Kukai 6 - Fall Break Haiku

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2010


Bret Henderson (4)

I like the simplicity in this one. When the leaves start falling, they don’t plan where they’re going to go. The tree decides they’ve been there long enough, and just lets them fall into the wind. Leaves end up everywhere, and nothing is more satisfying on the chilly autumn afternoon than laying in a giant pile of crispy, crunchy leaves. I love taking walks, especially at night, where its cold enough to barely be able to see your breath and kick up piles and piles of leaves as you go. Laura

I immediately think of a huge yard full of leaves every shade and hue of orange. Of course there are several large trees with an occasional straggling leaf dangling to its limb; but for the most part, they are bare. An autumn gale stirs the leaves into a whirlwind that swirls my way and dissipates right before it reaches me. Danny

the transparent night sky
I mistake Saturn
for the North Star

Stephanie Helfgott

This totally sounds like something I would do! I would be telling someone about something is science like a star or a chemical process or something, get it completely wrong, and they would point out the fact that I am wrong. Not that I wouldn’t do the same thing to other people, but I would. I remember one time when my godfather, who is obnoxious as all get-out, was trying to explain nitrogen fixation to me, and I had just studied it in school. He got it completely wrong, and I didn’t keep my mouth shut about it... I told him exactly how the process worked, and he was actually put in his place. Until a few minutes later when he started criticizing my choice of career. But I’m not bitter or anything. =) Anyway, I just think the poem starts out very romantically but takes a comical yet sweet twist that is very refreshing. Katie

under the stars
we walk through
our old neighborhood

yellow school bus
transporting the future
across the Mississippi

Madeline Knott (4)

I really like this haiku; it reminds me the promise of our future generations. It's the next generation that will change the world, somehow. This haiku also reminds me of my childhood, and how I always looked forward to my future as an adult. Now, I wonder if the multitude of children in the yellow school bus dream of the same thing. Steph

our maple tree
weeps another leaf.
i miss you.

Katie Coletta (10)

When I read this haiku, I immediately thought of a huge tree, close to forty feet tall. The tree’s leaves are yellow, orange, and red. It’s mid-fall, so it’s slightly chilly. There’s a guy, sitting underneath the tree, with his back against the trunk. He sobs silently. Crying, he glances up and sees the heart that his girlfriend and him carved into the tree. Their initials remind him of what he lost and what he had. Just as his tear falls to the ground, a leaf floats down next to it. Looking up he feels as though the tree, their tree, weeps with them, knowing their relationship will never be the same. Eddie

I love this haiku because the language is so beautiful and I can imagine exactly what the writer is trying to convey. When you are apart from someone you love, everything seems to be crying with you. Whenever me and my boyfriend it always rains, we like to the sky is crying because we have to be apart. I love the image of the tree weeping. People are often compared to trees because they are strong and last so long. It is a really beautiful comparison. Madeline

after being gone
he finds the comforting scent
of soy

Beth Ann Melnick (4)

This haiku makes me laugh. I despise the scent of soy. However, this haiku does remind me of how much I miss home. The smell of New Jersey may come off as unattractive to some outsiders, but I love it. The air reminds me of home, and home is where the heart is. Steph

haunted graveyards
I should be scared . . .
in love with the stars

Stephanie Helfgott (7)

home cooked food
warms my soul
for a few days

Samantha Miles (5)

When I go home, I always make sure I eat with my parents for a couple of reasons. One is I like spending time with my parents. The other reason is the food at home is much better than the food in the cafeteria. I don’t eat every meal at home thought. I go out to eat with friends to spend time with them. A home cooked meal doesn’t cover every base that I would like to when I am home. Bret

This doesn’t apply so much to me this year, but last year when I was still on the caf food diet, a few days of home cooked food was one of the best gifts I could have asked for. Homemade cookies, Ragu, burgers, chicken enchiladas, fresh fruit and vegetables... I never realized how much the food we eat says about us before. The food I eat says I am a healthy individual who cares about my health. I take pride in eating well and feeling good. In my Italian heritage, food is also a way of showing someone you love them, so feeling the time and love in the food from home was amazing too. Katie

I make waves
with my skis
on the Mississippi

snuggled in the sheets,
almost asleep…
did I lock the front door?

