Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine © 2007-2018

Editor's Note: Our winning writers use intensely focused language to change the way that readers view the world. Congratulations to all of our winners!

Recent Winners"2016 World Haiku Contest"

Debbie Strange- "fog deepens"- 1st Place Grand Prize!   - $ 200.00 Winner

fog deepens
the sound of rabbits
nibbling night

Rajan Garg- "campfire" -2nd Place!  

sparks a galaxy
between us

Meric Ikuri - "dark in the west"- 3rd Place!  

the moth,
I hear,
bullies butterflies

Honorable Mentions:

the perfume
introduces her                    

                                   by Mercy Ikuri 

another spring 
mum's origami frog
by heart                              

                                   by Claire Everett 

cherry blossoms
falling from the edge
of a dream                           

                                  by Rajan Garg 

wonder what it held
once upon a time...
little dipper                              

                                 by Julie Warther

​autumn gale
how that last leaf
holds on                    

                                by Jay Friedenberg 

her new poem

                                by Gregory Piko

Past Winners"2015 World Haiku Contest"

Cynthia Rowe- "bare branch"- 1st Place Grand Prize!   - $ 200.00 Winner

bare branch
the wild persimmon 

Claire Everett- "first love" -2nd Place!  

first love
summer outgrows
its lanes

Julie Warther - "dark in the west"- 3rd Place!  

dark in the west
mushrooms just under
the surface

Honorable Mentions:

snowed in ... 
( this longing 
deep inside )

                             by Chen-ou Liu

storm clouds the inside of a tulip 

                             by Julie Warther

the humming of wind 
in barbed wire

                              by Debbie Strange

blue sea glass
a man of war decays 
in the sun

                             by Debbie Strange

old railway track
a tumbleweed skips 
through wild grass

                              by Cynthia Rowe

"2015 Best of the Best" (Editors Choice Awards) 

Best of the Best TANKA (2015)

our ancestral home
now in ruins
every nook
a secret pathway
into my childhood

               by Shloka Shankar

Best of the Best HAIKU (2015) 

at the beach
the umbrella


             by Elizabeth Crocket

"2014 Best of the Best" (Editors Choice Awards) 

Best of the Best TANKA (2014)

Pink camellia
in a shot glass
again I steal a sniff
of its perfume
like the thief I am

               by Alexis Rotella

Best of the Best HAIKU (2014) 

my grandma:
even the moon
has scars

              by Surbhi Grover

Past Winners"2014 World Haiku Competition"

Carole Harrison (Australia) - "cicada dusk . . ." - 1st Place Grand Prize Winner! $200.00

cicada dusk . . .
pine needles threading me
the moon

Chen-ou Liu - "a monarch" - 2nd Place! $70.00

a monarch
folds into silence...
budding petals

Jackie Maugh Robinson - "last breath" - 3rd Place! $30.00

last breath
of the last dinosaur
in tar pit bubbles

Honorable Mentions:

hot soup
my tongue screams
I wait

              by Patricia Cyr

walking barefoot
in wet sand
low breakers erase me

             by Jackie Maugh Robinson

memorial garden …
the shadowy gleam
of a ghost orchid

               by Cynthia Rowe

moth wings 
the folding and unfolding 
of laundry 

               by Tracy Davidson

the cherry blossom 
they'll never see again... 

                 by Tracy Davidson

Past Winners "2013 Best of the Best" (Editors Choice Awards) 

sunrise ...
sliding down a blossom's

                      by robert d. wilson

the world outside,
full of the whirling news
of destruction . . .
but inside,
this cup of tea

                        by M. Kei  

Past Winners"2013 Wintry Haiku Contest"

Meik Blöttenberger- "wind chill--"- 1st Place Grand Prize!   - $ 100.00 Winner

wind chill--
a child puts his ear
to the snowman's chest

Seren Fargo- "granite skies" -2nd Place!   - $ 50.00 Winner

granite skies
the weight
of this grief

Claire Everett - "winter stars..."- 3rd Place!   - $ 25.00 Winner

winter stars...
the true extent
of the Holocaust

Honorable Mentions:

winter sunrise
the side of me
no one sees

                     by Poppy Herrin

blending in even more
                        a moth
           frozen to a leaf

                     by Seren Fargo

snow angels--
a letter to my daughter
I'll never send

                     by Kathy Lippard Cobb

Past Winners"2013 World Tanka Contest"

