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The first winning poem of our weekly workplace haiku/senryu contest by Valerie Nelson of Edmonton, Canada. The week’s topic was: the interview or the career defining conversation.

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draft résumés

folded into origami

birds fly south

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The poem tells much about its persona in very few words, says Jim Kacian, this week’s judge, noting the haiku’s last line in particular brings the moment into the realm of poetry.

“This device – known as kigo in Japanese – “season word” in English language practice – fixes the poem in time (autumn), which brings into play the many emotional affects of the season, not to mention the suggestion that time is growing late for the jobseeker as well.”

This week’s first runner up comes from David Dayson of Hampshire in the UK:

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a conversation –

trapped in the hush

by a water cooler

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“Another fraught moment neatly caught,” says Mr Kacian. “We all know those casual conversations can be the most telling – or the most boring. This one seems the former.”

And our second runner up is by Robert Milner of Jersey:

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There was a moment,

between the handshake and smile.

Long enough to judge.

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“This excellent moment of recognition is certainly familiar to most of us, and it is lined simply and economically,” says Mr Kacian.

We are now into our third week of the contest and the topic is: retirement

Please send entries to workplace.haiku@ft.com and see www.ft.com/haiku for more details.The deadline is noon GMT Wednesday, October 8.

The winning poems from week two will be published next week.

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