THE BRITISH HAIKU SOCIETY AWARDS 2018 FOR TANKA

First Place Winner

 

without...

each evening seems even

longer

than it takes the river

to smooth a thousand stones

an'ya

an'ya's winning tanka immediately arouses our curiosity with its one-word mystery for Line One: "without..." The first thought for the reader may be to add the word "you" to this line, but upon reflection, there are many possibilities: the loss of one's self through illness or the loss of meaningful work, a family home, or beloved pet. So, a story all in one word, and a juxtaposition with the next four lines that not only describes how endless the grief of loss can be, but manages to tell us that it can wear one down to almost nothing. An outstanding tanka that harmonizes human emotion with not only a meaningful description of nature, but also includes the traditional Japanese tanka use of the word "thousand" for emphasis.--Linda Jeanette Ward, Judge

Honourable Mention - Linda Jeanette Ward, Judge

gibbous moon

the cosmos reposing

in its round

your body spoons a chair

that holds me to the bone

an'ya

Honourable Mention - Debbie Strange, Judge

spring raindrops

spreading into circles

on our lake

a pair of ember-geese

glide through eternity

an'ya

Honourable Mention - Debbie Strange, Judge

at boot camp

we were taught the art

of marching

I tape that cadence now

with a three-prong cane

an'ya