Sunday, March 21, 2010

CKK#11 Results

Caribbean Kigo #11 Kukai Results

Players: 1. Quentin Clingerman, USA; 2. Armando Corbelle , USA; 3. Ralf Bröker, Germany; 4. Keith A. Simmods, TT; 5. Jacek Margolak, Poland; 6. Reason A. Poteet, USA; 7. Sakuon Nakamura, Japan; 8. John McDonald, Scotland; 9. Vasile Moldovan, Romania; 10. Juhani Tikkanen, Finland; 11. Andrzej Dembonczyk, Silesia, Poland; 12. John Daleiden; Avondale, AZ, USA; 13. Tatjana Debeljacki, Serbia; 14. Krzysztof Kokot; Poland; 15. Rafal Zabratynski, Poland; 16. Mary Davila, USA; 17. Catherine J.S. Lee, Maine

on my forehead
the priest's cold thumb
-- john McDonald
Votes:4-2-3-*** Points:17
Comments: 1. This lovely haiku is a fine example of a verse that uses the middle line, the second line, as a pivot. Thus, the haiku can be read in two ways--lines 1-2 as a lovely thought, and lines 2-3 as a second lovely thought. Well done indeed.
2. Nice, the tactile description of the human aspect of this religious ceremony brought a sudden realism for me.

end of the mass
an old man wipes ashes off
his bald head
--Rafal Zabratynski
Votes:2-2-3*** Points:15
Comments: 1. to his credit, not wanting to draw attention to himself
2. I like this haiku, but would have liked it better with the 2nd line revised: “an old man wipes off ashes” and with the 3rd line revision: “from his bald head” . I think “the” in line one is not necessary. In any event, I like the ironic relationship between the “end of mass” and the wiping away of the ashes.
3. I like that this wasn't characterized and we are left to wonder why he wipes the ashes away. That it's pointed out that he is both old and bald confused me.

funeral -
on the urn with the ashes
yellow butterfly
--Andrzej Dembonczyk, Silesia, Poland
Votes:6-4-**** Points: 14
Comments: Neat. I enjoyed the metaphor and also liked wondering whether the yellow butterfly was real or painted/glazed on the urn. Not sure you need "with the ashes" except as part of the kukai:) maybe drop line 1 then... on the urn - with the ashes - yellow butterfly


Ashes to ashes
The crematorium sings
Urn on the mantel
--Quentin Clingerman
Votes:****** Points:00
Comments: 1. Although I was tempted to vote for this one, ultimately I did not. Line 2 is to much personification for me--”crematoriums” just do not sing, even though the sentiment is nice.
2. Nice elements. I wonder if it were more simplified, maybe less direct, more implied meaning

Too many ashes
in Haiti and Chile
its time for some joy
--Catbird 55
Votes:3***** Points:3
Comments: Very true. Perhaps more showing and less telling, like... Haiti and Chile ash - children and adults - playing in the rain

her freckles
this morning
crossed by easter fire's ashes
Votes:2-1**** Points:4
Comments: Nice. Freckles conjure images of children and innocence in contrast to a strong religious symbol for the repentance of sin on their forehead. I think "crossed" would work better at the end of line 2 (was that just a line break error?) and "fire's" seems extraneous... her freckles - this morning crossed - by Easter ash.

dust to dust
ashes to ashes...
way of all flesh
--Keith A. SIMMONDS; T & T
Votes:****** Points:00
Comments: I'm hesitant using quotes and expressions unless I can find a new twist in response to the call, the fragment to follow the phrase, or since the quote is so well know line 2 can be used toward that goal, and maybe a little less direct like... ashes to ashes - I visit the tree carved - with our initials

Ash Wednesday...
the pheasant in the hills
cries once
--Jacek Margolak; POLAND
Votes:2-2-1*** Points: 9
Comments: Neat, there's a bible quote or story that says a cock crowed then Jesus dies that this parallels, right? I like the modern Western twist and that the location being in the hill's imply the eerie echo without saying it.

bridges burned
the ashes became
my magic carpet
-Reason A. Poteet, USA
Votes:3-1**** Points:5
Comments: 1. Again, a tempting haiku to vote for, but the use of the past tense in line 2, “became” ultimately” canceled my vote. This haiku would be so much better if the 2nd and 3rd line read “the ashes become”/ my magic carpet”.
2. The message is uplift and humorous with the mixed metaphor. The way the metaphor is used seems very Western for haiku. I find metaphor more effective in haiku when done subtly.

