Friday, December 10, 2010


The idea of giving back is always appealing, intimating a returning joy; it tells us, in a very subtle way, that we have not lost our soul; it skew us, into a notion of eternity, of life continuing. This dynamic is succintly expressed in Marleen's 12 syllable haiku.
Autumn, with its paradoxical harvesting and withering, resonnates Lines One and Three 'wreath' and 'feeds' while Line Three pivots well Lines One and Two.
This haiku can be graphically presented as a circle; which crafts very well, the use of the kigo 'wreath'

autumn wreath
the dried sunflower
feeds a blackbird
--Marleen Hulst; The Netherlands

Well done Marleen

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

The theme for the kukai, was 'wreath'

Friday, October 29, 2010

festival lights

festival lights
on the wet sidewalk
-- john McDonald

A clever reflection haiku; here we are offered another dimension, the view of a scene within a scene, the reflective view of the writer and also a reflection of its reality; a surreal presentation.
Line Two, is powerful in its cryptic description and animation; at this pivotal juncture, John's haiku comes alive and pulls us into his experience, with uncanny curious interest. What festival is this, where is it, did it rain, how is the sidewalk wet?
It is the dearth of information which heightens our interest, once he has drawn us in.
This sidewalk canvas framed in haiku, is now hung in gallery cyberspace for our delightful viewing.

Well done John

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

The theme for the kukai, was festival lights

Thursday, September 30, 2010

blue bird

twilight shadows--
the flash
of a bluebird's wing
--Cara Holman; USA

This is such a familiar scene; i slip with ease into Cara's haiku, i wonder whether the familiarity had anything to do with her emerging into the winners slot; as her voters declined comments with their votes. But its not only familiarity that works well for this haiku; its the stuff that a good ku is made from.
The aha moment is easily achieved; and the reader settles into a haze of nuances.Through all the silhouettes of day's ending, there is a dash of colour visible enough in its instant to distract and to attract us. Something happens and its quick, and its enlivening; it happens amidst the wanning of light and the dying of day; Her choice of report for this event is simply stated ' flash of'
Just enough to whet our appetites; just enough to reel us into her contemplation of eventide. Nothing else is important at this particular instant; she has experienced something awesome, and so also have we; she has already caught us in a snare of awe. Just a glimpse of wing is visible as bird and day departs, it leaves us wanting more ...

Well done Cara

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

The theme for the kukai, was blue bird

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Two offerings of thunder were chosen by the kukai players, to emerge into the winning slot, this time around.

One impacts an element of surprise, the other faintness; they are both enigmatic and compelling; causing their own shared responses.
The reckoning of adult decisions and the innocence of childhood juxtaposed in the minds of players; produced a tie into first place.

In both haiku thunder introduces the scenerio, compelling the reader, to seek out what this qualified element has in store for its personae; in one instance it proves to be heavy and commanding; in the other it is light and mischeivous; in both situations we do not know enough until we read on.

Thunder disturbs us, is repeated here in both of these haiku; in their interrupting dramas, and changing atmospheres in the active scenes presented. That is the ethereal, the quintessential aspect that is thunder; the chosen kigo of the kukai

Two types of persons in the Mediterranean society who devoted themselves to knowledge of the sky. One type of person was those called “the wise men, the learned, the scholars.” These people were in awe of the sky and insisted that no one could really grasp the greatness and magnificence of the celestial spheres... thunder is interpreted as God's voice (" God replied to him in thunder")...The sky to them was the all mighty everything that the sky did like lightning, thunder etc. For the ancients, nothing could possibly happen in the sky that did not in some way impact the earth and its inhabitants...They would never take anything for what it was meaning they would not just say okay it is noise coming from the sky.

sudden thunder
we forget
our quarrel
--Marleen Hulst, The Netherlands

distant thunder
my children's room full
of whispers
--Jacek Margolak;POLAND

Well done Marleen; Well done Jacek

But even outside of the season of the rains; thunder follows us from week to week in our daily calendar; borne on the wings of fantasy and myth from the god of thunder; son of Odin and Jord, the earth goddess. The Norse believed that during a thunderstorm, Thor, the god of thunder, rode through the heavens on his chariot, pulled by Tangrisinni and Tanngnost, two goats. Today long after the christianization of Scandanavia; Thor lives on not in religion but in the day following Wednesday it is said Thursday (Thor's day) was derived from this mythical legendary

