2017 Haiku Invitational Winners presented by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.

Top Winners

Vancouver

the names
of children being called home
cherry blossoms
                      Ann Harreby
                      Coquitlam, British Columbia

British Columbia

cherry blossoms
a winter jacket
hangs from a branch
                      Beth Skala
                      Nanaimo, British Columbia

Canada

transience . . .
petal by petal
we let go
                      Debbie Strange
                      Winnipeg, Manitoba

United States

the gasp
before the sigh . . .
cherry blossoms
                      Terri L. French
                      Huntsville, Alabama

 

International

Falling cherry petals
how gently the world lets go
of light
                      Sanjuktaa Asopa
                     Belgaum, Karnataka

Youth

blossoms float down
graduation hats fly up
a new beginning
                       Amy Wells, age 16
                      Christchurch, New Zealand

Click here for commentary on winning poems

All poems are listed in alphabetical order in each category.

Vancouver
Sakura Awards

My new neighbour
has never seen
cherry blossoms
                      Rita Ager
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

Thru the branches
Of the pink cherry blossoms
I see a smiling face
                      Rosemarie Daviduk
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

The tea tastes bitter
in my new country
but cherry blossoms dance
                      Lesley Donaldson
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

footbridge
the last few steps
in the blossom
                      Gary Eaton
                      Port Moody, British Columbia

one foot another foot
the little hand reaches out
to cherry petals
                      Rachel Enomoto
                      Burnaby, British Columbia

one more year
she whispers
distant blossoms
                      Rachel Enomoto
                      Burnaby, British Columbia

tucking her arm
into the crook of his own
cherry blossoms

Ann Harreby
Coquitlam, British Columbia

pink petals lined
outside automatic doors
welcome to Canada
                      Angel Lo
                      Richmond, British Columbia

my kind
of baptism—
cherry blossom rain
                      Vicki McCullough
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

crossing the border
with ease
cherry petals
                      Jacqueline Pearce
                      Burnaby, British Columbia

covering
yesterday’s news
cherry blossoms

David Randen
Coquitlam, British Columbia

nudged by the wind
cherry blossom petals
know no borders
                      Deirdre Rogers
                      North Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver
Honourable Mentions

Graduates pose proudly
beneath waking buds
ready to bloom.
                      Antoinette Cheung
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

first come the blossoms
then long warm airy evenings
soft petals bare skin
                      James Coyle
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

Yoga on the beach
cherry petals land
on my feet
                      Lesley Donaldson
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

A gusting wind takes away
the blossom’s free fall
path erratically altered
                      Donna Jean MacKinnon
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

A single petal
through my fingertips
falls in the wind
                      Gabriel Malvas
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

cherry petal
for a moment
defying gravity
                      Vicki McCullough
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

first reading
in the scholar’s garden
a cherry bud blooms
                      Angela Naccarato
                      Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

over
a shimmering cherry
a flock of hummingbirds
                     Angela Naccarato
                     Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

ocean breeze
rippling
cherry blossoms
                     David Randen
                     Coquitlam, British Columbia

Cherry branches waving
I try to hold back a smile
for passport photos
                      Monica Wang
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

Cherry blossoms
Welcome strangers
From new lands
                      Jill Warner
                      Vancouver, British Columbia

British Columbia
Sakura Awards

final blessing
cherry petals fall
on silent mourners
                     Dan Curtis
                     Victoria, British Columbia

day of her departure
cherry blossoms
scattered on the wind
                     Tom Drescher
                     Rossland, British Columbia

missing home
a cherry blossom
in her coffee
                     Ulrike Narwani
                     North Saanch, British Columbia

chemo complete
her pink ribbon hat
fills with blossoms
                     Nika
                     Victoria, British Columbia

the long wait
at the border crossing
cherry blossoms
                     Nika
                     Victoria, British Columbia

outside the courthouse
cherry blossoms
I get the children
                     Beth Skala
                     Nanimo, British Columbia

