National Haiku Poetry Day Announcements: 2011 Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems

by Jim Kacian on April 17, 2012

Bookmark and Share

Hi Again:

Next we have the award for the best poems written in 2011 according to our distinguished panel. Congratulations to all.

The Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems 2011

gunshot
every pine needle
pointing at something
Gregory Hopkins
The Heron’s Nest, Volume 13:2, June 2011
 

clouded moon
the sound of her slip
hitting the floor
      Ernest J. Berry, Picton, New Zealand
      Runner up, British Haiku Awards, published 2011
 

he brings flowers
the same shade—

bruises

      Terri L. French
      Frogpond 34:3
 

back from the war   
all his doors
swollen shut
      Bill Pauly
      Modern Haiku 42.1
 

calla lily
the sound of a ladder
lengthening
      Cherie Hunter Day, Cupertino, California
      Third Place, 2011 Harold G. Henderson Award for Haiku
 

migrating geese—
the things we thought we needed
darken the garage
      Chad Lee Robinson 
      The Heron’s Nest, Volume 13:1, March 2011

*

Commentary from the Panelists

“gunshot”
Where is the shooter? What is being shot at? And why? The image of the pine needles vividly expresses this startling assault upon the poet’s senses.
 
“clouded moon”
That rarity, a truly erotic haiku. The word “hitting” does double duty, for the dropped garment as well as the impact the sound has on the listener-writer. Choice of words in the first line is also refreshingly unusual.
 
“he brings flowers”
If this is in fact a poem about domestic violence, it manages to convey with subtlety much of the inherent complexity/ambiguity of that situation. Remorse (or denial?), irony, possibly forgiveness––there are many potential layers of feeling.
 
“back from the war”
Implied: that the subject of the poem lives alone, or has been deserted (or bereaved) during his absence. Conveyed: the frustration of inanimate objects that thwart or obstruct––and all the more so in this context of homecoming.

Each time I met a group of young soldiers at the airport, my stomach hurts. I sincerely hope someday there will be no war on our planet.  

 
“calla lily”
The apotheosis of time-for-a-moment-standing-still. Early summer is doubly evoked, by the flower and by the sound of preparations for house painting or perhaps roof work. The visual assonance of the long-stemmed plant and extending ladder is understated and effective.

A ladder in this haiku may be lengthen upward, but at the same time, I feel the dark spot inside the calla lily and feel the invisible hands push me downward.  

 
“migrating geese” 

I migrated to the U.S. with two suitcases. I did not imagine someday I would give up a passport with a chrysanthemum emblem. But I established a new nest and slowly forgot the things I left behind. 

*

Shortlist

deep summer
on the battlefield
cars for sale
     Roberta Beary

clouded moon
the sound of her slip
hitting the floor
     Ernest J. Berry

gunshot
every pine needle
pointing at something
     Gregory Hopkins

calla lily
the sound of a ladder
lengthening
     Cherie Hunter Day

back from the war
all his doors
swollen shut
     Bill Pauly
 
breathless quiet
of a summer evening…
ship in a bottle
     Jo McInerney
 
nightfall…
blowing out
the marshmallow
     John Hawk
 
spring equinox
a worm on both sides
of my shovel
     Susan Constable
 
northern lights…
the scratchy play
of seventy-eights
Michele L. Harvey
 
Indian summer
mother dyes her graying hair
the color of straw
     Tom Painting
 
on the wings
of black-necked cranes
first snow
     Sonam Chhoki
 
the curve
of her hips –
buttercups
     Bruce H. Feingold
 
the newborn’s hand
brushes my breast –
white camellias
     Kathy Lippard Cobb
 
aftershock
the crack
of my biscuit
     Barbara Strang
    
sun through the ears
of a marmalade cat —
raked leaves
     Quendryth Young
    
migrating geese—
the things we thought we needed
darken the garage
     Chad Lee Robinson 
 
what we breathe
in human skin
and insect parts
     Chris Gordon
 
banging about
inside my ribs
cherry blossom
     Sandra Simpson
 
bare trees
the little room
where you’re told
     Roland Packer
 
he brings flowers
the same shade –
bruises
     Terri L. French
 
koi pond
how we imagine
immortality
     Paul Watsky
 
dogwoods
the stench of
baby questions
     Amelia Cotter
 
pan-fried trout
I learn something new
about my father
     Dave Baldwin
 
shanty town—
the jagged edges
of moonlight
     Sanjukta Asopka
 
Father’s Day–
a potato
without a face
     Susan Marie La Valle
 
bruised apples
he wonders what else
I haven’t told him
     Melissa Allen
 
Spring rain
I’ve upset
the little stack of coins
     Stephen Gould
 
his latest indiscretion
I toss out
the curdled milk
     Mary Kipps
  
  winter    when
the invisible horse
        arrives
     Scott Metz

*

{ 2 comments }

Terri French April 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Congratulations to everyone, such an honor to be included here. Though I have never personally been the victim of domestic violence, I know many who have. This was written for them.

al fogel April 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Congrats to all the winners and the adjudicators for their insightful explanations

–from and also-ran

Previous post:

Next post: