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THF Monthly Voting Ballot October 2020

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 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

1a bird patching its nest
the half-burnt cherry tree
starts blooming again
2a child’s furrowed brows
knit one purl one drop one . . .
starting over
3A nest on the tree
Fledgling often comes
Near to mother
4a one-legged grasshopper
climbing up the window —
pouring rain
5a rat naps
as a raven arcs nearer
cranes preen
6a red face
digging out
the bindweed
7a three year old
on her shoulders
nesting sparrows
8adult literacy class —
her toothless smile
in the reading light
a week long protest —
flowers sprouting
10after the Tsunami
homeless child builds
another sandcastle
11after third attempt
to thread the needle
granny wipes her glasses
12after volcano eruptions
of battle . . .
tranquility of haiku
13again and again
I fail to see the purpose
yet once more I try
14again and again
the blackbird pecks the dry grass
again and again
15an ant
finding her home . . . at each turn
a doubt
16an uphill
a dung beetle
tries again
17angel baby* —
my heart continues
to love

*angel baby is a child lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or

neonatal death
we retie the knot
with twisted fingers
19autumn leaves —
I write one more poem
I use one more page
20autumn wind
a caterpillar crawls
up an old birch
21behind the mask
her Duchenne smile . . .
ward to ward
22breeze ashore —
the waves of the sky
come and go
23broken branch —
the uninterrupted singing
of the cicada
after brushstroke . . .
Mona Lisa
25burnt cake in the trash
in the middle of the night
mom bakes another one
26ceasefire . . .
to his father’s funeral
on prosthetic legs
27celestial bodies
distant though united
in our attraction
28change of wind
same time as yesterday
the dance of pines
29children cling
to her open arms
Mother of Thousands*

*a succulent plant
30crying hard
another friend
31culvert bomb closes road . . .
we row the boat
for our supplies
32death spiral
the endless march
of army ants
33digging my escape tunnel with a teaspoon
34diploma in hand
she tosses the cap . . .
grasping her dream
35Dissatisfied poet
Tears yet another page.
The clock strikes midnight.
her wife’s eulogy
up to the burial
37even ravens per se crave peace
38failing luck —
once more the lesson
learnt from a spider
39first baby steps
tumbles, stands up and again —
a bamboo in the wind
40first walk
after lots of hurt
rode cycle
41fully present —
the poet waits for
that haiku moment
42geese calling
the season to come
43grandpa’s war
picking rice
grain by grain
44gripping the bars
he takes one step —

prosthetic fitting
45haiku contest
checking the winners’ list
one more time
46hale spider prevails
— we battle this mute killer
prone in its grip
47harvest moon . . .
revising the haiku
one more time
48he works so hard
then is cast off and replaced . . .
49his muscles burn
it’s mind over matter
at iron-man
50hospital room
I sing a lullaby
to my empty womb
51hot chasing
until rat’s tail in grip
of cat’s mouth
52I am a metaphor,
I am a poetry.
53I breathe and ignore
the wicked beckoning fridge —
one kilo down
54in the evening . . .
the same nightingale song
as at dawn
55in the potting shed
a tiny bird is back with straw
family planning
56in your inner vessel
sorrow waits and waits
for the heavy lifting
57late spring snow
on a mourning dove
on her nest
58leaf by leaf
through the crack
convincing concrete
59lego days
the blue square
. . . the square hole
60light snowfall
nursing her second-born, born
an only child
61long hours . . .
the way the moonlight
fills her scars
62lost look in the mirror
patiently trying to
recognize herself
63meteors —
as small as grains of sand
make beautiful streaks
64midnight —
I still try to touch the nose
with my tongue
65mom’s deviled egg recipe
my daughter makes
family ties
66moonless night —
a solitary flame
flickers in the wind
67Morning fox
Surveying the sleepy coop
For a flaw
68my PhD project
in the snail’s footsteps
to the top of Mount Fuji
69Nana, Nana
guess what I got?
a Sonic mask!
70needlepoint canvas . . .
she fills in the background
stitch by stitch
the fifteenth and the last day
of my prayer to the clouds
72nesting season —
he finally
gets to yes
73new band
ironing out
the kinks
74ninetieth birthday
grandma’s cooking pot is ready
for the feast
75old dog
in defiance
of autumn storm
76one little leaf
still clings to the bare branch
fierce winds
77outdoor jazz . . .
at last I find the note
in a blade of grass
78Paralympic games
up in the four wheels
to see the sunrise
79perseverance —
on my finger the same
engagement ring
scarlet pansies pushing
through the snow
81queen rules
. . . grain by grain
the anthill
82sand clouds
stroking ground
with hoof
83seeking light
through a roadside crack
to blossom
84Sharpening its blade
Along winds —
Morning grass
85she takes her first steps
at nine months
86shy of sixty . . .
fine-tuning her guitar
for a melody
87single parent
between dusk and dawn
a 2nd shift
88so many folds in
these delicate wings —
89so the tide recurs
morning made whole
90son in OT
mother is praying to God
with teary eyes
91still on the front-line
mankind tries to find a cure
for Covid-19
92strange weather . . .
anyway all the flowers
go on blooming
93strong wind
learning to stand erect
young poplar tree
94teacher throws away
incorrect haiku; with care
he uncrumples it
95Thanksgiving prep
Great Grandma insists
she’ll make the pies
96the dog on the beach
fetches again and again —
waves lapping the shore
97the unceasing
of buds
98this bumpy road
yet my goal never far
from sight
99this pet rock
trying hard just to
get it right
100this summer too . . .
clinging on a broken pot
101those scattered pearls
vein them in a string
and wear a beautiful necklace
102verbal abuse
the rose’s stem
sustains its bruised petals
103walnut tree
with every plop
she bends
104what enters black holes
fills the void in my quill pen
autumn skylight
105window shade
last of dusk
through it
106winter morning
a sigh of relief
rich harvest
107wombat’s charred ribcage
defiant in the landscape
cradles a seedling
108worn-out shoes
trying to get
last votes

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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