Haiku Kukai 3 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2012

Reading partners pick your favorite 10 haiku. Individuals get to pick another 5 favorites.

the room full
of sobbing students—
acting two

Danielle Mohrbach (3)

open notebooks
on clean desks
drool marks the pages

Danielle Davis (2)

after our talk
she walks home
in tears

Rob Spurling (2)

changing season
one thing remains

smoking cigarettes
perched on a tree branch
blooming leaves

chilly twilight
on a roof
I hear your voice

Christopher Potter (4)

autumn chill
I wait for my father
to answer the phone

Danielle Mohrbach (7)

My father and I have a very solid relationship. I am certainly able to trust him with more things than my mother. I love them both to death, but when situations get a little hairy, he is far more level headed. However, I have had the feelings in this haiku before. When I have flubbed up, I would call him but silently hope he would not answer, even if that only delayed the disappointment a few hours longer. Ryan

head cold
I read my textbook
for the seventh time

Christopher Potter (9)

I could relate very well to this haiku from the Kukai on October 2. We have all been in a place where we are not feeling well, but we know work must go on. In this case, the writer has a head cold and has to keep reading and re-reading the textbook for it to make sense. At least, the reader thinks the book makes sense to the writer, but it may not. I can picture and sense a miserable person who wishes that he would feel better soon. The reading is not going to get any easier until he does. Jarred

in it
for the long haul
partners in crime

Austin Brettshneider (5)

I liked this poem because it made me think of two really good friends who are always getting into some sort of trouble or mischief together. I have a good friend who is like that for me. Just the other night we were talking about what we would do when we are old and in a nursing home. We imagined ourselves being at the same one, and doing crazy things and playing jokes. It could also be read for a couple. I kind of have this type of relationship with my boyfriend. We are both really sarcastic, and we like to joke with each other and be crazy and do fun things that lots of people don't like to do. It's just fun because you can connect so well with a person who you never thought you would, but you realize from the beginning that you’re going to be in it for the long haul with that person. Morgan

x-ray vision
I see
right through her

midnight laughter
we see the moon

Christopher Potter (2)

in the coffee shop
are enough

don't ever leave
she murmurs
summer rain

Danielle Mohrbach (3)

This poem makes me think of a younger couple who is not quite together yet. The boy is over at the girl's house when it starts to rain, and he thinks he should start heading home in case the rain turns into a big storm. Instead, the girl asks him to stay the night so he doesn't have to drive in the rain at all, and also so they can spend more time together. It is the first time they have acted this intimately and the boy is surprised but agrees. Skya

long shower
I think
where am I going?

Christopher Potter (7)

I like this haiku because of how relatable it is as well. In fact, I think it is more relatable to the society than the last one I chose, because the amount of people that shower is likely larger than the amount of people that work out. Personally, the shower is where I do some of my deepest thinking about life other than before I go to sleep. I often think about current good things as well as bad things in my life, but other times I go further. I think about the future, and in doing so I feel lost from time to time. I have faith that things will work out, but at the same time, thinking about the future can be scary and overwhelming. I think the fact that this haiku is so simple but can trigger so many thoughts is remarkable. Seth

no sleeves
I look in the mirror
hard work pays off

Austin Brettshneider

Not to be conceited, but this sounds like a haiku that I would write, although I didn't write it. I really like it due to how relatable it is to my time in college. At the beginning of my freshman year I had just gotten into working out, and as a result was very small and weak. Since then, I have been working very hard in the gym, lifting weights and doing various forms of cardio to develop a lean, muscular build. Although I still have room for improvement, I am very pleased with the results I have gotten from my hard work, and often (not to be vain) I'll stand in front of my mirror sleeveless or shirtless and flex to see if I've gotten any bigger or more defined. Again, I like this haiku because it is so relatable, although it lacks any twists and descriptive language. It is definitely a modernized haiku, but there's nothing wrong with that. Seth

early Sunday morning
church bells beckoning
I close my window

summer stars
interlaced between our fingers
the universe

Ryan Fraedrich (8)