Laura Scoville (5)

I really liked this one cause I found it so relatable. Whenever I’m home alone this always happens. As soon as I’m in bed and comfortable I start to worry about if the door is locked or if the oven is off and everything always ends up being fine but I am never sleep until I check. This reminds me of a particular moment this summer because it was the first time that I was babysitting kids overnight that were not my siblings and I was really nervous about it. I checked the doors multiple times and I kept checking to make sure the dogs were where they were supposed to be every time I heard a little sound and the noise always happened as soon as I went back to bed and it was so frustrating. Sam M

punk rock princess,
she makes her way to me,
crazy dance girl

Danny Delaney (2)

roommates gone
I drink straight
from the milk jug

Laura Scoville (2)

eating lunch
finding out
who they’ve moved on to


morning glories
decay above
crumpled maple leaves

3D Jackasses
I take off my glasses
not my best idea

empty apartment
turning on every light
on my way to the kitchen

Laura Scoville (3)

Almost every October is spent curled up watching scary movies late at night when the roommate is away or the parents are out. Thus, based on personal experience, it is not hard to imagine a 19 year old curled up in oversized pajamas craving nachos but too afraid to move. Houses seem to take on a life of their own when no one else is around and suddenly every creak is a burglar, every shadow flitting shadow is a ghost, and every step seems a mile long. I imagine the person cradling themselves as they glance wearily across the room before gingerly leaving the comfort of the couch. They assume a mask of uncaring as if to prove that they aren’t truly afraid, but the image is shattered when they dash to the nearest light switch. Scampering from switch to switch, they reach the kitchen…only to realize they have to make it back after turning each light off. Samantha Parks

gym commons
I see the man
who told me to be great

Eddie Pluhar (7)

This haiku made me think of that one janitor, or that one simple man, who is typically looked down on, who was able to inspire and change the life of one student. I see a student who has just gotten torn down, kicked off the team, or something along those lines, who has no parent support. And as he sits deflated on the bleachers in the empty gym, the janitor approaches and tells him that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, that he can be the difference and do it. Brittany

long hours at the gym
still not
good enough

kind words
from a second mother
keep me going

Eddie Pluhar (3)

the drum major
looks so small
where I used to stand . . .

Jessica Golden (4)

staring at the stars,
we make our own

Danny Delaney (9)

I think it’s more of the concept of stars that make them beautiful than just their physical appearance in the night sky. The fact that at night we can see all of these far away places that we can’t get to is amazing. Some of them may not even exist anymore, but their light still leaves an imprint in the sky. There are all these constellations up there and I have no idea what any of them are, besides the obvious big dipper, little dipper, and the North Star. Some people may like to look at the starts from more of an analytical point of view, find known constellations and outlines, but I would rather look at them my own way. I feel like this one describes that same kind of feeling. Laura

I like this haiku because of the imagery. Personally, I envision a wide open field, which makes me think of my grandparents’ farm. I can really remember a single night when I was ten or eleven and I looked up at the sky on their farm. It was the clearest night I had ever seen and I actually saw the Milky Way. I wasn’t with a person and I wasn’t making my own constellations, but I can remember staring at those stars searching for each constellation, just realizing how small my problems were compared to the universe. Eddie

I like this haiku a lot, because I love the night. The stars are a mystery, and constellations take away a little of that mystery, because it is organized and put together. By putting the constellation making back in the viewers eyes, it opens up the mystery once more and creates a space that can be filled in a lot of different ways by the viewer. Having your own constellations is something special that you can share with someone. That is emphasized even more by the word “we”. It evokes a close relationship and something that only these two shares, whether it is a family member, a close friend, or a boyfriend/girlfriend. For me, this haiku makes me think of an autumn or winter walk, when the air is brisk and the trees are bare enough to see through the branches. Walking with someone you really care about, you look up at the stars and make up constellations that only you two will ever remember. Beth Ann

visiting home
I steal my brother’s
old sweatshirt

Laura Scoville (3)

I don't have any brother's, but as I've said before, my sister and I are very close. It never falls that I will come home and have to take back clothes that she's stolen out of my room, but when I'm home, I never bring sweatshirts because I know that my sister has a ton that I can pick from to borrow for the time that I"m home. I love the feeling of being home and wearing clothes that aren't mine because that is my sister and I's relationship to the t. Ally

inhaling deeply
i watch three kittens gasping
for air. Still alive.

Samantha Parks (2)

through the doorway
I stare at the box
where the dog dish used to be

mom’s raised eyebrow
i put the cookie

Katie Coletta (6)

I really enjoyed this haiku because it created such a vivid scene for
me. It made me picture my kitchen at home, and I could just see my
mom’s one raised eyebrow as she “let’s me choose” what to do. Even at
an older age, my mom still gives me non verbal pointers as to what she
thinks I should do, and typically, end up following them because she
does know a lot better than I do. Jessica

warm kiss
never too old
for Mama to tuck me in

Jessica Golden (4)

spinning and dancing
Daddy’s hands
still stronger than mine

Jessica Golden (5)

When I was little, every February, my father and I went to a daddy- daughter dance with a family friend father and daughter pair. We would get dressed up, curl our hair, take pictures, and then head out to the dance. When we got there, we would all dance. My dad used to pick me up by my hands and spin around in circles as fast as he could until my feet lifted off the ground and I was parallel to it. It is one of those memories that will always be in the back of my mind, and this haiku captured it perfectly. I like that even though your father is older than you, he will always be stronger. I also like that it is the word “Daddy”, not dad or father. There is youngness in that word and a childish reverence in your father that exists even as you grow older. I also like this haiku because of the alliteration in spinning, and still stronger. Beth Ann

