Haibun Kukai

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2012


Patches of Mud

The football field is always windy. No matter what the weather, or if it's windy in other places, there is no problem flying a kite. The soft grass its actually comfortable, and the patchiness of the field is clear. The leaves gently tumble and their rustling is the only sound here. The bleachers throw a glare into my eyes, and I choose to turn the other way. Now facing mobile, the cars now are evident.

tell me
look away

          Austin Brettshneider

Booth Behind a Board

Walking into a theatre space for the first time, I could not describe the feelings that passed through my body. The mixture of excitement and fear and all the possibilities that live within those four simple walls was, for lack of a better word, magical. More then all that, sitting in the dark backstage, helping create a world for the people who played out in the lights, felt like home.

Sitting in a booth behind a board and being allowed to create, just raw creativity on the stage, is the most calming, freeing feeling that I have ever experienced in my life. There is nothing better then seeing the smiling faces of people walking out of a performance that they have thoroughly enjoyed. See the worlds that lie inside your head being realized in a tangible way, and helping others to get a glimpse into different worlds and experiences, makes all the prep and work worth it.

In every show there comes a moment when everything comes into focus perfectly. When all the stars align and actor, sound, lighting, and scenery come together so well that you cannot help but forget that you are sitting in a seat watching people playing on a stage. There is a moment when a for every technician when that climactic note on a song sounds just perfect, or the lighting comes together so perfectly, or the scenic change went so smoothly, that your heart rate increases and you want to cheer, but remember that a show is going on, all that happens is a giant smile crosses your face. It's these moments that everyone strives for and that make the hard work worth everything.

So if ever you meet a technician in the hallway after a show and there is a smile on their face that you can tell will still be there in the morning, you will know that the show that you have just seen was a brilliant one and that you have experienced something special.

flash of black
a smile hurries past
barely seen

          Danielle Davis

When I was a little girl with my brown untamed curls, I took piano lessons from my mother. From ages four to ten, we sat in our sunlit music filled room. The ticking metronome would stare at me, as I would try my hardest to keep the steady beat, because speeding up was my unfortunate habit. Adding to the evil ticking, my biggest struggle was understanding the relationship between student and piano teacher, better known as mom.

Today, playing the piano is a very relaxing experience for me, but in the past, I absolutely dreaded those black and white keys. I pleaded to pass that song and earn my sticker with a wide, gaping grin. My mother played the most beautiful, elegant music and her fingers simply floated over the keys. To compensate, I tried to play fast to show her how talented I was at my young five years. I would often make mistakes and that frustration was obvious with my furrowed brow.

My mother would put on her teacher hat, and that relationship became a battle particularly about the space between the noises. Having a musically talented mother was a huge blessing; still complications arose when she tried to correct my technique. My naive self would storm out and retreat to my solitude. Today, my family and I create fond memories when we crowd around the piano to find connection together through this art. My favorite is having impromptu piano lessons from my mother or playing duets. Yes, I long to be as good as my mother, but I find pleasure in even the opportunity to sit next to her on the piano bench.

lingering notes
struggling to make beauty
with a ticking time bomb

          Hannah Gifford

In the midst of my distraction, I look out the spacious window and see snow gently falling from a grey sky. Suddenly, I realize how cramped my legs are, and I stand up to take a walk. As I look around, the cobwebs clear from my brain, and I remember I am at the lodge in Colorado where I am vacationing for a week. Wow, I think, I must have really been in a daze. I walk over to the wall of windows and peer into the distance. The snow is picking up, and I am worried that my wife won't get back in time from her ski lesson. She went without me because I was feeling under the weather today. I would normally not let her go by herself, but her sister is travelling with us, so they went together and left me to read and rest.

I feel restless, and I walk over to ask the concierge when the skiers will be back. When she turns around, I am shocked to see that it is my mother. Mom! What are you doing here? She tells me that she has always worked here, and Dad is out back cutting wood.

Now, something is really wrong. Everything seems so perfectly in order, yet something is not right. Where is Lori (my wife)? I look back at my watch and am bewildered when I see the dial: 6:00. In the distance, an alarm is ringing, and it is really annoying me. I wish someone would shut that off. I realize that a train whistle is blowing, and it suddenly pulls in front of the lodge. And there in the doorway is Lori, dressed for a trip, holding suitcases and a coat for me. I am totally confused, but something else is triggering my subconscious . . .

I roll over and open my eyes to see my own bedroom with my alarm clock showing 6:00. It was all a dream. We are going to Chicago today, and we are riding a train. That must be where I got the idea. When Lori wakes up, she tells me that she woke me at 1:15 a.m. to tell me that it was snowing. All of a sudden, it all makes sense. I was dreaming the whole time.

hoping the alarm clock
doesn't ring

snow falling gently
on the driveway
tire tracks

          Jarred Leeper

This October—Curtis Orchard with the floor. It was supposed to be beautiful, but then, RAIN. We enter the milli-van, and drive. It was dreary outside, but I like those kind of days. For the majority of our drive it was dry outside, but as we got closer and closer to the patch it started to sprinkle . . . and then rain . . . and then pour. Everyone's moods darkened almost immediately once it started to pour. Especially mine.

We got the patch, and there was a restaurant where we could buy home-cooked food. I ate an Italian beef sandwich; I could smell it the moment I walked in the door, and it smelled exactly like Mom's. Hoping all the while that when we finished eating the rain would have let up, we were crushed when it was still raining after lunch.

We wandered around the shop a while, then headed out to choose our pumpkins. The road to the patch was slightly long, but we had fun on the trek. Most of us had umbrellas, but a few had to brave the rain. The ground was squishy, and our shoes got covered in mud.

After we finished in the patch, we were going to go to the corn maze, but alas, it was closed. It was okay, though, because I still returned home with four little pumpkin babies.

sloshing through mud
to find my soul mate
I spot the orange globe

          Morgan Ewald

La Familglia

I walk in, palms sweating but face displaying nothing but a cool calm. We've gone over details for months, fine-tuning, negotiating, and planning, until finally the time has come. I sign a few wavers and then it's done—I'm ready for my first tattoo.

At first the pain is sharp, but the adrenaline makes it almost pleasurable. After only a few minutes, it switches to a dull throbbing. I talk and laugh with the artist, and time passes quickly. There's a lull in the conversation, and suddenly the needles piercing my skin become overwhelming. The pain is nearly unbearable as the same spot is hit, over and over, and all I can think is "la famiglia e prima di tutti."

io e mia sorella argomentare
sono corretto, ma arrendersi
la familglia e prima di tutti

my sister and I argue
I’m right, but bow my head
family is above all

          R Nicole

© 2012, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.