Alan Peat, final judge, United Kingdom
It has been both a pleasure and an honour to judge this competition. From a strong field I have chosen two joint winners. One is traditional and the other intriguingly modern. We need to beware of false dichotomies in the world of haiku - the best of the modern will, through time, be assimilated into the tradition : they will themselves become traditional. For this reason I cannot separate the two winners; they are equally deserving of first place.
JOINT FIRST PLACE
Ramesh Anand, India
the young nurse
mothers my mother
A gently beautiful haiku. The double meaning of ‘shadow’ is clear but doesn’t dominate. The mirroring of the alliteration of the first line in the last line is beautifully handled as is the interplay between ‘spring’ and the ‘young nurse’. There’s a timelessness to this haiku that really appeals to me. It would be impossible not to relate to this finely written poem.
JOINT FIRST PLACE
Richard Thomas, United Kingdom, Plymouth
silver lining —
what the storm takes
from the magpie’s fable
I’m always delighted to come across a haiku that avoids cliché. This intriguing haiku cleverly plays with Aesop yet wears its erudition lightly. Moons and dragonflies certainly have their place but they need careful handling to avoid coming over as ‘cut and pasted’. There is NOTHING ‘cut and paste’ about this haiku : it’s original and the structure works superbly.
Luminița Petrea, Romania, Botosani
between heaven and earth
a flying kigo
This haiku grew upon me with each reading. The idea of a single feather becoming something greater than itself drew me in. Whether intentional or not I also couldn’t help thinking of Banya Natsuishi’s ‘Flying Pope’ haiku. At the heart of this haiku there is a striking image of a single falling feather BUT there is also a comment on the art of a haiku’s creation: this duality adds a further layer to a fine poem.
Lisa Anne Johnson, United States of America, Ann Arbor
late winter —
a coffee ring settling
beside the coaster
A fine haiku can lift the ordinary into the realms of the extraordinary. That is certainly the case with this poem. The suggestion of things beginning to fall apart, through age and infirmity, is beautifully handled. The specificity of ‘late winter’ drew me in and the the idea of ‘leftovers’ becoming fixed held my attention. This haiku is finely crafted.
Neena Singh, India, Chandigarh
a street child colors
the unmasked sky
Vandana Parashar, India, Panchkula
not falling for you
not falling for me
Henryk Czempiel, Poland, Strzelce Opolskie
if any star falls
Vitaly Svirin, Russia, St. Petersburg
in the wind's voice
there are notes of disquiet...
the bending pines groan.
Adrian Bouter, the Netherlands, Gouda
reminds me of autumn -
Richa Sharma, India, Ghaziabad
his apology letter