Bite-Size Beauties

The Alibi ’S Annual Haiku Contest Winners

Erin Adair-Hodges
5 min read
Bite-Size Beauties
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In Japan, haiku are traditionally short poems focused on the natural world and our place in it. This being America, we like to take tradition, dip it in batter, fry it up and serve it on a stick. 

This year, haiku entries of all flavors came pouring in from middle and high schoolers, inmates and apostrophe abusers. It was difficult to narrow down the nearly 3,000 haiku we received, but our commitment to art demanded nothing less. Our favorites in each category will receive a $20 gift certificate from
Gold Street Caffè, a gift certificate for $15 to Yoga Now, a $10 cert from Pin It Up Hair Studio, $10 worth of pie from Pizza 9, two movie passes to Guild Cinema and an authentic (and classy) Alibi bottle opener key chain! Winners can pick up their loot at our headquarters (413 Central SE) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or e-mail to make other arrangements. We do not deliver.

Thanks to our judges Jessica Cassyle Carr, Marisa Demarco, Adam Fox, Molly Lindsay, Laura Marrich, John Millington and Ilene Style for their discerning tastes. And a very sincere thanks to all of the entrants. Having to read thousands of fun, weird and moving poems ain’t a bad gig.

The Winners

Best Traditional Haiku

sunflowers open

like verbs, hummingbird hangs, a

feathered green comma

—Danny Solis

Best Haiku About the Undead

on Easter Sunday

my five year old child exclaimed

"Jesus!  A zombie!"

—Todd Eddy

Best Haiku About the Recession

I have no teacher

For AP Economy,

APS is broke.

—Beth Wright

Best Haiku That’s Also a Jingle

I love my iPhone

I can sit on the toilet

And let loose a tweet.

—Joe Black

Best Haiku About Michael Jackson

More than his music

Michael was the first Black man

To walk on the moon

—Hakim Bellamy

Best Haiku About Sopaipillas

New Mexico meals

end when we lick the honey

off our fingertips.

—Ann McGinley

Best Nursery Rhyme Haiku

Old Mother Hubbard

Living in the South Valley

Makes bomb burritos.

—Charles Gravina

Best Haiku About Dirt

Detroit roach ice cubes.

Brooklyn chicken bone sidewalks.

Burque dirt on toast.

—Emily Severance

Best Haiku About Cryptids

Ach, Wild Haggis.

Ahv no’ sen the wee beastie,

bit ye smell ‘im ’round!

[translation from the Scottish:

Ah, Wild Haggis.

I’ve never seen the creature,

yet its fragrance looms.]

—Jordan Ganz

Best Miscellaneous Haiku

That man standing there,

He has a lot of keys. Must

be the janitor.

—Brandon Chapman

Room For More: Other Favorites

Room for More: Other Favorites



Parched life holds its breath—waiting

Smell of desert rain

—Larry Elmore

A dust cloud blows by

Crickets and wind chimes emerge

Beneath restless sky.

—Joel Kurzawa

The Undead

My little toe is small

My big toe is a zombie

My other toes are scared

—Jonathan Coriz, Desert Ridge Middle School

Crunchy and stiff

Hand punching out of the ground

Fingers breaking off.

—Grace Roff

How zombies despair

marching on Capital Hill.

No brains anywhere!

—Jordan Ganz


This whole recesssion,

I’ve been thinking, "and I thought

Detroit sucked BEFORE."

—Chris Chapin

Also a Jingle

If ever you want

To paper your new bird cage

Alibi works well

—Joe Black

Alternative source

All your news, views, and the Don.

Weekly Alibi

—Rich Newman

Mattress Firm.  Where it’s

Easy to get a crappy

Bed. Wow! Twist ending!

—Bella Pori

Michael Jackson

Not Until He Died

Did I Really Sit

And Appreciate "Earth Song"

—Laurel Butler

This man dances good

But he likes to grab his groin

I think something is wrong!   

—Carlos Montano, Desert Ridge Middle School

Before his death I’d

Always assumed the aliens

Loaned him to us

—Hakim Bellamy

[Editor’s note: Not 5-7-5, but too good not to include.]


Warm cotton batting

Unraveling in my mouth

Ribbons of honey

—Lauren C. Teffeau

I can’t take you home,

You just don’t keep very well.

Like my poetry.

—Patrick Hibbard

Santa Fe Santa:

Christmas gifts of red and green,

sopaipilla sack.

—Jordan Ganz

Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes are

Fun when you’re young but as you

Age they get freaky

—Mary Farrah

Living in a shoe

The old lady with the kids

Rhythm method sucks

—Joe Black

I hate nursery rhymes

Jack should jump over a cliff

Not a candlestick.

—Chad Smith, Desert Ridge Middle School


What to say of dirt?

Does Old Dirty Bastard count

in a dirt haiku?

—Jordan Ganz

gossip’s sad appeal

is that other people’s dirt

makes us feel cleaner

—Jeffrey D. Miller

Dank and full I hope

My compost draws out richness

I love rotted beets

—Kristen Sandoval


You ate my puppy

So don’t pretend you’re not real

Bad chupacabra!

—Hope Eckert

Yeti supports plan

of public health care—its lack


—Emily Severance

New status update.

Mothman lives in Point Pleasant. 

We’re friends on Facebook.

—Sue McGilpin


Haikus are so lame,

they never make any sense,


—Christina Barajas

waiting for my cat

his conspicuous absence

proves most difficult

—Micheal Henry Lee

Toddler hell-bent on

destruction and suicide.

Also likes Elmo.

—Holly Hargrove
Room for More: Other Favorites

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