KOBO Seattle | since 1995

Mask Haiku Challenge -THANK YOU!

September 01, 2020

Mask Haiku Challenge -THANK YOU!

A BIG Thank You to everyone who sent in their haiku
First, we want to thank all the participants! We are touched and honored by your entries and messages. They were little moments of zen, and some brought a giggle, which is another kind of little zen moment. All were fantastic, which made it quite a challenge in and of itself to choose a "winner". We're posting all of the entries below. The ones with an asterisk will receive a gift. 

What's a Haiku? 
Haiku is a three line poem, written in a 5-7-5 syllable count. The first line contains 5 syllables, the second line is 7, and the third is 5. It is usually about a moment in time, in nature, in feeling. A few of the masters: Bashō, Kobayashi Issa and Buson can help give an idea of haiku. 

Why the Mask Haiku Challenge?
Well, why not? We challenge you to start writing and see what you come up with. It can be serious, or fun – the idea is to try it and have a little creative time. Winners will receive a special gift. Deadline: August 30th. 

The Entries: 

By Chisaki -

Blossoms, dots, black, cats
Show yourself on the canvas
For another breath

By Ingrid B.  -     

A cover to design
Mouth and nose so sweet
Heard not seen

Eyes free of sheltering mask
Message of hearts
Pierce to those loved

Bold sexy eyes
Windows to view emotions
What shall we share today.

By E.K. L. -
Alone or together

I breathe in and out
fabric covering my face
hard to remember

make mine beautiful
plain faces are advantaged
by the pandemic

my best feature is
my eyes; masks enhance me
I wear pretty ones

In the summertime
my mask is carefree fabric
what happens in fall?

By Megan A. -

Busy hands stitching
Masks for those who need them most
Builds community

Marching with masks on
People unite for justice
Rally for black lives

Smiling with my eyes
And with a nod of the head
Still stay six feet back

What a pretty mask
It seems a strange thing to say
I do like your mask


By Lisa G. -

Traps my hot breath close,
Suppresses my lipsticked smile,
Dang, I need a mint!

By Lee K. -

Oversize impact,
Such a small piece of fabric,
Please, please, wear a mask


By Greg P. -

in our reckoning
a respect of providence
protect each other

By Janeil E. -

position a mask
joy can be expressed
eyes smile too

By Susan P., Oregon & Kate H., Pennsylvania
(sisters on opposite coasts)

i will if you will
we can do this together
it will be win-win

Masks can hide your smile
your eyes express so much more
practice your eye smiles! 


* By Ilia O. (age 9) with a little help from Mom Jessica P. -

Wear your mask today
Masks cover your mouth and nose
to keep us all safe

By Gwen N. -

Ninja warriors
Masks, gloves, waking in the dark
Buying food today

By Steve E. K.,  Utah -

New mask from Kobo
  with bright Japanese patterns
is my outward smile



By Mark M. -

Behind many masks
eyes still convey smiles
Returning me home



By Etta L. -

We pass each other 
faces alight with color
unspoken caring



By Jenn H. -

Cover your face dear
Protect yourself and others
Be safe and live well



By David M. -

What this disguise hides
sings a quiet biding song,
eyebrows conducting



By Elisa C. -

Stretched across my face
Hot breath recycled in cloth
Good thing I ate mints

Stripes, dots, or lemons
Day’s outfit will determine
Facial color wrap

I am listening
My smile obscured by fabric
Eyebrow emotion



By John W., Federal Way

two little layers
held softly against my face
protecting us all



* By Victor S. -

telling a story
the kintaro bandana
protecting my face

* 2.
parentheses for
a brightly colored piece of cloth
elastic ear-loops

a mosquito sting
on the back of my elbow
forgetting the mask



By J. Ruth G. -

eyes smile eloquently
radiate kind intentions
greet neighbors and friends

bright mask on your face
your face becomes a blossom,
your heart a flower 



By Laura W. -

here at the edge
at the outside or inside
there is space—breathe

the heart breaks open
it’s of its nature to greet
whoever the guest

there is space between
separation and connection
….it’s your move



By Sandi V.

Daily Empathy
Sending half-faced love letters
Smiling with our eyes

(Sandi also submitted artwork)



By Ben W. -

Who is under there?
Both nose mouth are hidden.
I will meet your eyes.



By Jules A. -

Joy not lost from him
Little child with mask so small
I know ur smiling



By Maggie C. -

Pleated or curved
They conceal  smiles
Twinkling eyes reveal the joy

Don’t forget your bag
Took months to remember
Now it’s your mask



By Valerie L., Oregon -

Protect you.  Me.  Us.
Palms meet.  Mask hides nose and mouth.
Our eyes smile.  We bow.



