AFL Grand Final Haiku – Hospital Kick


This week’s haiku is a bit different. Let’s just say I had a bit of help with it.


This year’s Grand Final marked a number of firsts for the AFL code. It was the first time the Fremantle Dockers had made the Grand Final; it was the first time the colour purple had taken centre stage in Melbourne since Steven Spielberg’s 1985 blockbuster (incidentally 11 Academy Award nominations for no wins! The colour purple may well be jinxed); and the first time Hawthorn had made the Grand Final for 12 months. *sigh*


It also marked the first time people from all points of the globe took part in a real-time global footy haiku kukai (haiku gathering) for the duration of the match. If you didn’t understand that last sentence, it means that there was a group of haiku poets watching the game on Saturday from all over the place – Australia (spread across Melbourne, Woodend, Kyneton, Bright, Perth and The Gold Coast) as well as Sweden, the UK, and the US. One of the writers had also just flown in from Germany! And this eclectic group of enthusiasts exchanged haiku during the game via the interwebby thingy.


Actually, this isn’t a first. A group of poets in Melbourne and Woodend, led by Myron Lysenko, spontaneously exchanged haiku during last year’s Grand Final, and I happened to catch onto it whilst Facebooking from a pew of my local Irish pub in Stockholm. Not knowing if Myron was going to do it again this year, I got on the blower (Facebook) and organised a ‘happening’, with the intention of attracting as wide an audience as we could muster.


We started writing haiku on Brownlow Medal night and continued right up to the first bounce, not stopping until the players left the podium. Some haiku coaching was provided early in the week by Alan Summers in the UK, which helped build the confidence of our less experienced haikuists. By the time the ball was bounced, though, we were ready for action, as borne out by the following stats:


Number of people in attendance: 47

Total haiku written: 155 (30 pre-match and 125 during the match)


The game went for approx 120 minutes.

So that’s (more than) 1 haiku for every minute of the game.

In other words, we had the entire game covered.

In haiku.

A good chunk of the poems appears below. The haiku was written in a range of styles, some favouring the traditional 5-7-5 format, others sacrificing syllables for precise images. There is also some one line haiku in there to be enjoyed as well. It is a veritable haiku ‘pot pourri’.


Hope you enjoy it. We plan to do it again next year, and with a full pre-season under our belts, expect some big things! Perhaps some of you knackers will join us!


Rob Scott (Haiku Bob).


grand final week –
the office fills
with small talk

Rob Scott


bounce the bitter pill
– a year to forget
rushed behind

Ian Gostelow


chance of thunderstorms –
looking forward to the roar
at first bounce

Myron Lysenko

gusty morning
what would do better
an anchor or a Hawk

Derek Begg

grand final –
a Hawk and a Docker
giggle on the bus

Rob Scott


grand final eve –
seagulls find scraps
on the empty field

Jade Pisani


Pre match party –
The band plays Cazaly
dressed in all colours.

Ellie Lamb


announcing good news anchor is stored away

Hans Naslund

Deafening roar
On Grand Final day
Boat tragedy silence

Nathan Curnow


whistling wind shudders
a doona warms chilly bones –
rippling muscles glow

Saskia Post


dark clouds –
supporters look for
a bit of silver

Myron Lysenko


dark clouds forced back to the goal square

Rob Scott


a pregnant woman
begins her labour –
hospital kick

Jade Pisani


Game two minutes old
No scores both sides.
Come on ya slackers!

Timothy Train


writing haiku
I miss the opening

Myron Lysenko


He’s kicked it well
He’s kicked it really well

Nathan Curnow


Dockers dismal
skipper kicks point for team
and worse

Nadine Hartnett


blood runs into
the defender’s eye
pink magnolias

Myron Lysenko


spring mist –
something tells me
this game is over

Rob Scott


do you see what I see
the crowd

Anna Fern


lop-sided game-
half time entertainment
out of sync

Rob Scott


Low scoring first half
The expected team winning –
And the crowd goes mild

Timothy Train


Football Grand Final
Franklin belting left foot kick
Oh, where’s the pizza!

Matthew Harris


elbow to the face
all the magnolias shake
their heads

Myron Lysenko


see how the umpire runs!
the game is going

Anna Fern


one sided game
I start to admire
their sexy legs

Jade Pisani


drifting cloud
the ball
follows it

Rob Scott


men on the field
struggle to kick straight
Men at home grunt

Ela Fornalska


crying toddler –
the third quarter
louder than the others

Jade Pisani


Grand final
Fourth quarter
Haiku fatigue

Nathan Curnow


goldfields a hawk flies between two fields

Myron Lysenko



final siren –
half the stadium
in shadow

Rob Scott


a contest to see who can look
the unhappiest

Mark Bau

Chilly wind
Hawthorn born to rule

Peter Flynn


underdogs’ tails between legs
triumphalist singing
the final insult

Anna Fern


hugging hawks wrapping
in the cup, somewhere someone
tears up twenty grand

Ian Gostelow


grand final ends –
chickens wander back
into their coop

Myron Lysenko


a long trip home
across the Nullarbor –
a sad sea of Purple

Ela Fornalska


horn blows
crowds cheer
Memphis fifteen hours behind

Mary Stone

About rob scott

Rob Scott (aka Haiku Bob) is a peripatetic haiku poet who calls Victoria Park home. He writes haiku in between teaching whisky and drinking English, or something like that.


  1. I should add that, apart from yours truly (hello Peter Landy), the Knackery WAS indeed represented in the Grand Final Kukai, by none other than PJ Flynn. Is there nothing that man can’t do?


  2. Ripper stuff HB. Fantastic idea. How many Haiku would get done around a camp fire with a bottle of Port?

    The crowd uncheers
    Our spectacle

  3. Visionary post
    Haiku images burning
    Into sleepy brain

  4. Wonderful HB. Should be simulcast with Roy and HG as part of the Festival of the Boot.
    “When too much haiku is barely enough”.

  5. Andrew Fithall says


    I ran into PJ Flynn at Flemington on Saturday and he was very proud to relate the story of joining in with the Haiku Grand Final spectacular. I was also treated to a live reading (without notes) of his contribution.

    I am pretty sure you will have increased participation next year – it will rival the twitter feed on Q and A.


  6. A Poet’s Corner at Flemington. Now there’s an idea!

  7. the game is over
    seagulls ignore the MCG
    the goalposts have gone

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