Merry Christmas & Haiku Wishes

My very best seasonal greetings to all those who pop in to and read this blog – some of you will celebrate Christmas, some won’t, but I hope that if you live somewhere that has a holiday just now that you have a peaceful and safe time, and a healthy, prosperous and productive 2020.

Here is a selection of seasonal haiku which I hope you’ll enjoy.

long wait backstage –
the evil giant reads
a self-improvement book

Catherine Bullock, number eight wire

moonlight
the pear tree
turns to tinsel

Shirley May, number eight wire

Christmas Eve –
the neighbour comes round
to borrow some data

Owen Bullock, number eight wire

number eight wire: the fourth New Zealand haiku anthology was launched in March, one of the highlights of my haiku year (I’m co-editor). We have only a few copies left but we’d love to have no copies so if you’d like to read more haiku by New Zealand writers (70 of them of all ages), please read the ordering details here.

Christmas Eve
searching for the beginning
of the Scotch tape

Alan S Bridges, Another Trip Around the Sun

sleigh bells
the hayloft rustles
with deer mice

Debbie Strange, Another Trip Around the Sun

Another Trip Around the Sun: 365 days of haiku for children young and old, edited by Jessica Malone Latham, was published by Brooks Books in November. Click on the link for further information.

the Christmas
after we told him
artificial tree

Joe McKeon, A New Resonance 10

Christmas light test
trying to untangle
last year

Deborah P Kolodji, A New Resonance 4

The New Resonance poems have been taken from the reading done at this year’s Haiku North America conference – How I Found my Voice Again – which celebrated every poet  in the biennial collections that gather new voices in haiku and are published by Jim Kacian’s Red Moon Press. The reading, which featured some of the poets present and others represented by Julie Warther, was filmed. Click on the link above to see/hear it. The most recent iteration of the series is A New Resonance 11.

Haiku anthology launch

Ordering details are in the post below.

margaret-elaine-f-sandra - Copy

Bouquet: Co-editors Margaret Beverland (left) and Sandra Simpson (right) with haiku supporter Elaine Fisher of Katikati. Photo Keith Frentz

anne-jenny-moira - Copy

Ladies at lunch: From left, Anne Curran (Hamilton), Jenny Pyatt (Napier) and Moira Cursey (Raglan). Photo: Sandra Simpson

harry-andre - Copy

Bearded haiku poets: Andre Surridge (Hamilton, front) and Harry Frentz (Tauranga). Photo: Sandra Simpson

cathie-jenny2 by ac

Pals: Cathie Bullock (left, Waihi) and Jenny Fraser (Mt Maunganui). Photo: Anne Curran

ruby-dave-jenny - Copy

Haiku advertisements: Ruby Robertson (left), Dave Robertson (both Tauranga) and Jenny Pyatt (Napier). Photo: Sandra Simpson

shirley-eric - Copy

Chat time: Shirley May and Eric Dodson, both Tauranga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

keith-harry by ac

Sales table: Harry Frentz (left) and Keith Frentz. Photo: Anne Curran

speech - Copy

Official: Margaret Beverland speaks. Photo: Keith Frentz

andre-nargaret-elaine-r - Copy

Poet profiles: From left, Andre Surridge, Margaret Beverland (Katikati) and Elaine Riddell (Hamilton). Photo: Sandra Simpson

table - Copy

Long table lunch: From right, Deryn Pittar (Papamoa), Moira Cursey and her partner Jenny (Raglan) and Bob Orr (Thames coast). Photo: Sandra Simpson

catherine-andre - Copy

Catching up: Catherine Mair (Katikati) and Andre Surridge. Photo: Sandra Simpson

anne-elaine-r - Copy

Car pool buddies: Anne Curran and Elaine Riddell, both from Hamilton. Photo: Sandra Simpson

 

Katikati Haiku Contest results – a judge reflects

They came in a box – all shapes and sizes of paper and card, most typewritten but one or two brave souls relying on their hand-writing. The judging for the Katikati Haiku Contest is done blind – that is each haiku entered is numbered, I see no names.

I sat down, armed with a pair of scissors, and began to read (the scissors were to cut  stand-out poems from a sheet of entries).

I sorted them, sorted them again and then re-read the whole lot for a third time.

I made piles – definite, definite maybes, maybes and, well you get the picture. The piles got shuffled. The piles got shuffled again.

The coffee table, couch and floor were decorated with strips of paper. The strips of paper got moved from one site to another. Well, several of the strips of paper … some of them stayed right where they were for the entire judging process.

Lorin Ford’s winning haiku was in the top four from the start – it’s a complex, profound and mysterious poem.

a last year’s lambskin where mushrooms gather dusk

It’s funny how sometimes there is more than one poem on the same unexpected subject in the same contest. I gave this haiku by Scott Mason a Commended:

rolling fields
    the vocabulary
           of sheep

I was equally enchanted by the Second-place haiku by Beverley George:

train journey …
the young student next to me
reduces stars to graphs

and by this Highly Commended haiku by Gary Hotham:

   floating in calm air
      too much light
for the engineer’s math

Third was Simon Hanson (an interesting statistic – all the top three haiku, three of the four Highly Commendeds and two of the six Commendeds were by Australians):

holding cover
the hare waits
for eye contact

Catherine Bullock of Waihi won the Best Local Haiku award with this great poem:

evening calm –
duck’s wake
the width of the estuary

I also want to mention this Highly Commended haiku by Beverley George – while judging the entries I went out one morning to find the snail bait around the parsley had claimed five (five!) snails overnight. I could really envisage those “stretched necks” during the dark hours:

parsley bed
the stretched necks
of snails

To read the full list of winners, and my judge’s report, go here.

Unfortunately, we had one disqualification due to haiku being entered that had previously been published. It saves red faces all round if poets keep good records and a track of what’s gone where, when and what happened to those poems (ie, while they may not have been prize winners, were they included in a contest anthology?).