WHR March 2019‎ > ‎

The R H Blyth Award

    WHR March 2019


THE  R. H.  Blyth  Award 2019  (Haiku)

Susumu Takiguchi announcing the Award at the World Haiku Utsav 

The Award winner was first announced on 3 February 2019 at TRIVENI World Haiku Utsav 2019, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India, 1-3 February 2019. Here, in the March 2019 issue of the WHR we wish to show the rest of the result, together with the text of the winner’s announcement. The way the selected haiku poems are shown partly follows the usual practice of the WHR but it is also partly dictated by the selection procedure of the Award.

 

*      *      *      *      *

 

The World Haiku Club is pleased to announce 

that the winner of The R. H. Blyth Award 2019  (Haiku), 

who will recieve GBP 300 minus money transfer fees, 

is as follows:


THE R. H. Blyth Award 2019 (Haiku) Winner 

 

 

                            fallen leaves
                            the lost time
                            of another life

                
            Eufemia Griffo,
            Italy

 

 

TRIVENI World Haiku Utsav 2019,  Savitribai Phule Pune University,

Pune, India, 1-3 February 2019

 

COMMENTS by Susumu Takiguchi

 

Many of the good entries for this year’s R. H. Blyth Award (Haiku) have demonstrated rather dark and anxious themes. It may perhaps be a reflection of the dark and anxious time we live in today. However, at any time in our history we have always had wars, illnesses, old age problems, massacres and existentialist anxieties. If we could ask people long dead in the medieval time or in the 19th century or whenever it was, they could have answered, “Well, to be honest our situation is much worse than yours. You are absolutely lucky.”

And it is a good thing that more than a handful of haiku poets are honest and brave enough to deal with these difficult subjects. This is one of the conspicuous characteristics of the R. H. Blyth Award this year. We had an enormous number of submissions from across the world and the selection job proved to be three times or four times as big as usual.

Some of them even enquire, deep inside us, into our inability to cope with these formidable challenges. Their haiku are therefore about our perplexity, self-doubt, resignation, loss of identity, direction or hope, disillusionment and despair. The Award-winning haiku has come out as the finest example of honest haiku by those facing up to this human frailty.

In only eight plain words, it reaches a universal truth, depicts an inconvenient fact with detachment and creates a resigned observation of the seemingly unending cycle of life and death and the human predicament of being at the mercy of it.

The layers of fallen leaves hide many realities as they decay and die. They may be completely ignored or forgotten until, that is, next time leaves fall again. Our lives follow the same natural pattern. And death hides all the vicissitudes of each of our lives. Its long, long story now looks but a momentary memory of our time lost. We are all therefore condemned to repeat the same search in perpetuity as in À la recherche du temps perdu.

The author is an Italian writer, poet, teacher and haijin, living in Milano.



THE R. H. Blyth Award 2019 (Haiku)

TWO  RUNNERS  UP

 

        
        the nursing home 

        she greets the stranger
        she gave birth to



Mary Alves Sella
United States

(About this haiku, see the Editor’s Choice of the present issue)

 

 

            fading contrails

            a line of refugees
            turned back from the border


Jay Friedenberg
United States

 

A brief comment by Susumu Takiguchi: A powerful haiku on an inconvenient truth which has become horrendously common across the world. And how timely and topical it is! The embodiment of haiku capable of dealing with serious questions of our contemporary time. And yet, apart from the contrails, it has also been the same old problem for us humans from the time immemorial. Thus, it is a universal truth in time and space. Let us therefore not call it the Mexican border, or Syria. It is a human and universal tragedy. The images of L1 and L2 present an exemplary toriawase of exquisite nuances and subtleties, rarely seen among shallow and meaningless juxtapositions around.

 

 

 

SEVEN HONORABLE MENTIONS   

(In no particular order)

 

 

        first frost

        a drop of whisky

        in father’s tea


 

Rachel Sutcliffe

England


 

        a row of backbones

        facing a row of clouds —

        rice planting song


 

Indra Neil Mekala

India

 


        the dervish’s dance…
        spring wind swirls
        in each whirl


Ali Znaidi
Tunisia



        storm shadows
        souls of the pogrom
        forgotten by humankind


Marilyn Humbert
Australia

  

 

        the emptiness
        after my hysterectomy
        pumpkin carving


Christina Sng
Singapore

 

 

        river eddy ...

        what is it

        that I've lost


 

Sanjuktaa Asopa

India

 


        distant starlight
        the way we cling
        to illusion


Jay Friedenberg
United States

 


THE REST OF THE SHORT-LISTED HAIKU 

   (In no particular order)


As there were so many good haiku in the short list from which the best ten were selected, it has been decided that the rest should also be shown.


