From November 2015 to January 2016, a total of 231 haiku and 51 tanka were submitted by 88 authors for this selection.

The closing date for entries was January 15, 2016. I anonymized these texts before the selection began. The jury consisted of Silvia Kempen, Birgit Heid and Horst-Oliver Buchholz. The members of the selection group did not submit their own texts.

All selected texts - 44 haiku and 10 tanka - are published in the order of the scores.

"A haiku / tanka that particularly appeals to me" - Under this motto, each jury member has the option of selecting up to three texts (still anonymized), presenting them here and commenting on them.


For the next issue (No. 113) our annual Kukai takes place again. This time in collaboration with the Hamburg Haiku Verlag, directed by Stefan Wolfschütz. From any participant a haiku on the topic of "solstice" to be submitted. The Kukai takes place from April 9 to 14, 2016 on the Internet instead of. The terms of participation will be announced later.

Members who do not participate in the Kukai can send in a haiku / tanka for the members' side in SG 113.

Petra Klingl


A haiku that particularly appeals to me

the Stripes
on her wedding dress

Angelica Holweger

The stripes on the wedding dress are what caught my eye particularly with this haiku. A wedding dress is generally expected to be in a perfect and radiantly beautiful condition, with one exception: after the wedding night, when it has just found its way to a hanger and is now witnessing the further events. It may look down on itself, give a sigh of its beauty, which has moved into the background, and count the stains, stripes and the torn hem. And a second, perhaps liberated or even longing sigh, because it may soon be on the move again. Perhaps it will also spend the much longer part of its life in a dark cupboard after the service that has just been done and the compulsory cleaning, and it will slowly yell to itself, forming stripes in the longitudinal folds.

The thought that the fabric of the dress could be provided with a stripe pattern or numerous layers of silk or stripe borders did not occur to me at all, although there are no limits to the imagination. No, I think such stripes would not have been mentioned so centrally. Because it is the stripes themselves that are at the center of it, but without revealing their origins. Or is it? Does the rainbow indicate colorful stripes or water streaks? Could a shower have just come down and caused the wedding couple to indulge in the natural event? The temptation is obvious to connect to the rainbow, but this is by no means imperative. Speaking of temptation: if it were actually streaks of water, there would be a streak of eroticism in the rain-damp air.

But haiku leads to other regions of thought. Stripes that are expressly named, and this was my first impression, are a sign of pollution and therefore transience on a wedding dress, and of all things at the wedding party! If it weren't for the symbolic rainbow that shows the balancing side of transience, perhaps the reconciliation after an argument, a cleaning storm. And of all places at the wedding party! Not unusual when a wide variety of relatives meet in a merry atmosphere or the stress associated with the organization and implementation of a wedding party is discharged in anger. If the quarrels that get into each other's hair manage to reconcile, they will surely be given the same admiration as a rainbow draws on them.

And the dirty streaks? Perhaps they will turn out to be stubborn and show the former wearer that life is losing its luster and instead leaves scratches and streaks that tend to put practical considerations in the foreground. If it weren't for the rainbow.

Commented by Birgit Heid

first night frost
the choir of bright colors
changes the key

Christopher Blumentrath

The famous painter Wassily Kandinsky recognized 100 years ago that colors sound, he wrote the play "The Yellow Sound". Every color has its own sound. This is perceived above all by highly sensitive people and artists by linking different senses. This is also called synesthesia.

A “choir of colors” are the sounds of different colors. As far as the "colorful" is concerned, some may think that "colorful" is superfluous because "color is inherently colorful, but far from it, there are bright and achromatic colors. Colors are called colors in their greatest saturation and achromatic colors are black, white and all with gray desaturated colors, as well as all colors that are decolored with white. “The choir of bright colors” means the sounds of the different colors in their highest saturation.

Late roses in rich red, the grass still luscious green, strong purple asters and and and ... The white of frost settles on all these "saturated colors" = "bright colors". This is of course the most noticeable and beautiful after the first night frost because the flowers and grasses have not yet been damaged. Because of the "debunting" by the white of the frost, the tones change, it "changes the key".