I love you
till your becoming ash
swear on the holy Wednesday
Votes:****** Points:00
Comments: Romantic. It reads very Western in style and abstract to me. I wonder for line 3 something more concrete and juxtaposed instead.

Only a rembrance
from my mother-
a handful of ash
--Vasile Moldovan, Romania
Votes:2***** Points:2
Comments:1. Hmmm. No such word as “rembrance”; the writer probably means “rememberance”! The use of “from” suggests that mother bequeathed some ashes to the survivors, but the poet probably means the ashes are from the cremation of her mother. The verse might be improved by changing “from” to “of”--- “of my mother--”
2. Feels sad and maybe even resentful, neat. Misspelt remembrance. I wonder about something a little less direct in line one like... a lily - from my mother - a handful of ash.

campfire ashes --
some embers still
Votes:3-5-**** Points:13
Comments: 1. a clear picture of the carelessness of folks perhaps hurrying to get home to convenience of a furnace
2. Although the theme of “ash(es)” was probably selected for its religious significance, nothing in the rules prevents a non-religious interpretation. Ashes are after all ashes--and this haiku conveys one non-religious experience of ashes quite well.
3. like the contrast of ash while still burning embers. I wonder about a more implied relationship. campfire ash - warming my hands - in the pre-dawn.

the empty urn
ready his ashes--
a sunny spring day
--John Daleiden; Avondale, AZ
Votes:1-2-**** Points:5
Comments: I'm really interested in the urn not yet being filled, waiting for the ashes. I wanted to read the line 1 & 2 phrase as less direct.

cloud of ashes
get out of ashes
phoenix of ashes
--Tatjana Debeljacki
Votes:****** Points:00
Comments: Interesting effect. I wonder if it's not more Western style poety than haiku. What about "rise above ashes" for line 2?

flowers on ashes-
juniper smoke
around the cross
Votes:****** Points:00
Comments: Nice. The contrast of flowers and ash and the religious connection.

his ashes laid to rest
at her feet
--Mary Davila
Votes:3-***** Points:3
Comments: 1. poignant and touching thought, as much his blessing as hers
2. Nice. Instead of explaining in line 1 I wonder instead about implying with something like, 'fresh soil'

crosses of ashes
the old monsignor’s
shaky hands
--Catherine J.S. Lee, USA
Votes:1-2-2*** Points:11
Comments: Nice detail.


  1. 17 writers took part in this kukai #11, however only 16 of the seventeen sent in a ballot; I kept getting an undelivered mail response when I emailed Ralf reminders to vote; and when I visited his blog it was not up to date; so Michael Baribeau one of our CKK asterisk players was invited to submit a ballot making the number of ballots 17.
    Special thank you to Michael.
    I do hope Ralf will be available for CKK12

    Much love


    on my forehead
    the priest's cold thumb
    --John McDonald; Scotland

    John took the kigo and ran with it along a religious path ; ‘ashes’ his Line One, presents a dramatic introduction to his poem; then, he reins in our interest by skillfully placing a pivot at Line Two; should we read ‘ashes on my forehead’; or should we read ‘on my forehead the priest’s cold thumb’, which is the fragment and which the phrase, he leaves that to the discretion of his reader.
    His Line One states for us the season as well as the age old tradition with just one word and two syllables; he adds the appeal of the sense of touch in Lines Two and Three, both as feeling and warning.
    Ashes; coming out of heat, coming out of fire, marks the penitent believer, down cold; with authority, in the person of ‘the priest’.
    How does this quale affect the persona? What does he feel? What is he thinking? All of these questions he leaves unanswered; he prefers instead to present to us an instant as a surprise; a surprise, which he leaves for last, and introduces in Line Three ‘the priest's cold thumb’
    But the appeal is not only to the sense of touch, the appeal to the sense of sight comes with the marking on the forehead, and the appeal to the mind in the interpretation as is set by age old traditional meanings; like the biblical hand writing on the wall, here is the thumb marking the forehead; it is time that we are cooled, before we return to the fires of life and warmth; through a process of penitence to renewal.
    For those of us who like to count syllables, John presents his expose in ten syllables; encapsulating season, tradition, sight, touch; and engaging us in the meanings of repentance, hope and resurrection.
    Well done John; we look forward to more of your endearing haiku.

    Thanks to all seventeen writers who made CKK11 a success.

    Links to 2 ‘ashes’ at Ash Wednesday photos

    ---gillena cox; kukai coordinator

  3. Hi Gillena,

    a mail-server problem had occured, and I am still not able to receive mails sent to my old adress. Next note from me will do. Thanks for trying!

    Best wishes