Between November and January 2012, a total of 242 haiku and 10 tanka were submitted by 62 authors for this selection. The deadline for entries was January 15, 2012. Each participant could submit up to 5 haiku or tanka.

These works were anonymized by Claudia Brefeld, who also had the overall coordination, before the selection began. The jury consisted of Gérard Krebs, Simone K. Busch and Ingrid Petrasch. The members of the selection group did not submit their own texts.

All selected works (40 haiku and 1 tanka) are listed below alphabetically by author's name - up to max. three works per author.

“A haiku / a tanka that appeals to me in particular” - under this motto, every jury member has the opportunity to choose a work (still anonymized), present it here and comment on it.

Claudia Brefeld

A haiku that particularly appeals to me

Selected and commented by Gérard Krebs:

Ice dance -

The seagull and

The fish


Werner Theis

Just because of its brevity, this haiku attracts attention. Not that a haiku always has to be so short, but in the present text the brevity is appropriate. Everything that is unnecessary or superfluous is left out here. There is neither a clumsy word nor a complicated syntax. This gives the text lightness.

With the ice dance the season is named, the scene takes place in winter. The movements of the seagull and fish - imagine the ups and downs and the flashes of light - at first glance look like a dance on the ice. On closer inspection, at second glance, the picture is now very concrete (and less “beautiful”): a seagull has grabbed a fish and is “dancing” with it on the ice. The two images (ice dance <-> seagull and fish) contain a contrast and are characterized by a (as kireji serving) indent separated. This also gives the rhythm characteristic of a haiku.

We live in a very ordinary nature scene, the author holds back completely, does not judge. We see an ice dance for a brief moment, then a seagull eating a fish. It is - not unimportant for a haiku - left to the reader to imagine the scene entirely and to find meaning in it. I understand it like this: Eating and being eaten, in nature, however beautiful it may seem to us, is a completely normal process and - we are not excluded from it, neither in a concrete nor in a figurative sense. -

I would have preferred the lower case to the somewhat antiquated capitalization at the beginning of the line (Die / Der) for a text that seems quite modern, but that is a trifle and a matter of taste. In any case, I will certainly like to think about this haiku again on my next walk along the water!

Selected and commented by Simone K. Busch:

New Year's Day

on the signal box

time rusts


Ramona Left

The first morning of the new year. Maybe the first walk after the first coffee or tea. And then there is this railroad layout, a signal box. The word alone triggers many associations for me. Is it still in use? I see an old building on disused or little used railroad tracks. Nature is taking it back. Behind this picture, I also suspect abandoned parts of the city that have been left to decay. The phrase "time is rusting" is both unusual and apt. The iron parts of the signal box are covered with a patina made of rust. The past time can be sensually experienced. At the same time, the wording points beyond the present to the future. It is also exciting about this haiku what the image of the signal box in comparison with the New Year's morning brings. For me the first morning in the new year seems to stretch endlessly here, everyday life is far away and people still have "all the time in the world".

Selected and commented by Ingrid Petrasch:

Woodland Cemetery.

A butterfly swirls in the sound

of the death-bell.


Volker Friebel

I think it's nice that this section offers the jurors, who are still moved back and forth, a change from the "Meckereck" to a kind of chill-out room. I choose a haiku that has everything a haiku must have.

Short, immediate catchiness: No unnecessary or incorrectly placed word inhibits understanding. Cutting word: here it is a short pause: where does the sound come from? Then you know. And startled. A death bell? - It starts where we are! A butterfly made us forget it.

Present and "common" living environment: "Waldfriedhof": This is a place that we all know, and not necessarily only in a sad context, and which is quite popular even with the most sober Berliners. Peace, flowers even in winter, twittering birds, vacant benches, and "literature" are also available: shortest verses!

Sensuality and synthesis: "A butterfly swirls in sound": movement and Sound - simultaneous, light and quiet and somewhere between heaven (I imagine it blue) and earth (I imagine it white). Color and sound whirl together. Does the butterfly move the sound? Does the sound move the butterfly?

Sense and ambiguity: appear after the cut, at the end of the second line: “The death bell”: What makes the butterfly flutter here, what gives it air and sound under the delicate wings, that actually seems to be the cemetery bell, a messenger of death the more delicate and less dramatic. - Is the butterfly a symbol for the soul somewhere? If so, then there is hardly a more beautiful picture than this.¹

Last but not least, this haiku reminds me of one of the most beautiful by Bashô (1688), here in the translation by Kenneth Yasuda:

Beyond cherry brumes / Is the bell at Asakusa / Or Ueno that booms?

