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2023 Whole Life Soaps Haiku Contest

2023 Whole Life Soaps Haiku Contest


Update: This contest is officially closed. We look forward to reading all of the entries. The winner will be announced no later than July 15, but sooner is always a possibility.

Thank you and good luck.



I can't believe how fast 2023 is already slipping by us like pine pollen and dust through the boards of my front porch.

I've been spending too much time thinking about my own mortality lately. I turned 51 in December, had my first angina attack, and now I am taking high blood pressure medication. Where did my healthy youth go? When did this old man move into my body? But that is the cycle of life, right. What's young grows old, and what's old eventually passes on.

With that said, it is time for our annual haiku contest where I, a local soap maker in the San Gabriel mountains of southern California, am calling for your observational thoughts of nature in the form of a haiku.

This year's theme is Aging and the Cycle of Life.

 The natural world, if you are keen to pay attention, offers many critical insights regarding how we age, what happens when we die, and the inherent beauty of this simple physical process, one which inspires so much fear and anxiety, but one that has been occurring without change since life began.

Your task, should you choose to enter, is to write a haiku on how how aging and the cycle of life are reflected in our natural world.

Enter here

If you've never written a Haiku before, just remember:

1. Your haiku should aim to convey a moment of insight, probably from something you’ve observed, either in the world or in your mind and heart. 

2. Write your haiku using a just a few lines. Traditional Japanese haiku use mora, which are spread across a few lines. In English, writers attempt to translate this concept into a rigid syllable structure, but there is not a direct correlation between the two concepts, as a single mora may contain two, three, or four syllables. Simply put, using seventeen syllables may actually make your haiku too long, in the traditional sense. So try to avoid the syllable game that many native English speakers learn in elementary school. If you really must focus on syllables, I would suggest using no more than 17 syllables across all three lines. But fewer is preferable, and likely more correct.

3. Write with directness, using clear images.

4. Find a way to break the haiku into two parts, with the second part creating a contrast or surprise after the first one.

5. Nature should be part of the poem, either setting up the contrast or completing it. Poems without this will not be considered.

Finally, it's important to read haiku to get the feeling of the haiku structure. Whether you search the internet for examples or buy a book of Haiku poetry, reading examples is still the best teacher.

Contest Rules:

1. Past winners are ineligible

2. One entry per person

3. Entries must be received by May 20, 2023 at 5:00PM PST to be considered eligible.

4. Submissions may be entered alternatively via US Mail. Send to Bill McConnell c/o Whole Life Soaps, PO Box 3082, Wrightwood, CA 92397. Additionally, contestants may submit a contest entry in-person at Whole Life Soaps retail store located at 6013 Park Dr, Wrightwood, CA 92397. Submissions must include first and last name, a valid email address, a phone number, a current mailing address, and a typed copy of the haiku entry. We are open every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am - 5:00pm.

5. Winners will be announced no later than July 15, 2023. Winners will be announced via this blog, via our Instagram page, and via email to all contestants.

7. Contest rules may change at anytime. 

Last updated 4/3/2023

Continue reading

2022 Soap Haiku Winner

2022 Soap Haiku Winner

Haiku Contest Update

The 2023 Haiku Contest Winner

The 2023 Haiku Contest Winner


Heather Frankland

Roses thrive through time
all winter, deep roots survive
each year, a sweet bloom

Tasneem Hossain

Autumn breeze leaves fall . . .
grow anew
life changes we transform

Mariagrazia Dessi

Dear Sirs, my name’s Mariagrazia Dessi. I sent you a haiku in Italian by mistake some time ago. I send you the English translation. Kind regards.

a bald man / under a bare pergola / takes his hat off


Snow falls on black rock
Shattered body lies gentle
What little remains

Ravi Kiran

Can you please confirm if electronic submissions need to be shared in this comments sections or is there an email address to which they can be sent. Thank you.

Cindy D

Butterflies in June
Flew in skies of May
Never aged once

Kara Krulick

Covering up
With rose petal blush
China dolls
Draped in cobwebs

Zachary Pedigo

cherry blossoms alive for
the blink of an eye until they die
but they come back, they always do


and this year…
waiting for planting
spring seed

Refika Dedić
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Katherine E Winnick

drifting rosepetals
breastfeeding to menopause
twenty turns around the sun

Lawrence Wilson

lavender oil on skin
scent stings—fondly imagine
lines of age erased

Stefan Martin

withered leaves descend
feeding the ravenous land
bloated fuschias bloom

Sheila Barksdale

old hippy artist’s smock
chakras gone rogue

Thompson Emate

nature’s hands grow frail
bloom takes a receding course
roses are shrivelled

Thompson Emate

nature’s hands grow frail
bloom takes a receding course
roses are shrivelled

Thompson Emate

nature’s hands grow frail
bloom takes a receding course
roses are shrivelled

Daphne Molson

Haiku with nature is better what you want. How is this?
Whether I am old
I feed the robins bird crumbs
For fear they do age

Daphne Molson

If the following 17 syllables are 5, 7, and 5 respectively, please have it to judge if you wish to.
If I am aged
If I have not long to live
Please send me comfort by Daphne Molson, aged 75, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Vasile Moldovan

getting older
I feel how time flies
faster and faster

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