2020 Irish Haiku Competition

The results of the Irish Haiku Society’s 2020 international haiku competition are available here. First Prize was awarded to Canberra poet, Marietta McGregor, for her timeless nature poem:

bracket fungus
a fallen beech softens
into its future

Marietta says the poem is the result of a visit to the Border Ranges National Park in New South Wales, Australia. The Park includes stands of the magnificent Antarctic Beech (nothofagus moorei). These forests are a remnant from the time of the ancient supercontinent, Gondwanaland. A mature tree can be two thousand years old; perhaps having begun life in the time of Julius Caesar.

Photo by Marietta McGregor

Within the forest, some trees are standing while others have fallen. Whole micro-ecosystems of ferns, mosses and fungi are quietly absorbing the fallen back into the forest floor. This is most certainly a place to contemplate change, renewal and rebirth.

Equal Third Prize was awarded to Simon Hanson from Tasmania for another lovely nature poem:

the dark pool
the blue of glowworms
above and below

In a limestone cave, you become acutely aware of the slightest sound. One’s own heartbeat. Droplets of water falling from the ceiling and splashing into the pools below.

In the absence of artificial lighting, a cave is in utter darkness. Glowworms cast their brightness downward. Reflections trembling in the dark pools; riding the ripples caused by the dripping water. The thought that life might display such beauty in an unseen world is inspiring and very moving.

The following haiku of mine received an Honourable Mention:

a duck
looks at the moon
floating egg

As humans, we draw upon a wealth of knowledge when viewing the world around us. I wonder what other forms of life are thinking when they see the moon floating in the night sky. Or the moon’s reflection floating on water. Perhaps they simply observe the image, much in the same way we might view an abstract painting. Or perhaps they relate the image to items with which they are familiar.