The 2018 AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai: The Far End of the Stadium


This year’s Grand Final marked the seventh annual running of the AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai, the official haiku ‘call’ of the game. All six previous kukais were hosted from my temporary base in Stockholm where I would happily churn out haiku from the dark corners of an Irish pub in the frosty hours of a Scandinavian early autumn morning.


This year was different. I was in Melbourne. My team was in the Grand Final. And I was in the stadium!


And what a game it was. Another Collingwood tragedy. Eerily reminiscent of the 1979 Grand Final which saw Collingwood also lose by five points in the dying seconds, also after kicking the first five goals of the game! But I digress…


This year’s kukai had poets calling in from Europe, Japan, the United States and all parts of Australia. From inside the stadium and out. In the build up to the game, we had some superlative musings capturing the significance of the week in the context of a long season which was painful for some….



grand final week
my team already
on holidays


Myron Lysenko



The season’s over
Five beanies in the wash
All yellow and black


Vin Martin



grand final angst –
who would I rather see
lose more?


Andrew Gigacz



And then the big day arrived. Collingwood has been in more grand finals than any other team. It is magpie season, after all. But their record is the stuff of ignominy. Today would mark their 42nd appearance in the big dance for only 15 wins. And it was a classic Collingwood performance, rousing their loyal and rabid supporters with an explosive, against-the-odds opening burst which promised a glorious end to a miraculous season. But as the day wore on you could sense the inevitable. The Eagles asserted their silk. In the last five minutes the Magpies played like a helpless cat stuck in a tree. There was no way out. My day ended with my 12 year old daughter sobbing in my lap. And the tears flowed all the way home. Just like they did in 1979. When I was 12.


It was an incredible day and, as usual, the haiku poets did themselves proud, capturing the full gamut of the experience. Not only did they paint the indelible moments of the game, but they gave it a context – social, political, moral. This was 120 minutes in everyone’s lives. Not just the 36 players on the field or the 100,00 spectators in the stadium.


Here are but a few of the highlights.


See you next year.
Rob Scott (aka Haiku Bob)



I am not taking sides
black and white
the clouds have other ideas


Derek Begg




Grand Final Day
I give the magpie
extra mince


Jade Pisani




peace of the morning
soon Magpies will swoop and fly
the big day is here


Julia Scott




my dog
lays the first tackle –
Grand Final morning


Rob Scott




Who will win?
The answer is not
black and white

Cameron Semmens




an air of calm –
my team
isn’t there


Andrew Gigacz



warbling magpies
Barnsey belts out
the national anthem


Lou Creates




first goal
aiming for Heaven
an angel on Varcoe’s boot


Nathan Curnow




too fast on the wings
four goal lead


Myron Lysenko




skirting around it
unaware of the scoreline
MCG looks calm


Kim Jeffs




settled in the couch
quarter time
the cat snores on


Derek Begg




four magpies
circle the wattle tree
another scrimmage

Myron Lysenko




half-time at the bar
some glasses half full
some half empty


Rob Scott




That’s more like it, Cox
Even if you’re from Trumpland
Be the ‘Pies lone star


Anna Knight




a cheer goes up
at the far end of the stadium—
spring sun


Michael Dylan Welch




first date
she claps when
he does


Marietta McGregor




Ryan hits
the post again
magpie on my fence


Myron Lysenko




Pointless really.
Homeless and starving,
Money in sport


June Connell




So close, but so far.
A showcase of skills and style;
Well done, all!


Helen Carter




Anywhere else
Second would be enough
Not footy


June Connell



close loss
the party next door
goes quiet


Bee Jay


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. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    A bitert pill HB. Did we peak too early ?
    Reminded me of ’79 and 2002 in many ways.
    Helluva ride they gave us. Let’s hope it’s just the beginning of something. Cheers

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