Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ninja Haiku Contest!

**The contest has ended** (view the winners)

Announcing The Wheel’s 1st Annual Haiku Contest!

This year’s theme: Ninjas.

Haiku are Japanese poetry. Ninjas are Japanese mercenaries. Yet ninjas are grossly under-represented in haiku while zombies (American), vampires (Transylvanian), and werewolves (in London) get immortalized in verse. It’s just not right.

Well, no more. It’s time for ninjas to get their day in the sun (whilst remaining in the shadows).

So, write your own ninja haiku in the comments for this blog post. Two lucky winners will receive a free dinner at the Japanese restaurant of their choice!

I will be selecting the best haiku in each of two categories:
  • Humorous/Creative
  • Traditional (i.e. eloquent, evocative, etc.)
The deadline to submit a haiku is Friday, May 7 at 5:00pm (Eastern Time). Please review the official rules below before entering.

Good luck!

Official Rules:
  1. To enter, post a ninja-related haiku in the comment section below. Include your name with each entry. If you don’t include your name, I’ll assume you’re a ninja and will run and hide rather consider your poem for a prize.
  2. Multiple submissions are allowed.
  3. Standard haiku rules apply. To qualify, each entry must be a three-line poem, the first line containing exactly 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the third line 5 syllables. If you miscount, you bring shame upon yourself and every math teacher who ever taught you.
  4. Entries must be in English. (Translation: Using Japanese kanji will not help you win for best traditional haiku. Since I won’t be able to understand your entry, you will finish in dead last. Because a ninja will kill you.)
  5. The contest is open until Friday, May 7, 2010 at 5:00pm, Eastern Time. If you try to sneak an entry in after the deadline, I’ll assume you’re a ninja and that your entry is either poisoned or rigged to explode. Consequently, I will avoid your poem and you will not win.
  6. There is no rule 6.
  7. Prizes will be awarded in each of two categories: Humorous/Creative and Traditional.
    • Two (2) first place winners will receive: a free dinner at the Japanese restaurant of their choice, up to a value of... let’s say $25 or so. It is assumed that I will join you for this dinner. However, if you: a) don’t live anywhere near Connecticut, b) don’t actually know me, or c) can’t get within 500 yards of me due to that restraining order, this clause can be waived and we’ll work something out.
    • An undetermined number of Honorable Mentions will receive: bragging rights over everyone who doesn’t win. They may also receive something like chopsticks or origami or Beverly Hills Ninja on VHS, though I haven’t made up my mind about that yet.
    • All non-winners receive: dishonor, and are expected to commit ritual seppuku at their earliest convenience.
  8. I will act as sole judge, and select the winning haiku based on the aforementioned criteria, as well as other criteria that I make up as I go along. All decisions are final, and will not be changed under any circumstances unless bribery is involved.
  9. No people were harmed in the creation of this contest... yet.


  1. Ninjas are awesome.
    They throw shurikens at me.
    Now I am dead. Ow.

  2. God damn - seppuku? I'd have given it a shot, but now I don't know...

  3. you hear no footfalls
    from the enclosing darkness,
    just your hearts last beat.

  4. cursed tabi socks
    blisters inbetween my toes
    make me want to kill.

  5. Ninja and Pirate
Walk into a public bar.
The Ninja walks out.

    A Ninja and priest,

    Having nothing else to do
    walk into a bar.

    A depressed ninja,
Having nothing else to do
    walks into a sword.

  6. ninjas are so cool
    but haiku really isn't
    japanese food? yech!

  7. Now you've done it...given me a reason to make stuff up.

    Black clad assassins
    wrapped in secrets and shadows.
    Silent and unseen.

    New sport: Ninja-ball!
    Ten balls, twenty kung-fu grips
    Played by ninjas. Score.

    Up, Up, Down, Down, Left
    Right, Left, Right. B. A. Select.
    Start. Code of Ninjas.

    Renaissance Painters
    trained by a talking rat and
    eat pizza. Genius.

    Movie that writes itself. You're
    welcome, Hollywood.

  8. The great Lee Van Cleef
    and Timothy Van Patten
    Worst. Ninjas. Ever.

  9. Screw the damn ninjas - I never liked poetry, least of all haiku.

    The thing with haiku - you get so damn distracted, counting syllables....

    Typical Japan. Rules for ev'ry little thing. But ninjas scorn rules!

    Now Irish ninjas...they've limericks for their deeds! Much more poetic:

    There once was a ninja from Kobe
    whose sword got caught up in his robe
    This lim'rick's a joke
    it works written, not spoke
    And the rules of this blog, does not obey.

  10. Hey, Tandyman. Did you know that there is already at least one book about vampire ninjas? "Blood Ninja" by Nick Lake. Actually, it wasn't that good; I was rather disappointed. With such an absolutely fantastic premise, the book should have been so much awesomer. Just thought you might like to know.

  11. You know what they need?
    A movie about Zombies,
    Ninjas and Pirates.

  12. A laden tree sways
    in the breeze of flitting forms.
    All the cherries, gone.

    He is defeated.
    I listen to the silence
    Of his furtive screams

    Ninja and Pirate
    Meet in a moldy dungeon.
    Their love: forbidden

    The lazy ninja
    Found H.G. Wells’ formula,
    Eschewed need for stealth.

  13. Submitted too late,
    And without giving my name.
    Woot! Double ninja!

    A man approaches.
    Shrouded in darkness, I wait.
    He won't feel a thing.

    Death has come for you.
    Oh, and by 'death,' I mean me.
    For I am Ninja.

    A lone silhouette
    Gliding across the rooftops.
    Slice! The moon is down.

    A slaughtered ninja?
    That can only mean one thing...
    Chuck Norris was here.

    Ooh, baby ninja,
    You shouldn't play with that knife.
    Here, give it to-- [Dies.]

  14. Friends are evil.
    Darkness Prevails.
    Grey hair is God's graffiti.

    1. Um...okay. Let's tick off what you did wrong here:
      1. This isn't a haiku.
      2. This has nothing to do with ninjas.
      3. You missed the contest deadline by 6 years, 5 months, and ~14 hours.

      Other than that, fantastic entry!

  15. Friends are evil.
    Darkness Prevails.
    Grey hair is God's graffiti.

    1. Um...okay. Let's tick off what you did wrong here:
      1. Friends are not evil. Not in general. In fact, mine the exact opposite of evil. Maybe your friends are evil, but then you should have specified.
      2. You capitalized "Prevails" for no reason. If you were e.e. cummings, I'd allow it. I'd also be overwhelmed with pride that you visited my blog. Oh, and I'd be quick to ask how you came back from the dead and learned to use a computer. But you're not e.e. cummings. So it's a peculiar choice, and I don't approve.
      3. The grey hair/God's graffiti metaphor doesn't make much sense to me. Are you saying grey hair is God's way of beautifying the world? Or that he takes years to create his uninspiring art, and is so lacking in creativity he only uses one color?
      4. The third line has no connection to the first two.
      5. Your ninja haiku entry is neither about ninja, a haiku, or an entry. Discuss.