We Have a Haiku Monday Winner!


ho hum. another gorgeous vista from NorCal

Hello, all you fabulous poets,
The question is not -- to judge or not to judge, but rather how to judge.  I am both honored and humbled by this daunting task that was set before me.  I've done my best and enjoyed every minute spent with your wonderful haiku poems. What unique talents you have.  Even though you all addressed the same subject, your creative efforts led you in diverse directions.  That's the beauty of the beast.  Each haiku is special. Thanks for all the new things I learned.  What an inspiration you have been to me.  You have my love and appreciation. Keep writing.  I'll be reading and may join you and write myself from time to time.  One day we should try an exercise in Cinquain.  That would be fun. I invite your comments and will welcome your insight.  Please contact me at: allegro_88@comcast.net.
Here we go, my dear poets.

A boy or a girl?
December's choice warms or cools.
Real Climactic Change.
Once I realized the boy and girl were El Nino and La Nina (duh!), our famous California winds, this made great sense.  Well written.  Contains the traditional seasonal reference.

Corp of Discovery
Courageous Captain:
"Ocean in view. O! The Joy!"
Wet winter awaits.
Best classical haiku and traditional use of kigo and kireji.  Exuberant exclamatory kireji cuts this clever haiku, leaving us to wonder which ocean, where is he headed.  This immediately called to mind "Master and Commander."  We hope he is somewhere in the southern hemisphere for this winter journey.

High translucent crest,
roaring into the shoreline
Cowabunga dude!
Having surfed (or tried to) at Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, CA in the sixties, I can definitely relate.  Exciting image of catching that perfect wave.  Because this great verbal exclamatory kireji is at the end, we feel a heightened sense of closure; he rode that wave all the way.  Cowabunga! 

Riotous colors
expressed b'neath half moon light,
Cowabunga blooms!
Seasonal implication.  "Riotous colors" vibrantly fills the imagination.  Once again, an exciting kireji that expresses a bursting forth.  Nice visual imagery.

Chickory photos:
Hydrangea envy,
Pacific pinks for your Mom!
Mine look like bruises.
Evoked similar feelings of my own black thumb.  Best friend's perfectly Pacific pink flowers put mine to shame.  This haiku paints a perfect picture, both visually and emotionally.  Love it!  Made me laugh.

Golden Mountain
Land of Golden Dreams
lures with shimmer, and betrays.
Mirage, far from home.
Title calls to mind something glorious.  But we are in for a surprise.  This haiku runs the gamut of emotions -- hope, disappointment, even despair.  Excellent use of imagery in describing our fair California.  Having lived here off and on for years, I can relate to her siren song and abrupt betrayal.  This kireji slams us to the mat.  We feel the deceit and question our choices.

Hawaiian Honeymoon
palm fronds and flowers
blushing limbs and seaspray tang
lava buries us
This haiku elicits both visual and olfactory senses.  The ending suggests inevitable destruction

Cedar Closet
Mohair sweater hangs;
a bittersweet souvenir
of Sausalito.
A modern, rather than traditional, haiku. Evokes an emotion all of us have felt at one time or another--perhaps for a lost love?  I can just see that sweater hanging there.  


South---. Swimming in it..
Like Rodgers', Hammerstein's heirs:
Nothing like a dame.
This brought a smile as I conjured up visions of Bali Hai, beetle nuts, and Nellie Forbush.  Clever that you omitted "Pacific" to keep to 5 syllables; hmmmm, what would the master say?  Great kirejic cut with the traditional colon, which establishes a connection between the two parts, implying that the last line represents the essence of the former.  Cleverly conceived.

September plunge brings
Santa Monica surprise.
Warm sun; sea fall fresh
Classic kigo and kireji invokes the southern California autumn.  Nicely written.


Neither hippie nor
holy holds the key.  Peace, bro?
Fight the current's flow.
This one could have some deep meaning, in my opinion.  I really like the "hippie" and "holy" reference.  Excellent choice of words.  Society's ills presented simply.  I like the mid-kireji question.  The answer is up to each of us.  Great haiku; however, typically they "shouldn't" rhyme.


Vortex of refuse ..
Great Pacific Garbage Patch:
Plastics, sludge, debris.
Definite visual, albeit negative, imagery.  Dredges up not only the literal litter/trash image, but also one's emotional sludge as well.  The traditional colon calls for inward scrutiny of both parts; perhaps asking ourselves, are we doing our own individual part, however small, to protect our environment?


