Category Archives: Poetry

I Won a Haiku Contest writing about Thong Cape Scooter Man

A few months back I entered a haiku contest with the weekly local magazine called the Isthmus. I won first place out of about 240 entries. There were six categories and I entered one for the Local Celebrities category. I wrote about Thong Cape Scooter Man. Although I have never seen him myself I have heard of him. He is a character that rides around a scooter in a thong and a cape. His name pretty much says it all.

Below is the image from the print publication:

Isthmus Haiku Contest Winner

My winning haiku about local celebrity Thong Cape Scooter Man from the Isthmus

My poem has a couple of things going for it that I think helped win. The subject is something that is unique to Madison, the words are similar to a quote from Batman, and it is kind of self deprecating. You should take a look at the rest of the poems from the article Isthmus Haiku Contest 2015 – there are some really great ones. I also noticed all of the advertising for the rules and event the title itself was haiku – it is a nice touch.

First prize was 2 tickets to the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest in January so I am looking forward to attending that. I guess now I can say I am a published poet. I was thinking about framing the print article although it would look pretty silly on my wall. Also I would like it on the record that I did not draw or pick the illustration.

Winning this has been pretty cool and helps to feed the creative fire and lets me feel like a contributor rather than just a consumer of other peoples work. It feels good. Have you ever won a contest or had some of your writing published?

Fun things in October 2015

We are three weeks into the month and I have been keeping pretty busy.

On October 2nd I paid off my student loans. I am coining it Indebrendence Day. I even wrote a haiku for the occasion:

My student loans are
paid; Today shall be known as
Indebrendence day

That night I met my dad, his cousins and some of their friends downtown Madison because they were in town for a football game. I made it to a few new (to me) bars (Genna’s, HopCat) and a few old ones (Brocach, Paul’s Club, Irish Pub). It was a great evening out. A little side story – I went downtown unprepared for the cold. I was shivering as I was walking up State Street to the square. It was almost 9 at night but Ragstock was open so I ducked in and bought a baja (aka drug rug). I have always wanted one, I am not sure why, and this was the perfect reason.

The first Saturday of the month saw me visiting my Aunt & Grandma and going to ScanFest which included good food and an Abba tribute band! In the row in front of us was a kid that was really into the music and it was fun to see someone connecting with something so much. (I also have been there several times before – see this post)

This month I also gave blood at the Red Cross. While I was there I saw public radio personality Norman Gilliland also donating. It was a neat brush with a local celebrity. After that I met my brother for lunch at the always delicious Oakcrest Tavern and then we went to the Mustard Museum in Middleton.

One weekend my girlfriend visited and we had a night out. We ate dinner at Qdoba on the way downtown. The traffic was terrible and I am not a traffic person at all. But the prize was the Madison Symphony Orchestra. I have never been there and it was pretty neat. There were three pieces played. I liked the last one the best because of the percussion. The second pieceĀ  featured a soloist on violin. The instrument was Stradivarius and it was older than the piece he was playing. Apparently they name these and his was the Marsick Stradivarius.

We finished the night with poutine from Mad City Frites. I had heard of the place several times in the media and I wanted to try it and I finally did. The poutine was pretty good although I don’t think I have ever had poutine before so I have nothing to compare it too. It hit the spot on a cold, windy October evening. I will have to get back there as a lot of the other options on the menu looked pretty good.

Now I am enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. I am still wearing shorts on my bike ride into work. And the Packers are undefeated. Life is good right now. I hope your October is going well.


Haiku III – Work, Cabin Fever & More Weather

It is time for the third edition of haiku. I really enjoy writing these. Click for parts one and two.

March is here and it is evident that the weather is doing as it pleases. We have hit 70 degrees F followed by a couple inches of snow here in Madison. It is hard to plan what weather to dress for when I decide to bike to work. I have ridden in with a scarf and gloves but gone home in a t-shirt already.


In like a lion
out like a lamb. March weather
is one of a kind.


At work we have to wear security badges/name tags. This seems to be a common practice in offices. These allow us to get into the doors. While I am at work it doesn’t seem so bad but if I forget to take it off I feel like a fool for walking around with it on. Continue reading

Haiku II: Weather, Beards and Teflon

I had so much fun doing my Insurance Haiku post that I decided to do a second installment. Writing a haiku is a lot of fun and I sometimes find myself counting syllables on my fingers at random times trying to make things fit.

My first haiku in this installment is inspired by the cold February we have been having here in Wisconsin. In the summer we say “It’s not so much the heat but the gosh darn humidity”. Right now for me it’s not so much the cold but the gosh darn wind.


The icy wind cuts
to my heart. I am living
in a chest freezer.


I have always tried to grow a beard. I do not seem to have the genetics for it. I haven’t shaved my face clean since at least November (although I have trimmed) but I can’t seem to fill in the holes and make my face look respectable. Continue reading

Insurance Haiku

I like the simplicity of the haiku – 5,7,5. I have two workplace related haiku. The first was inspired by insurance non-renewal notices. I have to type these out sometimes and to comply with legal requirements and for clarity they are pretty boring. I thought it would be neat to have a haiku version of a non-renewal. My Insurance haiku idea is:


Your policy is
non-renewed. What losses! Find
a new policy.


Much better then boring legalese. The second was inspired by a work meeting today. Our company had a slow January and management must be starting to worry. I think it can apply to most any company anywhere.


Work meeting today:
you must work harder, faster.
Growth, unabated


Do you have any office or work inspired haiku? It is kind of fun. Let me know what you come up with.