Record warmth is about to hit D.C: My iPhone’s Weather app tells me it’ll be almost 80 degrees by 2 p.m.

So what better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a little poetry? The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District had that idea for its second annual haiku contest. The BID has placed the three winners’ poems—along with dozens of others by runners-up—on boards in 125 flower beds throughout downtown. The top winners were Kala Ramesh, Peter Newton, and Meik Blöttenberger.

Here are their poems and corresponding awards:

spring breeze

the sari slides down

her shoulder

For which Ramesh won a $500 gift card to Tiny Jewel Box


almost spring

the florist waters

her sidewalk

For which Newton won a $200 gift card to Grooming Lounge


green heart

inside a twig

broken off

For which Blöttenberger won a $100 gift card to Chocolate Chocolate

Do you have your own haiku that you think would have made the cut? Leave it in the comments (though we can’t promise any awards). Here’s one City Desk composed following the traditional 5-7-5 syllable pattern:

Cherry trees blossom

Just nine days hence. But what of


Update 2:15 p.m.: In case you were wondering why the winning haikus don’t follow the 5-7-5 pattern, a spokesperson for the Golden Triangle BID explains in an email to City Desk:

“5-7-5 sounds nice in Japanese, but is less fluid in English, so English haiku do not need to follow the syllable ‘rule’ that many people learned in elementary school. This is defined by the Haiku Society of America, which our judges followed.

Another characteristic of haiku is that it uses simple language to evoke imagery. It paints a picture using as few words as possible. Modern haiku keeps this spirit without being overly reliant on a certain number of syllables. Haikus can sound too much like a limerick using the 5-7-5 approach.

A final point: Some of the haikus we are displaying do in fact follow 5-7-5, but not all.”

Photo by Flickr user sdixclifford using an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license