British Columbia
Honourable Mentions

cherry blossoms
sharing the moon
at river’s edge
                     Gerald Cawdell
                     Victoria, British Columbia

guided strolls
the blossoms whisper
in every language
                     Devin Harrison
                     Duncan, British Columbia

drifting petals
a hush descends on
this sacred space
                     Devin Harrison
                     Duncan, British Columbia

Cherry blossoms
only know how
to fill the sky
                     Leanne McIntosh
                     Nanaimo, British Columbia

far from the bombs
legions of cherry trees
explode into pink

                      Judy Miller
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Citizenship day
Clutching papers, I exhale
Blossoms fill the air

                    Holly Schofield
Galiano, British Columbia

Intensive Care ward
beyond the window
cherry trees in bloom
                     Gregory Lance Skala
                     Nanaimo, British Columbia

moonlit blossoms . . .
my voice crescendos
with a chorus of frogs
                     elehna de sousa
                     Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

lulled by the rain
and singing frogs . . .
cherry blossom dreamtime
                     elehna de sousa
                     Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Next time
I will choose to be
A blossom in the wind
                     Philip Tingey
                     Chilliwack, British Columbia

on the mountain side
the blossoms disappear
into the mist
                     Naomi Beth Wakan
                     Gabriola island, British Columbia

Canada
Sakura Awards

the cherry tree
on this old wedding picture
still alive
                     Diane Descoteaux
                     Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil, Quebec

bridal shower—
cherry petals
in her hair
                     Ellen Cooper
                     Montreal, Quebec

shaking out
the picnic blanket . . .
cherry petals
                     Pamela Cooper
                     Montreal, Quebec

the pink nose
of a feral rabbit . . .
Sakura
                     Debbie Strange
                     Winnipeg, Manitoba

neighbor built a fence
the blossoms
I still see
                     Guillaume Beaulieu-Houle
                     Montreal, Quebec

newly arrived
cherry petals shower
her hijab
                     Marianne Paul
                     Kitchener, Ontario

at the fingertip
of a child refugee . . .
cherry blossoms
                     Chen-ou Liu
                     Ajax, Ontario

Canada
Honourable Mentions

free at last—
Sunday morning
with the cherry petals
                     Marilyn Potter
                     Toronto, Ontario

sensing the wren
in the twitch
of cherry blossom
                     Dorothy Mahoney
                     Windsor, Ontario

blossoms above
& below the tree
the ashes
                     kjmunro
                     Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

undocumented
cherry petals drifting
across the border
                     Marilyn Potter
                     Toronto, Ontario

cherry blossoms
I choose the path
less traveled
                     Chen-ou Liu
                     Ajax, Ontario

becoming
one with water
cherry petals
                     Veronika Zora Novak
                     Toronto, Ontario

late spring blizzard
somewhere
cherry blossoms
                     Leslie Bamford
                     Waterloo, Ontario

palliative care ward
cherry petals ride
a nurse’s cap
                     Harvey Jenkins
                     Winnipeg, Manitoba

International
Sakura Awards

falling blossoms
the dimples
in our newborn’s cheeks
                     Bouwe Brouwer
                     Sneek, The Netherlands

spring breeze
cherry blossoms
in the magpie nest
                     Zornitza Stefanova Harizanova
                     Sofia, Bulgaria

meditation retreat . . .
before freeing the mind
cherry blossoms
                     Samantha Sirimanne Hyde
                     Sydney, Australia

cherry blossoms
the wild chords
of a street busker
                     Brandon Kent
                     Southampton, England

through barbed wire
a breeze of cherry petals
delights a child
                     Marietta Jane McGregor
                     Canberra, Australia

home from the war
the veteran gives thanks
for cherry blossoms

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia

breathing in
breathing out
cherry blossoms
                     Aparna Pathak
                     Gurugram, India

sakura flurry
the pre-schooler turns
into an airplane
                     Geethanjali Rajan
                     Chennai, India

first walk
without a scarf
cherry blossoms
                     Rachel Sutcliffe
                     Huddersfield, United Kingdom

