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2022 Soap Haiku Winner

2022 Soap Haiku Winner

When I decided upon this year’s haiku theme, I cannot deny that I was thinking politically. So much of our global experience lately hinges on a lack of tolerance for one another. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The leaked draft of the Roe v. Wade decision. The incredible revelations of the January 6th committee. The SCOTUS decision to strike down the EPA’s ability to regulate climate policy. We are truly living in a time of intolerance for one another and for the planet. 

Our lack of tolerance frightens me – we do not live in a unified country, and we certainly have little tolerance for individual choice. Our political differences are merely the picaroon that cracked the log of the American identity. How that log splinters from here on out is demoralizing (at least for me) to contemplate. 

This year’s contest asked you to consider the concept of intolerance in nature. How does nature resolve its differences? How does it tolerate the uniqueness between two species? We can learn much from this observation, although it appears much of humanity is too stubborn to pay attention. 

There were 325 entries this year, down from years past when we have received almost a thousand entrants annually. Many entries were incredibly good, but did not address the theme, while others forced tropes about soap into the poem, a trend that happens every year, and those tropes end up in the not-winners pile. 

As always, I review my favorite selections, so without any further fanfare, let’s dig in. 


  1. Dan Lulian
hot road mirage -  
a calf grazes the shadow  
of a vegan billboard 


  1. Jennifer Adams
hummingbirds and bees  
in blood-orange trumpet vine  
drinking together 


  1. Mary Rowin
migrating pelican flock  
crane bugles warning  
lone heron fishes  
  1. Susan Suntree
Comfrey's long green leaves  
purple bells  
beside the boulevard's din and growl. 


  1. Michelle Dang

A daffodil sprouts 
From the ashes of a home. 
Rain quells human fire. 

  1. Christopher Bays
battered barricades ...  
a field of daisies  
where the hospital once stood 


  1. Barbara Bagwell
Saplings seek the sun--  
beneath heavy canopy,  
rooted in felled trees. 


  1. Debbie Strange
a refugee shelter . . .  
clownfish nestle among  
sea anemones 


  1. Trena Reed
Squirrels build nests from leaves  
they strip from cottonwood  
trees who harbor them still 


  1. Leara Morris-Clark
dandelion roars  
shaking its soft head above  
concrete affliction 


Winning entry 
Eithne Longstaff


water runs seaward  
children build a driftwood dam  
stream takes another path 


I would like to thank everyone who submitted a poem to this contest. I also send a heartfelt thanks to Tim Green at Rattle Magazine, whose fierce support of poetry makes contests like this possible. 

I will contact all contestants and send them a copy of the results. If you did not win this year, please consider entering next year. The contest window will open sometime in January of 2023 and extend through May of 2023. In the meantime, keep an eye out for a custom soap based on elements of the winning poem. 

Thank you, 


Bill McConnell 

Owner, Whole Life Soaps 

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Haiku Contest Update

2022 Whole Life Soaps Haiku Contest

2022 Whole Life Soaps Haiku Contest


Diana Tokaji

Very beautiful and far-reaching winning poem. Deserved.

Lina White

What joy
to wake and find
these poems!

Lina White

What joy
to wake and find
these poems!

Mary Keating

Congratulations to all the runners up and the winning poet. Being a SCUBA diver, I was especially fond of Debbie Stranger’s haiku which immediately transported me 50 feet under azure blue seas.

Along with Bill I hope we are able to heal the divisions in our world.

And thank you to Whole Life Soaps for reminding us to be more tolerant. ❤️

Mary Keating

Congratulations to all the runners up and the winning poet.
May our country be
United in love this year
Promote harmony

And thank you to Whole Life Soaps for reminding us to be more tolerant. ❤️