The first Shiki kukai I participated in was in March 2010, and I’ve entered every one since. What I like best about the kukai is that the voting is anonymous, meaning that each haiku rises or falls on its own merits. Which means that someone who is fairly new to haiku is suddenly on the same footing as someone who has been writing haiku for decades. For February, the kigo was “lingering cold” and the free form topic was “night lights” (of the astronomy type). My “lingering cold” haiku took 2nd place, with 28 points, while my “shooting star” haiku received 9 points.
the long ride home
from the cemetery
always the same
The full February results can be read here.