kindling the flame

The first time I entered the monthly Caribbean Kigo Kukai was in April 2010, and I have only missed a few since then. In February, Gillena Cox held the CKK First Poets’ Choice awards, with 100 of the top three place haiku from kukai spanning the period from April 2009 to September 2011. I am pleased to have had the following four haiku of mine on the ballot, which together garnered 6 votes:

strains of Mendelssohn
the groom fiddles
with his carnation


after the thunder
then birdsong


twilight shadows–
the flash
of a bluebird’s wing


kindling the flame–
one candle
lights another


Poet Showcase: Gillena Cox

Name: Gillena Cox
Location: Trinidad and Tobago

Blog: Lunch Break

How do you know Cara? Our first encounter was at Caribbean Kigo Kukai 

How long have you been writing poetry? I’ve been writing poetry since the ’70’s but in a more serious and discipled way since 2001 when i bought my first computer and started posting online

Please share a poem:

sound of June rain
the window curtain

awakened to light
the fly off shuffle of
pigeons from the roof

round moon
all the bird songs nestled
in tomorrow

(poems now submitted were first shared as comments at friends blogs and at facebook)

Strains of Mendelssohn

What is a Kukai? Here’s one definition, from The Caribbean Kigo Kukai blog, sponsored by Gillena Cox:

“The Kukai – a haiku contest, where each person submits a haiku, and then, becomes a judge. When all the poems are compiled in a list, the contestants comment, vote, and give scores to poems of their choice. One cannot comment on, nor vote for one’s own poem. At the end of the voting process winners emerge, the selection based on votes by the kukai’s contestants.”

I discovered Kukai a few months ago, and have been happily submitting ever since. There is much to be learned by examining why one haiku sings, while another very similar one is flat. Through reading a multitude of haiku based on the same kigo, by haikuists from all over the globe, I have come to appreciate the subtle nuances of language and the wide variety of sensory imagery and thoughts that we all bring to our writing.

This month I had the honor of taking first place in the Caribbean Kigo Kukai #13, with this haiku: (the kigo was “carnation”)

strains of Mendelssohn
the groom fiddles
with his carnation
–Cara Holman, USA

Gillena Cox posted this lovely commentary in the “Comments” section.

Felix Mendelssohn is regarded by classical music aficionados and critics alike, as one of
the most prolific and gifted composers the world has ever known. Even those who could
not name any of his works have heard it, as his “Wedding March” from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, which has accompanied many a bride down the aisle…

The writer takes us to a setting with the use of a musical introduction. ” strains of
Mendelssohn” she writes, then pivots on the musicality of the setting, the “groom fiddles”;
Cara has carefully choosen her words to present to us this special scenario, to capture for us this instant of a bridegroom’s quirky. Who is not nervous at a wedding? who is not swept up in the tensions of getting it right for this big day? all of the preparation gone before in trying to perfect this day is resonated in his action, and all the hope of a new future life intimated. The bridegroom in Cara’s episode is all of normal, human and real, nervous tension and all.
This haiku, is lively, and too, full of life; its present, its prospects, and all the concomitant questions of the future
A musical prelude prepares us for this haiku’s drama, then she carefully reels us in with the
introduction of the second schema the bridegroom, and as the plot thickens, the long
awaited appearance of our kigo ‘carnation’
There is rhythm, there is motion, there is beauty, there is emotion, there is projection
encapsuled in Cara’s 5-5-5 schema to present to us a super winning haiku

strains of Mendelssohn
the groom fiddles
with his carnation
–Cara Holman, USA

Well Done Cara; we look forward to seeing more of your runaway wining ku’s

much love
gillena cox; CKK coodinator