I love the picture the author sets in this haiku and the way they arranged these three lines together. I imagine a couple lying on a roof or in the backyard having one of those special moments. The lens of the reader is one of the subjects. But I appreciate the ambiguity of not knowing which one. The word choices suggest these two realize they are a small part of our huge universe, yet I almost get the impression that in that moment, that they are each other's universes. This haiku is very sweet and very relatable. Hannah Gifford

I liked how this haiku felt from the beginning with itd reference to stars and love, but the last line served to really bring the whole thing together. I liked how the last line made me feel like everything in the universe was in its right place at the right time: much like how love can make you feel. James

fortune teller
she warms up
the farmer's coffee

I can just feel the weathered, honest love in this haiku. A farmer, insinuating hard labor and difficult times, means that this couple has been through it all. Yet, his wife kindly prepares his coffee. Maybe he is just now getting done with an early morning shift out in the fields. Knowing he has done so much and put up through it all with her, she graciously completes this little gesture in thanks for his work. Ryan

silent theatre
I nod
to the accompanist

Danielle Mohrbach (7)

he sacrifices
his umbrella
to save my hair

everyone else
seems a mistake
summer night

mid-semester panic
she never expected
to fall in love

Danielle Mohrbach (6)

finals week
I burrow beneath
the blankets

the empty stage
tells its story
loud and clear

Danielle Davis (4)

her hands loosely
placed on my chest
rain on the tin roof

September night sky
we learn a few things
about one another

Seth Harshman (3)

I like this haiku because of the picture it paints. A couple out at night, maybe taking a walk and enjoying the brisk, night air, and just talking and trying to get to know each other better. It speaks about a very deep connection between these two individuals as they feel comfortable enough to open up to each other about themselves and their pasts, and at the same time are content with doing so. The information does not bore them or seem unimportant, they just want to spend the time together and are content with each other. It seems like a very comforting image and a memory that I think everyone should strive for. Danielle Davis

water bugs
making ripples
in our reflection

sick day
no one here
to make me soup

R Nicole (4)

tiny braid
in her bangs
a worry

thinking of you
I wash the dishes

Skya Gentle (5)

the first stars
fill the sky
I remember how we began

creepy serial killer
or best friend
the first crap-shoot

cool spring mud
I wash it
off her face

frozen night
on the roof
he apologies again

Skya Gentle (7)

chilly autumn night
I walk quickly
to get my friend

unscrewing the cap
of my water jug
a conversation begins

Seth Harshman (3)

movie night
understanding these friends
are now your family

Hannah Gifford (7)

This haiku takes me back to freshman year. After a couple of months, you really start settling into a groove. You start hanging out with the same group more, have more inside jokes, and in general just become much, much closer to them. Austin Brettschneider

a tight-rope walker
expertly crosses the rope
life at university

after the divorce
my Christian aunt
steals my spellbook

James Farris (4)

never changing . . .
blemish or beauty?

religion lost
brush my cheek
broken mirror

gently falling snow
her silence
is overwhelming

Jarred Leeper (5)

Much like the haiku that spoke about the empty stage making its point "loud and clear," I feel like this haiku has a lot of attention-grabbing nature while making use of the lack of a stimulus. It's almost like the falling of the snow (and the imperceptible sound it makes) is marking the underlying emotional buzzing that lies below the silence. James

coming home
with new experiences
my friends still having the same ones

Rob Spurling (6)

This haiku is somewhat sad and happy at the same time. Coming from a place where not everyone goes to college, it's a bit weird how you can go from one place to the next and come back to where you were from originally and noticing that sometimes nothing changes. This is a sad realization in some cases because to me it feels like the people you're around will never fully live up to their potential rather than repeating the same things they were doing a year ago. And at the same time it gives me hope for my future that makes me feel as though I'm going somewhere in life and moving on toward a better tomorrow. Still, it's not always a bad thing to go home to something you once knew to realize that things don't always change, and it's still your home. I can't even image what my old home is like at this point, I haven't visited it in almost three years now, time passes quickly best to live in the moment and not ponder the past too often. Christopher Potter

