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Utah haikus inspired by Jell-O

Published November 28, 2013 8:29 pm

Poetry • Don't take our state snack too seriously.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahns have always made room for Jell-O on the Thanksgiving table, right next to the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

But this year, molded gelatin also became the conduit for expressing the wobbly woes of our state and nation.

Adults who entered the The Salt Lake Tribune's 2013 Jell-O Haiku Contest used these three-line poems to poke fun at recent events. Their timely subjects included Utah Boy Scout leaders knocking over a Southern Utah rock formation, the Affordable Care Act and our general disdain for Congress after the recent federal government shutdown.

In all, nearly 400 amateur poets entered our seventh annual contest. More than half the entries — 250 — came from students in seventh through 12 grade, no doubt an English assignment for which we thank their teachers.

Of course, the best way to handle so many gelatinous gems was to bring in experts from the Utah State Poetry Society who judged the poems for proper style and creativity.

Here are the first-, second- and third-place winners in the adult and two student categories, as well as 13 honorable mentions to enjoy with your pumpkin pie.



To recall our loss,

Let's mold our Jell-O salads

into Goblin forms.

Dennis Mead


Utah loves Jell-O,

it is like our seismic faults,

constantly shaking.

Jim Garman


Weak-kneed and slimy

Soft as a congressman's spine

What's hidden inside?

Shelley Blundell


(Grades 7-12)


Not quite a solid

And yet neither a liquid...

Cherished mystery.

Erin Geiger


Jell-O: illusion

of a strong stability

Have you been deceived?

Emily Manning


So much depends on

Jell-O, quivering in a

corner, all alone.

Hillary Thalmann


(Grades K-6)


When comes a rainbow.

Some think of "Love!", "Peace!" or "Life!"

Others think, "Jell-O!"

Julane Machado


Crazy summer treat

Mountain shaped Jell-O so sweet

Liquid to solid.

Blayne Tong


Eat it says The Cos.

There's many shapes and sizes.

Peach, Lime ... Veggie too?

Lydia Muster



No loaves and fishes —

Jell-O feeds the multitude

in Salt Lake City.

Trish Mead

Jell-O breaks the law

Bananas in suspension

Gravity defied

Kay Sullivan

Awesome collagen:

Keeps our Jell-O so jiggly,

Our faces so firm.

Joan Klemm

Jell-O cures it all.

Doc's no longer on my plan.

Thanks, ObamaCare.

Susan Parry

What's this pellucid

gelatinous jellied junk?

O, hello, Jell-O!

Chris Crowe


I eat a rainbow

But it's just Grandma's Jell-O

The whipped cream makes clouds

Hunter Jensen

Something about this

makes me want to dive into

a pool of Jell-O.

Emily Chung

Wiggle, giggle, slurp!

Jiggles like my grandma's arms

Jell-O is yummy.

Ashley Armknecht

Squishy, slimy, smooth

Jell-O is just like fish eggs

Except delicious

Brinley Andersen

"Mom!" — "What?" — "I can't keep

the fat lady on my spoon;

she jiggles too much!"

Jessica Faasavalu


Jell-O is a treat.

My mom and dad like Jell-O.

It is jiggly.

Ryan Herzog

Jell-O is jiggly

It will bounce if you drop it

It shakes rapidly.

Adrian Contreras

Jell-O is squishy

Jell-O is really yummy

I love good Jell-O

Dylan Vanetten —

The Jell-O Judges

Six members of the Utah State Poetry Society and two Salt Lake Tribune staffers judged this year's Jell-O haiku submissions. They pored over the gelatinous gems, looking for proper style and originality. Judges include society members Vera Bakker, D. Gary Christian, Barbara Funk, Kolette Montague, Eric Reed and Jon Sebba; and Salt Lake Tribune reporters Cathy Reese Newton and Kathy Stephenson. For more information about the Utah Poetry Society or to join a chapter, visit utahpoets.com.