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the 1st AHA

The 1st “aha” (Annual Hortensia Anderson) Haiku Contest held in 2013 was created to honor the memory of a well-known and respected New York-based haiku poet, Hortensia Anderson, Rest in Peace Hortensia.

Deadline: open 1 January 2023 to 31 January 2023. 

Sponsor: the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

Coordinator: Marilyn Humbert, Australia. 

Blind Adjudication: peterB, USA. 

Eligibility: Open to everyone worldwide.

Awards: This contest is FREE for unlimited entries, with no set theme all rights remain with the haiku poets. Printable Certificates will be emailed to winners for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place, and one HM. (see picture below)

Submissions: Entries must be the original work of the author, be unpublished and never posted publicly anywhere, and not under consideration elsewhere for the entire time period it takes to complete the judging. This contest is un-themed and open to all age groups worldwide, any season is acceptable, and there is no specific syllable requirement with the exception of a short, long, short (or close to) rhythm written in 3 lines of vertical (down) text. Entries that do not follow these guidelines will not be considered, read carefully.

Entry Fee: None, it’s FREE!

Guidelines: Use the subject heading (aha entry), and type each individual haiku only, (no senryu) in the body of your email. Include your name, country, and email contact. Please type in this email: 

mhumbert1953 at Gmail dot com (no political or inappropriate material will be considered by the staff).

From Marilyn: “all entrants will be advised that I have received their entry, but if you haven’t heard from me within 7 days, please re-send.”

Notification: ONLY the winners will be notified and ONLY via email, (and if you have no email address available, (please provide a proxy email address.) If you don’t hear anything back by 1 March 2023, your entries are automatically free to submit elsewhere.

Publication: Winners will be posted in March 2023 on the UHTS website with the Judge’s commentary. 

Thank you for your participation to honor the memory of a wonderful person who contributed so much of herself to the haiku community over the years.







  

Tanka Section

 

It has been an absolute pleasure for me to collect these tanka for Songbirds Online. Everyone who submitted paid close attention to the rhythm and aesthetics of this genre. Thus, I had a most difficult time even choosing “one” Editor’s Favorite, albeit this first tanka came as close as possible (in my opinion) to representing a poetically stellar English language tanka.


Editor’s Favorite


the ups and downs

of pain from an affliction

how days unroll news

and news spreading news

into grief this wilting rose


Alan Summers, England 


This tanka is by a true “songbird”, Alan Summers who has captured the true essence of the short song rhythm. It’s definitely one that could have been composed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge the poet credited with founding the Romanticism movement in England. Alan’s words conceptually evoke the pathos of existence which is characterized by a sense of angst, a frequently used key poetic device in Japanese poetry forms, especially in tanka. 

 


Editor's Choice


the straight line

of two white egrets

arrowing

across a sky-blue sky …

quo vadis, quo vadis


Amelia Fielden, Australia


My Editor's Choice is by Amelia Fielden, a well recognized and respcted tanka poet who has made many trips to Japan. Her use of “straight lines” and “arrowing” set the scene for the “two egrets”. She continues with the repetition of “a sky-blue-sky” which makes the tanka lilt. The rhythm of this tanka is a fine example, and the long last line is a clever use of Latin, rather than just saying “where are you going”. 

Thank you to all who submitted and I know each of you will find your favorite and most admired tanka from the other fine works below.



an ex-marine and peace activist speaks of death while apple trees flower bright crimson behind him Jerome Berglund, USA  

  

  


white blossoms

falling on green fields—

quiet moments

across our lake the cry

of returning cranes


Christina Chin, MY



in the midst

of these winter blues

I search

for you to find me

under a spotlight moon


C.X. Turner, UK



how the ocean 

tide pulls out dreams—

sleep dancing

between the rise and fall 

of a summer moon


Melanie Alberts, USA



lake’s edge

the repeated lap

of waves

go up and down

the heron's leg


Ram Chandran, India



shadows falling

on the wall behind the fan

quite naturally

you are always there

for me in the background


Kathy Kituai, Australia



hearing

honks of migrating geese

I yearn

to follow them until

part of me disappears

 

Jo Balistreri, USA



preening lovebirds 

in the magazine

ancient secrets

I keep close to my heart

about how he treated me


Pris Campbell, USA



sitting alone

the gentle summer breeze

caresses my face

how often I mistake it

for the touch of your hand

 

Mona Bedi, India



I can’t accept

anything less than

all your love

… 360 degrees

of a lighthouse beacon

 

