Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Haiku Monday Kudos: First Kiss

Thank you all so much for your patience this week. And thanks to the Troll for coming up with this wonderful challenge.  

I have learned first-hand what a daunting assignment it is to choose only one winner for the Haiku Monday challenge.  Fortunately, I had the assistance of 4 of my most insightful and beloved relatives: my mother, her two sisters and my own sister.

Once described by Tom Brokaw as "the prettiest girls in Yankton, South Dakota" (their mutual hometown), my mom and aunts took their roles as haiku judges soberly, if not with 100% sobriety.  My sister, the flight attendant, also chimed in, though she had to be refreshed on the the definition of a haiku.

We sat in the living room of my 250- square foot apartment while I read each haiku as the vodka martini, scotch on the rocks, and red wine-drinking judges listened intently.  I explained that I wanted to make notes next to those haiku that made an immediate impact on them.  

After noting which haiku stimulated responses, I asked which one(s) they thought they liked the best.  This process took three hours, and involved many detours into stories of early loves, first kisses, James Dean, a horse, nuns and Yankton's Teen Canteen @ 1955.

After a great deal of review admiration for parts and pieces of every single one of the haiku, one in particular kept surfacing.  More on the winner, shortly.


 By: Master Basho's Nostalgic Ghost

I remember her
as if it was just a few
hundred years ago. 

This is the haiku that we discussed the most.  It brought up the question of time's passing, fated love, reincarnation, and the rarity of true love.

By: Karl
Sweet thing next to me.
PLEASE, lucky spinning bottle.
Alas her sister.

This is the haiku that got the most immediate, biggest group reaction.  Everyone laughed at the same time.  This is the haiku I wish I had written, as I have my own issues with Spin the Bottle.

By: Aunty
Forbidden delight!
Stolen silver pyramid,
Mama knew, then smiled. 

The group appreciated the cleverness of the play on "Kiss."  I think this had the best haiku structure matched with the idea.


By Fishy: 
Canine kisser of wee babe
Guardian of love

My Aunt Anne, owner of a Golden Retriever named Skippy, made me promise to commend Fishy on her Haiku. 

By Karen:
Comforting, fragrant
You were always there for me

I loved that pillow 

My Aunt Al, a former 7th grade English teacher from Wisconsin, related strongly to this one.


My mom and aunts come from a very close knit family.  Their parents and aunts and uncles are all gone now, but mom and Aunt Anne and Aunt Al were very close to their aunt Florence, my grandfather's beloved baby sister.  Aunt Florence married Uncle Larry back in the 1930s and theirs was a real love story.  They were married for about 40 years when Uncle Larry developed Alzheimer's disease. Aunt Florence cared for him in their small house on Locust Street in Yankton.  One night, she was washing the dishes at the kitchen sink, and Uncle Larry came behind her.  He put his arms around her and said, "If I wasn't married, I could really go for you."  

By Karl:
As memory fades
and the names and faces blurred.
One stands out in time.

Congratulations, Karl!  Let me know where to send your Love Songs CD.

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful, amazing haiku.  Hosting this week was a privilege.


  1. Congratulations, Karl. All of his entries were well versed. I enjoyed reading all that were submitted, and the write up of the road to the winner was fun as well.

  2. blogger works again? for a few days now it's not been letting me comment. i love your judging process and i love your final choice! congratulations to karl!!

  3. Congratulations, Karl, on a well-deserved triumph.

    Epic work crashing Blogger, Fleur.

  4. Blogger still doesn't seem to be fixed but I think I can at least leave a comment or two. And those are: great job, Fleur (and please thank your mom and aunts for their time and attention), and major congrats to Karl, who I think wrote three top tier contenda haikus.

  5. Good evening Fleur,

    Thank you, I'm honored. Please thank the other judges. Sounds as if they had a good time, I hope so.

    It seems as if Uncle Larry knew his heart, even with the challenges of his mind.

    Spin the bottles stories, seems like a subject for a post.

    CD of love songs, Hmm, I'll send you an e-mail. You do know I shoot skeet.

    Just kidding;)

  6. Congratulations, Karl! I will give you one choice: on your Love Songs CD, would you rather have David Cassidy's soulful version of "Ain't No Sunshine" or his bluesy version of "Dirty Work?"

  7. I love hearing what a grand time you women had reading the haikus and telling your stories. One day, while rocking a grandchild , you will remember and share this event.

    Do please send my thanks to your Aunt Anne for her vote :-) She seems to also be blessed by cannine love. Certainly Golden Retrievers are well know for their kisses and for their roles as guardians of those they love.

    Congratulations to Karl!
    I had him picked for a top three, but for me it was his spin the bottle haiku. It speaks so clearly of taking the risk to win the prize and then the deflation that is expressed in that one word "alas". Just perfect.

    Kudos to whomever assigned this subject!
    Loads of fun and the interpretations have been diverse and highly entertaining.

  8. Good Morning Fleur,

    My oh my, choises choises, I can,t decide. How about you suprise me.

    @ all: We are going to take a break this week and haiku will return starting Monday the 23rd with the topic: Hobbies. Moi will host, unless Troll steps up. Thank's Moi!

    Hopfully this will allow Blogger time to get squared away and fix its self.

  9. congratulations to Karl!!! well done.

  10. Hooray fer Karl!! Good show.

    And Fleur--I think youse had the most fun of all as judge--very dear that yore mama an' aunts an sis joined in--priceless fun.

    Thank you fer hostin' through a tough time wif' blogger.

  11. It was great fun to host; we had such a great time. And everyone's haiku were wonderful.