Haiku Attempts 8 - college life favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2013

the country boy's face
as he learns
the gays aren't so bad

John Spaw (5)

What drew me to this haiku was the fact that it puts on lightness on a serious topic. The movement for gay marriage, and equality has been a very heavy, controversial topic lately, and I think it can sometimes be most effective when someone expresses their standpoint on the matter in a lighter manner. I also don’t think it attacks either end of the spectrum, as in, the “all-American country boys” or “the gays”, but rather just gives them both the benefit of the doubt. It seems to say that people believe in what they know and what they were raised around, until they are given the chance to experience the other end of the spectrum. It takes a lot of the blame out of the controversy and makes a statement about human nature and belief. Morgan

Growing up around the farmers and farming myself, I heard all of their opinions on gays. Some of them hated gays, most just didn't like them or thought them disgusting. The main thing I was to understand was they were like women. Gays were men who acted like women and like other men who acted like women. It seemed to make some kind of sense and pop culture only strengthened that stereotype. My opinion was indifferent. I felt more open minded than the culture I grew up around but I had never met a homosexual. We had one my senior year move to our high school. However, I never spoke with him once and he was eventually bullied so harshly he moved away. It's a sad story but I don't think anyone wanted to stand up and be "that kid." Small towns have mostly small minds. Coming to Millikin I found that the gay community weren't guys who act like girls. Some of them are very feminine, others are manly, and some you can't even tell are gay. You can't classify them as women; they are gays. They are their own community who have their own customs, ways, and variety. Mark

the little girl smokes
to be cool
a candy cigarette

Codi Gramlich (7)

Mexican standoff
my cat strikes
the bedroom mirror

Ryan Hickey (6)

the dirt on my cleats
runs to my face
mom's not happy

in college
french fries:
a vegetable

Brock Hayden (7)

I particularly enjoyed this haiku. Of course I enjoyed it for its humor, but what made a more lasting impression was that it made me think: college enacts a lot of changes in a person. Like this vegetable analogy, it causes us to compromise some of our beliefs. It makes us learn to make due with what we are given, and convince ourselves we are doing everything right. It is the first time we are on our own— making our own decisions... and dinners. Ryan

A young man stands in his college cafeteria. No longer does he have his mother standing over him telling him to eat his vegetables. He walks over to the first station, observing the varied options before him: hamburgers, chicken patties, hot dogs, french fries—yes, french fries. Those sound delightful. He asks for a heaping helping and walks away to the table, content with his bounty. They are potatoes after all, and potatoes are a vegetable, therefore there is a healthy nutritional value to them. His scale will make him eat those words later. Brock

This haiku resonates with me because of how true it is in my personal life ... or rather once was. When going to college and specifically going to the campus dining hall, it always seems like there is an option for French fries, and they are there so consistently that people believe that eating them is almost good for them. They become such a constant in peoples' daily diet that eating them seems like a good thing. Now that I do not eat at the campus dining hall anymore, I feel like my diet has become a lot healthier, and that includes eating proper vegetables. Alex

roses from my
grandmother's funeral—
now officially dead

freshman year
we start hanging out
the last month of school

morning commute
wearing on
my car and I

deleting him
from my Facebook
I'm done.

Mikayla Mendenhall (4)

quick kisses
before I leave for work—
doggie breath

Caitlin Husted

I really like the turn this haiku makes. I at first pictured a young couple kissing before he left for work, but the doggie breath totally changed the meaning of the haiku. I took it to be something cute with the dog giving his master kisses before he left for work. However, it could even be read as something sad—maybe somebody wanting to have goodbye kisses from a spouse, but only receiving them from their dog. Yet, I still love the visual of a large dog jumping up on his master to give him kisses before he left him for the day. Rachel

the young puppy
swimming laps
in my bed sheets

Ryan Hickey (6)

This haiku is fun both because it includes puppies (which are usually playful and cute) as well as using creative imagery. For the first two lines, I imagine a small puppy swimming in a pool, only for the entire scene to be shifted to a bed. This, in my opinion made the entire visual much cuter and more fun. The haiku fits well on paper and is formatted in such a way that lends to the setting pivot in the third line. Out loud, the poem flows well, allowing for a smooth interpretation. John

in front of the dairy section
innocent eyes question
where babies come from

Sarah Mann (2)

a lonely mutt
that lost his home
to the English bulldog

future best friend
we bond by painting
the graveyard fence

John Spaw (6)

