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
a refugee child owns
This haiku stood out for me from the very first reading and it resonates deeply with current and historical events. A sense of hope and a new beginning permeates the scene; a childhood game of creating in the sand has a deep feeling of nurturing and strength. A refugee child feels connected and safe in owning the sandcastle, giving him or her a sense of belonging. Poetry can be a powerful tool in generating awareness of the injustices of the world. The simple image of a sandcastle has brought about this wonderful moment of ownership for something treasured and safe. I’m very pleased to award Hifsa 1st Place. May all be safe and free from harm.
we let go
With this finely crafted moment, Elisa has taken us on a journey into her dream world, to a place of deeply felt emotion. We are intrigued by what is suggested, and we can wander through her succinct seven words and find our own dreams and longings. Dreams they say are full of messages and Elisa has given us just enough to savour and explore. I’m pleased to award her 2nd Place. May we all let go when the time is right and awaken and rejoice in what we have always had.
building our lives
Lorraine has given us a moment of reflection about what we build and the changes that are always happening. Just when things seem solid they can turn to sand. 2020 has been a wake-up call to the world and hopefully we can learn and change for the better. The words link to the image and vice versa and I have always found when writing for an image there are many ways one can move and shift with the tools of comparison and association. I encourage writers to look for interesting ways to see more in an image than what is first revealed.
her sandcastles melt
into the tide
Joshua has given us a poignant look at the frailties of human relationships and the way they effect the many people around us. I’m intrigued by the use of the word melt and while water usually has that effect on sand there is also the suggestion of the poetic image of a melting heart. We wonder who the sandcastles belong to – on first reading it might be a child caught up in the separation, or perhaps the poem eludes to the feelings of the ex-lover. The castles we often build in order to protect and nurture us can also be our downfall.
at childhood home …
fireflies in the rubble
This is another powerful connection to home. There is a potential destruction here suggested by the impermanence of sandcastles; by the possibility of being swept away with the tide. I love the line fireflies in the rubble, which immediately gives a feeling of hope in the face of devastation. A childhood home holds special memories that we carry with us that may light up our lives at special times.