I was asked to judge a haiku death match last evening in my Midwest town. Haiku is a new creative form for me as I have enjoyed it for many years. One of my friends is a master of this form of poetry but didn’t participate in last nights contest; he doesn’t enjoy having his works judged but he would have easily won this contest last night. Trust me, he needed the prize that the winner received. He needs much these days; my hope is that he receives what he needs.
Another colleague from the Creative Arts division of one of my colleges was one of the judges along with me. We had fun listening to the presenters and sampling this art. My tactic was to have a cocktail before sitting in the judge’s chair; as I wasn’t even buzzed but decidedly mellow and open to new possibilities. The problem with sitting in the judge’s chair was the sitting because of my running, I don’t sit for long periods of time without getting restless. There was much wine, not Cakebread Cellars, available for consumption.
I discovered much from these participants, one a rocket scientist from NASA, as haiku is how they describe their worlds of personal relationships, everyday life,nature, politics and life in our city. Most were native to this city but a couple were transplants such as myself. Trust me, being a transplant to this city is one of my survival skills as I am an east coast-west coast person but live in the middle type of person. As a fellow transplant noted, not being from here is a distinct advantage in our arenas; keeps our sanity intact.