I battled with my keyboard all day. Long story … for some other time.
Right, so I copied out the thirty-one actual Haiku Monday entries of the thirty-five we ended up with. Then with much brain-pain, I picked out my favourite from each multi-contributor and dumped their others. Then I discarded most of the ones with a questionable syllable count.
After that, headache intensifying, I went through the survivors trying to pick those that particularly struck me, and to avoid deciding that each one of them particularly struck me. I then found that the ten I had picked were twelve – and thus, muttering dire imprecations, had to take out another two. I discarded one from Doom – he won the last round, after all. Then I decided to demote one to a Special Mention because *whisper* I adjusted a syllable in it and she said it wasn’t an entry, anyway. This was:
With no brain inside
the space is dull and so full
blank madness resides!
At last, I had the ten finalists:
They said I was mad
but genius knows no boundaries
my madness be damned
(A good turnaround, and very much on theme.)
Teeth bursting with blood
Head a tumbleweed dyed black
Tears eat up my face
(Graphic and Gothic!)
Only in my mind
Thoughts that scramble back and forth
I alone can sort
(A more subtle allusion to the theme.)
My name is Madeleine,
but all my friends call me “Mad”
and seem to mean it.
(Great fun with the humour of the last line, and the anecdotal quality!)
Outcome so unclear
Why this before doing that
Method to madness
(Love the wry humour – how true this is!)
Stuck in the morass…
Sluggish mind wakens from dream.
What madness was that?
(A great exercise for the imagination.)
Morphia for pain
is good but it sends you mad.
Why use it for fun?
(This succinct message literally took backbreaking effort!)
Raucous giggling calls.
Lurks in the night; *scavenger*.
Maligned. Crazy? False.
(Clever allusion to one of the most eerily insane sounds one can hear, and a neat turnaround in one word.)
Cock-eyed, without sense
Spinning roosters round the bend
Pavlov howls, “Arhoooooooo”
(A great ‘feel’ for the theme.)
Hamlet’s claim to fame
The precipice of madness
To live or let die
(One has to enjoy the classical allusion and rephrasing of the famous line.)
So, decision time. And it so happens that, although the finalists were listed in no particular order, by sheer coincidence the last three are the top three in my inexpert estimation. So, Serendipity is third, Rafael is runner-up, and Nancy Hatch is the next host! Congratulations to you and to everyone who entered!