Pacific vibe:
Churlishness declined.
Raman's peace shall reign upon
all unwasteful guests
Those who have not been to Raman's Coffee House in Half Moon Bay might not appreciate the depth of this haiku.  Is the writer speaking only from the pictures and commentary on the blog; if so, he or she caught the essence of the place and of Raman himself.  The kireji that ends the first line invokes that line's importance to the whole.  I think I'd use a dash instead of a period, for emphasis.



Cranky baby cries;
his bottle is not ready.
here's pacifier.
This one inspires a common vision and emotion experienced by all moms.  Clever to think of "pacifier;" not quite "Pacific," but no matter.  Simply stated, in keeping with the goal of haiku to give voice to the ordinary daily events of our lives.  Great traditional usage of the kireji, although I'd use a colon after "ready" to entwine the two parts.  I can see this frazzled mom, especially in the "olden" days when we didn't have the speed of the microwave.


California dreams
were manifest destiny.
Young man going west.
History presented simply -- Gold Rush, Pony Express, "Paint Your Wagon."  May I suggest here that poems have different meanings for us at different times, depending on our current frame of reference.  Having recently watched "Paint Your Wagon," I instantly thought of Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin and the title song, "Got a dream, boy, got a song. Paint your wagon and come along."  Nicely conceived.

Great Barrier Reef
Coloured kaleidoscope
Beauty lies beneath
Lovely visual imagery leads us to vividly imagine the beauty that lies beneath.  Beautifully expressed.  You must have been there, princess.

Battle of the North
Japanese unrelenting...
Them Yanks sure could fly!
We can visualize this magnificent air battle.  Perfect emphasis and tie-in made with the use of the kirejic ellipsis instead of a colon.  And, yes, them Yanks sure could fly!  Go Jimmy Doolittle and raiders ("Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo"), just four months after Pearl Harbor.  Please clarify your reference to the "Battle of the North."  I'd be interested to know more.


(aunty belle)

Pacific Pinnipeds
Remember how we
climbed mist sprayed rocks--And the
stench of Sea Lions?
Cool!  A new word for me.  Guess I don't know much about sea lions and walruses.  This haiku awakens senses of touch, sight, and smell.  Oops!  I see only six syllables, but I definitely smell the sea lions.
(aunty belle)

Ghosts of Kerouac,
Huxley; Human potential--
clothing optional.
This thought-provoking haiku caught me literarily off guard.  I must confess I googled Jack Kerouac and Aldous Huxley for more in-depth background, which enlightened me immensely when it came to understanding this work.  I learned that Huxley espoused visual communication and sight-related theories--hence, "clothing optional."
I enjoyed learning something new.  Thank you.  Interesting how you put together these few syllables.  Oh, I also learned that Esalen is an actual place, a retreat.


Lake Burning, car full
travelling to a new coast,
my forever home.
I see you moving across the country, something I know a lot about, having experienced it more times than I care to remember.  Evokes images for anyone who has ever relocated, hoping this move will be the last.  Nicely put.

Watching bubbles rise
Decompression pondering
Half Moon Bay haiku
Great picture of the thought process as you contemplate what to write.  Superb visual picture of the diver searching for words.
Seductive Sarongs
Trade winds, baguettes and Bordeaux
Tahiti beckons
After reading this delightful haiku, we'll all be on a slow boat to Tahiti, not China.  Evocative imagery.
August Forty Five
Uranium's fury
Ends Pacific War
Again we have extreme visual remembrance from only a few syllables.  Amazing what images words can conjure up.  Well written.  Just need 7 syllables in line 2.  Powerful!

(buzz kill)

Wild waters to left,
Certain death highway - pshaw!
Frisco here I come!
Having traveled north and south several times on California's beautiful, curvy, magnificent, treacherous Highway 1, I clearly see the visual picture here.  Love the kirejic exclamation and joyful, devil-may-care ending.  Alas, there are only 6 syllables in the second line, "pshaw" being pronounced with a silent 'P'.  Perhaps, "Oh, pshaw!" to make 7 syllables?  This was fabulous.  Loved it.  Write more.

