Arts & Leisure

Weybridge writers have more fun with haikus

“Life during the COVID epidemic,” the theme of Weybridge’s Third Annual Haiku Competition, attracted 178 wide-ranging reflections from 28 writers across Vermont and several states. “We need to be nurturing our spirits as well as our bodies in this difficult time. These haikus have done that,” Julia Alvarez, founder of the competition, commented in announcing the winners.
Alvarez and Jay Parini, both acclaimed novelists and poets, are co-poet laureate’s for the town of Weybridge.
As in past competitions, there are “winners,” but Alvarez has also created 28 categories reflecting the breadth of the submissions. Many of the categories are quite playful: “Best Haiku on Ice Cream, Pine Cones, Noisome Flies”; “Best Haiku To Recite While Taking a Walk During the Pandemic”; “Most Wistful Haiku About Time of Pandemic.”
“In times like this, when many of us are quarantined, cooped up, and spending a lot more time in nature, we see, hear, touch, smell, taste things that we might have missed before in our hurry and busyness,” Alvarez said of the diversity of themes.
There are three Weybridge winners and three Vermont winners. The three Weybridge winners are first, Martha Winant for five “Pandemic Haikus That Hit the Bullseye Every Time!”; second, Clare Evancie for six haikus “Best Chronicler of Natural World During Covid Lockdown”; and third, Barbara Brosnan for “Best and Most (13) Haikus on Quarantine’s Effect on Daily Life with Neighbors — Human and Other.”
 
Stay safe and stay calm –
Words that sound like a mantra…
Time to live by them
— Martha Winant
 
Osprey on her nest
Perched above the Twin Bridges
She’s our town crier.
— Clare Evancie
 
On warm silent nights
The Dipper drops a comet
Into Otter Creek
— Barbara Brosnan
 
The three Vermont winners are first, Ellen and Erika Bodin of North Chittenden, “Best Mother/Daughter Duet Haiku-Writers”; second, Leigh Harder of Middlebury, “Most Wistful Haiku About Time of Pandemic”; and tie for third, Kathleen McKinley Harris of Charlotte, “Visit This Pandemic Year in July to First Season Greenhouse,” and Elizabeth VanBuskirk of Shelburne, “Best Haiku on Ice Cream, Pine Cones, Noisome Flies!”
 
the sparrow singing
its heart out – neither of us
with places to go 
 — Ellen Bodin
 
i am dancing and
you are the song though sometimes
i cannot hear you.
— Erika Bodin
 
For the neighbors we baked
Golden loaves of bread
Kneading their sustenance now
— Leigh Harder
 
One lone landing fly
where it is and where it’s not
fills the room.
— Elizabeth VanBuskirk
 
Joy in nature’s green. We
two, we’re alone. Roped-off
greenhouses entice.
— Kathleen McKinley Harris
 
Eleven Weybridge residents submitted 90 haikus; 13 Vermonters submitted 68 haikus; and three out-of-staters and one entrant from Croatia submitted 20 haikus.
All haiku will be available on the town’s website, townofweybridge.org.

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