International
Honourable Mentions

first cherry bud
an old gardener
silences the dog
                     Magdalena Banaszkiewicz
                     Zielona Gora, Poland

letting him go
the night fills
with cherry blossom
                     Marina Bellini
                     Bagnolo San Vito, Italy

Spring flurry . . .
cherry petals float through
the locked gate
                     Nathalie Buckland
                     Nimbn, Australia

baby in the cradle
how silent fall
the cherry blossoms
                     Zoran Doderovic
                     Novi Sad, Serbia

our last embrace
the delicate scent
of cherry blossoms
                     Marisa Fazio
                     Melbourne, Australia

pink drips
from my calligraphy brush
cherry blossoms
                     Marisa Fazio
                     Melbourne, Australia

cherry blossom
the silence
on her lips
                     Rajandeep Garg
                     Sangrur, India

citizenship vows . . .
a spill of sakura blooms
on freshly turned earth
                     Samar Ghose
                     Perth, Australia

broken cherry twig
she returns
to her maiden name
                     Nikolay Grankin
                     Krasnodar, Russia

cherry blossoms
beneath her ribcage
a little kick
                     Hazel Hall
                     Canberra, Australia

between letting go
and touching the ground
cherry petal breeze
                     Simon Hanson
                     Jimboomba, Australia

playtime . . .
refugee children skip
in blossom land

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia

drifting petals
a swallow touches
the current
                     Polona Oblak
                     Ljubljana, Slovenia

I tell him
what I really think . . .
rain-soaked blossom
                     Polona Oblak
                     Ljubljana, Slovenia

survivor’s guilt—
the long yard of
cherry blossoms”
                     Ernesto P. Santiago
                     Solano, Philippines

sudden wind
the garden buddha’s head crowned
with cherry petals
                     Olivier Schopfer
                     Geneva, Switzerland

taking his nap outside
my father returns
with blossoms in his hair
                     Sandra Simpson
                     Tauranga, New Zealand

cherry blossom . . .
for a moment or two
I can skip again
                     Sandra Simpson
                     Tauranga, New Zealand

first day home
from the hospice
cherry blossoms
                     Christina Sng
                     Singapore

first blossoms
slowly
then all at once
                     Iliyana Stoyanova
                    St Albans, United Kingdom

spring cherries—
a cocoon breaks into
a butterfly”
                     Aashika Suresh
                     Chennai, India

first blossom
salaryman
unloose your tie
                     Scott Thouard
                     Norh Ipswich, Australia

starry night—
a cherry branch in blossom
for no one
                     Maria Tirenescu
                     Cugir, Romania

USA
Sakura Awards

cherry blossom breeze
the schnauzer runs
without a leash
                     Mike Blottenberger
                     Hanover, Pennsylvania

cherries in bloom—
a wood duck
pedals a path
                     Jeffrey Ferrara
                     Worcester, Massachusetts

an old man
learns two new words
cherry blossom
                     Jennifer Hambrick
                     Columbus, Ohio

cherry blossom song
grandmother sings the anthem
in her native tongue
                     Jessica Malone Latham
                     Santa Rosa, California

petals in the wind
a protest sign leans against
the cherry tree
                     Ann Magyar
                     Brighton, Massachusetts

sakura petals
an old soldier whispers
their names
                     Joe McKeon
                     Strongsville, Ohio

 

First letter home
In the envelope
A cherry blossom
                     Darcy McMurtery
                     Seattle, Washington

beyond the horizon
my cherry tree blooming
in a place called home
                     Marion Poirier
                     Boston, Massachusetts

both sides
of the wall
cherry blossoms
                     Holli Rainwater
                     Fresno, Ohio

not seeing
the blue of the sky
until the blossoms
                     Agnes Eva Savich
                     Pflugerville, Texas

cherry blossoms
she uses both hands
to send the kiss
                     Michelle Schaefer
                     Bothell, Washington

the things
that children know
budding blossoms
                     Michelle Schaefer
                     Bothell, Washington

the scent the same
in every language
cherry blossoms
                     Stevie Strang
                     Laguna Niguel, California

so easy
to let go
cherry blossom
                     Kath Abela Wilson
                     Pasadena, California

school’s out
flutter
of a loose petal
                     Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff
                     Dubuque, Iowa

