I have judged the kukai for a number of years now and I’m always honoured to read and savour the many fine poems that are inspired by the images. The winner’s list is always well-considered and I’m pleased to say there are always haiku and senryu that present as special and worthy of particular attention. Thank you one and all for submitting your fine work once again. I would like to award and comment on many more if it were possible. I hope you enjoy these selections and the inspiration and commentary I have found in them.
Ron C. Moss
first attempt to stand —
The top three places in this section each have their own finely crafted connections told in different ways and it was difficult to separate them. My final choice for 1st Place is an image that is created with a light but emotional touch of a child’s first moment starting out on their own two feet. There is a most effective and fitting use of link and shift here – in the image of the lighthouse and the poet’s words. We are all on a journey of discovery and hope and the guiding lights help to make us who we are. There comes a time in own journey through life, with all its ups and downs, where hopefully we are able to guide others. I commend Michael for giving us a moment of reflection and deep appreciation. I am reminded of the saying, fall down six times, get up seven – how very true and encouraging for us all.
a toy boat
rides the waves
This is another playful haiku that brought a smile to my face and continues to give me moments of humorous reflection about my own childhood. I can think back to joyous times playing with toys of all types, sometimes the toys we made by hand felt more real and treasured. Once again I can see a message about life’s journey along with the vulnerability suggested by riding the waves in a small toy boat. That light will be there to guide the toy boat home to a safe harbour. With many lighthouses now left to run down and no longer shinning their light – I like the way Myron has made a point of saying a lighthouse light. We are guided and richer for such an evocative poem.
a sprig of mint
on my lapel
This haiku really intrigued me and I immediately saw the wonderful link and shift of opposites with the mention of blind in response to the image of light. All good haiga have these wonderful connections which make the pairing of an image and haiku resonate with each viewing. I also felt the sprig of mint would be something growing in the lighthouse keeper’s traditional herb garden, and who knows, a wooden bench might be somewhere about for lovers to sit and enjoy being together.
voyages . . .
the light we find inside
Ah yes, a fine reflection on the voyages through life and the light we find in ourselves is indeed what sustains and nurtures our very existence. All the great traditions speak of going within to truly know our source and what we truly are. Debbie has given us a great teaching beside the humble lighthouse – a beacon of hope and a saving grace for us all.
shoot out through the cracks
A lovely feeling of rebirth with the seeds making it through the cracks; perhaps a fitting moment for the arrival of the New Year in 2021. The shapes of light through the slats offer a nice contrast to the brightly lit image that was captured in full sunlight. I also enjoyed the movement in this one with the seeds shooting out through those cracks on their own journey of growth and resilience.