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SEA SHELL GAME #61
Judged by Jane Reichhold
June 18, 2009

ROUND ONE


1.
Shadowy Spring day--
against the distant thunder
glorious bird song.

2.
a lazy song
on a long night
meow
______________________
Poem #2 wins.

3.
Black man in New York
  Subway, playing tin can drum
An old tune by Bach.

4.
summer dusk...
a photo of Grandpa
alive
______________________
While #3 does not look like a haiku, it has a haiku twist in it that is refreshing. It would be easy to pick #4 because it is an excellent and well-made haiku, but the idea of someone in a photo that seems to be still alive is an idea that has been used many times. Poem #3 goes to the next round.

5.
he goes in
his cigarette on the ledge
still smoking

6.
shivering dresses
showering waterfalls
milky bosoms overflow
______________________
Poem #5 at least has the proper link breaks. #6 is chopped up with three end-line breaks.

7.
behind the glass
Chinese fortune fish -
kingfisher dives

8.
drops of rain,
fell from the sky,
and landed on the grass.
______________________
Even with its problems, #7 goes to the next round.

9.
A crisp, calm, slow wind:
It stirs the leaves around me,
Bending low the grass.

10.
soaked in sun
flowers, living life.
office monitor.
______________________
Poem #10, are you surprised? goes on to the next round.

11.
The moon
does not blame its silence
on smaller stones.

12.
lightened by daytime
but so darkened by nightfall
just right at sunset
______________________
Poem #11 is marvelous lyrical poetry and my heart leapt in joy when I read it, but unfortunately the poem is not haiku. #12 goes to the next round.

13.
new leaves ~
the wintery trees
bow before spring

14.
Industrial moon
Labours over sky-scrapped dusk
Lonely companion
______________________
The simplicity of #13 easily takes it to the next round.

15.
pruning hydrangea
the chickadee
has a new song

16.
  indiana flat low land
 hungry and ready to grow
  young and unexperienced
______________________
You need me to tell you #15 is more haiku-like than #16?

ROUND TWO


2.
a lazy song
on a long night
meow

3.
Black man in New York
  Subway, playing tin can drum
An old tune by Bach.
____________________
Can you imagine #3 written with the brevity of #2?

5.
he goes in
his cigarette on the ledge
still smoking

7.
behind the glass
Chinese fortune fish -
kingfisher dives
______________________
Both of these poems are real haiku and both end in verbs, which is usually a no-no in haiku writing, but in #5 works much better..

 

10.
soaked in sun
flowers, living life.
office monitor.

12.
lightened by daytime
but so darkened by nightfall
just right at sunset
______________________
All of the punctuation in #10 would be enough to alert one that this is a haiku in trouble, but that, added to my inability to figure out the gist of the poem, gives the win to #12.

13.
new leaves ~
the wintery trees
bow before spring

15.
pruning hydrangea
the chickadee
has a new song
_____________________
Finally we have two poems working like haiku. Unfortunately both of them fail to exhibit the haiku form
******
*********
******
and they could have accomplished this with only a tiny bit of rewriting. Poem #13 wins the match because it would take less changing to get the form right:
new leaves ~
the wintery trees bow
before spring

 

ROUND THREE


2.
a lazy song
on a long night
meow

5.
he goes in
his cigarette on the ledge
still smoking
______________________
Both of these very good haiku. I could call this a tie if they were the last two standing. I like how they both say something without actually saying it – excellent haiku technique. It is hard, but I will go with #5 to win this match.


12.
lightened by daytime
but so darkened by nightfall
just right at sunset

13.
new leaves ~
the wintery trees
bow before spring
______________________
I love haiku that set up riddles for me, as in #12, but normally the third line gives one the answer. Maybe we are supposed to figure this one out for ourselves? I am enjoying the puzzle. Also, for purists who work with season words, #13 has a mixed season with “new leaves” and “wintery” trees.

 

ROUND FOUR


5.
he goes in
his cigarette on the ledge
still smoking

12.
lightened by daytime
but so darkened by nightfall
just right at sunset
_____________________
For me, it is interesting to watch myself as I organize each of these contests. As I assemble the poems, I often wonder which one will win. Never would I have thought that #12 would have come to the final round. Still, #15 has a lot going on in it, and is so adult, and saying so much that I have to pick it as the winner for this contest.

 

WINNER


5.
he goes in
his cigarette on the ledge
still smoking

by Devin Jones

The thing that makes this haiku work so well is the author's use of the double meanings of "smoking." It is only the cigarette that "smokes" - or makes smoke, but by our use of the same word for the act of enjoying a cigarette, this haiku extends its meaning. It also makes us aware of this double useage (a new one for English haiku) which adds to the enjoyment of this haiku. Congratulations Devin!

 

 

Poems Copyright Individual Authors 2009.
Page Copyright Jane Reichhold  2009.

Let me read another Sea Shell Game .
Show me the form so I can submit my haiku to the Sea Shell Game.
Maybe I need to read up on haiku.

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