Phosphorescent waves
heave upward, reaching point break,
curling into me
Once more we see vivid imagery.  Can almost hear the pounding surf.
Casey Haiku Submission #1
misty bay captures
ancient secrets carried west
burned up by the sun
Hauntingly mysterious.  Stirs the imagination.  Beautiful.
Casey Haiku Submission #1
Land of fruits and nuts?
Sunshine...coastline...wine and weed --
Methinks thou art blessed!
This one brought the biggest smile and loudest laugh.  Conjures up all sorts of images associated with California.  Fun!  Good honk!  Clever indeed.  Double entendre?  Great use of ellipses to give emphasis.  As the reader, we want to pause for a deep savory "ahhhh" breath as we visualize each word picture.  Love the idiomatic "methinks."  Yes, we Californians are blessed, despite the taxes, lousy politicians, and high gas prices (taxes again!).  Yep, gotta be grateful.


Pele's fiery hand
slow to caress the ocean
quick to give the land
Absolutely awesome imagery.  Beautiful choice of words to invoke the Volcanic Goddess.  Perfectly painted picture.  Some may take exception with the first line, but I must go with Webster's first choice for pronunciation of "fiery" as "fir'e" in opposition to "fi'e'ry."
(who wrote this?)

'Neath moonrise glided
waves an ancient of the deep
rises--blue as lupines.
Summons forth a haunting image of the Blue Whale, largest animal to have ever lived.  These whales look true blue underwater, but on the surface they appear a mottled blue-gray.  Beautiful imagery.  Was fun to read about these whales.  Thanks.
Judgement of Haiku
Where to place the kireji?
I'll be out of town.
Wait till I get my hands on you, bob!  Leaving me to judge these awesome haikus alone.  You know Libras can't make decisions.  "Where to place the kireji?"  Typical of bob, with his conscientious aviation background and meticulousness.  My friends, should you fly into SFO, he'll be controlling your plane once it hits the ground.  If you're departing, find a sudden gate change, and have to make a run for it, he will have done that too.  But he really is a nice guy and an awesome guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

Thank you, Ande, for this amazing opportunity.  I feel honored and unworthy of this judgmental position.  To the Haiku writers, your amazing talents made this very difficult. 
I've taken the liberty of issuing my own "awards" as follows:

Most Classic/Traditional:  Courageous Captain.

Seasonal:  December; September; August '45; Courageous Captain; Hydrangeas; Riotous color.

Evokes Emotion:  
Golden Mountain; Cedar Closet; New coast/forever home; Captain.

Historical:  California Dreams; Flying Yanks; August '45.

Sensuous (not sensual, you hooligans):  Hawaiian Honeymoon; Pacific Pinnipeds

Action:  Cowabunga Surfer Dude

Simple and Sweet:  Baby; New coast.

Humorous:  Hydrangeas; nothin' like a dame; land of fruits and nuts.

Visual: Riotous colors; hydrangeas; Hwy 1; Vortex of Refuse.

Most obtuse (had to search for the meaning): Boy/Girl; Raman's; Kerouac/Huxley; Ancient of the Deep.

Best Painted Pictures:  Barrier Reef; Tahiti; Phosphorescent waves; Misty Bay; Pele.

Whatever:  Hippie/Holy; Bubble/Decompression
And the WINNER is: 


Land of fruits and nuts?
Sunshine...coastline...wine and weed --
Methinks thou art blessed!

This has been such a joy!  Thanks to all of you.
Karen (aka Allegro) 

* NOTE FROM MANAGEMENT: CASEY IS A MEATSPACE FRIEND FROM BLUE RIDGE WHO ALSO COMPETED IN THE CHICKEN CHALLENGE. (Casey, you cannot get your prize unless you show yourself in the comment section of this blog. just saying -prove your reality! ) CONGRATULATIONS TO CASEY, AND A VERY GRATEFUL THANK YOU TO KAREN FOR AN EPIC JOB WELL DONE.


  1. My reference to "Battle of the North" is purely geographical... the Japanese army made an unrelenting march southwards... Their goal being invasion of Australia.

    Our northern western coastline, particularly the city of Darwin, was bombed by Japanese Planes. 71 lives were lost.

    Australians were based in many parts of the southern pacific during WW2 and particularly in Papua New Guinea and many more held as P.O.W's throughout the theatre.