In this haiku the colorful world with all its colors and its sounds is represented, which is a different world with different colors and therefore different sounds due to the frost event overnight.

It is based on the fact that nothing is permanent, because of a small, mundane event, everything is suddenly completely different. This variability is represented here very visually and by the double "the" also sonically. For me a successful haiku, even if it did not reach the maximum number of points.

Commented by Silvia Kempen

big break -
a hand full
Confetti in the wind

Christopher Blumentrath

The "big break" was preceded by lessons, which are certainly not always fun. When you get to school, it means "the seriousness of life begins". But the break, surely eagerly awaited by many children. You can move, run, run, scream ... and be cocky.

This high spirits is expressed by "a handful of confetti". Confetti stands for fun, it is available at parties and at the carnival.

"In the wind" - you can see this confetti flying, probably more and better than at a party in an enclosed space. But it also flies away, so that the fun is over again, and the “big break” also ends.

In keeping with the content, the first line is linguistically difficult, while the second and third lines are easy, like the wind. A simple and beautiful haiku.

Commented by Silvia Kempen

What does the sand say?
- - - - - - - - -
in the silence of the desert?

Bernhard Haupteltshofer

Yes, I can already hear him, the choir of the doubters, the skeptics, the outraged, maybe even: "It's not a haiku!". In fact, with this article we are right in the middle of the discussion about what is still a haiku, what is not, how far you can move the boundaries from the traditional and yet is on haiku terrain. And, admittedly, these lines were also controversial in the jury. From flat rejection to enthusiasm. There are good reasons for both poles and all nuances in between, no question. Because it is clear that there is a haiku that transcends the boundaries of the traditional, including the modern tradition. Admittedly, I actually love the traditional haiku and those who respect the tradition, come from it, and I tend to be skeptical to negative about experiments.

But this haiku touched me. It is the haiku from the long list that I kept returning to. And, as is so often the case with haiku that touch you, the reason for this can often not be precisely stated, literally not really getting to the bottom of the matter. But do you have to? Why not just let a haiku look uncommented? The strong effect this haiku had on me was probably the complete calm that shines for me from the lines that spread out into me, the reader.

What does the sand say? Well, of course, the sand doesn't really speak, but the image that triggers the line, that it triggered in me, that speaks - a lot, hauntingly and quietly. A vast desert landscape, hilly, undulating, perhaps a little barren, without trees or shrubs, but untouched and pure. This creates calm. The wordless second line takes the picture, deepens it. There is nothing to say in this calm, every word would break it and so the reader lingers for a moment without a word; an empty space, into which calmness penetrates, fills it. The third line takes up this calm and calls it "silence". But what is said, as the opening verse says? It is a non-verbal speaking, I mean, it is the image that is evoked, that speaks through its powerful effect. But nothing specific is said, no statement is made, everything remains open - open to the reader who fills the silence with his thoughts.

The rhythm in haiku is also successful, the syllables flow smoothly and harmoniously; a rhythm, the uniformity of which gives further strength to the image of calm. In this way, form and content find each other and become a harmonious whole. Simply good. Easy and good.

An experimental haiku, may be, yes. But here it worked. I agree. Is the choir of the doubters silent now?