Hana no kumo kane wa Ueno ka Asakusa ka

Here, especially in the English version, I see the silent fall of the cherry blossoms and hear the "boom" of the bells floating in the same air in the city of Tokyo, and what a strange relationship they enter into, as if the tones gave the leaves a lift - and as if thousands of blossoms swirling on the tree and in the air had absorbed the sound of the bell.

The mood of the haiku from Basho has returned to me in this haiku: sound, color, movement and symbol (a symbol of death and a symbol of life!) ¹ meet - not visible to everyone, but certainly to those who feel a haiku in it. Flashes momentarily.

¹ Note: In Greek mythology, butterflies (Greek name Psyché) were archetypes of the soul and at the same time symbols of its immortality. - The butterfly can be found in Christian and Jewish cemeteries as a symbol of rebirth (e.g. on the gravestone of the poet E. Th. A. Hoffmann (1776 - 1822) at Hallescher Tor in Berlin-Mitte). The symbol here refers to the soul, which with death frees itself from the inconspicuous, mortal shell of man. - One of the most famous family clans in Japan in the 12th century, the Taira, had the "knight butterfly" in its coat of arms. (From: Wikipedia)

The selection

Clear winter night.

Flows through the alleys

the scent of cinnamon.


Klemens Antusch

April day -

ripples in the puddle

the sun


Christa Beau

Cherry blossoms fall ...

we have each other



Christa Beau

cigarette smoke

Climbing his roses too

on my balcony ...


Winfried Benkel

and I thought

- name blackened -

would be a friend


Gerd Borner

on the stairs

whisper two ...

Imp exchanger


Ralf Broker

shortly before departure

and the goalkeeper

stands apart


Ralf Broker

after you left

golden snippets

from your star


Bernadette Duncan


the potter checks

the last bowl


Bernadette Duncan

On New Year's morning -

the snow touches silently

the mirror of the lake.


Charlotte Eckert

quickly step aside

French beetle

when mating


Roswitha Erler

From the mirror glass

look at children's eyes

the old face


Christian Faust

Woodland Cemetery.

A butterfly swirls in the sound

of the death-bell.


Volker Friebel

lightless morning

catch a robin

my look


Gerda Forester

Carnival morning ...

the venetian

Mask under the bed


Hans-Jürgen Goehrung

in the bag

earthy heart potatoes



Ruth Guggenmos-Walter

early frost

on glittering pastures

spider nests


Margareta Hihn


next to the fox track

my kicks


Angelica Holweger

High bridge -

a bundle on the railing

Red roses


Angelica Holweger

by the chicken god


on distant waves


Silvia Kempen

winter sun

an amber on the wash seam

found me today


Silvia Kempen

At night

the moon in prison

behind bars


Petra Klingl

le cri de Merlin

hors de la forêt sombre -

il n'est plus perçu


the call of Merlin

from the dark forests

goes unheard


Wolfgang Liebelt

Holy Evening.

The angel made of clay

has no face.


Ramona Left

New Year's Day

on the signal box

time rusts


Ramona Left

from the photo

the stranger smiles

who you are today


Ina Müller-Velten


A black cat gropes

themselves over the ice.


Gontran peer

Sparkling brook

the silver thread is woven

yourself in the valley


Frauke Reinhardt

in the strange brook

the voices

from home


Gabrielle Reinhardt

Museum in Berlin -

Tourists from Greece

admire the ancient world


Dragan J. Ristic

winter forest

looks at the deaf child

Air bubbles under the ice


Lydia Royen-Damhave

Apple juice spritzer

our straws

touch each other


Lydia Royen-Damhave

on the cheeks

the first wrinkles

when you smile


Boris Semrov

The crow underestimated

also has the cat



Monica Smollich

deep in the gorge

To hold a conversation

with a bird


Helga Stania

at the end

of my efforts



Dietmar Tauchner

Ice dance -

The seagull and

The fish


Werner Theis

An owl is sitting

on a branch of the cedar -

beside her the moon.


Eckhart Wiedeman

Moose in the lake

of mouth and mane

the light drips richly


Klaus-Dieter Wirth


at the foot of the lighthouse

der Mond


Klaus-Dieter Wirth

Chasing clouds

over spray sheaves

the clarity

To lose us

in the flow of time


Helga Stania

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