USA
Honourable Mentions

no artificial color
no preservatives
cherry blossoms
                     Johnny Baranski
                     Vancouver, Washington

a thousand
cherry blossoms
make a tree
                     Brad Bennett
                     Arlington, Massachusetts

cherry blossoms whirl . . .
young girl freed
of training wheels
                     Nancy Brady
                     Huron, Ohio

moonlit moth
among the fluttering
cherry petals
                     Brett Brady
                     Pahoa, Hawaii

reaching for
cherry blossoms
baby’s first steps
                     Susan Burch
                     Hagerstown, Maryland

cherry petals . . .
how gently they flutter
to the ground
                     Sandip Chauhan
                     Great Falls, Virginia

pink sunset
we lace our fingers
for the first time
                     Meagan Collins
                     Tulsa, Oklahoma

she bows
with the cherry blossoms
her grandson, too
                     Patricia Davis
                     Pembroke, New Hampshire

night vigil
the cherry blossoms
all mine
                     Patricia Davis
                     Pembroke, New Hampshire

flying a flag
that carries liberty
cherry blossom wind
                     Rebecca Drouilhet
                     Picayune, Mississippi

holding on
a drop of dew
on the cherry blossom
                     Terri L. French
                     Huntsville, Alabama

in lieu of snowflakes
we catch falling blossoms
on our tongues
                     Adam Henze
                     Bloomington, Indiana

strong breeze—
the murmuration
of pink petals
                     Carol Judkins
                     Carlsbad, California

adoption day
the grafted cherry blooms
at last
                     Barbara Kaufmann
                     Massapequa Park, New York

on every umbrella
an equal measure
of cherry petals
                     Julie Bloss Kelsey
                     Germantown, Maryland

spent blossoms—
the remission, too,
was unexpected
                     Mary Kendall
                     Chapel Hill, North Carolina

this year
near the old ones
a new cherry sprout
                     Jill Lange
                     Cleveland Heights, Ohio

free
to go . . .
blossom rain
                     Michael Henry Lee
                     St. Augustine, Florida

spring break—
the cherry tree lets go
of its blossoms
                     Carole MacRury
                     Point Roberts, Washington

still visible
through the cherry blossoms
the North Star
                     Ann Magyar
                     Brighton, Massachusetts

after the war
the cherry tree
still blooms
                     Nancy Nitrio
                     Orangevale, California

cherry blossoms
what might not be there
tomorrow
                     Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
                     Fairlawn, Ohio

finally free from pain
cherry blossoms
on her grave
                     David Strang
                     Laguna Niguel, California

park walk
in my dog’s cone collar
cherry blossoms
                     Christine L. Villa
                     North Highlands, California

wedding day
two white doves rising
into cherry blossoms
                     Marilyn Appl Walker
                     Madison, Georgia

Youth
Sakura Awards

Good night moon
good morning sun
hello blossom trees
                     Ruby Allan, age 9
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

cherry blossoms
the names on the stone
fade to pink
                     Ioana Brînzei, age 13
                      Botoșani, Romania

cherry blossoms
the life of a mayfly
fleeting
                     Jack Foo, age 11
                     Singapore

ripple in the lake
cherry blossoms
slowly drifting
                     Jack Foo, age 11
                     Singapore

reading books at school
want to go outside
seeing beautiful blossoms
                     Jahan Gold, age 10
                     Vancouver, Canada

I step into a river
of cherry blossoms
They float off the trees
                     Annabelle Harvey, age 8
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

