Monday, May 15, 2017

Wild West Haiku Contest: Winners!

I apologize for taking a week to announce the winners of this year's contest, but I was delayed by unexpected circumstances *cough cough laziness cough cough* and I'd better get to it quick since it sounds like I'm coming down with a cold.

First of all, let me say you guys outdid yourselves this year. Picking the winners was tough. A couple brief observations before I get to the winners:
  • I didn't realize titles on haiku were a thing. As long as the title wasn't required to understand the poem (and thus, a way of sneaking in extra syllables), I allowed it.
  • I knew movie references would be a thing. But I didn't expect they'd end up completely shut out of the prizes. A couple came close, but in the end, no pop culture references (be they movie or video game) made the cut.
As always, remember my judging is very subjective, but my word is law. Still, make sure to check out all the action-packed entries.

Anyway, let's get to it.

Mention (Not Honorable, Not Dishonorable... Just Mention)

After five stray shots (TomBstone my favorite among them), Scott's sixth rang true:
Apparently all
I know about the wild west
Is from the movies

Honorable Mentions

For me, this one was the most shocking. Not only did my dad (Charles Wilson) provide a serious entry, but it was actually good. He's come a long way from his early entries purposely insulting haiku. And gift cards. (2010, 2011, 2012)
Spaghetti Westerns
were my childhood food and drink
and still nourish me
From Bob Chase, I'm not sure if this one qualifies as humor or horror:
Sleeping on the ground
The fire goes out way too soon
Horse lips touch my lips
I don't know if Billy the Kid ever actually faced off in this style of showdown, but I love the imagery here from Keith A. Simmonds:
Showdown at high noon...
Billy the Kid walks slowly
set to flash his colts
Sam Cook provided this fine one-two combo of great visuals and subtle humor:
The doors swing open
Silence covers the saloon
Piano gets tuned
And Gillian Skow, I think, did the best job of capturing the voice of the wild west, so to speak:
Howdy gunslinger
We don't want no trouble here
Glassware is costly

First Place - Humorous

Sam takes home the Humorous prize for the second straight year with this one. It still makes me chuckle every time I read it. Killer stuff, Sam:
Stop calling me Kid
It's a little demeaning
I'm William the Man

First Place - Traditional

With Betsy Rose's entry, I'm having trouble putting into words why it speaks to me, but luckily I don't need to explain myself. All I need to do is say it wins. And it has.
The land of big sky
Now tamed by small minded men
The West: wild no more.

First Place - Creative

There were too many great haiku not to reward a third this year, and Larysa gave me the best twist on the Wild West theme. Or maybe I just like puns. Either way, she nets a prize.
Big film producer
Directing film called "The Sun."
It's set in the west.

And that brings this year's contest to close. Sam, Betsy, and Larysa, I think I have your email addresses, but just to be sure, please send me a note at and I'll get you your winnings.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, shared, tweeted, ridiculed, or hacked my contest. Until next time...

As I do each year,
I will end with a haiku.
This is that haiku.