This year’s second annual Mukai Farm & Garden Haiku Festival on Vashon Island drew nearly 400 entries, mostly from Vashon Island but also from as far away as Poland and Croatia.
“We are very awed and grateful for the number and quality of haiku poems that came to us from throughout the world,” said Rita Brogan, President of Friends of Mukai.
Haiku were submitted in four major categories: Heritage, Nature, Social Justice and Young Poet, and reviewed by a panel of four judges: Mayumi Tsutakawa; Dr. Lawrence Matsuda, Michael Feinstein and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.
“The joy of judging this competition is seeing hundreds of people from age five to 100, try, and often succeed, in distilling a thought or life lesson into such a tiny and strict form,” said Feinstein.
Mukai’s 2021 Haiku Festival Jury selected the following winning haiku:
Heritage Category: Cynthia Hernandez (Shoreline) First Place; Bruce Haulman (Vashon) Honorable Mention
Nature Category: Anne Spiers (Vashon) First Place; Robert Fuerstenberg (Vashon) Honorable Mention
Social Justice: Adi Shepard (Seattle) First Place; Sebastian Chrobak (Poland) Honorable Mention
Young Poet: Ella Odegaard (Vashon) First Place; Juno Leonard (Vashon) Honorable Mention
People’s Choice: Tomosumi (Bellevue)
All haiku entries can be seen at mukaifarmandgarden.org and on outdoor display throughout the Mukai Farm & Garden complex through the month of June.
First Place Haikus include:
my ancestors’ dreams
bloom in me, a blossom tree
with deep roots and reach
— Cynthia Hernandez
More snow erases
the careful calligraphy
of windfall on ice.
— Anne Spiers
The People’s Choice Award
the tower guard witnesses
On the ground, Gasping
for fresh air, Praying to live
His skin becomes cold.
— Adi Shepard
I love beginnings
a chick named Jesse Owens
going places fast
— Ella Ødegaard
Mukai Farm & Garden is being restored and managed by the Friends of Mukai to celebrate Vashon’s Japanese American and agricultural heritage, and the greater Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Mukai shows how history lives and is relevant to our lives today. For more information, visit mukaifarmandgarden.org.