I see you
for the first time in a year
can’t look away…

Eddie Pluhar (7)

Every year in Altamont, there is a fair towards the end of the summer, and every year my first girlfriend is there showing animals and just having a good time with friends. Unfortunately for me, I know that we will never work out because of differences in our future ambitions; but I always find myself staring and longing for that which will never be. Danny

I loved this haiku because I can completely relate. There was a girl who graduated a year before me in my high school who I was very close to. I ended up developing feelings for her, but for various reasons things didn’t work out. I don’t see her as often anymore, but every time I do, I still can’t seem to take my eyes off of her. Kale

water rushes
as I drive over
the covered bridge

Madeline Knott

walking down the hall
in my former high school
my own red carpet

Eddie Pluhar (7)

I really liked this haiku because I think it’s the perfect example of
how everyone feels when they go back home to their hometown or old
school and get a lot of attention. Over my break, I went to a football
game, and the principal came over and made a big deal about saying hi
to me and all that, and it really made me feel like my presence was
missed at my high school. Even if it’s just for a few moments or a
day, it is always good to go back and know that you made an impact. Jessica

Every high school event I attend, I feel like I am famous. Everyone wants to talk to me about school or soccer. It makes me feel like I am missed which is always a good feeling, knowing that a lot of people do care about you. Bret

camo and boots
check the safety
pop. missed the target

snapshots chronicle
me gracefully
off my water skis

my heart races forward
because of him . . .
or the coaster?

the 6 of us for dinner
never sank in how
outnumbered he is

Ally Staudenmaier (2)

family dinner

Bret Henderson (5)

fall break
my one time
to feel like a celebrity

Eddie Pluhar (4)

Again, I can very easily relate to this haiku. I always enjoy going home on breaks, not only because it’s always very relaxing being home in general, but because I get to see my friends who haven’t graduated high school yet. Seeing them is always fun because I seem so old to them, as opposed to Millikin where I’m just another sophomore. Kale

diet coke
and one long car ride
we slip into our old rhythms

Beth Ann Melnick (7)

My sister and I have a problem. We've always drank too much soda. When school first started this semester, I amazingly did not go home much. Even though I live so close, I've only been home 3 times and only the stayed the night once. It's really hard on my sister, who misses me a ton. So, to stay close and make sure we spend time together, we would go on short trips to the mall or to dinner. Anything that would get us together. The trips always involved polar pops and loud music with tons of stories in between. Ally

I loved this haiku because it reminded me of old traditions, or friendships that no matter how long it has been or how much you have stayed in touch, everything just snaps back in place the second you are together. It reminds me of one of my best friends from grade school. We went to different high schools, and are now in different states, but as soon as we are together, it’s as if there hasn’t been a single second apart. Everything snaps back and even though we have both grown and changed, we still can come together and connect because we have that never broken bond. This haiku makes me think of two friends who take an annual road trip together, up to the cabin or something like that. And they get their ritual diet coke, play list, and it’s as if nothing has changed. Brittany

This one made me laugh because this reminds me exactly of how my trip home for fall break was. I was taking one of my sisters home with me and we both had our diet cokes and we starting jamming out to some old music from when we were in grade school and middle school and it was just so much fun. When I make the drive alone I am usually so bored but the time flew by so fast with her in the car singing with me, it was such a blast. Sam M

This haiku reminds me of my mom and I. When we are together we tend to do pretty mundane things like run errands. We both enjoy each other’s company and rarely run out of things to talk about. Often our conversation slips back to things we have talked about a hundred times, but the story is always funny regardless of how many times I have heard the same story. This haiku also reminds me of the long car rides bringing me home to Iowa for the weekend. I feel bad that my mom has to drive 3 hours to pick me up and 3 hours to get back home and then 2 days later do the same thing. But we always get big drinks for the ride and it never seems long when I am with her especially if it has been a long time since we have seen each other. Madeline

no brakes
forget to exhale
miss the semi, crash against you

ask for the truck
swear i'm a good driver
curb! crap.

by wet noses

Bret Henderson (6)

This haiku reminds me of the first time I returned home after coming to Millikin. I hitched a ride with a friend from the area and was dropped off in front of my house. As soon as I opened the door my two dogs came running, barking excitedly. One is a border-collie/chocolate lab mix and the other is a full bred English mastiff. Needless to say, I am quite small and having two full grown dogs tackle me simultaneously was nearly enough to knock me off my feet. Naturally they insisted on trying to lick my face, which I find absolutely disgusting. I laughed, dropping my bags to shove them off before immediately being tackled again—this time by my two younger brothers. Despite the fact that my dogs are huge pains in the butt, it wouldn’t quite feel like coming home if they did not greet me with such heartwarming enthusiasm. Samantha Parks

impromptu lunch recital
little one
sings about the cow at school

stranded apartment complex
autumn leaves falling
from once lush trees

© 2010, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.