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Haiku 1, January 2011

Haiku Selection


There was such a vast amount of submissions of haiku this time that I could not have any quiet time during Christmas festivities and the New Year celebrations as the difficult selection job kept me busy 24-7. Two kinds of reward I got though. One is that it alleviated my suffering and trauma of having, at Christmas of all times, my bathroom and kitchen-diner flooded during my absence. The other is that it made me thrilled to greet so many “new faces” to join my old friends in enjoying haiku together in the WHR forum.


Some people are asking what on earth is Shintai haiku, or Vanguard haiku. The classification is just like the titles of a filing cabinet in order to avoid unnecessary polemics about what is and what is not haiku. There are now so many different varieties of haiku that defining haiku seems to me to be almost like fighting a losing and pointless battle. So much so that we had better say that “Haiku is haiku if the author says so.” All the rest is only one real and essential question: Is it then a good poem?


All haiku poems can conveniently be divided into three categories according to how traditional or radical they are. The most traditional end is grouped together under the Neo-classical with stringent kigo or 5-7-5 rules. The most radical (freest) end is classified as the Vanguard. Anything between these two falls into the Shintai (or new-style). The borderline cases can go either category depending on the perception of a haiku poet who creates or reads them. And whichever category they may go, it does not matter.



Neo-Classical Haiku


First Place


        year end

        thinking of what ifs

        and what might have beens 

Victor P. Gendrano


Second Place


        crickets can't see stars
        and stars can't hear crickets
        that's why there's us

William Hart


Third Place


        heavy snow

        each step to your door

        a little higher


André Surridge 

Seven Honourable Mentions 
(In no particular order)


    chilly morning

    she grabs me back to bed

    a little longer

Victor P. Gendrano



    the pruned oak
    looks like I feel
    after a haircut

William Hart



    chained dog

    chases the bee

    with its eyes


Snehith Kumbla


     Zatsuei, or Haiku of Merit 

another snow

another chance to change 

the subject


Melissa Allen


first snow

I no longer have a child

to measure its depth


Melissa Allen


finding my way

at night --

fireworks display

Angelo B. Ancheta


mud cracks –

in random patterns

bull ants scatter


Alexander Ask


frosty breath

I can almost hear

the icicles


Don Baird


the scarecrow watches

north, south, east and west …

all at once!


Don Baird



no more roses

but the scent of jasmine

at my door


Don Baird


working its way across

each spider thread...

winter sun


Alan S. Bridges


sunflower seeds

radiate from the feeder--



Alan S. Bridges


monsoon floodwaters  

everything rushes downstream  

except the snake

Belinda Broughton


atop the chair  

an inchworm waves  

clear sky

Belinda Broughton



in the windrows  

whitening grass

Belinda Broughton



summer heat

the ratcheting

of cicadas


Raffael de Gruttola


November rain

under the street lamp



Kai Falkman


Whirls of snow

lift from the ground

ahead of the helicopter


Kai Falkman



the drying-line shelters

a housefly


Nana Fredua-Agyeman



following a falling leaf

into darkness


Nana Fredua-Agyeman



birds chirping

amidst the cherry blossoms

christening day

Claire Gardien


in the glaring snow

the brook’s

crystal clear murmur

Claire Gardien


Christmas program

the deaf children sing

in sign language

Victor P. Gendrano


Red Cardinal sits

Like a Christmas ornament

On green tree background


Deborah Green


above the fog

an airplane's steady hum

December chill

Peggy Heinrich


full moon

the new baby 

at her breast     


Peggy Heinrich


New Year's Eve 

only the half moon

for company

Peggy Heinrich


Such a windy night

my mother calls for her shawl

our summer, now gone.

Anne Hills



Faraway branches

scratching the pale winter sky

itching for the spring.

Anne Hills



breach in the canopy

a red-headed woodpecker

peers from a hole


Elizabeth Howard


stepping out

of a snowdrift

minus one shoe


Hans Jongman


moon viewing -

    even through bare branches, is

    moon viewing


vishnu p kapoor 



     sparrow tracks

         winter’s new


john martone


    a candy wrapper
    joins the leaf pile
    autumn dusk

John Stevenson



    the wind-chime

    muffled with frost


André Surridge


    long drought season

    a boy opens his mouth

    for sudden rain


John Zheng


(In no particular order)

slippery snow

we grab at

each other


Snehith Kumbla 


in the woods

a christmas wreath

turns brown


Joseph M. Kusmiss


on a winter hike

trailing behind unnoticed -

everyone’s shadow


Priscilla Lignori 


a crow stands alone 

in a large snow-covered field 

staring at his feet


Priscilla Lignori 


hush descends --

snow cloud slips from a

pine tree branch


CaroleAnn Lovin


up she pops

same old moon

fat as a melon

Sean MacMathuna


May dawn

sudden snow

will the gossamers hold?

Sean MacMathuna


day moon

faint scent

of snap beans

Thomas Martin


late summer

sliced apples dry

on the barn roof

Thomas Martin


veranda view

the hill blanketed

with blossoms

Gautam Nadkarni


sultry noon

the watermelon juice

in paper cups

Gautam Nadkarni


plucking flowers—

the garden shifts

to my basket

P K Padhy

roof top

the moon drains 

to my eyes

P K Padhy


early morning

birds fly with


P K Padhy


dark shadows

signal the way home

fallow fields


Andy Pomphrey



98th birthday –

she asks for red jelly

not green dessert


Pat Prime


Anzac Day

poppies throw shadows

on the cenotaph


Pat Prime


frosty weather

all summer’s warmth

stored in the hay


Pat Prime 


winter evening-

my eyes follow

the birds homewards


Geethanjali Rajan


beneath the winter snow

dreams of spring



G R Parimala Rao


a crow waits

until I pass the tree

cold morning

Bruce Ross


further in the woods

they become even brighter

winter birch


Bruce Ross



Winter's soft brush

paints a white fairy-tale

just for today

Riitta Rossilahti



winter morning —

air that moves through my breath

moves through the tree


Nirali Shah


dawn --

      in the echo of temple bells

      rabbits spring

Marie Shimane


In a tea room

overlooking a winter lake

69 tomorrow


Marie Shimane



first snow—

the boys’ footprints

all over the playground


John Zheng


Moon and Jupiter

high in the starry heaven

freeze warning down here

Howard Lee Kilby