Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, 2014: Haiku Challenge

Artwork by John T. McCutcheon
Well, as my father used to say, I should have known better. The modest little one week challenge/call for New Year's haiku elicited quite an amazing response, so amazing as to cause me to adjust a bit my original plan.

So, I've selected 6 haiku for your reading pleasure, the first and winner, by Alan Bridges, warrants a 15 issue, rather than 6 issue, subscription to Lilliput Review as originally announced. The 5 runners-up, a category I originally had no intention of utilizing, will receive the original first place prize of a 6 issue subscription (or 6 issue extension to a current subscription) to Lillie

The runners-up are presented in no particular order.

And cheers, first, to everyone who responded. There were many a fine haiku that just missed the cut, for a variety of reasons not the least of which is editorial ignorance. 

And second, cheers to the winners and runners-up (I'll be in touch about your subscriptions). For the rest, I hope something grabs you here. 

Happy new year, all!

New Year's Day
setting my playlist
to shuffle
   Alan Bridges

new year's day
the earth
retracing her steps
          Robert Davey

new year's day –
I let the tea steep
a little longer
        Angie Werren

Artwork by Andrew Stevovich

     New Year’s day
the party hat not made
         to stay on
                      Gary Hotham

Twilight Zone: Season 5, Episode 145 (directed by Ida Lupino)

New Year
all the masks
yet to discard
yet to try on

Andrea Grillo

Photo by Alvimann

year’s end
the to-do list
in pencil

Ann K. Schwader


Because serendipity is the only way to travel, I investigated the artist responsible for the artwork I'd found to grace this post (pictured at the very top), and was fascinated to read his story, which you can find by clicking on his name below the picture. 

Along with the writer of the article on McCutcheon (R. C. Harvey), I was particularly fascinated with the artwork below, entitled The Ballad of Beautiful Words. Clicking on the art won't enlarge it enough to read, so click here instead and I think you'll agree that many a poem may be found within.

click here to see picture enlarged 

In the late 19th century during the the artist's early career all the illustrative material in newspapers was drawn, as it was previous to the perfection of photographs for newsprint. So, the artist literally drew everything: sports, news, crime, portraits and sundry topics. What follows is Carey Orr's comment on perhaps the most significant contribution of all by McCutcheon, something which, at the time, was entitled "slow ball:"

 “John McCutcheon was the father of the human interest cartoon. His Bird Center series was perhaps the first to break way from the Nast and Davenport tradition of dealing almost exclusively and in the most intense seriousness with political and moral reforms. McCutcheon brought change of pace. He was the first to throw the slow ball in cartooning, to draw the human interest picture that was not produced to change votes or to amend morals but solely to amuse or to sympathize."


an arm for a pillow--
the year ends
or doesn't end
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 183 songs


Mary Frederick Ahearn said...

Wonderful haiku for all! Thanks much for the fun and challenge, Don.
And love the Ballad of Beautiful Words - lots of inspiration there.
Great post!

Patrick Sweeney said...


Akimashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!What a great idea to have the New Year Challenge...wonderful haiku!Thanks for all your hard work...


Gillena Cox said...

*•. ¸*•.¸*•.¸*•. *•.¸ ¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*
*... *...*...*¦ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!¦* * *...*...*
¸.•* ¸.•*¸.•* ¸.•*¸.•* *•.¸*•.¸*•.¸*•.¸*•

first rainbow...
raising my eyes sky

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Thanks so much. I was knocked out by the amazing quality of work that was sent. And so glad you liked the Ballad of Beautiful Words - there is a soul with spirit!


Issa's Untidy Hut said...


I really appreciate your note - it means a lot.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Thank you, Gillena - for the greeting and ku.