August 20, 2021

August 6, 2021

Haiku Award

The Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Awards for 2021

Honorable Mention

        lost in the crowd . . .
        mockingbird song

Dan Hardison, Wilmington, North Carolina

"The juxtaposition of the first part of the haiku with “mockingbird song” is the hook. The ellipsis is well placed and is just enough punctuation to avoid a pivotal second line, which I believe would have weakened the poem in this instance. With only a few words, the author evokes several emotions. With my first reading, “lost in the crowd” brings a sense of tension, of feeling alone in spite of being surrounded by people. The crowd could be gathered anywhere. Perhaps this is an outdoor political rally, where hundreds of people are waiting for the candidate to speak. Entering the haiku, I allow myself to become part of the scene. Someone attempts to have a conversation with me, but we can’t hear each other amid the laughing, yelling throng. Our words are absorbed by the noise around us, our conversation lost in the growing crowd. Angry shouts mix with the laughter, making me uneasy. Suddenly I hear a voice that grounds me, so true and bright it pierces the surrounding clamor. The beautiful, clear notes of mockingbird song rise on a course above the human roughness."

Judge’s Comments – Ferris Gilli

Editor’s Note: A total of 3,115 poems were submitted to this year’s contest, by a total of 739 poets.