Susan Burch, USA

 

 

excited by

her talk about wabisabi

in old things

I tire of wallowing

in my own melancholy

 

Anne Curran, NZ 

 


dawn shakes

her sleep-mussed hair

at first light

the outback sky suffused

with glorious colours

 

Marilyn Humbert, Australia

 

 

even today 

when a flower falls 

in my palm

I still dance to your

once spoken ardent word 

 

Richa Sharma, India

 


midlife crisis

at the dealership

his next red car ...

lightly salted popcorn

on the showroom floor


Roberta Beach Jacobson, USA


 

stubble field—

all my loves mown down

like wheat

only the skylark remains

to sing about them

 

Aljoša Vuković, Croatia

 


dream-incited

I awake with a start

to her promise

sleeping together once

more before we depart

 

R.K. Singh, India

 


empty shells

left on the shelf

and pebbles

that have taken 

someone’s fancy


Mark Gilbert, UK



nocturnal chorus

a cacophony of croaks

and deafening rain

I have come to realize

how still the sound inside me


Lakshmi Iyer, India



fallen leaves 

scatter their colours

on the sidewalk

my shadow covers 

that final glow


Daniela Misso, Italy



the campfire ...

an unending static

between us

a few sparks escape

and ignite my heart

 

Mona Bedi, India

 


watching raindrops

merge on the window pane

forming streaks ...

how quickly my day

slips into the humdrum


Jackie Chou, USA



your rhythms

script my prose of life

so intimate

aroma to a flower

the anthology of our love


Pravat Kumar Padhy, India


   


grey winds

a tender sapling

in spasms

standing its ground

against all odds

 

Elancharan Gunasekaran, Singapore

 

 

fluttering

butterfly wings

your eyes

I miss a few 

of my heartbeats …


Ram Chandran, India


 


 his lies

like a flooding river

overwhelm

everything in its path

… do I stay or leave


Marilyn Humbert, Australia



his face 

just an inch from mine

ahhhhh ...

all the things we feel 

with our eyes closed


Vandana Parashar, India



happy waking

to calls from water-fowl

and the pling pling

of an incoming text

from someone who loves me

 

Amelia Fielden, Australia

 

 

evening wind

the rustle of dry leaves

in giant trees ...

this eases the weight

of my heavy thoughts

 

Mallika Chari, India

 


it is decided!

in the rhythm of my heart

singing goldfinch

a letter in my hands

brings me tears of joy

 

Sonja Kokotović, Croatia

 

 

the green promise

of a new relationship

this fluttering

of malachite butterflies

between sun and shadow

 

Debbie Strange, Canada

 


 the sad song

of a yellow canary

in an empty room

I pack dad's warm clothes

into his old suitcase

 

Mircea Moldovan, România


 

 

I stand weeping

at my father’s grave

regrettable

my callous acceptance

of a more privileged life

 

Keitha Keyes, Australia

 

 

olive harvest

our voices overpowered

by the whistling

love song of a happy 

red-winged blackbird

 

Željko Vojković, Croatia

 

 

ironing

creases on clothes

she folds

her ceaseless thoughts

into the suitcase

 

Amoolya Kamalnath, India

 


in a single line

determined deer ascend

the silvery hill ...

on the crest a proud stag

romances the moon


Barbara A Taylor, Australia



the silent lap

of a stone buddha …

two geckos

seeking nirvana

in a tight embrace


Milan Rajkumar, India

 


is it just the chase  

or will you be here after  

to hang up your spurs …  

the smooth lope of betrayal

as I watch you ride away


Claire Vogel Camargo, USA


the full moon

and silence around me

I feel longing ...

the paths in front of me

lanes of autumn butterflies


Dubravko Korbus, Croatia 


a big scoop

of the moon topped up

with stardust

       and crushed hailstones …

midnight cravings without you

 

Vani Sathyanarayan, India


 


putting on

my new glasses

it’s clear now

that you were never

going to stay


Susan Burch, USA



an autumn wind

carries the last leaves

farther away—

just your old letters

still warming my soul

 

Mirela Brăilean, România

 


the rain-wet rose

of a belated blossom

in December

frost adorns its petals

with silvery lace


Slavica Sarkotić, Croatia


 

wind's magic

countless pink petals

whirl in the alley

skitter up the street

inviting me to dance


Susan Weaver, USA


 


sometimes I miss

quiet winter isolation

by the fireplace

the cat purring on my lap

and books by my armchair

   Djurdja Vukelić Rozić, Croatia

 

the subtle swings

of my pensive mood

  lost in love songs

my heart still swoons

to your eyebrow arches

 

