Haiku about Water – The Winner(s)

As the imperial judge of haiku worthy of fine cheese (not cheesy haiku, please), I had trouble picking my favorite from those submitted for our spring Crickhollow Books “Haiku about Water” contest.

I ended up selecting three finalists.

Then, I waffled and squirmed, I equivocated and fiddled, I dithered . . . yes, it was hard to select a winner. (I did consider calling it a tie and sending all 3 finalists a share of the cheese. But Hook’s Cheese Co. of Mineral Pint, Wisc., ships only a minimum order of 5 pounds.)

But I made the call. For me, the basis of my decision tends to be either:
1. A image so clear, surprising, and/or compelling that it sticks with me for a long time after first reading it.
2. Something so lovely that it carries me to a place (in my mind) where I really like spending time.

First the two runners-up (i.e., I could have well chosen either of these).

Waves fill the footprints
with coquina: bright seeds, next
season’s necklaces.

(Amy Watkins)

and this trio of haikus, which had a lovely flow (pun intended).

Tranquil waters drift
Through banks of emerald guards–
Sentinels of pine.

Refreshed and cleaner
Behind its misty curtain–
Waterfall Trail bath.

River lullaby
Carries secrets of lovers
In ripples of time.

(Virginia Pohlenz)

But, without further ado, the winner:

Hazy stars swirling –
Street lights reflected in drops
On a man’s mustache.

(Andrew S. Agacki)

That powerful image drew me in each time with its crystalline magnification of a moment in time. It just stuck with me from the first reading.

I honestly enjoyed each and every submission; they made me think a lot about the variety of ways water touches our lives . . . especially in this difficult springtime of 2011 with floods and storms and high waters plaguing parts of the country. Many, many thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts and poems.

Let’s do it again soon. Keep writing!

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