Guest Adjudicator: M. Kei

M. Kei is a tall ship sailor and award-winning poet. He is the editor-in-chief of Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, and the editor of Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka. His second collection, of Slow Motion : The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack, is Recommend Reading by the Chesapeake Bay Project.  He also the author of a gay Asian-themed science fiction/fantasy novel, Fire Dragon. He can be followed on Twitter @kujakupoet, or visit

First Place  Theresa "Tish" Davis  $ 150.00 (US) , Award Certificate, Free copy of Fire Pearls 1; published by Keibooks

my spoon
tapping a can
for the feral cats;
my brother, homeless,
in an unnamed woods

The poet gives us a ‘dry’ tanka, a ‘shasei’, or sketch from life. There is no overt emotion, no metaphors or similes, no poetic artifice: just two facts, simply stated. Yet the juxtaposition of the two invites comparison and allows us to imagine the poet’s feelings. The feral cats are strangers, but they have learned to trust the poet’s kindness and come when it serves their needs, but the poet’s brother, who presumably grew up with the poet, does not.

Does the homeless brother know or believe in the poet’s kindness? He must not, or he would come, like the cats, when it was offered. It is generally understood that homeless people have problems that make them homeless; it’s rare for people to choose to do without. Is it mental illness? Estrangement from his family? Has he lost a job or had a mortgage foreclosed and is too ashamed to face those he knows? Is he an alcoholic? A drug addict? A veteran who can’t readjust to civilian life? A convict who can’t find a job?

The tapping spoon reminds me of the triangle my mother would ring for dinner. The metallic sound rang through the neighborhood and called her family home. Hope and optimism are in the ringing; the poet stands and waits for those who will answer. The cats come, a small faithful certainty in an uncertain world. Maybe one day the missing brother will answer too. Or maybe not. Like the feral cats, he is directed by his own inner urgings that are a mystery to everyone else.

M. Kei

Second Place  Kathy Lippard Cobb  $ 75.00, free copy of Catzilla; published by Keibooks

in the bottom
of a red hatbox—
years after death
dad shows up

Third Place  Susan Burch $  50.00

lined up at Auschwitz
a little girl sings
a lullaby
that lingers in my head
long after the gunshots

Honorable Mentions

how gently the leaf
takes its place in water—
may it be so
when death
calls my name

                 by Paul Smith



they called us
to collect her things
not knowing
what to do with her teeth
we left her smile in the trash

                            by Debbie Strange


a tiny thing
our paper boat that drifted
so far away:
I wake in the night
full of milk for no one

                       by Violette Rose-Jones


this year all the camellias died
still tiny, curled buds—
all I knew of them
their butterfly-flutter kicks
then nothing

                    by  Violette Rose-Jones


he tosses his line
casually, from the bridge
into the river
he admits, he’s had to let go
of everything else


                   by  Michele L. Harvey

Past Winners "2013 Haiku in Bloom Contest" 

Claire Everett - "spring mist "- 1st Place !   - $ 150.00 Winner

spring mist
steaming in its caul
the newborn lamb

Kathy Lippard Cobb - "ducks crossing— "- 2nd Place !   - $ 75.00 Winner 

ducks crossing—
a pregnant woman
waddles behind     

Earl Keener - "crocuses bloom"- 3rd Place!   - $ 50.00 Winner


crocuses bloom
grandpa doffs
his hat          

Honorable Mentions 

a scrub jay’s whisper song
trying to remember
who I used to be    - Seren Fargo

lesser celandine
all the time
we think we have     - Thomas Powell

Mother’s Day
an empty swallow’s nest
feathered with frost     - Ron Moss

floating bobbers
two old men
trade snores        - Kathy Lippard Cobb

spring fog
the world ends
at the lot line      - Ignatius Fay

"2012 Best of the Best" (Editors Choice Awards) 

caught in a web
of fingers
                     by Martin Pedersen

autumn sparkles
like summer shape-shifted
and bottled like wine-
from a distance
we drink to tomorrow

                      by Clive Oseman


Past Winners "2012 Love Tanka Contest" 

