Conducted by Gillena Cox, TT




CaribbeanKigo #08 lights Kukai



Players: 1. Gynith Roberts, USA; 2. Vasile Moldovan, Romania; 3. Shanna Baldwin Moore, Hawaii, USA; 4. Tatjana Debeljacki, Serbia; 5. John McDonald, Scotland; 6.  Sakuon Nakamura, Japan; 7. John Daleiden, USA;  8. Taro Kunugi, Japan; 9. Ralf Bröker, Germany; 10. Victor P. Gendrano, Philippines; 11. William Kenny, USA; 12. Juhani Tikkanen, Finland; 13. Krzysztof Kokot, Poland; 14. Jacek Margolak, Poland; 15; Kalina Trendafilova, Bulgaria; 16. Mary Davila, USA; 17. Cindy Tebo, USA; 18. Rafal Zabratynski, Poland; 19.Catherine J.S. Lee, Maine, USA; 20. Magdalena Dale, Romania; 21.Quentin Clingerman, USA; 22. Corbelle Armando, USA; 23. Olga Neagu, Italy




solitude . . .

turning out the lights

I let in the moon



Votes: 5-7-3-***; Points: 28

Comments: 1. The captured moment when moon light floods over us after artificial lights are shut offthis is the nectar of the gods; beautiful moment.

2. Lines 2 and 3 are beautiful – it’s too bad line 1 is an abstract idea instead of an image.


*2 *18 SECOND PLACE (Tie)

The first cry

lights and shades

on the mother's face

Vasile Moldovan - Romania


Votes:4-4-1***; Points: 15

Comments: 1. I thought "shadows" would have been a better choice on L2.  It avoids the near rhyme of shades/face especially when there is another near rhyme in the pairing of cry/lights. Also the word "shades" when combined with "lights" remind me of a lampshade. I do appreciate the layers of meaning in this haiku. The phrase, "Lights and shades," suggests a contrast between life and deaththe infant's first cry and the mother's last one.

2. The ambiguity of the first line captured my attention; we do not know if this is the "first cry" of a newborn infant or if the line means that the mother is sensitive to the the outcry of the infant whenever it happens. Nice indeed.

3. A tender moment that would be slightly more focused by dropping “the” from the first line, which would also avoid “the” appearing twice.



neon lights

the curtain's pattern

blinks on the wall

Rafal Zabratynski

Votes: 3-3-***1; Points: 15

Comments: An imaginative variation on the shadow theme. The poet makes us see.



in the same pool

the sun and the moon  

October light


Votes: 5-2-1-***; Points: 12

Comments: 1.The heavens are an immense "pool"; how spectacular to see both the sun and moon in the sky at the same time; the natural world is a world of wonder.
.There are lots of sun and moon ku. It's the pool that makes this 

one work.





Amber rays of dawn
Spill lights upon the silent earth
Serenity reigns

Gynith Roberts

Votes:******; Points:




cold on the mountain

fire light fades

alone with the ashes

Shanna Baldwin Moore, Hawaii, USA

Votes: 1-1-2***; Points: 9

Comments: The first thought that came to mind was someone spreading a loved one's ashes on the mountain but I think the emphasis here is on the loneliness of one's spirit after the flames have gone outwhether those flames were from a simple campout, a volcano, or a love that has gone dormant. Or the image could be the mountain itselfall warmth extinguished after the sun goes down.  


will leave you
before the night
day lights view

Tatjana Debeljacki

Votes:******; Points:




cold streets


flickering lights




Votes: 2*2***; Points: 8

Comments: 1. I love the simple thing drawn as a simple thing.

