hopefully hungry
the dry fly lands
in a troutswirl
124how they rush
to greet me…
aquarium fish
125icebreaker —
we share more
than coffee

if only
a painted rainbow
would suffice
…pink moon

127      ill in bed
blooming tree in the window,
keep on, keep on
the scent of roses
through my mask
129      in anticipation
    of the first snowfall …
              the nacked mountains
130in the bushes
just enough morning
to see the rose
131in the eye
of the storm
mother’s arms
132in the middle
of it all
133in the tree’s scar a bud
134      in these dark days
yet I see the light at the end
of the tunnel
135incoming mail –
on gate the song
of a swallow
136      inheriting hope…
I adopt the language
from my grandpa
my troubled dream ends
with a mockingbird
138      isolation –
spring wind
crawling on my body
139      isolation —
   on the house’s fence
      morning glory
140      isolation—
the rising sun
freshens my face
the crane returns
to the same spot
142            late spring morning
I risk a walk outside- –
crocus venture their brave purples
143left over hope…
the stony grey eyes
of a toy soldier
144      lest we forget
a little boy
washed up on foreign shores
145      life on hold, local hairdresser… takes up floral arrangement
146      life support
ivy tendrils around
the bruised twig
147      life support
the sunlight moves
from bed to bed
148light shade
of the birch-
149lilac days
what scent can do
gets done
150lingering hope…
noticing the flavour
of the breeze
  on the crane’s wings
      a spirit of hope
in spite of it all:
153      lockdown
my daughter’s first
origami crane
154      lockdown
we now listen out
for the neighbour’s Eminem
155lockdown –
a kite above
flies higher and higher
156      lockdown days
  ninety sleeps
    to normal…
157      Lockdown or not the sun shines
158Long awaited fecal flight of bees >>>>>>>>>>>>>
to find you
a daisy field
160maybe this time first trimester
161      melting snow
the hallelujah chorus
of white crocuses
162melting snow
the road I do not
have to make
163      messenger –
a ladybug landing
on my sleeve
164      milkweed in bloom
the monarch caterpillar
eating its way
165millions of midges
whirlwind down the slough––
overcome we will
166months of yearning pass,
finally her belly swells –
she hopes for a girl
167moon cools the sigh of relief
the lift
of the great blue
169morning breeze
the butterfly
170      morning coffee
the chickadees
171      morning stillness
on my window box
a butterfly
172      morning walk
a ripple of gold
in every puddle
173      mother’s voice
  the gospel air
    I breathe
174      moving apart
we still hope to share
long silences
175      My throat constricts
Breath caught between words
The final proclamation uttered
176nature overtakes
the highest hillside castle
bramble by bramble
177      nestled
between crooked branches
a robin’s nest
178new dawn dew
in every tiny drop- –
179new grandma
shaking hands crochet
baby booties
180new mown field…
the killdeer rebuilds her nest
for a saved egg
181      nightmare or earthquake
there’s ten seconds of hope
until waking up
182no sundresses, no Stetson hats
on country roads
yet… bluebonnets bloom
183no words
like your words
fruit basket
the buds
are not stopping
185nurse log
  you hold me close
      on the forest path
186      nurseries closed
  nation in lockdown
    seeds, saved and sowed
187      oh to dance again new moon
188old pond
we share haiku
via zoom
189on the dunes
now lilies are blooming…
condominium court
190      on the seventh day
of self-isolation…
cherry blossom
191      Once there was a way back home
Everything has changed
but you still hold me.
192      only the sound
of distant bird song
I sit and wait
193opening the memory
of the lime-green
194      outside temple
in the name of god
stretched hands
195pandemic graph’s
growing curve
new branch of my bonsai
196pandemic resuscitating the catatonic collective conscience of we
197Pandora’s Box
the last gift to leave –
also contagious
198      panning perhaps some paydirt for her ring
199      parting clouds
the field of wild flowers
a rainbow
200(((Passover moon  any old satellite  moon)))
201paying off my loan
all at once
daffodils bloom
202Peekaboo pollution
Mother thinks about
shedding her mask
203      pensive way
between shadow and reflection
cherry blossoms
204      Performed act of Hope
Bought flower seeds for planting
When plague is over
205      pewter sky
   the sudden accent
      of a yellow finch
206pink moon
my hand opens
to your voice
207planting the tree
a powerful great oak
I hope again
208      playful smile
from a stranger
first cherry blossom
209      prayer flag harvest
fields of winter wind
temple bells call the priest
210puzzle pieces
in a plain cardboard box––
inset hope here
211quarantined spring..
pondering the next puzzle tile
of my life
212      rain dance
drought makes me become
a shaman
213rains over…
ants patch their hills
in morning light
214recovery – –
in the window box
first tulip
215      regardless the river wren song flowing
216  remnant
scraping vessel to core- his
hope of survival
an empty cathedral
fills with a blind man’s song
218      retirement village
rec-creating till the wee hours
of the afternoon
219      rope bed,
waking up to her smile —
  spring bud
220      rotten leaves
the rising  grass
221      saint valentine’s day
  faded rose at the florist’s
    hoping to be picked
222sandscaping nationalities into world citizenry viral gaze
223scented memo
    unspoken love of a woman
224      searching the
doctor’s kind eyes
second opinion
225      second crush…
   as if these cherry blossoms
      will never fall
226             sequestered spring
less noise in the city
more birdsong
227      shattering
the night, a pinhole
of light
228      she changes
her lucky number
tenth IVF
229she walks around her lake
the morning after
that leaf still hanging on
230sheltered in place
every day a new challenge
231sidewalk chalk
a heart in the middle
of each slab
232      silent prayers
the steady glow
of her votive candle
233      Silent wait
Stay together to dream
The city inside
at four in the morning
a song thrush starts singing
235      small boy petting
for-sale puppy
four hopeful eyes
236snow melt
the wait
for new buds
237      so many people died
but not the hope
not yet
238social distancing
the spaces between us
draw us together
239social distancing . . .
but just above her face mask
a wink
240      some early some late
the dusk falls around us
as stars
241song thrush chicks
singing the new world
a prima vista
242sowing garlic –
head turned
to the moon
243spring breeze—
Granny’s hope chest
produces a frisbee
244      spring clouds
continuing the massage
to his heart
245spring garden
I know I am not
246spring morning
peeling the price tag off
a new book
247spring thaw
the sound of birds
warming up
248spring time pandemic
just me and my fiancé. . .
on the altar
249Springtime’s hidey-holes
in the tattle of songbirds
all will be revealed
250      sprouts in the silence resound life
251      starry sky
her words
in future tense
252starting over
the new moon rises
with me
253statewide quarantine—
my neighbor finally
says hello
254      step by step
forget me nots on the path …
blue breath
255summer brook –
tiny fish swim against
the slow stream
256summer morning –
the coffee flavour
greeting the first rays
257sunlight on water enough hope for everyone
a duck preens darkness
from its feathers
opens into
260      sunrise colors all over
a butterfly lands on my shoulder
blooming red roses-hope
261      sunshine
again today
switch to shoes
262suspension bridge
vanishes into the fog —
the passers-bye too
263talks of hope…
the ambiguous shape
of an unspoken wish
264      teen bride
   the reassurance
      of summer evening