R. Suresh Babu, India

 


snowflakes

still hanging onto

willow sprouts

I turn my ear toward

the whistle of a thrush

 

David He, China

 


as pretty as

an ornamental starfish

the girl who

skims her treasure across

the waves at low tide


Anne Curran, NZ


 


southerly wind

scattered dots of birds

across the sky

she remembers no names

only the notes of their songs


Iliyana Stoyanova, UK



a honey bee

left sitting on the last rose

its fragrance

and all  petals suddenly

taken away by the wind


Zrinka Supek Andrijević, Croatia


 

I watch you

in the morning mirror

carefully

 paint your face

into someone I know


Gavin Austin, Australia



a cold train 

rolling down endless rails

our divorce

the sound of raindrops

in this silence of farewell

Dimitrij Škrk, Slovenia


rocks & runes

around the mountain’s

ocean track

the waves of missing

waves of your leaving


Jenny Fraser, NZ



on the writing desk

in a corner of my room

this slip of paper

from a fortune cookie

has all the words I need


Marcie Wessels, USA




a ruddy bush

touched by the breath of autumn

catches my eye

what short-lived beauty

on an eternal circle

 

Gordana Kurović, Croatia

 

 

wings flutter

a learner dove lands

on our porch 

cooing softly, I place it

back into the nest

 

  Neena Singh, India


 

refugee dreaming

in her native language

finch footprints

carve their cuneiforms

into a frozen pond

 

Judit Hollos, Hungary

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Haiku Section


Editor’s Choice

 

serrated

a cockerel comb

sunrise         

 

Mike Gallagher, Ireland

 

I can only say (in my opinion), this 5-word zen style haiku by Mike, is “really a powerful and new “aha” way to see the sunrise”, through the profile of that “cockerel’s comb”! It shows that without over-padding a haiku with syllables, and keeping it simple, works …


Editor's Choice


midnight train

the curlew’s call

even louder

 

Marilyn Humbert, Australia


Another fine and unique "aha" ending to this one where Marilyn Humbert from Australia lets us hear the curlew's call over the noise of a passing train. Marilyn also gives us repeating "c" sounds in her line 2. Thank you to  all who submitted haiku.



until long

after your departure

mourning doves


Neena Singh, India



empty nest …

the only promise left

of next summer

 

Barry Smith, NZ



pattering rain ...

the number of bubbles 

in a sea wave


Djurdja Vukelić Rozić, Croatia



sidewalk art—

two long steps over

the rainbow


Silva Trstenjak, Croatia


 

an offering

riding on the breeze

a betel leaf

 

Vibha Malhotra, India

 

 

a poem mood

in the bushes and treetops—

pro bono

 

Aleksandar Košeto, Croatia

 

 

a broken kite

on the windswept beach—

cottage for sale

 

Elaine Whitman, USA

 

 

windy corner

a frail figure stoops over

buckets of sweet peas

 

Sheila Barksdale, UK

 

 

a honey bee

stealing the attention

at our church mass

 

Josipa Braut, Croatia

 

 

stargazing

the mind answers

most questions

 

Ernesto P. Santiago, Philippines

 


from the dustbin

a homeless man and a fly

feasting together


Sanja Domenuš, Sisak, Croatia


 

after the storm

a roofless house fills

with moonlight

 

Ravi Kiran, India

 

 

springtime…

the song within

birdsong

 

Ed Bremson, USA

 

 

fungi life—

the photographer looks

for good light

 

Danijela Grbelja, Croatia

 

 

raining leaves …

the last butterfly lost

in the crowd

 

Don Baird, USA

 

 

a fallen leaf

on my welcome mat

I let it in

 

Mona Iordan, România

 

 

see how the morning

unstraps itself from moon glow 

chorus of bird songs

 

Gillena Cox, Trinidad

 


getting bigger 

the sky through the plum tree 

deepening autumn 

 

Govind Joshi, India



loud chirps— 

maple leaves hiding

the singer


Nada Jačmenica, Croatia


 

dawn combo

the pop of my porridge

with birdsong

 

Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana/New Zealand 

 

 

autumn leaves

gathering ...

parting

 

Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta, India

 

 

graveyard visit

smoke from her match rises

in cold drizzle

Michael Lindenhofer, Austria

 

 

kite flying

the journey back

to childhood

 

