UKIAH -- Drew Gravier, a freshman at Ukiah High School, stepped to the microphone, gently cleared her throat, and read her award-winning poem:
a town is a town.
a city is a city.
Ukiah is home.
Ukiah, it turns out, is also haiku spelled backwards. And on Sunday, nearly 200 people attended a celebration of the ancient Japanese poetry at the seventh annual UkiaHaiku Festival.
This year's event attracted nearly 1,600 haikus, submitted by people from all around the world. Dozens were selected to be honored in a range of categories.
Ellen Lawrence Skagerberg of Santa Rosa won an honorable mention in the most-competitive "adult contemporary" category. She read it aloud at the celebration:
"Daddy, can we stop
and pick a flower"