By T. Woo -

Our protective masks
Pretty or whimsical prints
Make our days lighter


By Sandy Y. -

Masks, the new normal
Reliving 1918
Landscape stripped of smiles

(Sandy's photo of her grandfather)

Sheltering at home
YouTube "How to Sew a Mask"
Waft of sourdough bread

Old dog learns new tricks
Wear a mask, join class on Zoom
Still I resist change

Neatly folded masks
Tidying - my way to cope
TV spews bad news

Halloween cancelled
Masks - new purpose saving lives
Kids with long faces


* By Kathryn B. -

* Up the hill for fish
Wallet, phone, mask forgotten    
Back home start again 

Sunny forehead
This summer is different
Muffled voice through mask

Pleated fabric first
Elastic stretching to ears
New fashion statement

Eyes only
I can see your smile
We work through this together



* By Rachel M. -

Fog on my glasses.
Still, I see more clearly than
those that refuse masks.



By Lila L. -

look on the bright side
it's uncomfortable but
at least you're not dead



By Zoe B.-A.

What a gift we are
to each other: I miss your smile
I see your kind eyes



By Holly B. -

Task is we mask up,
Quarantine, but make it fashion.
Be healthy, stay cute.

Hot new fashion: mask
Grab the future with clean hands
Cover your nose though



By Catherine E. 
A couple of un-5-7-5 haiku, and one 5-7-5

seeing the mountain
in clouds 
to clear your sight

cicadas chatter
crickets sing
telling the difference

many trees stand tall
green leaves all unfettered
sanguine marks the day



* By Shelby Y. (age 16) - 

My mom makes good masks
She helps the community
Masks bring unity



By Kassandra K. -

fabric on my face
so I can stay the most safe
BOOOOOO!!! on the maskless

Hiding behind masks
While keeping others safe, too
Need to wash mine, soon

Covers mouth and nose
Feeling like a bank robber
Buying groceries

lint bits in my mouth
parts of string, too, my eyes itch!
will NOT touch my face!

Was a good movie
Now I wear it on my face
What next for The Mask?



By Sandeep M. -

Soft breeze blows your hair
Your eyes do not need cover
The summer wind, sick


By Brian P. -

Muted by the cloth,
a smile of gratitude shines 
from my eyes instead 



* By Bryan N.-

Stretched taut bridge to chin
Ear to ear a blank blue screen
Filled with more than words

* Don’t you recognize 
My smiling eyes and muffled 
Hello? Who are we?

A tongue sticks out at
The mess from under facemask
Cover, cancel, vote!

Hot summer face cover
Face the fact it’s hot, white hot
But can you still breathe?

Mouths under cover
May hang open, drool or worse
Curse a long blue streak

Smothered smiles and
Redacted portrait profile
Eyes and brows must do



By Rinkle S. -

Cover and Convey
Cause we want all to be safe
Connect with half face



By John M. -

At the door
One more thing
A mask!

Why not do it?
A simple task
For you AND for others



By Judith C. -

behind mask lips chap
warm breath realizes life
beauty redefined


by Maynard S. -

Cheeks blushed by spring joys,
your mask became a lantern –
glowing, radiant.



By Dorit E. -

Behind the curtain
a veil full of mystery
my eyes coyly speak


By Nira B. -

Hidden in plain view
Only eyes peek out above
No lipstick needed




By Paula L., Marrowstone Island, WA

Just a bit of cloth
comes between the two of us
I still see you smile

Old lady watching
mask and six feet in between
grandchildren at play




By Marcia V. C. -

As a mask culture
Dominates our existence
New designs unfold

Mask away your fears
Display your creative side
Cover up with flair!



By Christine C. -

Friendly barrier
Grown from fields and strands of trees
Between bugs and breath.


Friendly barrier
Grown from fields and strands of trees
Between life and death.

Panic in a mask--
will we be trapped forever?
The nightmare subsides.



* By Kelly D. -

Smelly on the bus
Boiled eggs scent wafts upward
No problem -- masked nose

Cotton, silk, plaid, plain
Coordinated fashion
New accessory

* Found a mask on street
Hot water, bleached, and nuked
Ready to rumble

Give a man a mask
And he will show his true face
I want the truth

My foggy glasses
Acne chin, sweaty nose, yet
saving lives, worth it



Shannon G., Mount Vernon, WA -

Part 1
riding in the rain
steady spray off my tire
soaks my cotton mask

Part 2
panting as I ride
last hill before the ferry
wet mask in my mouth

Part 3
perhaps a snorkel
could be a great improvement
over masks in rain?

Part 4
or a front fender?
that would be the solution
I could keep my mask



by Lora R. -

Muffled shoppers rush
Shoulders bent with burdens new
Strange the masquerade