David Terelinck - "in fire-flung shadows"- 1st Place !   - $ 175.00 Winner

in fire-flung shadows
I kiss the Islamic moon
of her dark lips . . .
scent of narcissus
opening to the night

Paul Smith - "disappearing"- 2nd Place !   - $ 75.00 Winner 
as moonlight laps
against the shore...
all of you
all of me

Claire Everett & 
Chen-ou Liu - "is this the place?" & "sultry dusk ..."- 3rd Place Tie!   - $ 40.00 Winner

is this the place?
your breath on my spine
as you lift my hair...yes
here, where the twining birches
bend to touch the stream

                                Claire Everett  

sultry dusk ...
the nape of her neck
draws me in
as a streetlamp
beckons to the moth

                                 Chen-ou Liu 

Honorable Mentions 

once, I think
she told me she loved me...
retracing my path
through ancient woodland to hear,
perhaps, the nightingale

                             Claire Everett 


my thirst
for you can never be
soft rain on hyacinths    
stain our leafless bodies

                            Pamela A. Babusci 


this couple
oblivious to rush hour
on waterloo bridge
people pass on either side
of their passionate kiss

                             André Surridge  


to touch our initials
carved long ago
our youth found
on this old oak

                              Allen Reichert  

across the sky
crows call and answer
all day
I check the machine
for the sound of your voice

                              John Soules 


Past  Winners "2012 Haiku Pen Contest"

Edward Bremson - "pregnant women"- 1st Place !   - $ 175.00 Winner

pregnant women
at the picnic
budding magnolias

Seren Fargo
 - "searing heat"- 2nd Place !   - $ 75.00 Winner

searing heat
she decides to shed
her chemo wig   

Timothy Russell & Earl Keener
 - "torrential rain-" & "a waver of light"- 3rd Place Tie!   - $ 40.00 Winner

torrential rain- 
the trumpet vine quite

                                 Timothy Russell

a waver of light
in the arch of the sea stack

                                 Earl Keener 

Honorable Mentions 

heat shimmer
the corrugated shadow
of a roofer

                            Andre Surridge

steady drought...
still the sunflowers bow
to the sun 

                            John Hawk

spring night
the dog and I stop
and listen

                            John Soules

only noticing
when they stop-

                            Seren Fargo 

browning on the beach
a half-eaten apple     

                            Tracy Davidson

Past  Winners "2011 Best of the Best Poetry Contest" 

Alexis Rotella- 2011 Editors Choice Award for Haiku  - $50.00 Winner

cranking up   
the dawn--

Chen-ou Liu - 2011 Editors Choice Award for Tanka   - $50.00 Winner

bare maple tree  
standing on the front lawn...
with no one around 
I speak to it
in my mother tongue

Past Winners "2011 Senryu Contest"

Andre Surridge - "Zen monastery"- 1st Place !   - $ 150.00 Winner

Zen monastery
finding myself


Chen-ou Liu- "bullfrog chorus"- 3rd Place !   - $ 30.00 Winner

bullfrog chorus... 
I practice saying
I love you

Honorable Mentions

sidewalk book sale
a kid's lemonade
the best-seller

                             - Al Fogel

the start we give ourselves
rope swing

                             - Susan Murata

spaghetti sauce --
we meet each other
half way

                            - Claire Everett

Past Winners "2011 Haiku Pen Contest"
Adjudicator:  Lee Gurga
editor of Modern Haiku Press.