 

        abandoned station 

        a fragrance of thyme at every step

        to nowhere



Annie Chassing

France

 


        without leaves

        the ginkgo even thinner

        her chemo treatment


 

Gregory Longenecker

USA

 


        bedtime story...

        she asks me to be louder

        for the stars


 

Akila Gopalakrishnan

India

 


        care home 
        she deadheads 
        spent roses 


Ernest Wit
Poland


        the potter

        shaping

        the sense of things


 

Mary Stevens

USA 

 

 

        losing my way. . .
        raindrops find the part
        in my hair


Carole MacRury
USA

 


        flying kites...

        untangling the knots

        of my mind


 

Lakshmi Iyer

India

 


        our unsaid goodbyes 

        cormorant picks over 

        what the tide left  



Hélène Duc
France

 

 

        heat wave –

        melting asphalt

        reshaping a shoe print



Adjei Agyei-Baah 
Ghana/New Zealand 

        


        too early
        for cherry blossoms
        this tiny white coffin

Maxianne Berger
Canada



        snowflakes...

        how soft the sound

        of falling night

 


Gautam Nadkarni,

India

 


        funeral’s end

        with each step measuring

        the depth of silence 

 

 

Hélène Duc

France

 

        war memories -
        father's arthritic hands
        collect the olives


Goran Gatalica
Croatia

 


        winter chill...

        on the zip of

        the sleeping bag


 

K. Ramesh

India


        mountainside—

        the rugged ride

        of eagle's shadow


Adjei Agyei-Baah 
Ghana/New Zealand 



        only heavy rain
        drumming the skylight
        Armistice Day


Maxianne Berger
Canada



        cut branches
        the body remembers
        all its past trauma


Christina Sng
Singapore

 

 

        palmistry...

        on the curve of my life line

        so many deadlines

 

 

Zinovy Vayman

 

 

ZATSUEI, haiku of merit   

(In no particular order)

 

        egg moon

        ellipses of geese

        penetrate it


 

J. Brian Robertson

Canada

 


        hushed evening

        spent

        with owls

 

Roberta Beach Jacobson
USA


 

        a crescent moon
        tugs at the Pacific tides ...
        tangled thoughts of leaving


Chen-Ou Liu
Canada


 

        the sky's clear 

        enough to spot Polaris . . .

        New Year begins 

 

 

Barnabas Adeleke

Nigeria 

 

 

        autumn crocus

        mother’s memories

        from before she was a mother


 

Debbi Antebi 

United Kingdom

 

 

 

        breaking in

        the pointed shoes

        spring thaw


 


Debbi Antebi 

United Kingdom

 



        doc says

        the labour has started ...

        half-open tulip


 

Sanjuktaa Asopa

India


 

        hummingbird

        mistaking my ear

        for a petunia

 

  

Joan Barrett

USA


 

        at the wake
        your hammock weighed down
        by dogs



Danny Blackwell

UK Citizen, resident in Valencia, Spain

 


        too young

        to look so old —

        grey temples 


 

Julie Bloss Kelsey

USA

 


        cicada shell

        clinging to the wall...

        its soul


 

Ed Bremson 
USA


 

        old school

        a collared dove

        pounds the frost

 

 

Helen Buckingham

UK

 


        quarter moon
        waves fold
        water


Owen Bullock,
New Zealand


        winter chill
        the domino effect
        of dog barks


Claire Vogel Camargo
USA



        harvest over . . .
        the farmer bends his head
        in prayer


Kanchan Chatterjee

India.

