a single red blossom
on the blackened branch
There is no doubt that the weather is changing and that there is a climate emergency upon us. In Australia the records keep being broken, records of storms, high temperatures, low rainfall, and continuous drought, all of which have beset our beautiful country. I chose this photograph, which I captured on a recent deployment in Queensland fighting the bushfires with other Tasmanian crews, to use for the seasonal image for the Kukai. The fire was out of control and burning over the surrounding mountains. I was looking for haiku that worked with the power of the image to bring us an emotional connection. Louise has captured very well the danger of the scene, but she has also expressed an overwhelming feeling of hope. Things have their time and place, but there will be rebirth. A lot to pack into a one-breath three line haiku, but I think it has been achieved very well indeed and so I would like to award it a worthy first place.
pale sun sinks
This haiku captures the image in a dangerous but beautiful landscape of colour and movement. Susan has richly evoked the power of a firestorm and a pale sun obscured by smoke and fire. Here we have the best of simple language and uncluttered telling of a scene with a minimum of words, which still evokes a feeling of heaven and earth and a connection to all things. Sinking into ashes perfectly conveys this moment and takes us on a journey into the great, timeless story that is birth, death and renewal.
the many shades
Here we have a powerful comparison between blazing sun and the emotion of anger. We can only guess what the poet’s anger might be, but we can insert our own feeling of what makes us blaze and feel those shades of red. I think this haiku works on many levels and I’m personally left with a feeling that the earth and its many environments are demanding our attention before it’s too late.
solstice night –
Many can attest to the feelings that this haiku evokes. Whether it’s an approaching fire close to home and family, or emergency service personal on the standby and trying to get some well-earned rest. Threats of this nature can be overwhelming and Isabel has captured the emotions well with the impending doom of the image. The shortest night approaches with the setting sun and for many living beings it could be their final one as fire ravages the land.
tree to tree
There is a silence that comes before the fire-front and then things descend into a frightening freight train of noise and embers before the blast of the fire-front hits. Quendryth gives us a lovely association with the mention of birds and then embers flying. I have often seen swifts diving in and out of the approaching smoke, feeding on all the insects in the air that are making a hasty retreat. All things have their time and purpose and nature makes the best of all situations when it can.