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

The theme for the kukai, was thunder

Friday, July 23, 2010


After months of this year's drought i can emphatise deeply with the persona going through Bill's summer rain; yet, keeping the umbrella closed, and wanting to soak it all up. Bill writes...

summer rain
my umbrella
--Bill Kenney

He takes us to the scene, and shows us whats happening; a nice crisp, curt haiku.
Each one of us in reading this haiku hankers back to a rain experience; not without the expectation of Bill's umbrella sharing,
He could very well have introduced the umbrella first, resonating with the downpour; but he choose a more curiosity arousing approach, and introduces an element of surprise keeping his umbrella for the haiku phrase.
Bill's haiku is credible, uncluttered and emotive; one of the writers in the kukai commented..."I like the way this haiku shows the poet prepared for a not-so-nice day, but then when it comes, finds joy in it instead."
There is a spontenaity that is quite refreshing in Bill's umbrella remaining closed; he prepares himself for the rain, by carrying an umbrella, his plan is not to walk through a downpour; but his freedom of spirit, taking wings, excites us with his haiku of impulse. He wants to be a part of this scenario, he wants to feel the rain; he wants to be drenched in this classical blessing; so his use of the kigo is one of a surprising delight; his "umbrella unopened"

Bill; Congratulations on your winning haiku

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

The theme for the kukai, was umbrella.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A man finds room in the few square inches of the face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

Our winning haiku contends this saying.

My father's face
forty years later
back in my mirror
--Franklin Magalhaes; Brazil

This is such a skillfully sketched thought, that Line1, pivots well, both Line 2 and Line 3; and with either reading, the thoughts of the writer resonates. 'My father's face forty years later'; 'My father's face back in my mirror'
Franklin has over the years, grown into his dad's physical image, and he holds, and he carries with him that living photo, which by way of this haiku, he shares with us. Those of us with no image sense of him, will be curious. What does he look like?
There are both the processes here presented, of, accumulating and returning. Returning dad, sensed in the reflection and accumulating in this new persona a forties Franklin; linking to his lineage, his heritage, his ancestry, his father.
The mirror is used to freeze and to meld a present moment while aspects of a past still linger on.
Time is an important issue in this haiku; time fleeting, time solid; tangible and intangible.
Our winning haiku is quotidial yet timeless; its a haiku for every day and every season.
With a little shuffle and the ommission of 3 syllables Franklin can very well morph this into a Zip Haiku

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

the theme for the kukai was father

Monday, June 21, 2010


Felix Mendelssohn is regarded by classical music aficionados and critics alike, as one of the most prolific and gifted composers the world has ever known. Even those who could not name any of his works have heard it, as his "Wedding March" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", which has accompanied many a bride down the aisle...
The writer takes us to a setting with the use of a musical introduction. " strains of Mendelssohn" she writes, then pivots on the musicality of the setting, the "groom fiddles"; Cara has carefully choosen her words to present to us this special scenario, to capture for us this instant of a bridegroom's quirky. Who is not nervous at a wedding? who is not swept up in the tensions of getting it right for this big day? all of the preparation gone before in trying to perfect this day is resonated in his action, and all the hope of a new future life intimated. The bridegroom in Cara's episode is all of normal, human and real, nervous tension and all.
This haiku, is lively, and too, full of life; its present, its prospects, and all the concomitant questions of the future
A musical prelude prepares us for this haiku's drama, then she carefully reels us in with the introduction of the second schema the bridegroom, and as the plot thickens, the long awaited appearance of our kigo 'carnation'
There is rhythm, there is motion, there is beauty, there is emotion, there is projection encapsuled in Cara's 5-5-5 schema to present to us a super winning haiku