Paul Smith - "everything I see"- 1st Place !   - $ 150.00 Winner

          everything I see
          I am...
          autumn moon

Cezar F. Ciobîcă - "thunders-"- 2nd Place !   - $ 70.00 Winner

           dandelion fluff rises
           without a god 

Al Fogel - "winter solitude"- 3rd Place !   - $ 40.00 Winner

           winter solitude
           a tarnished half-heart
           in the jewelry box

Honorable Mentions

the tracks
of your leaving...
moon-sifted snow

                             - Claire Everett

ocean roar
a toddler lifts a seashell
to his mouth

                             - Al Fogel

faded jeans
the moon-washed hills
of dreamland

                            - Ernest J. Berry

snow boots
dripping on old news --
the scent of coffee

                            - Marion Poirier

flannel p.j.s—
explaining the divorce
to young daughters
                            -  Ignatius Fay

Past Winners "2011 Spirit of Japan Tanka Contest"
Adjudicator:  Alexis Rotella, Writer. 
Alexis Rotella can be followed on twitter @tankaqueen. Order her LIP PRINTS and LOOKING FOR A PRINCE on line.

Kathy L. Cobb - "my baby photos"- 1st Place !   - $ 150.00 Winner

my baby photos
ruined in the flood—
pieces of me
lost somewhere inside
mother's failing mind

The earth is going through her changes and whether we want to or not, we are changing along with her. What we once counted on is no more. So many have occurred great loss in recent times. We see people in the news searching the  rubble for photos and momentos, we visit our elderly parents in nursing homes but often only the shells of who they were remain. The memory banks of our mothers, our fathers are diminishing or are gone. We stand on the shores of time as the big magic slate of the cosmos lifts the sticky page of the past to a new beginning.

Kathy L. Cobb  - "bastard of a man"- 2nd Place !   - $ 70.00 Winner

bastard of a man
glamorized, immortalized
in black and white—
my mother’s wounds
too deep to be photographed 

David Terelinck - "the pearls"- 3rd Place !   - $ 40.00 Winner

the pearls
of Cassiopeia spilled
across the sky . . .
a nightjar calls from the tree
where we carved our initials 

Honorable Mentions

back home
after a weekend
in the city
content to watch tomatoes
slowly ripen on the vine                - John Soules


exotic spices
the air alive
with the cacophony
of rickshaw
hooters                                      - Tracy Davidson


avoiding the cracks
like I did back then
a little boy
willing his mum
to get well                                  - Paul Smith


sad memories of
the smell of old lady
and ribbons of drool                      - Ignatius Fay


from her hospice bed
she repeats the word "why"—
the fallen branch
of a Christmas cactus
roots into air                               - Seren Fargo 


Past Winners "2010 World Haiku Contest"

Ernest J Berry - "terminal."- 1st Place !   - $ 150.00 Winner

she skirts
the word

Ignatius Fay - "donor forms"- 2nd Place !   - $ 60.00 Winner

donor forms
while the body is still warm
lilac breeze

Chen-ou Liu - "a dried lotus leaf"- 3rd Place !   - $ 30.00 Winner

a dried lotus leaf
in Tibetan Book of the Dead...
winter dusk

Honorable Mentions

twilight tide -
each sibling scattering
bits of her                                    
- Kathy Lippard Cobb


mating season
the train disappears
between hills                                
- Ernest J Berry


dead end street-
realizing there is no one
to inherit my things                      - Seren Fargo

the chances
I meant to take                           
- Amelia Cotter

bitter cold
salt stains on the road
to the cemetery                          
 - Timothy Russell

Past Winners "2010 Think TANKA Contest" 

Seren Fargo- "eagle"- 1st Place !   - $ 100.00 Winner

in an updraft...
who I might have been,

Claire Everett - "unshackled from myself"- 2nd Place !   - $ 50.00 Winner

unshackled from myself
I am just
a passing thought
in the mind
of the forest 

Claire Everett- "and the ghosts"- 3rd Place !   - $ 25.00 Winner

and the ghosts
of our dreams
will dance as butterflies
weaving the colours
of what might have been

Honorable Mentions

when I am gone
doctors will donate this heart
to someone else
only to find you
deep within the scar tissue           
 - Kathy Lippard Cobb

dreams banished
from the clear blue sky
I count
the number of birthday cakes
eaten in the attic                        
  - Chen-ou Liu

no coffin,
just laid out on a gurney
under a quilt…
you’d be so proud to know
I didn’t waste a penny                  
 - Irene Golas

a friend pays
to have a star named
after her—
I ponder our human need
to own the unownable                 
- Kathy Lippard Cobb