the absence of wind
huddled frogspawn

266the babble of  … a child  this stream    my mind
267the growing up she did
before we met
New York skyline

the latest metrics
a skylark
ever higher

269The moorings
dotting the harbor –
summer’s silent oath
270the poet within
not inspired by prompts, yet
there’s hope
271      the power within
cricket chants
twilight always comes
272      the scent
of pine needles
mountain breeze
273the unceasing
of buds
274the way
he wags his tail—
three-legged dog
275the weathervane shifts
and changes as it has to
always with the wind
276travel ban
the finches
ignore us
277two little smiles
above his mask
the old man’s eyes
278      under the cherry blossoms daydreaming
279Understanding now,
but longing for change.
Is that hope?
280video call
grandma knits a scarf
for next christmas
281      virgin waters
from the Trevi fountain
a glassful of hope
282  wait listed ticket
eagle eyes  round the clock
hope still scrolls
    hopefully for sunrise
        sans corona
284      walking
in the hope of shelter – – –

evening rain
285walking though the woods
will always belong to her
my fourth grade teacher
286      waxing crescent
hung up on the last button
of her blouse
287      we retreat
into our homes
nature starts to speak
288we visit
a window between
the warblers return
289wearing a mask
for the first time
we talk face to face
290      wedding day
two cormorants dive
into unseen wonder
291white blossoms in the night recovery
292winding road
with each new curve
another anticipation
293            winter’s end—
a green balloon drifts over
the subway platform
294wisteria sprawls
over the guardrail
curbside pick-up
295      withering wind—
a lightened candle
between palms
296words spill off the pages
from my isolated window
new leaves on the tree
297      wounded spirit
… I plant cherries
and wait
298your book comforts me
its gentle weight
on my chest
299      zero gravity
the four-year-old
laughing at a fart


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. A poet may appear only once on the list of winners each month, so only a poet’s highest point total will be given. 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 24 Comments

    1. Once a few more people have commented this instruction will be overlooked as lots of people quickly scroll down to the bottom of the replies, so may I suggest that instead of the email address being lost in the first paragraph, that it is printed larger right underneath the voting instructions and maybe after the last submission.

  1. I agree with reducing the number of poems allowed. This was a slog. Even allowing just one poem less would be better. It might also increase the selectiveness of the poets, thus increasing the quality of submissions.

  2. I didn’t see a notification that the vote was open either. I also agree that one entry would be a much more effective rule.

  3. I am glad some many poets are taking part in the kukai. Good Luck everyone.

  4. Somehow I missed seeing this when it opened. I’ll give it a try next time. Some interesting haiku here!

  5. I enjoyed the process of narrowing down the list, but the number of haiku makes me wonder if it should be one haiku per entrant next time…

    1. I agree Matt.
      I only submitted one.
      Unless of course their is a reason behind it.

    1. The instruction says to post your choices via email link above. Telling people creates a potential bias to the result.

  6. @ Sanela Pliško
    The voting period started yesterday 18.4.20. It runs for one week.
    If you are referring to participating in the Kukai, then yes you have missed this one and will need to wait until the 1st of May.
    Best wishes.

    1. Hi Sanela, it says ‘Votes will be accepted from the appearance of the ballot for one full week.’

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