strains of Mendelssohn
the groom fiddles
with his carnation
--Cara Holman, USA

Well Done Cara; we look forward to seeing more of your runaway wining ku's

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

the theme for the kukai was carnation

Monday, June 7, 2010

kite flying

a small boy struggles
with the dragon kite
--Rafal Zabratynski

'Struggles' the disiciple of overcoming, the guru of achievement. We all have, i think, at some time taken on a project which seems to be at the time, someting bigger than ourselves, testing our limits against the odds.
The opening line sets the stage for struggle which resonates so well in Line 2; even before the kigo is introduced, we know this is no simple kite, its a kite to test a boy's openess to bigger things, its a progress venture, an adventure; much like writing our first haiku within a sea of jutaxpositions, credibilities, AHAs, syllables, kires and all the other turbulences; but our eagerness and willingness takes us through wave by wave.
This is certainly a tug at the heart kite ku. with the use of the qualifing term 'small' not just a boy; but a small boy; the writer takes us into the scene and we stand riveted, watching, we want to see the outcome; does the kite eventually become air borne; this is a nice way to whet the appetite, to tease the reader. Who wins this struggle, dragon or boy? which ever; Rafal is certainly our winner this time around; Well Done Rafal; we look forward to more of your intriguing haiku

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

the theme for the kukai was kite flying

Friday, June 4, 2010


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
more...Ash Wednesday
more...Ash Wednesday

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

the theme for the kukai was 'ashes'

Thursday, June 3, 2010


carnival in Venice -
my shadow puts on
a mask
--Jacek Margolak;Poland

In quite an alluring way, Jacek brings us into the sunlight of Venice, and throws us into the theatre of the street; "my shadow" he says; " puts on a mask"; and too, immediately our curiosity is aroused as we read the word 'mask'. There, out in the street, is mystery and gaiety and fun; intimated by his introductory word "carnival". Who could resist this invitation to revelery? He has seduced us with three words--carnival, shadow and mask. This haiku does not conform to the neoclassical 5-7-5, structure but rather, flows with the writer's impetus, He uses a kireji after Line 1, but really, his fragment and phrase, is so well defined, the kireji could have been left out; but its being there, makes for a good visual. And he does it all in 13 syllables. Good job Jacek.
We in Trinidad and Tobago are egocentric about Carnival; we pride ourselves, and without blinking an eye, boast about our festival in the hot sunshine; our carnival of colour and rthymn; yet, Jacek's haiku lured me into googling the Venice Carnival.
Here are 2 links which give yet another taste to compliment this fabulous haiku.
Venice Carnival
Carnevale di Venezia
And a here's a link to
Trinidad Carnival

Thank you Jacek; and thank you all of the other fifteen writers, in this, another successful kukai.

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

the theme for the kukai was carnival

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

good luck foods for the new year

In the compendium of new beginnings, which the New Year offers, there is the detail of food. Why not strengthen ourselves, with a mind to improving situations, along with our resolutions to improve our lives? ...more
This kukai; kukai number nine, emerged a winner who paid attention not only to the people in her family but also to her pet

new year's day
the smell of pickled herring
on the cat's breath
--Cindy Tebo;USA

Begining anew with attention to one's pet; there is a pertinent humanitarian quality here; one of caring, not just on the level of human to human , but of wider acceptance and inclusion, of a pet in the family
Feeding the family maybe an everyday act , but feeding the pet is an extension of caring in any family.

A truly AHA moment of haiku recorded

I was reading recently from WHR, a section of cat pet haiku the section is titled ' My Left-handed Black Catby Atene Kawasaki/ Haiku about by friend after the death of his wife' and the poem that was particularly striking for me was the one in which he questions himself about the situation of others of his cats family; this one the lucky one having strayed into his life;

kogarashi no naka ka koneko no chichi-haha wa

of this kitten...are they exposed
to bitter winter wind?
--Atene Kawasaki as per WHR; Volume 8 Issue 1 - January 2010; copyright

For me this poem resonated well the isssue of caring also subthemed in this CKK's Number nine's winning Haiku
Best Wishes for the New Year; Thanks to all for maikng Caribbean Kigo Number Nine Kukai a success;much love

--gillena cox
coordinator; Caribbean Kigo Kukai

The theme for the kukai was food traditionally considered to bring good luck for the new year