2. This haiku would be a bit stronger for being brought into the singular “cold street”since the poet would be on a particular street seeing this.  “streets” generalizes instead of providing a moment.


with pleasure
set light in the deyas
listen Christmas song.




 yorokobi te/ deyas ni hi tomosi/ seika kiku


Votes:******; Points:



each light a link
to the oneness of all

Divali Nagar

—John Daleiden, USA

Votes: 1-1-****; Points: 3



a lake of lights
scintillating under my eyes;

the mountain spa

Taro Kunugi; Yo Kunugi, Yamanashi, Japan

Votes: 3*****; Points: 3

Comments: Very poetic. And I still don't know whether these are tears ... But I had some difficulties with the punctuationwas it a smiley or something?



Weekend arrangement
blowing out

Ralf Bröker

Votes: 1-1-****; Points: 3




helped by the light

a moth fulfills

its death wish

Victor P. Gendrano

Votes: 1-1-1-***; Points: 6




light of the morning

crumpled bedclothes and

lipstick on the glass


Votes: 3*****; Points: 3

Comments:  What is familiarly known as the cold light of dawn (or morning after)? I'd prefer "morning light" for line 1.



the smooth gliding
of plane lights
winter dusk

Jacek Margolak; POLAND

Votes: 4-2-****; Points: 8

Comments: 1. Anything that moves through the sky at "dusk" or after certainly captures our attention; here, the "smooth gliding" speaks loudly of safety and the wonder of how human invention defies the natural laws of physics and yet remains beautiful.

2. My favorite of the month: The kinesis of line 1 interacting with 

the visuals of lines 2 & 3, the two kinds of light interacting with 

one another, the interaction of sounds (e. g., "gliding," "lights" and 

the finality of "dusk"), and "winter" clinches it. "glide" might work 

in place of gliding.


summer sunset
lights calligraphy on the
Mediterranean sea


Votes: 3*****; Points: 3

Comments: I feel this haiku wants to convey a message but I'm uncertain what that message is. Why is a "summer sunset" better than a winter one? Why end the line with "the" when "across" may have been a better choice? Why the Mediterranean Sea as opposed to any other body of water?  I do like the use of "calligraphy" as a verb.



festival of lights

the dove winks back

at a star

Mary Davila

Votes: 3*****; Points: 3

Comments: 1."festival of lights" celebrations throughout the world focus on humanitarian and religious thanks giving; the link between the underlying purpose of these celebrations and the "dove", a traditional symbol of peace is well conceived; you convey a deep sense of wellness in this haiku.

2. What do the dove and star know that we don't? Everything.

3. Not sure the part about the dove winking at a star is truly possible, but it makes a lovely haiku image anyway




the piano lights flickering

before they go out

Cindy Tebo

Votes: 1-2-****; Points: 5

Comments: “nocturne” as a piano composition and “nocturne” as an evening scenenicely juxtaposed.



torch song . . .

autumn leaves drifting past

the neon lights

Catherine J.S. Lee; USA


Comments:1. Atmospheric. That "Autumn Leaves" is actually the title of a torch song is unfortunate, however

2. Urban poetry, worth a dry Martini and a saxophone-solo while reading it.



These night lights
your eyes looking at me…
rays of moon

Magdalena Dale; Bucharest, Romania

: **1***;
 Points: 3




Lights flash on and off

A timid knock at the door

Costumes hurry on

Quentin Clingerman, USA

Votes: *1****; Points: 2

Comments: I appreciate the humorous scenelovers bumbling around in the dark trying to quickly put their clothes back on. However, I felt that the word "timid" didn't add anything to the haiku.  For example, if the person knocking is a lookoutwhy not an "urgent knock" as opposed to a "timid" one?  For that matter, why knock at all?



lights outshe cries

as she dashes from the dorm

house mother's day off


Votes: ******; Points:




to many lights
and I can not see Your face
in this night, my Lord

Olga Neagu

: 3-*-1-***;
 Points: 6








Sakuon Nakamura; Japan said…

I think Light itself can not be Kigo independently.

