First Place: Carl Seguiban, Canada
she asks which one’s
This is a melancholy invocation of death, with the “she” seeming to be a young girl. The poem is immediate and provides clear seasonal and experiential imagery.
a kite soars
the length of its string
The kite string is compared visually to the morphine tube—both of which can symbolize hope. I imagine someone undergoing treatment in a hospital seeing the kite outside the window, and feeling lifted in a similar way.
the shapes we leave
on a grass patch
Mere shadows become symbols for the entire universe. We leave indents not only on the grass where we might have been lying down to watch the clouds, but we leave impressions on life itself by the “shadows” we cast as well.
down her bosom’s wetness
Does the balance of the solstice suggest a rightness to the mystery of the bosom’s wetness?
drifting with the tide
my numbered days
The insignificance of a paper boat is equated to one’s own seemingly insignificant life. The poem seems to project futility, but somehow balances this thought with contentment.
Second Place: Tracy Davidson, United Kingdom
my son playing the strings
of his kite
The metaphor of the melody finds its expression in the kite strings. It’s rare for overt metaphor to work well in haiku, but I feel it works successfully here because the poem can be read in a non-metaphorical way, too, where the kite string is not being played “musically.”
among the pines
I answer the call
A pleasing and simple interaction with nature.
a newborn lamb bleats
nuzzles the silent one
A scene of pathos that is easily applicable to human situations as well.
I am no longer alone
with my shadow
Is this a poem of fear or safety? The ambiguity gives us something to ponder.
Third Place: Andrea Cecon, Italy
Inhibitions and masquerades are surely melting also.
the smell of rain
Highly sensory (touch and smell). Not only is the smell disappearing, but surely the pebbles are drying off also.
and not a stick to throw
for my dog
One can feel the dog’s energy, and the owner’s disappointment at not being able to play.
Fourth Place: Julie Warther, United States
on moss-covered stone
his gentle words
The internal comparison between gentle words (about what?) finds resonance with the moss softening the rain on the stones.
tuning its song
to the sound of stars . . .
The small and large find connection in song.
Fifth Place: Marion Clarke, United Kingdom
construction workers stop
to watch the sunrise
It must be quite the sunrise! Or perhaps it’s just ordinary, but the workers still appreciate it, and so can we on reading this poem.
summer job . . .
in a French lavender field
I can also hear the humming of bees, but what matters is the contentment of good work in a pleasing location.
Sixth Place: Patrick Druart, France
New Year’s day
helping my drunk shadow
to find its key
One can imagine the moonlight on the drunk’s door after a night of New Year revelry.
drizzle on the beach—
in the painter’s beard
a bit of blue sky
The drizzle of rain finds an echo in the fleck of paint in the painter’s beard. Perhaps the rain is keeping the painter from his work—not as a fine-art painter, but as painter of walls or houses.
Seventh Place: Sandra Simpson, New Zealand
each beach pebble
with its own lightning
The drama of lightning is made tiny and particular by its effect on beach pebbles. Freshly seen.
my mother’s pallbearers
all tall men—
rain just when we need it
The rain seems to appear when a funeral is at its saddest. We are left to wonder what this has to do with tall men.
Archana Kapoor Nagpal, India
from one window to another
Melancholy loneliness pervades this poem. Surely the person in the portrait has died, leaving a loved one behind.
Salil Chaturvedi, India
sweeping leaves outside the hut
the mother leaves some
for her little daughter
The things parents do to engage their children!
Judit Hollos, Hungary
a sparrow’s footprints
in spilled cherry juice—
The stitchwork has failed because of the distracting sparrow. Something else also caused the spilled juice—what caused that failure?