What I like about this haiku is how relatable it is. Not only that, but also the fact that it is sort of an inside joke among our class, makes it more enjoyable. Anyone else who would look at this haiku would probably think it was rather peculiar, but our entire class can look at that and all remember the same day and time. For a haiku to take so many people to the same moment, even though there are variations for each of us on a personal level, I believe makes this a well-crafted haiku. I also like how the author took one moment that many of us have pushed to the back of our minds, brought it into the light, and made something positive out of a mostly miserable experience. He or she found the good in that day, and because this is probably the only haiku written about that experience, this is what is most likely to be remembered. Mikayla

do I really
have to say hi?

no walls
for the mind

Rick Trask

I really loved this haiku because, for me, it's so true. I am an outdoor person at heart. I love biking, running, hiking, horseback riding, basically, any outside activity, I'm a fan of it. I feel so free and at peace when I'm outdoors. In fact, as I write this, I'm outside at the lake. I was cooped up in my door room, and I just couldn't get anything done. I kept getting distracted, and I was unable to get anything done. So, I decided to pack up my books and leave. First, I was going to head to the library, but the thought of being stuck inside made me sad and unmotivated. Since the library wouldn't work, I decided to come out to the lake and work on my homework. I get to watch the sun set over the lake as I work on my homework. It's one of the more peaceful and beautiful moments of my week. Caitlin

look who gained
her freshman twenty

Rachel Mudd (5)

This haiku is a very clever, yet honest poem that many people can relate to. Many teenagers go to college and wonder which one of his or her friends will come back changed in some way. The changes can range from personality to looks and many other things. However, the biggest change that people notice is if someone has gained weight when he or she was away at school. This poem discusses a topic that is very common among teenage individuals because once a freshman comes back from college with extra weight; he or she is instantly the talk of the town. When going to college, students not only have to worry about living on their own, homework, grades, and many other stressors, but they must also worry about what they are eating and how all of these stressors are affecting their overall health. No matter what people will judge and find some sort of flaw to gossip about. This haiku converses a common occurrence that many freshman college students must deal with when they come back home for a break. Codi

playing the piano
my dog
no longer comes

Rachel Mudd (5)

dance floor
they kiss
not knowing each other's names


the good girl
on the couch cradling
her wine bottle

John Spaw (3)

head on his chest
heart beat lullaby
Summer drunk

we ignore
his shadow touching
our shadow

rushing to print
pages of research
a jam

four papers later
sleeping atop
her laundry

Morgan Oliver (5)

Again with this haiku it is incredibly relatable. The idea of spending a night rushing to finish, or most likely start first, numerous papers and falling asleep in a strange place or awkward position is all too familiar in college. When reading this haiku I got an image of myself hitting "submit" on paper and promptly flopping over on a pile of laundry, which is sitting on the end of my bed. The laundry did not get put away because I barely had time to grab it from the dryer in between uploading writing assignments. This also shows how many of us, as college students, prioritize. If laundry gets put away before being wrinkled so one can avoid looking like a hobo in class the next day, they are doing pretty well. The important factor is whether or not they completed all of their assignments. Laundry can wait (well . . . at least a little longer), but homework takes top priority. Mikayla

first kiss
his mouth
tastes like whiskey . . .

replacing you
out of the question
back then

Mikayla Mendenhall

I love the twist that the author puts on this haiku. The reader gets the idea that this person is speaking about their significant other or best friend, and how much they couldn't live without them, until you read the third line. I also love how realistic the meaning of this is: how change is inevitable, and that no matter how one tries, people will let you down and relationships will ebb and flow. There is a sense of finality about the way he or she words it as well. It is almost as though they have accepted the fact that whatever he or she had with the subject is no longer the same and probably won't ever be. Sarah

tender thoughts
float away
chimney smoke

campus visit day
no parking
commuter problem

Rachel Mudd (3)

foggy autumn
the frost covers
my slippers

leaves sway
everyone else

snuggled under the blanket
the very last night
in a bare room

Ryan Hickey

This haiku made me think of a very vivid memory. The last night before my mom, sister, and I moved out of a house I had essentially grown up in, we were all gathered in my mom's room. The house had absolutely no furniture left in it. We had to move out because of some unfortunate circumstances and it was just a really sad and confusing time for me. I couldn't fall asleep, so I got up with my blanket and went and lay down in my completely empty room for a long time. It was a surreal moment for me. I also like the contrast between the first and last line. Being snuggled in a blanket makes me think of warmth, but a bare room makes me feel cold and alone. Bamey

astonished by the hand-drawn
art in a used textbook—

Sarah Mann (5)

your reflection
I see you
seeing your beauty

the last flower
I can give
—to the coffin

Rachel Mudd

visting the grave
memories slip away
once again

mothers hug their children
at the casket's sight
harsh winter winds

mother touches my cheek—
something new

Sarah Mann

I hold
a single bone

memorial day
this year
less to remember

© 2013, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.