This haiku was very relatable for me. Out of my entire group of high school friends, I was the only one who went away to school for my freshman year of college. There is a small community college in my town, and all my other friends stayed home and went to school there. Luckily, more of them are leaving now so they will not be stuck in a rut. But when I would go home last year, it was really weird to me because none of my friends really knew what I was talking about whenever I would talk about college. It was either that, or they would complain about not being somewhere else. It just made things awkward for me sometimes. Most of those people who I was friends with before are not close friends with me anymore. Maybe it's just differences, but I can really relate to this haiku. Morgan

first party
after the breakup
we kiss

R Nicole

This haiku reminds me of my ex-girlfriend. We broke up a little before summer and the first party after our breakup we ended up kissing. It might have been the alcohol, or the fact that we missed each other, but either way, I had no regrets. Austin Brettschneider


Oakland avenue
my best friend
pole dances in the street

Morgan Ewald (5)

lying on cold grass
poor dove
without its mate

she says come over
we can watch a movie
with my boyfriend

Austin Brettshneider (7)

slow dancing
like grown-ups
in the backyard

Hannah Gifford (5)

fall leaves
I fall
to one knee

summertime heat
the date night
grows cold

shopping with Mom
becomes a girls' night
Winter break

humid afternoon
reading his final letter
I lower my head to the ground

Morgan Ewald (6)

afternoon jog
she stops
for a heart shaped leaf

R Nicole (3)

spring breeze
out for a run
a companion this time

she leaves
I couldn't see her tears
through the rain

Geoffrey Eggleston (5)

the cocaine
in the boy's bathroom
at Sonic

uno para mi?
crunchy, cheesy

Morgan Ewald (3)

grocery store line
emotionless faces
hear the bell ringers

Hannah Gifford (5)

This haiku is especially relatable for me. I think back to Christmas shopping and Salvation Army bell ringers. In the heat of shopping season, you are trying to get your shopping done without having to notice the good Samaritans with the red bucket. In your heart, you know the right thing to do; however, you just want to get in and out of the store without being bothered. You try to keep a stoic face and hope no one will notice you passing them by. Jarred

songbirds herald
in the sun
I conclude my thesis

Ryan Fraedrich (4)

sketching my hand
and noticing
the wedding band

Jarred Leeper (5)

pink post-it note
a hidden message
from my sister

Skya Gentle (5)

roommate gone
get my computer
My Little Pony!

Rob Spurling (3)

I like the humor that can be perceived by an older audience in this haiku. Where if you were to read just the first two lines, you'd think of possibly a mid-adolescent teen boy doing something that only occurs when one finds themselves alone. Then it suddenly takes a twist and you don't even think of it "My Little Pony!" with excitement added to the ending just seems like an off-guard comment. Especially when you might be picturing someone doing a non-social activity to suddenly be spending their time with what most would deem a little girl's show. So the majority of what I got from this haiku was a nice laugh and an unexpected scenario at the end. Christopher Potter

story time
accidentally finding
erotic fiction

Morgan Ewald (8)

leaves fall
at the Bronze Man's feet

Danielle Davis (4)

line of apples
our lights shine bright
homework party

Morgan Ewald

This poem spoke to me a lot because it always seems that fall is the time of year when students are busiest, no matter what level they are at within the educational system. Some of my greatest memories are of getting together with friends for study parties and tutor sessions during the night after we were done with all the activities we were involved in. There were, and still are, many nights were the after hours of working and school functions, the lights are still on in my room. These are just the nights that make the best memories, later of course as they are dreadful at the time, and are the times when people make the most meaningful connections with each other. Danielle Davis

deadline approaching
still I check
my Twitter

Seth Harshman (4)

autumn leaves
everything changes
and so do we

Jarred Leeper

I liked this poem because in autumn, when the leaves change it seems like a sad thing, because everything is dying, but it's also very beautiful, and the leaves will return the next year. The use of the phrase "autumn leaves" in this poem makes me think of a relationship that is slowly starting to fade and die off, even though the two people in the relationship aren't ready to admit that yet. This poem makes me think of that moment where one of the two people realizes what is happening, and kind of comes to terms with the fact that their relationship isn't going to last. The person admits that they are changing as people, but at the same time they seem to realize that while it will be very painful at first, some good may come of what is inevitably going to happen, and that it isn't the end of the world, only the winter. Skya

college night
parents can't tell you
go to bed

so many smiles
so many lines
which ones are true?

reflected in the sparkle
of our eyes


best friends
an entire conversation
with a tombstone

Geoffrey Eggleston (13)

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