 

 

        night drive

        silvered arms of trees

        and Chopin


 

Marta Chocilowska

Poland



        ladybirds swarming 

        into the concrete bunker...

        war headlines


 

Cezar Ciobîcă

Romania

 


        sable door mat
        watches me with one eye
        and a languid stretch


Ben Clarkson
New Zealand



        Desert street -

        stuck in a gridlock

        of memories


 

Vassileios Comporozos

Greece

 


        encounter 

        despite the winter 

        a butterfly 


 

Maria Concetta Conti

Italy



        a garden with no children 
        dandelions 
        unblown 


Guido Cupani

Italy


 

        family dance

        around the young cherry tree

        its first blossom

 

 

Henryk Czempiel

Poland


 

        mushroom gathering 

        saving the biggest ones 

        for the soup kitchen 

 

 

Tracy Davidson

United Kingdom 

 

 

        frozen river

        the ducks as usual

        but on foot

 

 

Marie Derley

Ath-city, Belgium

 


        waterfall 
        the cloud teaches him to fly 
        the river - to sing

 


Maria Dermendzhieva 
Bulgaria 

 

        moor -
        heather in bloom
        lost in the fog


Rosa Maria Di Salvatore
Italy


 

        neighbour’s wedding

        the singing crickets

        in my backyard

 

  

Gurpreet Dutt  

India

  

 

     
        their new aroma
        wafting through crisp wrinkled sheets
        making scents of love


Victor Fleming
United States of America

 

 

        summer road trip

        my father's ashes

        in the wind


 

Joseph Fulkerson 

Kentucky, USA 


 

        empty square

        a mobile phone is ringing

        from a litter bin

 

 

Zelyko Funda

Croatia



        grazing cows . . .

        the wind chases sleepy spring

        across the meadow

 

 

Ivan Gaćina

Croatia

 


        withered apples
        on snowy branches ...
        hospice garden


Lucia Cardillo - Rodi Garganico
Italia

 

 

        thaw drip

        a little girl jumps

        imaginary rope



Nikolay Grankin.
Russia

 


        night anemones

        the rhythms

        of tide and moon


 

Simon Hanson

Australia

 


        rainy hike

        loving words turn

        to hail



Mariela Coromoto Hernandez

The Netherlands

 



        cherry blossom rain -
        his vocabulary
        so poor


Dan Iulian
Romania



        post box...

        empty sound

        of her love letters

 


Lakshmi Iyer

India

 


        peace
        what else is there
        that I need?


Damir Janjalija
Montenegro

 


        Night train

        last race

        to the dark unknown


 

Padmini Krishnan

Singapore

 

 

        new year

        without fireworks –

        only full moon


 

Capotă Daniela Lăcrămioara

Roumanie


 

        celestial vault

        mom's still knitting

        up there 

 

Hervé Le Gall

France


 

        pier fishing—
        he eats the bait
        for dinner


Michael H. Lester
USA


        paper thin—
        the skin on grandma's arm
        numbered, like her days


Michael H. Lester
USA


 

        obedient only  

        to herself: morning glory 

        defies the evening 


 

Priscilla H. Lignori 

United States 

 

 


        scattered blossoms

        sparrows reclaim the schoolyard

        after recess



Gregory Longenecker

USA

 


        I forgive you
        poor mosquito . . .
        I’m hungry too


Carole MacRury
USA


        things that come

        things that go

        lacewing


 

Marietta McGregor

Australia

 


        Arriving hungry –
        May this smell of coffee
        be from my home!


 

Franklin Magalhães

Brazil


 

        spider web—

        between wars

        rumours of war

 


Martha Magenta

United Kingdom

 


        sea of silence

        my voice sailing

        to a distant shore

 


Kumarendra Mallick
India

 


        clear water . . .
        floating petals followed
        by their shadows


Tomislav Maretic

 


        nightfall curfew

        the old man walks

        his dog


 

Anna Maris

Sweden  

 


        longest day…

        bait fish in a bucket

        dance in the sun


 

Scott Mason

USA

 


        strong breeze 

        the bulging branches 

        of cart puller’s veins


 

Indra Neil Mekala

India


 

        June breeze
        I sign for a package
        with my finger


Paul Miller
United States

 


        lunar eclipse -

        the girl puts on

        her first foundation

 

 

Radka Mindova

Bulgaria

 

 

        plucked dandelions

        still longing for the longing

        in her eyes


 

Gautam Nadkarni,

India

 


        Sweet pea...
        not willing to move
        the snail or I


Ashish Narain
The Philippines


        washing plates

        with her tears...

        girl of ten

 

 

Shreya Narang

India


 

 

        A moment, the sea

        takes the shape of your body,

        carrying it off-shore



Ecaterina Neagoe
Romania

 


        autumn wildfire
        a couple read their names
        among the missing


Anthony Obaro
Nigeria 



        weak bladder
        traffic jam makes my
        forehead sweat


Franjo Ordanić
Croatia

 

 

        home baked cookies

        how does mom know how much

        love to add


 

Vandana Parashar 

India 

 

        first blossoms

        stronger than sight

        the sound of bees


 

Dejan Pavlinovic

Croatia

 

 

        offshore breeze
        I lick my lips
        to taste the sea


Jacquie Pearce
Canada


        splashed!
        my toes in the pond
        a frog jumps in

 


Carol Raisfeld

USA

 


        graying sky, a

        sudden chill as the moon

        blots out the sun

 

 

Sondra Rosenberg

U.S.A.

