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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
"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
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!
expressed b'neath half moon light,
Seasonal implication. "Riotous colors" vibrantly fills the imagination. Once again, an exciting kireji that expresses a bursting forth. Nice visual imagery.
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.
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.
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
Mohair sweater hangs;
a bittersweet souvenir
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Ghosts of Kerouac,
Huxley; Human potential--
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
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.
Trade winds, baguettes and Bordeaux
After reading this delightful haiku, we'll all be on a slow boat to Tahiti, not China. Evocative imagery.
August Forty Five
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!
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.
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.
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.
* 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.