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1999 Winners

Jerry Ball
Burnell Lippy
Cherie Hunter Day
June Moreau

The Heron's Nest
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Valentine Awards 2000.
Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved by the respective authors.

First Annual Valentine Awards
Favorite Haiku of 1999


Commentary – Overview
Editor's Choice • Readers' Choice • Readers' Runners Up

Valentine Awards 2000
Readers' Choice — Runners Up

       a swirl of ink
       in the brush water
       early dusk

                         Cherie Hunter Day     Volume I: Issue 3

This haiku by Cherie Hunter Day is so accessible. I was immediately struck with her revelation. She is painting a scene and, as with most paintings, light and shadow are of great importance. Naturally this painting reflects the qualities of the day's passage. The mind does not have to struggle to find the poet's perspective. And when the artist is winding up her afternoon's work she notices that the very act of cleaning a brush is in accord with all else, a resonance with the painted canvas and with the coming of dusk. To read this poem is to swirl.

Another admirable aspect of this haiku is Cherie's beautifully understated seasonal reference “early dusk.” The summer solstice has long since passed and dusk arrives sooner each day. As darkness overcomes daylight, so too does the ink overcome the water's clarity. In this poem there is a feel of the onset of winter.

       morning tea
       from the parakeet's cage
       a toy bell tinkles

                         June Moreau     Volume I: Issue 4

I commented at some length on June Moreau's poem in the December issue of The Heron's Nest. Her haiku was my choice for the award that month. With clarity and simplicity, June magnifies a subtle mood. It is a peaceful moment, one that evokes the feeling of contentedness. She conveys this feeling, in part, by utilizing the musical quality of words. June Moreau writes as if she were playing a fine instrument which, indeed, she is. And she plays beautifully. Her “morning tea” haiku has now received two awards for excellence.

These haiku are both quiet. They both bring to mind those moments when we simply close our eyes and sigh happily in deep appreciation and gratitude for life.

  Christopher Herold
February, 2000

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