2019 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest

The following are the winners from the 2019 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest held at the Seattle Japanese Garden on 13 and 14 September 2019 for its annual Moon Viewing Festival. These results were also posted to the Seattle Japanese Garden Community Blog and the Seattle Japanese Garden Blog, both with photos, three of which are shown here (by SlickPix Photography).

Judged on Friday by Michelle Schaefer and Michael Dylan Welch

Judged on Saturday by Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch

In 2019, for the first time, the Seattle Japanese Garden’s annual moon viewing festival took place over two nights instead of one—on Friday, September 13, and Saturday, September 14, 2019. We received 80 entries the first night, and 96 the second night, for a total of 176 entries. The moon itself, our honoured guest, seemed content to stay hidden behind clouds. The following are our selections for both nights. On the Saturday evening, many participants wrote about a heron that perched on stones at the pond’s edge for an hour or more, sometime preening. We selected poems for their clarity, freshness, sometimes humor, and for evocatively portraying the moon, even if we couldn’t see it. First prize both nights was a garden membership and T-shirt. Second prize was a T-shirt and garden postcards, and third prize was postcards. Our congratulations to each of the winners, and to everyone who tried their hand at writing haiku, and our gratitude to the Seattle Japanese Garden for its ongoing support of haiku through these annual contests.

Friday, September 13, 2019

First Place

the harvest moon

inspires us to come out—

whether it does or not

Bill McGee

Second Place

paper lanterns glow

I’m walking with you tonight

hoping for moonlight

Tim Flowers

Third Place

mouths open—

orange and black koi

wait to swallow the moon

Meg Pearson

Honorable Mentions

(in alphabetical order by last name)

these fireflies dance

on a stage of cloudy skies

a hundred small moons

Victor Aque

wind ripples the moonlit water

I stroll in a dance

with my shadow

Barbara Blakistone

faces upturned to catch

the shining glow from the moon

disappointed by gray clouds

Stacey Giard

summer nights . . .

children playing

moon watching

Tarun Gopinath

full moon looms large and gray

above Seattle’s clouds

—I assume

Iain Heath

you on one continent

me on another

see the same moon

Zanny Milo

bright silver above—

the scent of water heavy

in the cooling air

Stephanie Morris

grey skies—

the promise of the moon

waiting to be uncovered

Paul Pietromonaco

we waited all week

to gaze upon the full moon

but alas the clouds

Laura Templeton

Saturday, September 14, 2019

First Place

the heron grooms—

he must look his best

for the harvest moon

Erica J. Thomas

Second Place

music coaxes

the moon

heron closes his eyes

Gwen Stamm

Third Place

another moon viewing

and only

cloud viewing

Joan Stamm

Honorable Mentions

(in alphabetical order by last name)

cedar and hemlock

whispering in the moon’s light

their silent secrets

David Blatner

treetops rustle gentle wind

beckoning moonbeams,

come out to play

Jeanne Boland

red moss seems fragile

friends whisper while walking near

we see our moon bright

Michelle Hanson

in autumn I mourn

the slow dimming of the light

oh moon, take over

Marilyn Layton

ripples skitter

beneath the heron’s wings

the moon hides her face

Brooke Leary

mid-autumn night—

the moonlight

flowing through my fingers

Ying Lou

why does the moon hide

behind the clouds

maybe because it’s shy

Lucy Pierson (age 7)

even the heron


the moon

Joan Stamm

tea bento and boats

watching the lonely moon sigh

making new friends

Aiswarya Vegaraju

spider eggs—

like tiny moons

clustered on the leaves

Brandon Wagner