the Shiki Haiku Prize

catching the light --
a spider threads
the cosmos

Earl Keener



Message from Earl Keener

       What can I say ?  I am stunned. Speechless. It is probably fitting. All words come out of silence and flow back again. I am extremely honored and I am extremely fortunate. Honored, that so many skilled and talented writers have looked favorably on my haiku. Fortunate, because I have not been at this long, and aside from the success of this particular moment and this particular haiku, I know what great field I am a little pointillist dot in - of what radiance, exclamation, and unforgetable beauty/works others in the field are capable of producing.

     I work in the track gang (railroad repair) of a small steel mill in Weirton, West Virginia. Working there,I was fortunate to meet a fellow who, like me, wrote poetry. He became my best friend forever. Eventually, he interested me
in the haiku genre and introduced me to Shiki. I thought I would dabble in haiku -- but it has somehow - if not changed my life-preserved it, deepened it, birdhoused it, clothed it...no...that's not quite it:  Haiku ponds the imponderable. And because it does so, I cannot look away from the possibility of it happening again...
     There are so many I would thank. It would seem I should start with the masters, both living and remembered - and everyone I've encountered through the shiki workshop and shiki list, and haiku community at large. (The poetry of the people!) I should thank the miracle of the times that makes such events
and eventualities possible, and of course the shiki team itself.

catching the light --
a spider threads
the cosmos

It was an October morning. Every year I shepherd the cosmos volunteers into a plot by the stone gate left over from when this rural community was only a farm. This done, I watch them grow. I love this flower not simply for its color and spidery leaves but also for its seasonal longevity. One of Walt Whitman's "noiseless, patient spiders" was industriously uniting its space, its niche, with the cosmos niche in the sandstone wings of the gate. Some threads were catching the light of the sun. This is how one's life is made - or some such thing I must have thought...whatever - I felt that it was good... and even when it was not good that it was still a gift...

and so continues to be:
Unworthy, blessed, and honored,


Earl Keener


_________First Place__________

catching the light --
a spider threads
the cosmos

	Earl Keener



 ________Second Place________

piano practice
losing my place
to the roses

	roberta beary

  

 ________Third Place________

breaking
the mountain's reflection
a water lily

	Sue Mill

_________Below Third Place________

early morning --
a purple crocus
tints the ice

	Earl Keener

iris
the path of the rain
along its blade

	Arkady Elterman

almost home
lilacs bloom
in every lane

	maleti

snowy day
she paints the poppies
a deeper red

	DeVar Dahl

first snow--
the thin petals
of a winter rose

	Naia

jasmine
we arrange our chairs
to face upwind

	Ferris Gilli

clear morning -
a butterfly sips dew
from the lotus

	Tore Sverredal

lifting fog
more poppies
and more

	max verhart

a child's laugh
the first plum blossoms
high in the tree

	paul m.

mountain road
a patch of nameless flowers
stops the traffic

	Arkady Elterman

nursing home -
so many
cut flowers

	Hilary Tann

poppies
on both sides of the fence
hospice gardens

	DeVar Dahl

bedridden poet--
slowly painting one iris,
he sees whole fields

	Billie Wilson

wedding day
wind shakes raindrops
from the roses

	Ferris Gilli

reflecting pond--
a water lily
half submerged

	Naia

chrysanthemum
petal after petal
autumn passes

	M. Gordon

a child's art
the tulips tower
over everything

	John Stevenson

Summer shower.
An old woman with umbrella
visiting her roses.

	Zoran Doderovic

peony clusters
how old I have grown
without you

	Marjorie Buettner




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