Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Haiku Winners: Together

Haiku. Haiku is what bwings us togeddah, today.

Times are tough. But I'm hoping I can play a part (See what I did there? A part? Oh, never mind.) in making things a teensy bit easier for three people, and for three charities.

And thus, I shall cease my blabbering and announce the winners of my togetherness haiku contest.

Put your hands together (See what I did there?) for this year's award winners:

Not Quite Honorable Mention

My wife Denise's haiku is easily the finest pandering ever done in one of my contests. Unfortunately, she majored in English, not math. Eighteen syllables a haiku does not make.
You are my husband
He is our curly headed boy
We are together

Honorable Mentions

Rawknrobin perfectly encapsulates the mood of the working-from-home masses (even if my company uses Skype, and I'm in the pants-wearing minority).
We aren't wearing pants
Let us zoom together now
Joelle highlights cats' love for cornering us when we're at our most vulnerable (even if we sometimes secretly enjoy the company).
Social distancing?
For humans, not for kitties.
Never poop alone.
And then there's my sister Naomi, whose haiku I laughed out loud at (even if I knew long before the contest started she wasn't going to win).
Why do I see you
Whenever I turn around?
Oh, right! Conjoined twins.

First Prize: Traditional

Yeah, I might be biased against Naomi, but not her 9-year-old son Solomon. He wins the prize for traditional haiku, and he has chosen Habitat for Humanity as his charity. I will be giving them a donation of $100.
A tiny atom.
Has very very small quarks.
All stuck together.

First Prize: Humorous/Creative

Jess Sokol used one of her superpowers (i.e. cats) to take the award for humorous haiku. Her chosen charity is Protectors of Animals, who will also be receiving a $100 donation.
Too many cats near
Eyeing my keyboard and cords
The mouse is afraid

First Prize: Judge's Choice

And finally, my pick for the third prize is one that embodies family and the joys of childhood, courtesy of Joe.
Grab that big blanket.
Everyone, quick, get under.
Now tickle someone!

Joe, please send me an email and let me know to which charity I should donate. I'll be making the donations (and sending out the gift cards) in the next few days.

Congratulations to all the winners and mentions! And thank you to everyone who submitted haiku (you can read all the entries here) or shared the contest with others. I hope I was able to bring you some much-needed levity (and/or spending money) in these trying times.

So, farewell my friends,
Until we meet up again.
(With or without pants.)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Together: A Haiku Contest for Charity

*** The contest has ended. Check out the winners! ***

We, as a people, are too divided. We were already split along economical, ideological, and political lines (among others), and then the Virus That Shall Not Be Named came along and split us apart physically.

Enough is enough. Let's write some haiku about togetherness.

You may think a haiku contest won't accomplish much. And you'd be right. But at least this one will result in $300 for charity. It isn't much, but it's a start.

Simply follow standard haiku structure (5 syllables, then 7, then 5), and write a poem inspired by the word "together." However you interpret the theme is up to you.

I will select the best haiku in the following three categories:
  • Humorous/Creative
  • Traditional (i.e. eloquent, evocative, etc.)
  • Judge's Choice
As in past years,* each winner will receive a $25 gift card. But then I will also donate $100 each to charities of their choosing.

The deadline to submit haiku is Thursday, May 7 at 5:00pm (Eastern Time). Official "rules" are below.

Submit some haiku.
For you, or for charity.
Or for all of us.

Official "Rules":
  1. To enter, post haiku inspired by the word "together" in the comments section below. Multiple submissions are allowed, up to a maximum of five (5) entries. If you submit more than five, it will smack of selfishness in a time of need. It's not a good look for you. And you will not win.
  2. 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. These rules are in place to keep the poetic form safe. If you ignore them, I'll wash my hands of you, and your entry won't win.
  3. The contest is open until Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 5:00pm, Eastern Time. If you arrive late, the contest will already be at capacity, and you'll be left out in the cold. No prize for you.
  4. If your entry is not in English, you must also provide its English translation. If I don't know what you're saying, it'll feel like you're keeping me at a distance. (Note: Translations don't need to adhere to the 17-syllable structure.)
  5. Anonymous entries will not win. You can't foster a feeling of togetherness if all you do is keep secrets.
  6. Prizes will be awarded in each of three (3) categories: Humorous/Creative, Traditional, and Judge's Choice, which is basically a catch-all category because I couldn't think of a proper third one.
    • Each first place winner will each receive a $25 gift card, and I will donate $100 to a charity of their choice.
    • An indeterminate number of Honorable Mentions will receive mention. Also honor.
  7. I will act as sole judge, and select the winning haiku based on the aforementioned criteria, as well as other criteria I make up as I go along. All decisions are final, and will not be changed under any circumstances, unless I decide I was just being sarcastic the first time around.

* For reference, previous themes were: ninja, pirates, robots, space, the ocean, heroes & villains, science, the wild west, and magic.