Recently, I had the pleasure of judging the hay(na)ku poetry contest sponsored by Canada's Festival de l'Ail de Ste-Anne Garlic Festival. I thank Elizabeth Johnston, coordinator and creator of the garlic poetry contests, for the invitation to judge the contest which took place cheerfully on Facebook.
The top winner, like other weekly poetry contest winners, will be displayed at the Festival on Aug. 26. From these "semi-finalists," a top winner is chosen by Festival goers -- a People's Choice type of award!
For the hay(na)ku, I congratulate Sheila Murphy for her winning tercet that will represent this stairstep form:
mojo de Ajo
Sheila's poem also offers a synesthesia involving sight instead of taste. Look at the above photo of mojo de ajo from 101cookbooks and one can see in that glass bowl what a rain-splashed desert ground might look like!
Lastly, Sheila's poem offers clever syntax as the "M/m"s and "A"s that begin the two thoughts -- "Monsoon / flavored Arizona" and "mojo de Ajo" -- offer both a consonance and visual rhyme as well as, given the switch from English to Spanish, a sense of translation.
This hay(na)ku shows the grace and intelligence of Sheila Murphy's poetry. Congratulations, Sheila!
As the hay(na)ku winner, Sheila also will receive a copy of BLINDFOLD by John Mikhail Asfour (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2011), donated by the Quebec Writers Federation and the Montreal Review of Books.
As with Sheila Murphy's hay(na)ku, the following three finalists all share a deft poetic "turn." We have Jonel Abellanosa with
Garlic cloves –
You and me
Another finalist is Elly Nobs with
eat their scapes.
But why the reference to "problematic"? The answer lies in the third line's reference to scapes, flower stalks on hardneck garlic. Farmers harvest the scapes when they’re young so "they won’t drain nutrients from the garlic bulbs that will be dug up in a couple of months, plump and glorious and ready for drying.” Yet “problematic” is the poem’s turn or swerve for scales are also a pleasing “vegetable, aromatic, and even herb all in one.” Thus, the poem advises, "eat their scapes"! Click HERE for garlic scape recipes; another article HERE showcases what one can do with scales. Well-done by new hay(na)ku poet, Elly Nobbs!