It needs adjective or noun as word combination for becoming kigo.



from the kukai coordinator


I wanted to get from writers a sharing of lights pertaining to festivals and activities around this time of the year and since in the Caribbean we do not have autumn weather I decided to use just ‘lights’ because really lights do take center stage; in the form of the tiny deyas and house decorated lights and early Christmas decorations, around this time of year with special and pertinent emphasis. It is indeed amazing, that September to December, these are Wet Weather months for us, yet there is the Festival of Lights with an emphasis on traditional lighted deyas using ghee as fuel, and displayed successfully in mass outdoors on Divali night, hailed as the darkest night of the year; an event which is not calendar dated, but observed as a lunar festival.  Gabi Greve (a member of Caribbean Kigo Kukai at facebook) also expressed concern about the term as Kigo, in an email; she was unfamiliar with this as kigo in Japan, However, after some research and pondering she proposed to her World Kigo database the section ‘Light, Lights’. Then on October 10th, Olga alerted me to the Observation of a ‘World Day of Peace and Lights’ project, well that cemented for me ‘lights’ as a Caribbean Kigo in the WW page


The kukai moved along nicely and I received poems expressing lights in different celebratory aspects including birthdays and anniversaries;

Its certainly such concerns and comments when expressed and debated which contribute to the success of CKK…

much love gillena cox



Quentin Clingerman, USA said…

Quite a diverse group of poets geographically!  The first comment on mine missed the point entirely since I was picking up on Halloween!... Que


Comments from Michael Baribeau, USA; one of our Asterisk players who did not contest this kukai


Haiku # 1- Nice images.  I like the trochee meter in line 1.  Feels a bit like traditional Western poetic style.  Perhaps a more simplistic, less abstract haiku style with a haiku type insight.  And since light is to be used as a kigo (or just as a key word?) then a seasonal reference (tropical?) as well, like... autumn - the trees silent - in the morning light. 


Haiku # 2-Compelling image without having to spell it out.  I read it about the turmoil of emotions that cross over a mother's face at sound of their child's first breath/cry.  Spring kigo/seasonal reference? 


Haiku # 3-It's funny how something as little as even a tiny campfire can bring hope and warmth to the dark scary wilderness.  Nice associating cold and loneliness to the ash.  Nice kigo/seasonal reference.


Haiku # 4 I like the future tense, unusual in haiku I think but works for me.  Seems to be dropping some pronouns and articles in an effort to shorten it which makes it sound incomplete and difficult for me to understand.  No kigo/seasonal reference? 


Haiku # 5- Nice lonely feeling walking the streets while noticing 'warm' homes with a modern twist with flickering tv light instead of a flickering fire light. 


Haiku # 6- I'm not very knowledgeable about the holiday with the deyas but I like the blending of the two different religion's holidays both amusing and cosmopolitan.  Not sure you need the emotion characterization in line 1.  The phrasing in lines 2 and 3 seems fragmented.  Just playing with it, something like... city megaphones - playing Christmas music - deyas light the windows (or wherever you have deyas:).


Haiku # 7-  A nice sentiment, very poetic.  I wonder if maybe a little less abstract and more concrete like, Divali Nagar portrait - each flame flickers - as one light. 


Haiku #08 - A wonderful image.  Not sure you need line 2 and the word scintillating kind of sticks out and reminds me of the quote "Remember that haiku is a finger pointing at the moon, and if the hand is bejeweled, we no longer see that to which it points."  I like lake of lights but am looking for more implied meaning in it like suggesting the spa and not telling me there's a spa, like... hot tub steam - the mountain lake - of lights.  No kigo/seasonal reference?


Haiku #09- I'm not certain of the message, it might be the phrase weekend arrangement has more meaning in your area.  Is weekend arrangement ie weekend business trip?  Then this is referring to someone blowing out candles of a candlelight dinner that was canceled due to a such a business trip (I've seen that that scene in many movies)?  Or is weekend arrangement is ie a weekend rendezvous, the dinner date its self?  Then is the date canceled or are they together and are 'turning out' the lights and spending the night together?  I'm guessing it's the last one in which case for line 1 I would go for a less direct, more implied meaning, and more concrete image, like... the flicker in her eyes - blowing out - the candlelight.  No kigo/seasonal reference?


