‘SPRING Season’ 2022 WINNERS
WITH JUDGES’ COMMENTS:
(Réka Nyitrai & Alan Peat)
1st place WINNER
crakesticks: a dialectal word for a crow’s nest; a near global phenomenon, Spring in a temperate climate; something new arising from the old.
the brush pulls tight
in her tangled hair
Alan Peat’s comments:
Both the kigo and the haiku intrigued me. The use of a dialect word (in this instance from Yorkshire, United Kingdom) as a kigo really appeals to me, allowing it to fly far beyond its original geographical location! Crakesticks works beautifully in the context of a haiku as it merges both the sound of a crow’s / rook’s nest (crake) with the look of the nest (sticks).
The final two lines create an evocative image and the alliteration is deftly handled.
Réka Nyitrai’s comments:
What I value most is the poet’s boldness in proposing a dialect word for the kigo and pairing it with an everyday image. The end result is both fresh and memorable. I also like that the poet left plenty of white space to be filled in by the reader.
Joint 2nd place RUNNER-UP
Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
KIGO: moth nap
Spring is the season of transformation; it affects night sleep by causing short/insufficient sleep which may be depicted as a “moth nap”.
drifting from dream
There’s a lilting, lullaby-like feel to this haiku which works so well. And the choice of the nocturnal moth for the kigo further adds to the whole. The idea that our dreams work in a different timescale to reality also added a touch of surreality—many dreams in a single ‘moth nap’!
The imagery of a moth nap(ping) is enigmatic. I particularly like that the poet constructs the imagery of her kigo around a moth rather than a butterfly.
Joint 2nd place RUNNER-UP
Benjamin Blasi (Switzerland)
KIGO: closing canopy
The kigo refers to the regrowth of leaves in deciduous forests in Spring when the canopies become more opaque and less light reaches the ground.
a dark butterfly is falling
through a sunfleck
There’s a universality to this kigo and it offers so many possibilities for poets. The unusual association of darkness with Summer really lifts both the kigo and the resulting haiku. What light there is in the poem is merely a ‘fleck’. This haiku will stay with me—to have found such darkness in the light was novel without in any way being gimmicky. That’s quite an achievement.
What captured me was the haiku as a whole. The riotous greenness of the closing canopy, matched with the imagery of a butterfly falling through a fleck of sunlight, offered me a memorable visual image.
Marcie Wessels (USA)
KIGO: peep-toe shoes
Spring is a season of transitions; heavy winter boots are packed away and a new wardrobe is brought out. For some, this includes peep-toe shoes. A peep-toe is a woman’s shoe with an opening in the toe box which allows the toes to show. As a kigo, peep-toe is meant to capture the way all living beings slowly emerge from a period of dormancy and embrace change with cautious hope and optimism.
the eggshell blue nail polish
of an empty nester
Footwear as a kigo—and why not? A lovely link and shift too. The choice of ‘eggshell blue’ amplified the Spring imagery and ‘empty nester’ made for a punchy closure.
Bringing a fashion item into the world of haiku and proposing it as a kigo is bold and confident! I like haiku poets who are original and dashing.
KIGO: migrating swans
Traditionally a Fall kigo in Japan, migrating swans are a symbol of Spring in the Yukon. After a long Winter, ice on the waterways begins to break up, providing resting places for swans & other birds en route to their nesting grounds further north.
whiter than snow sound migrating swans
The monoku is wonderfully handled. It made me pause and think about the sound of snow—both falling and lying snow. The synesthesia is deftly handled and the kigo really appealed—it’s interesting to consider how one country’s Autumn kigo may be another country’s Spring kigo. It’s pleasing to see a poet viewing this as an opportunity rather than a constraint. Beautifully done.
What sound is white? What sound is whiter even than snow? Does the poet refer to the thrumming sound the swan’s wings make while flying or to the deep, trumpeting “oh-OH” call of the migrating Trumpeter swans? These are the questions I pondered whilst reading this imposing and impressive monoku.
Dan Iulian (Romania)
KIGO: abyssal blue
The color of the clear Spring sky, long seen when you lie on back in the grass, having the feeling that you are floating or sinking, as in a slow fall upward, without time, in a deeper and deeper blue, in which you abandon yourself and nothing matters anymore.
on the eagle’s wings
the sky so lightweight
When one reads the word ‘abyssal’ the depths of an ocean immediately come to mind. The poet cleverly inverts this image, rendering the sky itself abyssal. The idea that something so huge might be so light also appealed to me. The kigo is ‘open’ enough to provide poets with a multitude of possibilities.
I like how the poet describes deep blue! The image of the sky resting on the eagle’s wings, lightly, easily is not only fresh, but memorable, too.
“Abyss is a pale, bright, blueberry blue with a wisteria undertone.”
Abyss – PPG Paints
Results of the first ever Kigo Competition:
The competition was created by: