September 23rd, 2005

Egrets Reading

September Shiki Monthly Kukai

I totally bombed out of the Shiki Monthly Kukai this month at Haikuworld.org.
My kigo haiku received a big total of two points and my free format haiku received no points at all.

My entries were -

Kigo - moth

pantry moths
in the flour bin
scrambled eggs


Free-format - bread

50th Anniversary
a bread bowl of spinach dip
in the foyer

The big question I ponder at the conclusion of every kukai is how seriously should I consider the results of the vote as far as my own poems are concerned? If I have something that really bombs, should I rewrite it, forget about the idea altogether, or simply submit it someplace and hope that someone else likes it better?

For example, once I had decided to write about pantry moths for the moth kigo - I had several versions, none of which really satisfied me:

a pantry moth flies
out of the cereal box
he asks for eggs

pantry moths
in the flour bin
breakfast out

pantry moths
in the flour bin
scrambled eggs


maybe I should have written:

pantry moths
in his cheerios
scrambled eggs


Bearing in mind the idea that haiku should be authentic, all of these are admittedly contrived. I've never asked for eggs, been asked for eggs, cooked scrambled eggs, or went out to breakfast because a pantry month flew out of my cereal or flour bin. So, perhaps that is the root problem of my poetic experiments with pantry moths and I should just move on. Also, to add to the contrived nature of this poem, I had googled moth varieties to come up with something other than a gypsy moth to write about and pantry moth just happened to strike my fancy. Since I wasn't sitting around staring at my cupboard and suddenly inspired by the appearance of a pantry month to grab a pen, this haiku would not win any awards for its authenticity.

As to my spinach dip bread bowl senryu...that one IS completely authentic. I did attend a 50th Wedding Anniversary Open House where there was a bread bowl of spinach dip in the foyer. So, I really don't have any other ideas for how to improve or rewrite this poem.

But, perhaps the reason it received no votes in the kukai is that no one really cares if there is a bread bowl of spinach dip in the foyer at a 50th anniversary party. Truthfully, I would have never written about that bread bowl of spinach dip if I hadn't had the challenge of writing a poem with the word "bread" in it.

So, perhaps this, too, is a candidate for the "forget-about-it" circular file because in addition to being authentic, I believe a good haiku or senryu needs to say something worth further reflection. What is there to learn about a bread bowl of spinach dip?

Other than the recipe, probably nothing. So, why write about it?