 

 

        mid-winter . . .

        sunlight brings out the grain

        on the old headstones

 

 

Bruce Ross

USA


 

        yesterday’s funeral

        the lingering scent

        of mother’s lilies 


 


Cynthia Rowe

Sydney, Australia

 

 


        cheese-maker in tears -
        his sheep ate
        the pine boletes


Djurdja Vukelic Rozic
Croatia

 


        Power cut -

        darkness connecting

        man to the moon


 

Raju Samal

India

 

 

        bitter rain stops

        my father fixing the roof 

        for another war 


 

Ernesto P. Santiago

Greece


        first handful of dirt

        cemetery mockingbirds

        keening heavenward


 

Agnes Eva Savich

USA

 


        anniversary

        a postcard addressed

        to somebody else


 

Vessislava Savova

Bulgaria

 


        single file
        I follow my shadow home
        winter sunset


Mary Alves Sella
United States


 

        Alzheimer's-

        Granny again counts 

        the floor tiles

 

 

Diksha Sharma

India

 


       spring accessories

        purple and yellow crocus

        on a grassy bank


 

Adelaide B. Shaw

USA

 


        on the horizon

        an eagle appears to be

        saluting the sun


 

Stuart Jay Silverman

U.S.A.,


 

        The midnight hour…
        last year’s resolutions
        recycled

 

Keith A. Simmonds 
France

 

     

        Persian garden – 
        every avenue lined
        with bitter oranges

 


Sandra Simpson
New Zealand


        sudden rain - 
        street umbrella 
        a bestseller


 

Tomislav Sjekloća

Montenegro



        cold rain
        unpicked apple tree
        hung naked


Dimitrij Škrk
Slovenia
(Translated by Đ.V.Rožić)



        northern lights

        the blur of scarves

        as skaters pass


 

Debbie Strange

Canada  

 


        behind a curtain

        of falling snow

        village cenotaph


 

Rachel Sutcliffe

England




        Storm


        In the wind’s voice
        There are notes of disquiet…
        The bending pines groan.


Vitaly Svirin
Russia


 

        heavy snowflakes

        each word of the refugee

        melting something


 

Eduard Tara

Romania


 

        wrapped in fog

        the whisper of owl's wings

        above my head

 

 

Barbara Tate

USA

 


        frosty morning...
        your warm breath
        tickles my lips


Diana Teneva
Bulgaria



        raven at dusk
        speaks a language
        i can understand



Stephen Toft 
United Kingdom



        clothesline :
        a rogue wind arm-twists
        my blouses


Vidya S Venkatramani                 
India

 

 

        The Moon

 

        Silent in the sky 
        The silver coin
        Buyer of dreams

 

 

Felice Vinci
Italy


        such weakness!
        I rest my head on the table…
        thin dust


Anita Virgil
USA

 

 

        winter evening

        just the right amount

        of tea leaves


 

Pragya Vishnoi

India

 


        first kiss
        in the meadow of daffodils…
        no one to count Lyrids



Steliana Cristina Voicu
Romania

 

        mellow rich sunset
        burnishes pylon cables
        alight with starlings




Michele Waering
United Kingdom




        Midwestern farmer
        takes handful of rich soil
        honor, sweat and debt.



Jason Scott Wallace
Canada


 

        helter skelter

        down the wheelchair ramp

        green acorns


 

 

Julie Warther

United States


 


        blizzard clouds swallow
        the wolf moon – dreams rise to
        a squirrel’s nest


Tyson West
USA


        last to leave
        the garden of Eden
        falling leaves


Ernest Wit
Poland

  


        early morning hike
        the forest path well hidden
        beneath knee deep mist

 

David Wood

USA



        the taste 

        of late summer fruit …

        grabbing what's left

 

 

Beata Wrzal

U.K. 

 


        drought …

        sharing the waterhole

        predators and their prey

 

Beata Wrzal

U.K. 

 

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