I Survived Haiku Deathmatch!

mightier than swords —
warriors with pens unsheathed
stand ready to fight!

So yesterday, against my better judgement, I took the long bus ride into Toronto to compete in the Toronto Poetry Project‘s Haiku Head-to-Head Battle. In doing so, I learned a very important lesson.

My “better judgement” can be a bit of a wet blanket sometimes.

Six haikusters stood up, and only one remained. Me! It was the first time in more years than I care to count since I’ve stood up and read anything that I wrote in public, and the reaction was phenomenal. The competition got the crowd going with some quite clever and rather raunchy pieces. The silence from the audience when I read my poems made me nervous, but in the end, it turns out silence is golden. As in medal. As in I won it.

Thanks to TPP, ringmaster Cynthia Gould, the organizers, judges, my gracious audience, and the folks at Supermarket. And special thanks goes to the Haiku Ninja for sparing my life.


Haiku 100/100

Last haiku written!
One hundred in one hundred —
Project competed!

And that ends my 100 Haikus in 100 Days project! I started this on the 6th of June and wrote an average of one haiku a day through the summer and up to today. Some were good, some were bad, most were mediocre, but all were fun little puzzles to put together.

It’s been a while since I set myself a long-term creative writing goal and actually completed it. Feels good. Thanks to all who put up with my incessant posting. And remember, Urban Discord, my 2004 book of haiku poetry, is available as a free PDF ebook and at a specially-priced print volume from my Lulu.com store until September 30th.

And now I move on to that awkward phase where one project is finished, and the next hasn’t started yet…

Haiku 99/100


my summer labours
could never be half so sweet —
industrious bees!

Haiku 98/100

travelling so long,

but one thing still out of reach…

Follow Voyager!

Haiku 97/100

calculating, computing —
Evidence of me?

Haiku 96/100

we smash our atoms
particles accelerate
but still… universe.

Haiku 95/100

I, the late bloomer
whose leaves have changed their colour
before bearing fruit