2020 Vancouver Haiku Invitational

Each spring, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the Japanese tradition of flower viewing with a program of concerts, cultural events and The Big Picnic in Queen Elizabeth Park. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the 2020 program was curtailed with some events moving online and others being cancelled.

Nevertheless, planning is underway for the 2021 Festival, with the annual Haiku Invitational having been run. You can see all the awarded haiku here. Winning haiku from the 2020 Invitational will be featured during the April 2021 Festival.

The winning selection in the International category for 2020 is:

petals in the wind
my girlfriend is never
where I expect her

(Marcellin Dallaire-Beaumont, Belgium)

Two haiku from my city of Canberra, Australia, were among the international entries to receive honourable mentions. The first being:

slipped into pockets
of a sun-dried shirt
cherry blossoms

(Marietta McGregor)

While the second was:

on the breeze
bésame mucho

(Gregory Piko)

Bésame mucho translates as Kiss me a lot and is a song of lost love written by Mexican songwriter, Consuelo Velázquez.

The haiku suggests that when many blossoms are in the air, I am smothered in kisses. But cherry blossoms do not last, and like a lost love, their kisses are soon just a memory.

Bésame mucho is said to be the most sung and recorded Mexican song in the world. Those to record the song include The Beatles, Julio Iglesias and Andrea Bocelli among many others.

By clicking the YouTube link below, please enjoy this Italian singer performing a Mexican song that was referenced in a Japanese form of poetry by an Australian who was writing for a Canadian festival.