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I've always found the simplicity and eloquence of haiku to be attractive. My favourite would be one from Basho:

Summer grasses               
All that remains
of a warrior's dreams

Another favourite from Basho depends on the translation

The old pond.
A frog jumps in

(sometimes the last line is translated more literally as "the sound of water" which I don't think is as effective).

When I saw a holiday haiku competition run by the NZTA and NZ Police in December last year I popped in an entry on a whim, and then totally forgot about it - in part because I did not receive the email notification that I was one of three finalists for the week.

But late January I did get a call to say that my haiku was amongst the top five national winners in the competition - and that was pretty exciting.

NZ Police sent the haiku through on a fun board which I think they're going to use for a social media promotion (which as just as well - as I'd not even thought to keep a copy of my impulse entry at the time). So here it is (with road safety theme):

Summer rays of sun
shine warmest on the living
Don't speed life away

complete with the 5 / 7 / 5 syllables of a traditional haiku - although modern variants now often allow shorter options more in keeping with the intended Japanese simplicity of the poem.

I'm chuffed with my prize, which includes $400 in petrol vouchers, and I'm looking forward to reading the other winning entries. They've just been published - you can find them here.

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