    Congratulations to everyone participating... A great theme evoking all sorts of imagery.

  2. Congrats to Casey.

    Thank you Karen for your thoughtful words and consideration.

  3. @ Casey,

    Congrats on winning with your fun fresh haiku!

    @ "management",

    does this mean you're hosting again?

    @ Karen,

    Thanks for your kind words and for doing a really fine job in evaluating all the haiku.

    I had very different things in mind when constructing those than you perceived in reading them. I.E. Captains Courageous not Master and Commander. Specifically, Captain William Clark on seeing the Pacific Ocean after the long ardous journey West not a generic Southern Hemisphere explorer. And the birth of El Nino or La Nina off the Peruvian Coast not the winds they later produce in California.

    To me, that's an interesting thing about haiku. The reader can draw inferences from their own experience that the poet didn't intend.

    I do that all the time as a 21st Century Christian Troll reading the classic haiku of a 17th Century Japanese man who was an adherent of various forms of Buddhism throughout his journey.

    His ghost doesn't mind that at all.

  4. Thank you, Karen, for taking such time and care with a task that is both pleasurable and daunting. Hope you play along in future HMs.

    And congrats to Casey for a great haiku that made me giggle and nod.

  5. Congrats to Casey. Finally answering the age old question about the "Land of Fruits and Nuts" was well done.

    Thank you Karen for judging and correctly calling me out on the sylable count. It may be my regional pronunciation but I should have looked it up. Chicky really beat the brush to get so many entries this week, making your job all that much tougher.

  6. Congratulations to winner, host, and judge. Epic all around, and a great week for HM.

  7. I am so very honored and thrilled with my win in this challenge - WOW! I feel very small in the presence of such greatness – you are all so clever and beautifully creative. Usually suffering away at a desk in my corporate job, I rarely take the time to step back and let my mind go free – this Haiku challenge kept me busy during my two hour drive up to the North Georgia mountains last Friday. Chickory is a dear friend of mine and she inspires me to be my own original self – I don’t have a blog, and I really don’t even know how to interact with a blog (I had to search for how to even post this comment!!). But for today, I am the Haiku Monday Champion and I am smiling! Thanks new friends.

  8. Chicky - did I meet Casey? in the grocery store? Doesn't matter, it was a great haiku and you all did a great job of hosting/judging/etc.

    Congrats to Casey!

  9. I loved the winning haiku, sums up the west coast to me! Congrats congrats. Great write-up also. Guest judges are fun -- certainly brings something new to the table.

  10. Allegro/Karen .... I hope you had some fun with this! The judging can be a challenge as this group is diverse and, to my thinking, smartly creative. Just the sort of people you expect to hang with an artist :-)

    In answer to your curiosities ... I have never been to your lovely Half Moon Bay or Raman's Coffee House. My haiku's this week were all responses to Chickory's photographs and blog post content.
    On the 'Pacific Vibe' haiku .... I used a period at the end of the first line because the photograph of Raman and, his orange note cards, implied kindly, but very firmly "churlishness" was not acceptable. period. I got the message! If ever I make it to Half Moon Bay and Raman's I would not dare to be churlish there!

    Now that you have the judging duties behind you (Bob owes you an appendage), I hope you both will play HM with us in future.

    congratulations, great job and welcome to Haiku Monday! Do start a blog and come play with us. We are good folk here.

  11. Casey, Congratulations! Chickie, your theme was a hit for amazing entries. And Karen, thanks for a thorough, thoughtful write up! Our haiku were in good hands with you!

  12. wonderful thoughtful write-up by Karen. I loved reading all her comments. Casey's winning haiku was a hoot! Congrats Casey!

  13. Howl--hooooo-ray fer Casey!

    Thanky Karen fer yore dedicated judgin' an' commentary.

    Ok, Pup. NOW, ya can go home. All that californification is worrisome. What ya' need is a good romp in yore own creek.

    Aunty, unsigned in an' dispatchin' from within the national vortex.

    (help, I wanna go home!)

  14. Im leaving tomorrow Aunty! And Im glad. This is day 5 of heavy gray and though I have enjoyed the cool temps - ive had enough. Its all gravy from here. Website is built and looks awesome.

  15. Good afternoon Chickory,

    Congratulations Casey!

    Karen a truly fine effort on your part. Thank you.


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