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2010 Haiku Tanka Senryu Rengay contest results with judges' comment

2010 HPNC Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, Rengay contest results

 

Haiku:  Marco Fraticelli, Judge

 

HAIKU FIRST PLACE

 

rhubarb leaves

how they soften

the pelting rain

 

  Michael McClintock

  

HAIKU SECOND PLACE

 

zen garden

in the raked furrows

pine needles gather

 

  Garry Gay

  

HAIKU THIRD PLACE

 

pieces of sky

in the forest canopy -

summer's end

 

  Linda Galloway   

 

HAIKU HONORABLE MENTIONS

 (in ranked order):

 

the honking

of geese heading south -

our wordless smiles

 

  Linda Galloway

 

longest day

the stallion drinks

straight from the hose

 

  Melissa Spurr

 

 

a few leaves

still on the trees. . .

the train's faint call

 

  Jeanne Cook

 

 

Judge's comment:

 

It is almost mandatory for a judge to state how difficult it was to select the winning haiku, however, in my case, I can say that this was very true.

 

After six or seven readings of all the submissions, I was still left with over thirty haiku which were worthy of selection as winners.

 

Why then these final three?

 

I have always felt that the haiku that effect me the most are those that are the most difficult for me to justify.

 

Certainly, there were many haiku that were very well written, very clever, or very touching.

 

But although I appreciated these, what I admired in them was the craft of the poet, rather than the haiku itself.

 

So why choose a haiku about a small hole in the forest canopy or a few pine needles in the furrows?

 

I suppose that if you have stood listening to the sound of rain on rhubarb leaves, you will know why.

 

Congratulations to the winners! 

 

 

 

Senryu:  Ferris Gilli, Judge

 

SENRYU FIRST PLACE

 

Dead Sea Scrolls

my mother still has

my baby teeth

 

  Garry Gay

 

SENRYU SECOND PLACE

 

family chapel

my ancestors' patina

on the seats

 

  Ernest Berry

 

SENRYU THIRD PLACE

 

cyber problem

i borrow my neighbour's

9-year-old

 

  Ernest Berry

 

SENRYU HONORABLE MENTIONS

(no ranked order)

 

after the funeral

                 we get into

our comfortable clothes

 

  Francine Banwarth

 

men's retreat--

toilet seats left

down

 

  Bruce Feingold

 

secular guest -

thankful no one feels the need

to say grace

 

  Seren Fargo

 

 

transit lounge

the toppled suitcase

left that way

 

  John Stevenson

 

funeral day

family feuds

not laid to rest

 

  Carolyn Hall

 

autumn leaves . . .

learning

I'm dispensable

 

  Francine Banwarth

 

Judge's Comment

This was one of the hardest competitions I've ever judged, because of the large number of outstanding entries.  After finding my first short list of twenty, then my next one of nine (no easy task!), I was still compelled to go through the whole batch again and again, so afraid I'd miss something special.  It was especially difficult choosing the First Place poem, because the top three are so close in quality and appeal. I feel

confident that readers will find"Dead Sea Scrolls" accessible, evocative, and appealing on several levels, as I do.  "family chapel" is current, yet with the feel of history while containing subtle insights.  And "cyber problem" is such a

delightful sign of the times.  Each honorable-mention poem has special

appeal, and I could easily add ten more to the list.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to closely study so many crackerjack senryu.  My congratulations to the winners, and a bow to all who submitted entries.

 

 

 

 

Tanka:  John Stevenson, Judge

 

TANKA FIRST PLACE

 

unbuttoning

a cuff

loosening

a sleeve

the cool evening

 

  Michael McClintock

 

The simplicity of the words perfectly reflects the small moment of release at the end of a day in which the formality of buttoned cuffs is giving way to evening. This is the product of effective craftsmanship. The “uh, uh, uh” of “unbuttoning a cuff” works with the “oo” of “loose” and “cool” and the partial rhyme of “sleeve” and “evening” without seeming the least bit forced. And the line structure supports a sense of slowing down, looking around, and focusing: action / upon a thing / other action / upon another thing / taking in one’s surroundings. The image is sensual in various ways, depending upon whether we imagine loosening our own clothing or having it done for us by someone else.