I wrap myself
in the soft underside
of a memory -
it smells
of you.                                        
 - Claire Everett

Past Winners "2010 Haiku Pen Contest"  -  2010
Adjudicator & Commentator:  Ferris Gilli, Associate Editor, The Heron's Nest

Irene Golas - "moss-covered rocks . . ."- 1st Place !   - $ 100.00 Winner

moss-covered rocks . . .
mother never talks about
the one that died 

Certain elements must be present if a haiku is to resonate; indeed, resonance itself is the key to a successful haiku.  In only eleven words, fifteen syllables, this poem answers the requirements: effective juxtaposition of disparate images; immediacy and credibility; a sense of season and balance of nature and humanity; clarity, focus, and concision; plain language and musicality, and meaning beyond the surface imagery. 

Waiting to be discovered by the reader, unstated feelings layer this piercing haiku.  With intuition and skill, the author invites readers in, “hooking” us and evoking emotion by drawing our focus to that which is not spoken.  Different readers may find different interpretations.  For me, the phrase “moss-covered rocks” suggests summer.  The covering of moss denotes the passage of time (indeed, the overall haiku depiction is timeless).  The words “never talks about” imply a long-lasting situation.  With the third line, I become aware of a tragedy.  Yet even as I ponder this event that might have occurred long ago, I remain firmly in the present with the author, whose depth of current emotion can be inferred from what lies beneath the surface of this absolute observation: “mother never talks about / the one that died.”  

It is easy to imagine that “the one that died” was a sibling, perhaps an infant, whose death and the circumstances surrounding it were so devastating for the mother that even now she cannot speak of the lost child.  Perhaps for the poet, the moss-covered rocks are a trigger, stirring memories of the event or sharpening the need to “get it out in the open” with the mother.  The intriguing juxtaposition of images suggests that the poet’s mood is one of resigned wistfulness, while the last two lines create an aura of mystery.  I sense that the writer would gain comfort from talking about “the one that died,” that the poet’s own feeling of loss is nurtured by the mother’s silence. 

In order for a haiku to reach its potential, poet and reader become partners.  A haiku is like a bell that may sound a subtly different tone for each person who taps it.  The poet produces the “bell,” and the reader must tap it in order to experience its resonance.  Using not a single unessential word, the poet wisely leaves room for exploration in this significant and captivating haiku.  I am grateful for the opportunity to explore the rich depths of “moss-covered rocks.”           

Ferris Gilli - September 09, 2010

Irene Golas - "lilac on the breeze..."- 2nd Place !   - $ 50.00 Winner

lilac on the breeze...
I miss the bounce
of my ponytail

Ernest J. Berry - "plum blossoms"- 3rd Place !   - $ 20.00 Winner

plum blossoms
lovers stop to touch
each other

Honorable Mentions

night wind
a skateboard rattles by
without a rider                              - Ernest J. Berry

half moon--
the coyote's cry
incomplete                                    - Seren Fargo

my childhood surrounded
by wildflowers                               - Ernest J. Berry

funeral orchids—
the young mother
changing diapers                           - Kathy Lippard Cobb

thirteen years of drought
  the raven’s voice
    grows hoarser                           - Lorin Ford

Past Winners "2009 World Tanka Competition"  -  2009
Adjudicator :  Pamela A. Babusci, Editor, Moonbathing

Paul Smith - "motionless"- 1st Place !   - $ 120.00 Winner

the butterfly
has gone
and taken with it
a whole universe                        

                                                    Paul Smith
                                                    Worcester, UK
                                                    Paul Smith lives in Worcester in the UK with his wife and children. Alongside poetry he has recently developed a
                                                                     passion for longbow archery. His poems have been published in numerous print and online journals including,
                                                                     Modern English Tanka, Blithe Spirit, Ambrosia, Presence, Magna Poets, Ash Moon Anthology, Simply Haiku and
                                                                     3Lights Gallery. Read more of Paul’s poetry at his blog PaperMoon.

