2019 Porad Award Winners
Tom Painting, Judge
First Place ($100)
Robert Frost wrote: “To yield with a grace to reason, and bow and accept the end of a love or a season?” Indeed, this haiku references the very essence of such a journey. Fallen leaves remind us of autumn—the season of decline. Wet leaves are on the cusp of decomposition. The process is subtle but certain. The path is that of our own traumas, regrets, and missed opportunities. Perhaps too, it speaks to the awareness of our mortality and the grace with which we let go.
Second Place ($50)
the giddy spin
I’m immediately attracted to the first line of this haiku. It is lighthearted, somewhat like an amusement park ride or a fantasy, only to be followed by the rather sobering mention of a lie. Alas, there are two sides to everything, including the moon and a lie. Late-night lies are often of wishful or wistful thinking and easy to buy into, whether we are telling them to another or to ourselves. Eventually though, the truth comes to dawn. The word “apogee” is fitting. The moon at its farthest point. The truth stretched to its limit.
Third Place ($25)
All remnants or remains suggest a story of life once lived in completeness or of purpose. Swallowed whole or reduced over time, civilizations, people, or prey have a brief window through which to be recognized for what they were. Beyond that it is an educated guess or speculation. We find ourselves talking about the process. The reduction from something to nothing is compelling. We are reminded too, that everything, including ourselves, is woven into the fabric of life.
shimmering heat . . .
Rich imagery, alliteration, and a person with purpose draw me into this scene. I’m intrigued by the silence of the fish hawker and wonder, given words, what the person might say. But alas, the fish speak for themselves.
Key West sunset
Time of day and small talk with purpose draw me into the scene. It is getting late both literally and metaphorically. Nothing that a good ear, a few well-placed words, and a stiff drink won’t cure.
Only when the contents of those things we have locked up inside are revealed can the future become manifest. Plants have a way of knowing when the conditions are right. All of the potential is tucked away until bursting and then carried on the wind. In today’s world, this haiku may speak for people displaced and on the move.