First may I say holy crap that was a lot of haiku. Over 2.5 thousand syllables of mini-poem madness. And even if you don't count the ones who didn't count their syllables, that's still a big ol' boatload of poems. (And really, can we begrudge those who missed a syllable or two? I've been known to lose over two-thirds of my kids just on a walk around the block.)
Luckily, I've got a professional on hand for these kind of events. Ladies and gentlemen, and by gentlemen I mean the four of you who read my blog, may I present Claudia Carlson, professional poet. Claudia has agreed to be this year's guest haiku judge, an honor that pays bugger-all, but it does have some perks, like getting email from me once every four and a half minutes asking if the finalists have been chosen yet. Which is probably why the judge of last year's contest hasn't returned my phone calls.
But Claudia is one of those rare poets, a published poet, and her book, The Elephant House, which you can buy here or here or stop by my place and borrow my copy because it's actually one of the books I've read this year, which is saying a lot (there's a reason I don't have a "Looky, Daddy! reads..." sidebar), is awesome, and that's not just because it has a poem called "Pornos: Muse of Hack." Claudia is also a graphic designer, and a blogger,and best of all a good sport, which is why she agreed to judge this contest in the first place.
So without further ado, I'll turn it over to her to introduce this year's finalists:
Dyslexic? by Heidi
Sarah reads her book
But the word "look" becomes "cool"
And bites her backwards
CSC's comment: Love the idea of misread words turning on you and biting.
Bathtime by Sharon
Three kids in the bath
Sudden shrieks and loud screaming
A large turd floats by
CSC's comment: I had to include at least one haiku-poo.
NO ONE WARNED ME by Kristin
breaking my pelvis
she shot out like a bullet
it was all worth it
CSC's comment: Violence of birth--so vivid--and the compensation, both heartfelt and shocking.
How I Find the Time to Shower by Sasha
"Hola! I'm Dora!
And this is my best friend, Boots!"
CSC's comment: Fun, from the too bright TV voices to the mother's wry comment. And yes we've all used those tube sitters.
Approaching Two by Liza
Do you want some cheese?
No! Some apple juice instead?
No! No! No! No! No!
Cheese? Cheese? Cheese? Door? Cheese?
Can you say please? Peez. Tanku.
Mommy! Mommy! Kiss!
CSC's comment: Fantastic capture of two year old speech in rhythmic beat.
Summer, Summed Up by Krista
Two little girls, feet
in matching pink Crocs, fingers
CSC's comment: Yes, the summer of crocs was 2007, like fingers and feet being coated in pinkness.
Oh, The Shame by ozma
What is that itching?
Buy ourselves a special comb.
CSC's comment: Brilliant non-use of the word lice and it plays with near rhyme too.
Blog Confession to My Husband (Basho would be proud) by Sarka
We live only to serve kids
A touch: I quiver
Cartoons keep them occupied
I am yours briefly
Kissing, just us, nice!
A father--my lover still
Don't you forget it
CSC's comment: Here the yearning is palpable. Nice use of punctuation to heighten turns of though in haiku.
First Head Injury by Abby
He lies motionless
On unforgiving concrete
Heart stops, mine, not his
IV, CT scan, tears, fears
Looky, Mom, stickers!
CSC's comment: Such concision, the use of anacronyms, terrific and moving.
Untitled by Chickenpig
Years of IVF
Shots, pain, and money galore
Having twins: Priceless
CSC's comment: Yeah, good send up of the ad.
but I just loved this one too and it is the 11th one!
Peaceful by S
The weight of a sleeping child
Heavy against me.
Sadly, though, my webpoll will not accept 11 entries. Apparently it was not designed by a soft-hearted poet. So Peaceful, by S will have to be called an honorable mention today.
Let the voting and campaigning begin!
Updated to add: The polls close at 10 PM EST today, November 9th. Good luck.