Caribbean Kigo Kukai #29

One thing  I particularly like about the Caribbean Kigo Kukai, is that the kigo often put me outside my comfort zone. When I saw the kigo “bamboo” for this month, I almost didn’t enter, because I don’t know much about bamboo, and all I could initially think of were the bamboo gardening stakes I use to prop up some of my top-heavy plants. But then I remembered the bamboo pipes at the Japanese Garden, and wrote:

catching the sky…
the bamboo pipe fills
with rainwater

This haiku garnered 7 points, and the following comment: “A very visual haiku – perhaps it’s because I like rain, but I can see and feel this one – as well as hear it!”

All of this month’s entries can be read here.

2011 Shiki Poets’ Choice Awards

I was very very happy to see that the Shiki Kukai results have a new, albeit temporary, home online, so they all can be read and enjoyed. I started participating in the Shiki Kukai in March of 2010, and have participated in every one since. I can’t say enough good about all of the online kukai I regularly participate in: Shiki, Sketchbook, and the Caribbean Kigo Kukai. They welcomed me with open arms, when I was a raw beginner, and because of the anonymous nature of kukai, I was put on an equal footing both with other beginners, as well as with those who have been writing haiku for many years. It has been an eye-opening experience. Through judging and casting my own votes every month, I have learned to have a more discerning eye, and see what makes a haiku resonate with me. And through receiving votes and comments, I in turn get valuable feedback on my own haiku efforts.

The first time I entered the Shiki Kukai, I was still fastidiously writing 5-7-5 haiku. I received no votes, either in the kigo category (“planting/sowing”) or in the free format section (“cookies”). But I refused to let that discourage me, and I persevered. The next month I received my first votes, and by June of that year, I took 5th place in the free format section with the following haiku:

fifth birthday party
the oak adds
another ring

I knew then, that I was on my way. A month later, I was overjoyed to learn that I took 1st place in the free format section, with:

night sky-
my thumb
eclipses the moon

This haiku also took 3rd place in the 2010 Shiki Poets’ Choice Awards. Which brings me around to this year. I had three haiku that qualified for this year’s Poets’ Choice Awards ballot: a first place finish, and two second place finishes. Although none of them placed in the top three for the year, they all garnered a respectable number of points, rounding out a second very gratifying year of kukai-ing:

winter dawn…
humming along
with the furnace

flea market
two bees circling
the same flower

garden spider –
weaving the dew
into its web

Together my three haiku garnered 21 points, which coincidentally was the exact same number of points I received for my single haiku last year. I was also very pleased to see that first place in the kigo section this year went to Svetlana Marisova, a fitting tribute to a fine haiku poet, who was taken too soon. The complete 2011 Poets’ Choice Award results can be read here. And links to all the Shiki kukai monthly results, going way back to 2002, can be found here.

June 2011 Recap

Somehow my monthly recaps got lost in the shuffle. Here’s my recap for June:

– Attended my first haiku conference ever. The Haiku Society of America held their second quarterly meeting June 3-5,  in Bend, Oregon. I took  and posted a handful of photos on Facebook, but the most comprehensive set of photos were posted by Michael Dylan Welch in Picasa Web Albums.

My first haibun was accepted for publication in VoiceCatcher6 this fall.

“muted sunlight” appeared in The Heron’s Nest, Volume XIII, Number 2, June 2011.

“daydreaming” and “flickering stars” appeared in Notes from the Gean, Volume 3, Issue 1, June 2011.

– I had a haiku and a haibun accepted to the September issue of Notes from the Gean.

– A haiku of mine was accepted to the September issue of The Heron’s Nest.

– Took 1st place in the Sketchbook Kukai with my “after the rainbow” haiku. Also 5th place for “getting acquainted”, and 9th place for  “Monday morning” .

– Had five haiku appear in the November/December Sketchbook “vegetable(s)” haiku thread (#3, #32, #34, #36, #38). “open house”, “secrets”, and “hot peppers” were named “Editor’s Choice” by John Daleiden, and “secrets”, “open house”, “hot peppers”, “harvest moon”, and “afternoon siesta” were named “Guest Editor’s Choice” by Bernard Gieske.

