Haiku Contest 2021

We are pleased to present the winning haiku for El Cerrito Trail Trekkers first haiku contest that took place during the month of May as part of the annual Hillside Festival. 40 haiku were submitted by 20 poets.

The poetry judges were Dani Gabriel, Rebecca Black, and Melissa Hobbs. Among her credits, Dani Gabriel was El Cerrito Poet Laureate for 2018-2020. She wrote “The Women You Write Poems About” from Civil Defense Press.  Rebecca Black was the Albany Poet Laureate for 2016-2020. She has taught poetry and creative writing at several universities including Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. She organized the “Fall into Haiku” program for Albany residents. Melissa Hobbs wrote “Under the Pomegranate Sun” from Bluelight Press, and is a board member of El Cerrito Trail Trekkers. Thanks to these great judges for volunteering their time.

Please join us on July 24 at 10 AM when the winning poets will be recognized and will read their haiku as part of the “haiku hike” in the Hillside Natural Area.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the haiku contest!

A woman standing in nature, with rock, dry grass and a dead tree. She looks happy.

FIRST PLACE ADULT CATEGORY

When the path appears

City Friend says, “Ah, what’s this?”

We escape through hills.

Kristianna Bertelsen

a closeup of lupine leaves and purple flowers

SECOND PLACE ADULT CATEGORY

Exposing lupine 

Pulling French Broom

Purple lupine lurking there

Restoring hillside

            Anna Lemontt

Two beautiful wild male turkeys standing in the street

THIRD PLACE ADULT CATEGORY

Turkey gangs are back

Gobble mobs boldly blocking

car bike hike deer trails 

            Jon Burnett

FIRST PLACE CHILDREN 12 AND UNDER

I see a long path

I smell flowers on the sides

I hear a bird tweet 

Maya C.

SECOND PLACE CHILDREN 12 AND UNDER

Autumn Stroll 

I walk on the trail

People come, Masks on

People go, Masks off

Emily P

THIRD PLACE CHILDREN 12 AND UNDER       

Nature walk in peace

Eucalyptus fills the air

 Which trail should I choose  

Julie O.

Thank you to all of the following poets who contributed to our first annual haiku poetry contest:  Roy Harkow, Julie O., Jon Burnett, Serafin Colmenares, Maya C., Tina Winstrom, Bill Zindel, Edie Bruce, Emily P., Allison P., Ken Berniker, Lauren Schiffman, the happy recluse, Anna Lemontt, Sergio Torres, Susan Kuchinskas, Kristianna Bertelsen, Mark Warmerdam, Lea Rude.

Here are all the haiku poems submitted by Trekker fans, inspired by the Hillside Natural Area.

Luscious green

Spring leaves emerge on branches

a red rash follows

• Lea Rude

Fresh air, no dust

Light through majestic oaks

Morning on the trail

• Mark Warmerdam

 When the path appears

City Friend says, “Ah, what’s this?”

We escape through hills.

Kristianna Bertelsen

Rufus-sided hopscotch

Restless in the trailside brush

Bird! Flush our your feast.

Kristianna Bertelsen

Morning dove tail wind

Everything whirls together

You complete the circle

Susan Kuchinskas

Old trees shelter new brood

Dry grass nestles umber stone

This quiet place teems

• Susan Kuchinskas

 owls warping jacquard

morning rustle slower sticks

fresh dreams roll under

Andrea Johnson

She flows through me

A blessing of sensations

Nature’s mother, earth

Sergio Torres

Exposing lupine

Pulling French Broom

Purple lupine lurking there

Restoring hillside

Anna Lemontt

—————-

envy

Bird

Atop a flagpole  soared

mind

Skewered on spinal cord

the happy recluse

—————-

Tiny birds would bathe

In bramble-covered dark pools

This May, it’s too dry

Lauren Schiffman

—————-

Lithe lizards sunbathe

Sudden scoot to hillside holes

TV for the dog

Lauren Schiffman

—————-

July’s blue-stained fingertips

Some tart, red drupelets

Blackberry coulis

Lauren Schiffman

—————-

Our dog wants to sniff

Where all the others have been

But not to meet them

Ken Berniker

—————-

The Old Eucalyptus Tree

As I run my palm

Through the rough tree bark. I think

My palm is like life

Lives go through rough times

Like the bark of this old tree

As my palm moves through

We will all move on

No matter what fate puts in

The paths of our lives

We are forced to keep going

No matter the rough bark

My palm is forced to move through

It keeps plowing forward

Until it decides

To rest, our lives take a stop

After a fulfilling

Allison P. Age 11

—————-

Autumn Stroll

I walk on the trail

People come, Masks on

People go, Masks off

Birds in the trees sing

The branches dance to the wind

Wind whistles calmly

Leaves fall in autumn

Leaves dance til they touch the ground

I catch a brown one

I catch another

This one is waxy and red

I drop it and keep walking

Emily P. Age 9

—————-

Once bare trees, now green

Birds sing from the deepest place

Summer approaches

Edie Bruce

—————-

Small dog noses ground

Eucalyptus, bird poop, squirrels

The Hillside bouquet

Edie Bruce

—————-

Old friends, dusty trail

Lizards run, I rub the sage

Searching for answers

Edie Bruce

—————-

Treetops breathing

In praise of winter’s passing

exhaling shadows

Bill Zindel

Winding paths uphill

Rush of wind through needlegrass

Fog parting to sun

• Tina Wistrom

—————-

It’s my branch, squawks jay

Wiping beak on swaying limb

Come fall, (my) acorns too!

Tina Wistrom

—————-

I see a long path

I smell flowers on the sides

I hear a bird tweet

• Maya C.  Age 6

—————-

The green curtains part

Gold light and blue sky dazzle

I step in dog poo

Serafin Colmenares

—————-

Above recycling

Poppies apologize a-

gain upstaging oaks

• Jon Burnett

—————-

Short hike, orange haze

Napa neighbors’ stuff floating

Ash still yet falls Fall

• Jon Burnett

—————-

Turkey gangs are back

Gobble mobs boldly blocking

car bike hike deer trails

• Jon Burnett

—————-

East Bay’s an ant hill

Argentinian sages

warning ‘bout water

Jon Burnett

—————-

First time trekking tour

Stopping at each flower bush

Talking with the guide

• Julie O.  Age 12 and under

—————-

Curvy and straight trails

Birds chirping in the spring breeze

Looking at the view

• Julie O.  Age 12 and under

—————-

Nature walk in peace

Eucalyptus fills the air

Which trail should I choose

• Julie O.  Age 12 and under

—————-

Escape in woods with

Views of SF and Oakland

City in country!

• Roy Harkow

—————-

Run my fastest to

Top of Motorcycle Hill

Can’t . . . pant . . . Catch . . . pant . . . Breath . . .

• Roy Harkow

—————-

Learn more at Haiku Contest