At the Second Edition of
The Haiku Contest
SHARPENING THE GREEN PENCIL
organized by Romanian Kukai Group have participated
199 poets from 5 continents and 38 countries
ASIA: India (5), Israel (1), Japan (1), Mongolia (2), Philippines (5), Singapore (1), Sri Lanka (1), Yemen (1);
AUSTRALIA: Australia (3), New Zealand (10);
EUROPE: Austria (2), Belarus (1), Belgium (35), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2), Bulgaria (5), Croatia (28), France (2), Germany (12), Italy (2), Lithuania (9), Macedonia (2), Malta (1), Montenegro (1), Netherlands (8), Poland (9), Romania (17), Russia (3), Serbia (12), Spain (2), Sweden (1), Switzerland (1), Ukraine (2), United Kingdom (7);
NORTH AMERICA: Canada (2), Cuba (1), United States of America (33);
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil (1), Colombia (1).
The organizers would like to express their gratitude to the participants for such a large interest
and invite everyone to participate in the third edition,
which will start in February 2014.
Corneliu Traian ATANASIU, President of the Jury
Cezar Florin CIOBÎCĂ, Member of the Jury
Dan DOMAN, Member of the Jury
Eduard ŢARĂ, Secretary
Congratulations to the winners and commended haiku poets.
the butterflies I’ll never
The winning poem is filled with ineffability and fragility (the butterflies) and sadness (I'll never see again). The haiku is devoid of the sentimentality that often accompanies such themes, the lines are perfectly ordered, the whole texture has a great impact on the reader’s imagination and there is music in the rhythms of the words. That makes the whole scene much more poignant.
Although it is not a quiet poem in subject, the form is perfectly consonant with the content, and the way the tension evolves towards the end engages our imagination and increases the impact of the message. The sense of quiet acceptance in the haiku appeals to me on a deep level. Each time you reread it, you can discover a different meaning/perspective.
There are hints of a possible death or the author’s own impending passing away. Perhaps it is about a sick child who has no chance of survival and in his last moments, full of regrets, enjoys nature all around ... Perhaps he caught butterflies with a net and after he has released them meditates on his own life, maybe as fragile as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings.
The first line (letting go...) is a poignant parallel for the expectation of the end of a life and it had a powerful effect on me on first reading. It seems likely that the person watching butterflies had a heart attack or something similar in the recent past and is frightened of any recurrence of illness in the next days. Connecting to the mother nature gives the writer the possibility to trancende, to overcome for a moment the terrible desease. Extrapolating, this haiku is like a chronicle of a death foretold and the the suffering person, with his last breath, seems to say: ,,Verweile doch, du bist so schön ”/,,Stay a while, you are so beautiful”.
comment by Cezar Florin CIOBÎCĂ
fishing with father –
an empty bucket full of
Đurđa VUKELIĆ ROŽIĆ
Ivanić Grad, CROATIA
A breezy expression perfectly jointed with an allusive complex texture. The images rigorously cut to shape, recalls, almost elliptically, through one single word, father, a memory: a day in the midst of nature. For, obviously, the fishing was, as the empty bucket says, a fiasco. Or just an innocent pretext for the child’s initiation, not into the mysteries of a rather trivial and unproductive occupation, but into those much more fruitful insights of human nature.
The irony, scarcely masked, addressed to the fortuneless fishermen, offers only the opportunity to exploit the available void of the bucket to be filled, in a Zen manner, with an invisible overflow of tenderness between father and child. The poem is an instance to understand how to use in haiku a word, otherwise prohibited since it is abstract and too lyrical – unforgetfulness: you place it into a concrete container whose actual emptiness is just waiting to be filled. It is true, with a diaphanous matter, perceived only with the heart and mind together.
comment by Corneliu Traian Atanasiu
dark mirror –
the coldness of that single
I was genuinely moved by this poem. It seems to be a few lines from the diary of woman who suffers profoundly. It is a real story about life after surgery and the struggle for survival. The journey will not be the same... No one can imagine what it is like to have no hope. Cancer is an awful process that makes you to change a lot of things in regard to your entire life. You must completly restore your attitude towards the reality around.
The spareness in the wording of this poem beautifully mirrors its powerful message. For many women, the loss of a breast diminishes somehow their femininity and sexual attractiveness. The scene with this woman looking at herself in the mirror reveals a painful body. The suffering person may certainly feel a sense of existential vacuum and emptiness. Most of us find ourselves lost for words at such a shocking image. We wonder what to say or not to say. It is terrible because a lot of women perceive breast cancer as an attack against their innate feminine nature, their life seems a curse and their spirituality is so much shaken.
So, many questions from a simple-looking haiku. Why me? How could God be so unfair? Is there life after surgery? Could someone love me this way I am? Perhaps the woman suffers much more because she would have wanted to be a mother, but the disease has destroyed her dream... This haiku leaves us with the striking image of a woman looking for answers and a way to bring more confidence in her life. The prayer through writing can be the best solution to stop the drain of spiritual energy from the physical body....
After reading the poem, in our mind remains the heart-rending image of the woman whose desire is to retain her sense of dignity/femininity.
comment by Cezar Florin CIOBÎCĂ
I think of all summers past
bathing as a boy
the lab report ...
violets in the rain
Washington, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
silent winter night
but never like the one in
on the threshold of the church
a snail slumbers
an ashtray full of words
I can’t take back
an ant's bite brings me
back to reality
I wonder how it feels
writing a jisei
evening breeze –
tiny crabs move the beach
grain by grain
Tauranga, NEW ZEALAND
clatter of wooden hangers
in my wardrobe
Anna ŚWITALSKA JOPEK
the fly is stiffened