Refugees from
third world countries
smile at the blossoms
                     Abbey Hollingsworth, age 11
                     Vancouver, Canada

early morning
a cherry blossom falls
on the baby swallows wing
                     Phoebe James, age 8
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

school bell rings
doors open
cherry blossoms
                     Jacob Leong, age 16
                     Surrey, Canada

Alone in the dark
Trying to find my lost path
To the blossom temple
                     George Lindores, age 14
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

pink cherry petals falls
on white pigeons wings
a watercolour painting
                     Jeffrey Liu, age 16
                     Coquitlam, Canada

in the dim moonlight
the scent of cherry blossoms
lingers in the air
                     Olivia Liu, age 10
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

after the storm
a lost lady bug
rests on a cherry blossom
                     Alice Macdonald, age 9
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

Petals in the air,
Blown everywhere by the wind;
My thoughts fly freely.
                     Johnny Peng, age 14
                     Vancouver, Canada

From a land where people silenced me
to a place where blossoms
welcome me
                     Hannah Smith, age 11
                     Vancouver, Canada

midnight
the glowing blossom trees
lead me home
                     Anneliese Surveyor, age 8
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

city skyline
a kayaker paddles
through cherry petals
                     Sarah Sakura Welch, age 11
                     Sammamish, United States

As a family waits
to cross the border
a cherry petal flutters
                     Mason Yip, age 12
                     Vancouver, Canada

Youth
Honourable Mentions

As I step outside
the blossoms fall over me
I am finally free
                     Ruby Cox, age 14
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

a bad day
washed away
by a sea of pink
                     Liam Dickson, age 11
                     Vancouver, Canada

Blossoms flutter
on girls with voices
to speak up for themselves
                     Chrissy Drexel, age 11
                     Vancouver, Canada

Deep sleep under the
cherry blossom tree
not a sound is made.
                     Honor Forobs, age 9
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

Still blue sky
has been
splashed with pink.
                     Honor Forobs, age 9
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

when you walk by
something is following you
blossoms on the breeze
                     Rachael Forrester, age 11
                     Vancouver, Canada

partial eclipse
crows gathering in
the cherry tree
                     Naomi Gaidur, age 13
                      Botoșani, Romania

freedom
A naive deer,
grazing on blossoms
                     Amelia Rose Gordon, age 11
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

I step into a river
of cherry blossoms
                     Annabelle Harvey, age 8
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

boys can love
something not blue
pink cherry blossoms
                     Yaya He, age 14
                     Vancouver, Canada

lunch break
brushing cherry blossoms
off sandwiches
                     Olivia Holdsworth, age 17
                     Auckland, New Zealand

land of Sakura
in a mist of floating clouds
the blush of spring
                     Madelaine Jorgensen, age 12
                     Edmonton, Canada

Summer is coming
as quickly as the stream can—
as blossoms tell us.
                     Sarah Liu, age 7
                     Vancouver, Canada

Freedom around the world
like a handful
of blossoms
                     Lucas Liu, age 9
                     Vancouver, Canda

on the green grass field
running under cherry blossom
the gift of freedom
                     Shawn Lu, age 15
                     Coquitlam, Canada

Cherry blossom
The pink so bright
in the spring light
                     Josh Molloy, age 14
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

cherry blossoms’ road . . .
first time travelling
on my own
                     Moon Taha Teen Nikita, age 15
                     Dhaka, Bangladesh

Prayer bell rings
A green pheasant walks by
The old blossom tree
                     Masha Pospolitak, age 9
                     Christchurch, New Zealand

beautiful petals
morning breeze sways it’s branches
birds chirping a song
                     Anna Seiki, age 11
                     Madison, Georgia

a frog jumps
into the old pond . . .
the parting of petals
                     Sarah Sakura Welch, age 11
                     Sammamish, United States

Cured of cancer
welcomed back with open arms
and pink is everywhere
                     Brendan Yeung, age 10
                     Vancouver, Canada

no school today
I sleep under
cherry blossom dreams
                     Sam Zhou, age 15
                     Vancouver, Canada