The Yellow (& Black) Brick Road – The 2017 AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai

The 6th Annual AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai was another enthralling and bruising affair, with poems coming in thick and fast from all corners of the globe, including Germany, Ireland, England, Ghana, Nigeria, Sweden as well as nearly every state in Australia. It is truly becoming a global event! In the lead up to the big game, we had some contributions from some eager fans, bursting to enter the fray, including this melancholy offering from Bulldog supporter, Andrew Gigacz, who was coming to the end of his team’s year of celebration:


spring rain –
last years memories
washed away


But most of the haiku posted in the lead-up to the game simply captured some of the fun, farce and tension of the build up, including the following selection:


top of the table
my old dad
passing around the beers

Simon Hanson


four teams left…
two camellias on the tree
about to fall

Myron Lysenko


spring equinox
down to the last
two teams

Rob Scott


pre-match nerves
a crow sitting
on the crossbar

Brendon Kent


making love
while the experts talk —
change of tactics

Bee Jay


match countdown
the loud clicking
of prayer beads

Stella Pierides


more beer
than room in the fridge
match ready

Brendon Kent


on Grand Final eve
Melbourne’s paint store shelves are bare
of yellow and black

Kim Jeffs


contemplating my tip
a crow appears
in the garden

Coral Carter


armchair experts
crowing about tigers
spring breeze…

Samantha Sirimanne Hyde


before the game –
everyone in the bar
laughing too hard

Rob Scott


my guests arrive
the crowd starts
to boo

Myron Lysenko


And then the game started. Like the previous year, this was a game high on emotion. Richmond and their long-suffering supporters were the fairytale story throughout September. Their style of play is uncomplicated and uncompromising and, in some sense, the real test was whether the fans, not the team, could hold their nerve. They couldn’t, and when it became clear mid-way through the last quarter that the Tigers could not lose the game (not even them!) the stadium started to overflow with tears – a moment not lost on the haiku poets watching the game.

As a game, there were few highlights. But the tightness of the contest in the first half was reflected by the volley of haiku coming in up until half-time. The haiku poets, like the fans, were on edge, wondering if the underdog could actually do it again. But, like the Crows, the haiku gradually slowed to a trickle after the main break. Perhaps the haiku poets were lost for words. For no one predicted a result like this. It wasn’t until the tears started flowing that the haiku poets found their voice again, perhaps sensing that this was more than just a win for a team. It meant so much more to so many.

As for the haiku itself, there was a mix of styles, some opting for the traditional 5-7-5, others a more slender version, and some not even bothering to count syllables at all! But, as is typical of the genre, there was a lot of humour, kigo (both seasonal and cultural) and plenty of experimentation and wonderful imagery – a bit like the tattoos on Dusty Martins arms.

I hope you enjoy some of the highlights from this year’s kukai – the annual ‘call of the game’ in haiku.

Rob Scott (aka Haiku Bob)



morning clouds
hang low over Melbourne –
the weight of expectation

Andrew Gigacz


Grand Final Day
a stadium overflowing
with colors

Adjei Agyei-Baah


opposing tribes
assembled on the field
a thousand years ago, today

Simon Hanson


Mild sea breezes
Glimmers of sun
September’s Grand Final

Timothy Train


pre bounce –
the roar of the crowd
louder than their song

Ela Fornalska


time zones…
the game starts
without me

Brendon Kent


game of errors–
my biscuit misses
the dip

Myron Lysenko


dying wind
the crowd
finds its voice

Rob Scott


Beer and nuts
my belly roars
all that talk of wind

Nathan Curnow


the game –
lost in the fray
of advertising

Simon Hanson


half-time nerves
loo queue too long
back to my seat

Andrew Gigacz


clouds break
Houli finds space
between the posts

Alex Pleban


five goals in a row
sunshine all over
the forsythia

Myron Lysenko


watching the game
this son of a preacherman
loving Dusty

Nathan Curnow


Chewy on your boot
But the crows need a goal
step mum used to say

June Connell


three quarter time
thermos half full
or half empty

Carolyn Leach-Paholski


scare(d) crow –
follow the yellow
(and black) brick road

Damian Balassone


Last snag
on the table
uncontested possession

Nathan Curnow


30 mins left
Yellow & Black dreaming
as the crow flies

Andy Chicow Laserbeam


Baby’s first grand final
screaming louder than the crowd
New Tigers fan?

Naomi Tooby


through the long shadows
everything is yellow and black
and the big men cry

Derek Begg


last quarter –
tears seen
through tears

Rob Scott


would Lou say
there’s still time if
they’re good enough?

Kim Jeffs


end of match
an old flea
at the bottom of his beer

Emmanuel Jessie Kalusian



splashes of sunshine
the players receive
their medallions

Rob Scott


as the circus moves on
the tattooed man
takes it all home

Derek Begg



For some more of
Haiku Bob’s work
Please click here

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. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Well done those people.

  2. Thanks for running the show again, Rob!

  3. Wow, I’m keen to have a go at this next year! There’s some fantastic haiku here, well done to all!

  4. Brendon Kent says

    Such an enjoyable read…brilliantly put together Rob!
    Thank you Myron for inviting me.
    Congratulations to all featured poets…count me in next year too!


  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Wonderful work Haiku-ers. Few words can paint so many pictures and capture deep feelings. Love the form. Kudos HB and team.

  6. DBalassone says

    Well done HB. A lot of fun. Certainly added another dimension to the big day.

  7. Simon Hanson says

    Much appreciated Rob, your enthusiasm was contagious. I really enjoyed taking part and your write up here, reading like a running commentary, bringing out so many aspects of the big day is superb. A lot of fun and I’m already looking forward to next year.
    Oh, weren’t the Tigers awesome!

  8. Footyku! A good way to make sport more fun for the literary minded.
    Thank you very much for publishing mine. Much appreciated

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