Uchechukwu Onyedikam,  Nigeria

 

 

summer’s end

swallows on the wing

beaks at full stretch

 

Tony Williams, Scotland UK

 

 

rolling rolling

the colony of ants roll

a fallen apple


Rajka Andelić Maslovarić, Croatia


 

poppies at dusk

in my dream, he says yes

the boy lost to war

 

Richa Sharma, India

 

 

winter bathing        

a bumblebee tucks

into grass

 

Jenny Fraser, NZ

 

 

first camellia

so close to the ground

so at peace

 

Tzetzka Ilieva, USA

 

 

great stillness

over the battlefield …

then lark song

 

Marta Chocilowska, Poland

 

 

upside down 

blues matching mine

winter nuthatch

 

Luminita Suse, Canada

 

 

old gravestone

a crow shadows

the carved name

 

Pris Campbell, USA

 

 

every gust 

a shower of red leaves 

every gust 


Meera Rehm, UK

 

 

sunset fields

a flock of pigeons

takes flight

 

Mona Bedi, India

 

 

hurricane’s far edge

rifling through my wool sweater

the wind spins a hole

 

Shelli Jankowski, USA

 

 

late summer ...

all dandelions await

the right wind

 

Daniela Rodi, Finland

 

 

a velvet-red rose

the sun’s energy rays

multiplies its thorns

 

Dakota Williams, USA

 

 

world news

tansies freckle our way

with light

 

Debbie Strange, Canada

 

 

mackerel clouds                

whipbirds loudly alert

each other

 

Barbara A Taylor, Australia

 

 

tree pruning

the blackbird searches for

his favourite branch

 

Julie Adamson, NZ

 

 

temple visit …

the pooja basket heavy

with hopes and wishes

 

Kavitha Sreeraj, India

 

 

fog lifts

over the sea strand

steeping tea

 

Neal Whitman, USA

 

 

white cumulus clouds

white lilies of the valley …

an all-white English spring 

 

Anna Maria Mickiewicz, Great Britain

 

 

translating

the language of rain—

blackbird’s song

 

Adele Evershed, USA

 

 

slim moon …

admiring the old cat’s

appetite

Keiko Izawa, Japan

 

chalk doodles

along the sidewalk

wildflowers

 

Joseph P. Wechselberger, USA

 

 

another winter ...

this oleander tree too

is bent all the time

 

Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta, India

 

 

cackling winds

lake effect witch hats

hushed by ice

 

peterB, USA

 

 

island causeway—

a summer tide washes out 

the bridge of stars

 

Pippa Phillips, USA

 

 

dawn chimney

a hooded crow steals the dregs 

of last night's heat 

 

Mike Gallagher, Ireland

 

 

surprise rain

autumn colors flowing

to the sea

 

Eavonka Ettinger, USA

 


park bench

the quiet spot found beside

a spring crow


Elancharan Gunasekaran, Singapore


 

care home window

the songbirds are counted

as visitors too

 

Tony Williams, Scotland UK

 

 

calm bay waters

splashing pelicans

stir up trouble

 

Elaine Whitman, USA

 

 

mom's garden

goldfinches devouring

bits of cosmos

 

Tomislav Sjekloća, Montenegro


 

baby's breath bouquet

rooted among the walkway

my children grown-gone

 

Dakota Williams, USA

 

 

dawn beats 

the eternal shine 

of dew 

 

Ernesto P. Santiago, Philippines

 

 

a lone crow ...

its eyes are full

of autumn


Dubravko Korbus, Croatia



gnarled apples

forgotten orchard

feeding deer

 

C.X. Turner, UK



a stroke of wind

brushes across the sky  

horse now a whale

 

petro c. k., USA

 

 

literary day—

a goldfinch compensates 

for bad poetry

 

Aljoša Vuković, Croatia

 

 

autumn dusk …

rotting lemon thrown

in the dustbin

 

Bipasha Majumder, India 

 

 

too late for frost

too early for the mud

a smell of peat

 

Neal Whitman, USA

 

 

the matriarch leads

her herd of elephants

puddle to puddle

 

Keitha Keyes, Australia



the ringing of bells

an echo of blessings

over a mountain

 

Gordana Kurtović, Croatia

 

 

fetal ultrasound

when shadows move apart

the baby's smile


Silva Trstenjak, Croatia


 

cradled

in the curve of a pine

blood moon

 

Joseph P. Wechselberger, USA

 