Paul Smith - "snowdrops"- 2nd Place !  - $ 50.00 Winner

bathed in morning light -
I imagine death
like that                


Kathy Lippard Cobb - "pebbles"- 3rd Place !  - $ 20.00 Winner

ripple a galaxy—
the knowledge
that in this grand design
I am insignificant                

                                                    Kathy Lippard Cobb
                                                    Bradenton, Florida
                                                    Recent graphic design graduate from Manatee Community College. Kathy has won numerous awards in haiku/
                                                                     tanka competitions and has been Associate Editor for White Lotus (haiku/tanka journal) since 2005.

Honorable Mentions

this is the park bench
that waits, always faithful
for my return
where I sit and contemplate
the river's changing moods                 -Patricia Prime


jasmine tendril
stretching in an upward spiral
I too
grasp for a hold
on the future                                    -André Surridge


tattered butterfly
on the same stone
as yesterday—
my life too
has stopped moving                          -Kathy Lippard Cobb


Past Winners "2009 World Haiku Competition"  -  2009

Ernest J. Berry - "night rain"- 1st Place ! - $ 110.00 Winner

night rain
the down pipe

relieves itself


James Tipton - "autumn fog" & Ernest J. Berry "morning sickness" - 2nd Place Tie !   - $ 25.00/ ea. Winner

autumn fog
the old porch

fills with the past

morning sickness
the drier pauses
between cycles

Barbara A. Taylor - "autumn light" & Sandra Simpson "the last leaves" - 3rd Place Tie ! - $ 10.00/ ea. Winner

autumn light                    
streaks a setting sun
on the batik

the last leaves
so wrinkled and dry
holding hands anyway


Honorable Mentions

all day snow
the mail carrier's bootprints
there and gone                             -Jennifer Gomoll Popolis

mating season
the bumblebee's hum
deepens                                       -Ernest J. Berry

this morning my son
taller than me –
the first coloured leaves              -Sandra Simpson

sweeping up the hairs
of the old dog
one last time                                -James Tipton

the clack of fallen branches
neatly piled--
autumn dusk                                 -Jennifer Gomoll Popolis

lamb-like mounds
snow huddles
under the pines                            - Patricia Prime

Past Winners "Haiku Blossoms" Contest -  2009

Ernest J. Berry - "nude beach" & " katrina"- 1st Place Tie ! - $ 130.00 Winner

nude beach
she covers
her hairdo

he reels in
his fishing boat


Marek Kozubek - "spring meadows"- 2nd Place ! - $ 40.00 Winner

spring meadows
the scent of primroses
plucked for no one


Ernest J. Berry - "invisible gate"- 3rd Place !
- $ 10.00 Winner

"invisible gate"
a little girl chains it
with daisies


Honorable Mentions

gap in the trees
morning sun straight through
a daffodil                                  - Diana Webb, UK

the vacant lot
blossoms                                   - Ernest J. Berry, New Zealand

a long look
at the plum blossom
fading so soon                           - Patricia Prime, New Zealand

Past Winners "Wintry Haiku" Contest - September 2008

Marek Kozubek - "first snow"- 1st Place ! - $ 100.00 Winner

first snow
tracks of a homeless man
from sill to sill


"Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is incredible! I am glad very much. Dear Raquel, If it is possible, send my cash award $100 to "Women for Women International" please, ok.? The warmest greetings - Marek Kozubek

Marek is an office worker, living in the beautiful mountainous town -Zywiec. He loves the beauty of mountains and mountain journeys. He's been writing haiku for several years. It is his real passion. His favourite classic writer is Yosa Buson. He likes music, too. He is an Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison fan.

Catherine J.S. Lee- "hunger moon"- 2nd Place ! - $ 30.00 Winner

hunger moon
a deer nudges snow
under the apple tree


Patricia M. Benedict- "snow-covered hedge"- 3rd Place ! - $ 15.00 Winner

snow-covered hedge
even the smallest branch
holds its own Mt.Fuji


Honorable Mentions

first snow
how lightly
the cat steps                            - Timothy Russell, Ohio

arctic morning
the panting postman follows
his steaming breath                   - Patricia M. Benedict, Calgary, Canada

the mourners
huddle closer                             - Timothy Russell, Ohio

Christmas dinner
lifting the mistletoe
over my head                            - Francis W. Alexander, Sandusky, Ohio

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