 

 

TANKA SECOND PLACE

 

we hear grunion

outside the cottage at night

swarming the beach -

little abominations

perishing in moonlight

 

 Michael McClintock

 

A very good set up. And a smashing finish!

 

TANKA THIRD PLACE

 

dense fog

covers the highway

this morning -

so hard to tell

when I cross the line

 

  John Soules

 

While the metaphor tends to be more prominent than the literal in this poem, I can attest to the resonance of the literal experience. At one time my commuting route included a place where the fog was sometimes so thick that I had to open the window and look down at the lines on the road in order to avoid crossing to the wrong side of the road or driving into a ditch. The tension of this dangerous experience, fed back into the metaphor, reveals its full potency.

 

 

TANKA HONORABLE MENTIONS

(no ranked order)

 

I’m re-invented

with two heads and three mouths

by my Cubist friend

who explains how my eyes

became a school of fish

 

  Michael McClintock

 

sitting out

the tractor square dance

at the fair

a green John Deere

with two left tires

 

  John Soules

 

what to do

with this body now

you are gone . . .

a glove puppet left

on the airport shuttle

 

  Andre Surridge

 

 

Rengay:  Paul Watsky, Judge

First Place

Cherie Hunter Day (Cupertino, CA)

Christopher Patchel (Mettawa, IL)

 

Pulse

 

reunion

the smell of new clothes

in a hug                                               Cherie 

 

ladies choice

her cha-cha hips                           Christopher

 

sharing an umbrella

our steps

in and out of sync                               Cherie

 

third attempt

by the chiropractor

gets a crack                                  Christopher

 

the eye roll

as security frisks her                            Cherie

 

a seatmate’s baby

cradled in my arms…

his pulsing fontanel                     Christopher

 

 

Second Place: 

 

John Thompson (Santa Rosa, CA)

Renée Owen (Sebastopol, CA)

 

Hits of Blue

 

a moment’s coupling

above the marsh reeds

blue dragonflies                                  John

 

in the half-light of dawn

a kingfisher flashes past                      Renée 

 

skinny dippers—

their rumpled jeans

on the opposite shore                          John

 

a peacock preens

for his reflection

still summer pond                                Renée 

 

a hand-tied fly

the pale tint of grandma’s hair            John

 

bluegills sizzle—

a gibbous moon rises

through the pines                                 Renée 

 

 

Third Place:

Michael Dylan Welch (Sammamish, WA)

Billie Dee (San Diego, CA)

Tanya McDonald  (Woodinville,  WA)

Swapping Shells

 

shell gathering—

our toes sinking

down to the wet                                 Michael

 

abandoned camper shell

columbine in the shadows          Billie

 

sea glass—

she caresses

the shell of his ear                   Tanya

 

the idle hooker

reading Shelley               Michael

 

by moonlight

a hermit crab

swapping shells                       Billie   

 

the band shell darkened

he gives my hand a squeeze      

                                       Tanya

 

Honorable Mention:

John Thompson (Santa Rosa, CA)

Garry Gay (Windsor, CA)

Bottoms Up

 

beach house

a stack of whodunits

read final page first                 John

 

high in the sky

the kite in the puddle              Garry  

 

head stand

the yoga class filled

with wavering feet                  John

 

upside down pail

sand castle crumbles

into the moat                           Garry

 

 

overturned crab

treads only air                         John

 

shaking out

the last drop of soda

summer sun                             Garry  

 

Judge’s Comment

 

The dynamic First Place rengay well exemplifies the potential of this form.  "Pulse" is wonderfully cohesive, especially thanks to how well the verse rhythm supports the poem's theme. The images vividly evoke physicality—living bodies in motion and in uncomfortably endured stasis. "Pulse's" diction is lively and economical: no slack links, awkwardness, or wasted words.  

"Hints of Blue," the Second Place poem, tells its tale of a fishing trip with grace and inventiveness, consistently but unobtrusively presenting the thematic color. The reader's eye is effectively led from image to image—no chaos in the motion, but rather a fine sense of fullness and variety. 

Third Place goes to "Swapping Shells," a showcase of alliteration, rich as well with tactile, auditory, and visual effects.

 

 
 
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