Grand Final 2016 – Siren Song: AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai


Last week’s grand final will live long in the memory. It stood out from all others because it stood for something else. Something more than just a game of footy. The whole afternoon seemed to shine a light on everything it means to be human. The game, the result, and the aftermath, cut through to us in a way no other grand final has. It felt different. It made us feel different. It made us feel.


The game also marked the 5th running of the AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai (and, thankfully, the first one without Hawthorn) with haiku poets calling in from all points of Australia and the globe to call the game in haiku. And just like the game itself, the haiku commentary had some unexpected moments;


Kennedy starring

I think of Lee Harvey



Myron Lysenko


As well as some prophetic ones, like this from Lucy Stewart, the depth of which no-one could have foreseen;


first light

the city wakes

to live a dream


But not everyone can stop for the grand final, and many poets were calling in on their travels, including Nathan Curnow,


driving Adelaide to Melb

missing the game

half-time: Bordertown


Many haiku poets, however, were watching and could not take their eyes off the game, deftly mixing their impressions with a nod to their immediate surrounds, both urban and natural. What follows is a snapshot of the nearly 200 poems that came in over the course of the day. For Bulldog fans, this is a chance to relive the game in a way that they probably haven’t done before. Once more, with feeling.


Rob Scott (aka Haiku Bob)





underdogs wait

lush september grass

they made the cut


Ian Gostelow





Winter is over

Red sun through white clouds blue sky

Rises in the west


Dave Dreimann






first Grand Final –

the baby kicks

for the first time


Rob Scott





Dressed-up Doggies’ houses

Will they look so gaudy

On Sunday?


Derek Begg





Barking mad –

sons of the west

see red and white


Nadine Hartnett





Dawn breaks

white line awaits

Siren song


Ian Luke





first light

the city wakes

to live a dream


Lucy Stewart





Country cafe

Morning TV through tired eyes

Eddie yabbers on


Derek Begg





damp morning—

a bulldog chases a swan

into the duck pond


Myron Lysenko





The chooks scoop water into their beaks

Footscray’s in the final


Jackie McConnell





the softest rain

Footscray scarf hanging on the balcony


Jackie McConnell





record breaking rains

the dams full on grand final day

swans glide in


Ian Gostelow





buying pies

in the supermarket

push in the back


Myron Lysenko





pre-game warm up the hot dogs


Tash Adams





In the Members, upper crust

Meanwhile, I bite

the remains of my pie


Michael Potter





The cynic inside

says today is more about

money than football


Ron Barton





Kick Tackle Kick

Kick Kick Punch Kick

Made it inside the gate!


Michael Potter





The microphone waits

for a poet’s final call

Dennis Cometti


David Dreimann






wherever I go –

Grand Final day


Rob Scott





Cloudy but calm

the old man holds back

a quiet tear


Nadine Hartnett





Haloed ground

Hallowed ground

Soon to be harrowed


Michael Potter





banh mi shop with ‘woof woof’ poster


still a daggy real place


Maurice Mcnamara






the underdog

first quarter


Jade Pisani





spring clouds –

how the roar of the crowd

clings to everything


Rob Scott





Hoping to convert

Canadian bar

Only two people here


Sean M. Whelan






she writes five haiku

in the first quarter


Myron Lysenko





he scores with the banana

practiced since he was eight

in the grand final


Ian Gostelow







johannson lin jong

australian rules


David Crosbie






a cat and three magpies sing

with the dogs


Nadine Hartnett





branch full

of forsythia blossoms

tight contest


Myron Lysenko





Red white and blue

own the second quarter

magnolias rise


Jade Pisani





Buddy on one leg

Josh Kennedy grows



Rob Scott





Kennedy starring

I think of Lee Harvey



Myron Lysenko





Target the leather

Dispose of the courtesy

Can’t hear for screaming


Della Absalom





Grand Final Day

the girl turns the tv room

into a cubby house


Jade Pisani





driving Adelaide to Melb

missing the game

half-time: Bordertown


Nathan Curnow





screaming crowd

party pies still

in the freezer


Jade Pisani





hot ball –

no time to get out

a haiku


Rob Scott





one goal the difference

that moment when going to the loo

is second


Jade Pisani





at Pink Lake –

Tom Boyd is ‘becoming

a man’


Nathan Curnow





Grand Final traffic

Great time to nip across town

for tea with a friend


Naomi Tooby





Picken flies

once was a Seagull

is he top Dog now?


Derek Begg





swirling petals –

Picken soars

and falls to the ground


Rob Scott





Catching my breath

Wishing the lead would be

More than two kicks


Derek Begg





four minutes to go

the bounce of the crowd

in slow motion


Jade Pisani





spring mist –

the last goal barely seen

through tears


Rob Scott





final siren

fallen magnolias

all over the ground


Myron Lysenko





Grand final dusk –
the sharp contrast
between winning and losing


Rob Scott





Boys don’t cry

I am glad Robert Smith

was wrong


Michael Robinson





drought breaks –

not worried now

about dying


Rob Scott






from winners and losers

falling petals


Myron Lysenko





morning after

the dog whimpering next door

an hour ahead


Ian Gostelow





Morning gusts

The coloured streamers

Already fading


Derek Begg




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. Wonderful stuff, what a sample. The collection must be of a very high standard. So many to like but I single these out – they got me:

    Target the leather
    Dispose of the courtesy
    Can’t hear for screaming
    by Della Absalom

    four minutes to go
    the bounce of the crowd
    in slow motion
    by Jade Pisani

    Well done one and all!

Leave a Comment