Commented by Horst-Oliver Buchholz


The selection

15 points were achieved

Spring Cleaning
in the back of the closet
his teacup

Gabriele Hartman
14 points

the empty chair
the colleague…

Claudia Brefeld
13 points

on the tombstone
the gardeners take a break

Anne Holtz
13 points

City tour -
the seeds in my pocket
wild mallow

Eva Limbach
13 points

Christmas without snow
the empty rooms
der Kinder

Eleanor Nickolay
13 points

The sound of the words
"my parents"
Waves on the beach

Marianne Reder
13 points

on new year morning
the shoes counted -

Bernhard Haupteltshofer
13 points

white expanse
in another silence

Use Jacobson
12 points

he tells me
of colorful butterflies -
coming out

Ramona Left
12 points

Ornamental gourds
an artist buys himself
new ideas

Klaus-Dieter Wirth
12 points

hospice visit
from a room
when I'm 64

Martin Berner
11 points

first night frost
the choir of bright colors
changes the key

Christopher Blumentrath
11 points

big break -
a handful of confetti
in the wind

Christopher Blumentrath
11 points

Time …
the bull elephant
leaves the herd

Hans-Jürgen Goehrung
11 points

how well, or so you say, that we
found us

Gabriele Hartman
11 points

at the end of my trip
the same moon

Gabriele Hartman
11 points

visiting hours
she puts on blush
Your smile

Eleanor Nickolay
11 points

The game is over
the boy puts the cards
on grandpa's coffin

Rene Possel
11 points

the unsaid
on the half-blind pane
our breathing smoke

Birgit Schaldach Helmlechner
11 points

what's coming up to us
seems so difficult

Heinz snowman
11 points

you come -
bloom on the bare cherry tree
Raindrops on

Angelica Seithe
11 points

I lay nuts on the grave
please, dear squirrels
play with him!

Peter Wissmann
11 points

Canasta tour
at the door
three Kings

Ralf Broker
10 points

civil evening
The door closes
in front of the crescent moon

Claudius Gottstein
10 points

loud slogans
You brace yourself
against the wind

Martina Heinish
10 points

a molecule
the Milky Way
moon home

Dietmar Tauchner
10 points

her fear again
from revelations

Martin Berner
9 points

Sanssouci -
a cup of tea
the look of the putti

Gerd Borner
9 points

Jewish Cemetery
der Sturm
has laid down a branch

Claudia Brefeld
9 points

Shadow of the abandoned mill
in the stream

Zorka Cordasevic
9 points

Autumn fog
in the avenue
step on the spot

Gisela Farenholtz
9 points

the display
does not frown

Hans-Jürgen Goehrung
9 points

winter lights
cut a tree
out of the night

Martina Heinish
9 points

the shadow of the menhir
over the snow-covered field
I listen to the moon

Ramona Left
9 points

the smell
inner pictures

Helga Stania
9 points

Evening ringing
a roller shutter closes
den Tag

Friedrich winemaker
9 points

last grip
to the stars
from cinnamon

Regina Franziska Fischer
8 points

with the pencil
before sunflowers
and glass wing moths

Regina Franziska Fischer
8 points

What does the sand say?
- - - - - - - -
in the silence of the desert?

Bernhard Haupteltshofer
8 points

in the last glow
leaping up
old love letters

Anne Holtz
8 points

The snowman
black eyes -
in the puddle.

Manfred Karlinger
8 points

Spring warmth -
I open my eyes
like for the first time

Gerard Krebs
8 points

Radio music.
Our song bursts between us
into the radio silence.

Wolfgang Roedig
8 points

yawning kitten
Cherry tree buds short
before bursting open

Klaus-Dieter Wirth
8 points

Tawara Machi -
what a woman she is
I do not know that …
but suddenly runs when leafing
some blood from my finger

Tony Bohle
13 points

flowering buds
my gaze wanders, wanders
along the trunk
to the annual rings
can't you make up your mind?

Gabriele Hartman
13 points

malty sweetness
and the smoke from peat fire
in my hands
a tattered timetable
which I no longer need

Eva Limbach
12 points

The Epiphany wind
carries the smell of
Sour food ...
Only one on my way home
Cat trail in the snow

Ramona Left
12 points

on peaks
beyond the last trees
change white chamois ...
in sleepless dreams
I chase them

Frank Dietrich
11 points

The gray beards
the ferns. They rock gently
the pictures
of old people before late light,
how they weigh their heads.

Guido Blietz
9 points

Morning rain -
already audible at the edge of the forest
the squeak of the train.
Thoughts rustling in the leaves
to homework

Taiki Haijin
9 points

evening after evening
opposite the window
in white nightgown
she appears to the old woman
the light burns night after night

Theo Schmich
9 points

are the swallows
not yet returned
the buds tightly closed
and my winter wounds
far from healed

Frank Dietrich
8 points

night walk
quietly under the full moon
the whisper of the beach grass
Like when we were
didn't know any answers yet

Ramona Left
8 points


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