Haiku #10- Funny irony:) I wonder about a less direct more implied message, like... deep woods - a pile of moths - beneath the porch light.  This is probably a summer kigo/seasonal reference?


Haiku #11-  Charming haiku. I read as being so lonely that they turned out the light to at least have the moon as company. I wonder about a more concrete image and implied message for line one, like... empty house.  No kigo/seasonal reference?


Haiku #12- This is difficult for me to visualize and although I see the connection to light I missed how October is connected. 


Haiku #13- I'm reading an amusing contrast between a romantic evening and the scene in the 'light of day'.  Their wearing bedclothes confuses me (that's not how we roll where I'm from:).  If I'm right about the romantic evening then I wonder about specifying the type of glass in line 3 and go with a more implied meaning with something like... lipstick - on the wineglass - morning light.  Otherwise for line 2 what about scattered clothes or rumpled sheets?  No kigo/seasonal reference? 


Haiku #14- A nice image and I read as a reference of gliding to skating on ice and even the thought of it's contrail makes me think of a skaters' trail in the ice. 


Haiku #15- A very pretty image.  It feels a bit of  western style poetry to me, what about a more implied meaning, like... calligraphy - summer sunset lights - the Mediterranean sea.  Should this be a kigo/seasonal reference for the current season?


Haiku #16- This is cute.  Not sure of the dove and star reference to the Diwali festival of lights unless it is a Christmas reference to peace, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus' natal star.  Anyways a bit manufactured for my tastes for a haiku.  I don't ascribe to the thought that a haiku has to be about something that actually happened but I do prefer it be believable and natural.  Perhaps implying the message with more subtlety, like... festival of lights - a caged dove - cocks his head.


Haiku #17- I'm reading this as a pun taking Chopin's Nocturnes for nocturnal, as in the night, and then having the lights go out.  Cute, hard to believe, but cute.    No kigo/seasonal reference? 


Haiku #18- Very nice.  A simple image that captures the effect of the neon without imposing an opinion of it.  A nice shasei feel.  There's also a kind of urban wabi/sabi about it.  Interesting twist thinking of a shadow as blinking.  No kigo/seasonal reference? 


Haiku #19- Nice use of autumn leaves for an old flame in the past and neon for passion and the present.  I like the juxtapositioning. 


Haiku #20- Romantic.  Not sure you need line 1 and I want to read line 3 more juxtaposed to the rest to give a more implied feeling, like... moonlight - across the table - her eyes.  No kigo/seasonal reference? 


Haiku #21- I assume with the costumes this is referring to a holiday but I'm not sure which.  Since Halloween  is coming up in my area next week and since kids knock at the door for trick or treating I would guess it's that.  So then the flashing lights are a spooky display at the door, the timid knock is kids asking for candy scared by the display, and costumes hurry is them running away in their Halloween costumes?  It's cute (if I'm right:) but with each line written as a fragment, I assume to try and convey the whole sequence, its a bit disjointed.  Writing a fragment AND a phrase or even just as a phrase helps make haiku both understandable and brief.  It also forces us to condense the moment down, you could probably tease 2 or 3 haiku out of this one.  flashing lights and dry ice - slowly trick or treaters - approach the door.  Halloween music - a timid knock - at the door.  Halloween sound effects - monsters and ghouls - run away. 


Haiku #22-  I like that the house mother is so much a mother to this girl and yet she's not a 'real full time mother'.  There seems more information than necessary.  I wonder about dropping "lights out" or dropping line 2.   It feels it could be showing and less telling.  Maybe instead of "she cries" something like, 'sounds of weeping'. 


Haiku #23- Very moving sentiment.  Seems a bit of Western style poetry or prose.  It's abstract and metaphoric while haiku tends to be more literal and concrete,


Michael Baribeau









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