– Took 2nd place in the June Shiki Kukai (kigo section)with “flea market”, and received  6 points in the free form section with “other galaxies”.

” a new boutonnière” garnered 9 points in the Caribbean Kigo Kukai #25.

Received word from Aubrie Cox that 5 of my haiku are under consideration for the Anthology of English-Language Haiku by Women anthology that she is editing.

One of my haiku will appear in the Haiku North America Conference anthology in August, and one haiku will appear in the Haiku Society of America’s member anthology this fall.

– And I continued to write daily haiku for NaHaiWriMo!

January 2011 Recap

– My biggest accomplishment in January was that I took on and completed the daily River of Stones challenge to write a “small stone” a day. In fact, it was so successful, that I decided to combine it with the WordPress postaday challenge, and continue to post a small stone a day for the rest of 2011. 33 down, only 332 to go. 🙂

– Took 2nd place in the January 2011 Shiki Kukai (kigo section) for my “winter dawn…” haiku.

-Took 4th place in the January Caribbean Kigo Kukai #20 for my “setting the date” haiku.

– And I wrote lots more haiku and small stones than I could post!

November 2010 Recap

Another month! My list of  writing accomplishments  for the month of November:

– I wrote 33 poems in 30 days for the 2010 Poetic Asides November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I extended my repertoire, by trying new poetic forms, including a rondeau, triolets, a pantoum, skeltonic verse, a shadorma, a hay(na)ku, bell curve Fibonacci, and a blitz poem.

– Took 1st place in the November 2010 Shiki  Kukai, free format section, with my “garden spider” haiku.

– Took 4th place in the November 2010 Shiki  Kukai, kigo section, with my “departing year” haiku.

– Submitted three haiku to the November/December Sketchbook “first snow” haiku thread (#1, #20 and #22).

– Took part in the 19th  Caribbean Kigo Kukai , with my “December again…” haiku.

– Wrote  “Under the Harvest Moon” and “Passing Through” to Big Tent Poetry weekly prompts.

– Had two Chicken Soup for the Soul stories make it to the finalist round. “Expert Advice” will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms in March 2011, and “Taken by Storm” will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life in April 2011.

– One of my haiku was accepted to the winter issue of Frogpond.

– Did a guest post about Kukai for my haiku buddy Kirsten Cliff’s wonderful Swimming in Lines of Haiku blog.

– Put lots more into the pipeline.

Time to edit my PAD poems for the chapbook challenge!

2010 October Kukai

My October haiku:

night sky —
my thumb
eclipsing the moon

1st Place- Shiki Kukai, July 2010
3rd Place- Shiki 8th Annual Poets’ Choice Kukai


kindling the flame–
one candle
lights another

2nd Place- Caribbean Kigo Kukai #18


my neighbors and I
swap gossip and leaves—
autumn wind

6th Place- September/ October 2010 Sketchbook Kukai


morning chill—
hickory smoke carried
on the autumn wind

9th Place- September/ October 2010 Sketchbook Kukai


autumn wind—
a maple leaf
falling up

10th Place- September/ October 2010 Sketchbook Kukai


first day of autumn
a maple leaf
falls soundlessly

Editor’s Choice- September/ October 2010 Sketchbook Thread


crimson maples
chinook salmon
find their way home

Editor’s Choice- September/ October 2010 Sketchbook Thread


Halloween night
an oak leaf skitters
across dry pavement

September/ October 2010 Sketchbook Thread


sudden downpour
for a moment
I lose my path

Riverwind 30, Fall 2010.


September Kukai

I took 1st place this month in the Caribbean Kigo Kukai with this haiku:

twilight shadows–
the flash
of a bluebird’s wing

You can read the wonderful commentary on it by Gillena Cox here.

And in the Shiki Kukai, my kigo haiku came in 11th, and my free form haiku 9th.

paying my respects —
the whisper
of fallen leaves

changing tides —
the ocean
fills my footsteps

The Sketchbook Kukai runs bi-monthly, so the next will conclude at the end of this month, but you can read the “fall trees” haiku thread here. My haiku are #’s 15, 55 and 57.