 

old scarecrow

with a new hat—

hunting style

Štefanija Ludvig, Croatia

 

 

sipping

the winter moon

a mushroom


Vani Sathyanarayan, India

 


just bloomed rose—

the butterfly lands gently

on a petal


Vladimir Ludvig, Croatia

 

 

a call to roost

each rook gathering

yet another rook

Alan Summers, England

 


harvest moon—

a cicada chorus

rubs my nerves

Don Baird, USA

 

unmindful

of the effect on me

a singing thrush

 

Vandana Parashar, India

 

 

spring's arrival

new life awakes like

never before

 

Maid Čorbić,  Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

 

hill country—

I trace the curvatures 

on a toad’s back 

 

Chris Langer, USA

 


morning field—

grasshoppers jump over

sleeping refugees


Vladislav Hristov, Bulgaria



the wartime …

a soldier from the tank

watches pigeons in flight

 

Gordana Vlašić, Croatia

 

passing storm

i touch a rainbow

on a rose chafer


Meera Rehm UK


alarm clock

the Koel’s coos pour

into my cup

Minal Sarosh, India

feeling the wren's song

unfurled from a great distance

my own folded wings

 

Shelli Jankowski-Smith, USA

 


mountain trek

my name heard among 

bleating sheep

 

Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana/New Zealand

 


river's bend

a robin's cry fills

the willow

 

David He, China

 

winter dusk

crows screaming insults

each to each

 

Susan Nordmark, USA

ahead of me

a rabbit leads the way

fallen leaves

 

Jenny Pratt, NZ

to the last leaf  

a fig tree by my window

keeps autumn colors

 

Nevenka Erman, Žminj, Croatia

crossing

the eye of the storm

rogue wave

 

Cynthia Anderson, USA

spring cleaning

the dust of winter dreams

leave the dream-catcher

 

Dubravko Korbus, Croatia

misty daydream

Vikings land on the shore

of my childhood

 

Michael Dudley, Canada

Good Friday

at the end of our procession

first swallows

 

Mihovila Ceperić-Biljan, Croatia

night nursery—

through a sleepless window

tiny stars

 

Robert Witmer, Japan

autumn day 

chestnuts being taken 

by squirrels 

 

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, USA

thawing pond

a frog croaks once

and naps again

 

Charles Harper, Japan

 


the froth

atop my morning coffee—

tui song

 

Margaret Beverland, NZ

 


a pinecone

high above still water …

lets go

 

Vibha Malhotra, India

 


moving on

from barely to plenty

hummingbirds

 

Luminita Suse, Canada

 


train whistle

the loneliness

of old age

 

Maureen Sudlow, NZ

 

broken cloud

the golden seams

of sunset

Gavin Austin, Australia


the sparrow

lands on a bush before …

firecrackers

 

Gordana Vlasić, Croatia

 


afternoon—

spider silk bridging the tree

and the vine

 

Govind Joshi, India

 


closed window

only light shines through

the settled dust

 

Dimitrij Škrk, Slovenia

 

fountain

my pocket full

of wishes


Birk Andersson, Sweden

 


one sunbeam

after another

cat napping

 

Eavonka Ettinger, USA

 

nice neighborhood—

they intertwine their boughs

a cherry and walnut tree 


Vilma Knezević, Croatia


bottlebrush in bloom …

about the red flower spikes

birds busy themselves

Rob McKinnon, South Australia

earthworm 

my breath curls, curls 

and uncurls 

Minal Sarosh, India


mountain temple

a bag of chestnuts

from the priest

 

Keiko Izawa, Japan


early blackbirds

giving color to the garden

still without snow


Michael Lindenhofer, Austria

climbing beans 

with the help of two poles

and a staircase


Marija Maretić, Croatia

false dawn 

a purple martin’s chortle

out of tune

 

Judit Hollos, Hungary

 


chirping—

maple leaves hiding

the singer

 

Nada Jačmenica, Croatia

 

blackbird´s song

the first snowflakes to land

on a rusty fence


Mircea Moldovan, România



sparrow

carolling

me home*


Helen Buckingham, UK



dark mountain path

lost sheep witness their shepherd’s

transfiguration*

 

Richard Arriaga, USA

-------------------------------------------------------------


* Helen Buckingham Haiku previous published

(BHS Annual Haiku Anthology: Temple, 2021)

 

* Richard Arriaga Haiku The Transfiguration Matthew 17:2

 

Note: please let me know if you find any errors or omissions

and I will correct or add them.  tankaanya@protonmail.com