Nursing Six Packs to their Chests – The 2019 AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai

Well, it was another memorable haiku kukai despite the miserable game. Our assortment of poets, non-poets and general insurgents maintained admirable pluck throughout the afternoon, outshining and outlasting the lamentable GWS who put in a shocker. Put simply, there were fewer memorable moments out on the field than there were in the confines of the haiku commentary box!


The Grand Final kukai has been running for 8 years now and is entrenched for some of us ‘haiku-folk’ as a relative constant on the local haiku calendar. This year, as in all previous years, it attracted a liquorice allsorts of punters, many trying out haiku for the first time. Like in other poetry events I have facilitated over the years, this confirmed for me that we all have a need to create. The act of creation makes us connect to ourselves. And to each other. A kukai such as this also creates an instant community, brought together for the enjoyment of sharing haiku. As a poet, it’s hard to ask for much more.


The contributions for this kukai came from literally everywhere this year. From within Australia, we had people calling in from suburbs all over Melbourne as well as regional Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. From further abroad, we had some brilliant contributions from poets in Poland, Croatia, North America, France and Germany! And we also had people tuning in from Ghana, India and The UK. That’s a fair chunk of the globe right there.


The poets set a cracking pace in the first quarter – the only decent quarter of the match – with almost 50 haiku posted. That’s 2 per minute! Mirroring the game, interest started to wane after half-time, with people struggling to find inspiration, save for Dusty Martin and Marlion Pickett’s heroics. As a Grand Final, it was a fizzer, with few highlights. But, as the following sample shows, haiku poets managed to capture not just the game, but the atmosphere, inside the stadium and out. Until the bitter end – Kim Jeffs’ powerful message proving that haiku can do anything.


Thanks to Australian Poetry, the Australian Haiku Society and The Footy Almanac for getting behind this event, and of course to all those who joined in. Until next year.


Haiku Bob

(aka Rob Scott)





final countdown

the meteor scores a goal

over Bass Strait


Ron C. Moss





grand final day fever

will the tigers’ giant headache

come today or tomorrow morning?


Andrew Gigacz





tigers and giants

the stadium brimming

in legend and myth


Simon Hanson





crowd famished

at the big dance

no pies available


Michael Potter





final fitness test –

the camellia hanging on

to a branch


Myron Lysenko





petals on the wind

players enter the stadium

one after another


Rob Scott





Giants enter stage –

we hear the boos

all the way in Newcastle


Ela Fornalska





the botanic gardens

peaceful on grand final day

tiger lilies


Louise Hopewell






time for mind games over

bodies laid on the line

first quarter


Coral Carter





pre-game fitness test

all eyes on the player

except the pigeons


Chrissi Villa






September’s Final

competitors and spectators

are looking for rules


Ma?gorzata Tafil-Klawe






Too much time counting

Syllables and not enough

Watching the footy


Ruby Comte





Man grabs ball

Man grabs man

Ball goes on


Therase Fitzgerald Weeks





first blossoms –

every year that name



Rob Scott





tigers in front

of the lumbering giants –

six pies in the oven


Myron Lysenko





jack kicks long and scores

both sides hungry at the break

I really should eat


Derek Begg






Half time

Little score.


Timothy Train





Half time is up now

Cue the semi-relevant

Money grabbing ads


Brenna Dempsey





Lopsided game

my piano leans heavily

to the right


Michael Robinson





half time…

a sip of tea

and biscotti


Madhuri Pillai





half time

someone starts a chainsaw

in a back yard



Myron Lysenko





syllables don’t count today

only points and goals

forty seven and twelve


Coral Carter





Camera on glum Giants fans

Text on the bottom of the screen

“Toyota oh what a feeling”


Therase Fitzgerald Weeks





Orange talls

can only produce

a Lilliputian score


Bill Wootton





the whole day

in a moment

Pickett goals



Rob Scott





final quarter

the maximum dexterity

of dad’s curses


Sanela Pliško





the seconds tick down to zero

just like oprah

everybody gets a goal


Derek Begg





it’s over now

elation here

deflation there


Andrew Gigacz





in packs, Tigers fans

nursing six packs to their chests

Premiers trophies


Kim Jeffs





final siren

at Jolimont station

surrounded by small Giants


Lucy Annicka





a long night ahead

women of Western Sydney

will pay for Giants’ loss


Kim Jeffs


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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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. Despite the match itself the Kukai seems to have been a big success HB. I enjoyed many of the haiku included above, but especially

    Orange talls

    can only produce

    a Lilliputian score.

    I might have to participate in 2020 from the Taminga pub in the Clare Valley! Thanks.

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