Haiku Kukai 2

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2014

I pick the times
tables are empty
toasted bread and tomato     no human sides or seconds

a beauty
hidden underneath
blue mint

a taxidermy pet
too many appletinis
I'm no superman

Alec Campbell

fresh cookies
autumn breeze
heaven is for real

Alexandria Wilson (2)

summer night
bugs sing
right in tune

a thin line between
helping with homework
and doing it

pre-test question
I knock on the office door

nervous for tomorrow
my fingernails
never had a chance

Daniel Rausch (9)

I like this Haiku because it relates to me perfectly. Since I am a senior this year, I am in the process of getting ready for graduate school. I had to take one of the biggest tests of my life on September 5 of this year. I took the PCAT which is the test that determines whether I get into pharmacy school or not. The night before the test, I literally chewed off all my nails. I could barely sleep. Honestly, my nerves where so on edge, that my nails really never had a chance that night. Deja

up all night
homework done
alarm sounds

focus broken
when i am surprised
flying pencil

laundry day
a week of stains
washed away

Sara Siegfried (5)

Popeye's delight
decorates the dish
the other kids call it gross

so cold
the taste of strawberries
overflowing the cone

thrift shop
ten new mugs
wrapped in paper

balancing decisions
she can't make

Erin O'Brien (10)

I picked this haiku as another of my kukai favorites because immediately I could see the see-saw image in my mind and it brought me back to my childhood and going to the park with my grandpa. As I continued to read though, this haiku became much more somber. The first two lines could be dealing with something as simple as a child weighing a difficult decision of which ice cream flavor they should choose. Then when you get to the third line though, you realize that this haiku is more serious, just with an analogy that read alone could be seen as childish. I really liked how this haiku incorporated a sense of childishness with a more serious tone. I really liked the combination of these two elements and that is what lad me to choose it as a favorite. Allie

I'm not sure if this haiku was meant to be taken quite as literally as I took it, but I liked the imagery and the situation that came to mind when I read it. I imagined a girl, maybe seventeen or eighteen years old, stressed with the need to make a major life decision. Maybe this decision was what college to go to, maybe it was what she should study in college—either way, it would probably affect the rest of her life, at least in some way. That is a lot of stress to put on a teenager. I remember being in that same position two or three years ago. I think that it is ridiculous to expect a teenager to decide upon their future when they can't even decide what they want to eat for dinner. I understand the need for it, but I think that our society puts too much pressure on decisions like that. Why is it so frowned upon in our society to admit that we have absolutely no idea what we want to do? I think that most young people don't know what they want to do, so it is kind of dumb that we criticize each other for not knowing when we don't know ourselves. The reason I like this haiku is because, while the girl recognizes that she has to make a decision at some point, she is not letting the stress overwhelm her. She is taking time for herself, to think and relax. I think that is so important. It is a big thing for me—I hate that our society basically puts success in work and school over physical and mental well-being. Honestly, I'd much rather be happy and have no idea what I want to do with my life than be successful and miserable. This haiku was nice, because it allowed me to see that I'm not the only one struggling with indecision. Mackenzie

This haiku is so easily relatable. The image of a see-saw is something I would relate to childhood. Constantly going up and down or trying to make it stay balanced even though it's not possible. Balancing decisions feel the same way, constantly having one up while the other is down then switching. When I read this I can feel the feeling of being on a see-saw and also the struggle of having to make a decision. When I read the last line of a decision that can't be made, I remember the feeling of falling when the person on the other side suddenly bails off. This haiku seems to follow that same pattern. Trista

flashing lights
crosswalk of glass
. . . broken people

Alexandria Wilson (7)

This haiku reminds me of a car crash at a crosswalk. There is a police car and an ambulance there to take care of everything. The windshield broke and so the crosswalk has shattered glass covering it. The people involved in the crash have broken down from the sheer fear and surprise of the crash. The poem seems to be written from an observers point of view, seeing the whole scene and what it is doing to each of the people involved in it. Danna

breath of Everclear
a hand on my hip
four-four beat

Valina Hoang (6)

a glimpse of light
the end of the tunnel
honk of a train

late at night
email dings
shots fired

nail polish
fly lands
in a sticky pond

flashing red and blue
in the parking lot

Natalie Zelman (3)

rainy night
fire alarm
we don't even have elevators

apple pancakes
never as good . . .
as when mom makes ‘em

orange noodles
yummy cheese
travel size bowl

hooked gaze
shifting down right
always the first away

flashing lights
outside the window
handcuffs and trouble

"come together"
I hear instruments over
class discussion

two in the morning
my ticking clock
keeps her awake

holding her breath
sinking deep down
initiation completed

a suspicious message
not meant for child eyes
causes a relapse

tradition unforgotten
pumpkin guts
seep through my hand

Olivia Cuff (4)

browning leaf falls
a scratch on the pavement

rain boots trudging
through the puddles . . .
once hopped without a care

cold, wet nose
pressed upon the window
begging to be let in

breeze on her arm
taking fast curves
out for a drive

the cat walks
in the black alley
what a long day

tippy toes
arm elongated
pluck the perfect apple

dark stood still
stars all around
the whispering leaves

Mikayla Shaw (4)

rain blowing sideways
for one

Danna Herbach (3)

goodbye t-shirts and shorts
sweaters and pants
arise from drawers

Rebecca Coutcher

I like this Haiku because it seems like the chill of autumn literally snuck up on us this year. It seemed like one day I was at the pool at the Woods and the next day, I had on a hoodie and boots. This Haiku makes me sad because I hate when summer is over. Summer is my absolute favorite season and when its over, my mood completely changes. I can remember vividly how I felt the day it started getting cold and this Haiku reminds me of that day. Deja

silent whispers
of the wind
autumn afternoon

Rebecca Coutcher (3)

flashing rides
and game booths
autumn festival

holding apple cider
to warm chilled hands
we can see our breath

Mckenzie Peck

I love this haiku because it gives off such clear sensations. I can smell and taste the sweetness of apple cider. I can feel the weight and warmth of it in my hands. I also feel the chill in the air and can see the cloud of cold breath. Also I smell pine trees because I associate apple
cider with around Christmas time. This haiku reminds me of happy times and brings a sweet taste to my mind. It also gives a sense of rejuvenation that comes from brisk cold air. Trista

twirling gracefully
every move in sync
autumn leaves

“I’m sorry” he typed
                 but could not utter

Valina Hoang (9)

I thought that this haiku was very nice. I can personally relate to many times where I would have wanted to send a message but ended up deleting it over and over again. I can imagine sitting in bed with all the lights out just wanting to say sorry but unable to really send the message myself. Alec

phone call home
voices of love
dead battery

Sara Siegfried (5)

small feet,
in her dad's big shoes . . .
ready to go to work

Erin O'Brien

This reminds me of being a little girl and helping my dad pack for a business trip. However, instead of wearing his shoes I would sit in his suitcase while he surrounded me with clothes. No matter what I was doing when it was time for daddy to pack I would take the time to "help" him. I honestly miss doing this to this day. When I called him and my mom the other night they were talking about how he is going on a business trip and that made me think of this exact thing! I love how this haiku captures a moment that almost every little girl has experienced! Sara

sunken in lungs
the dreaded words
I'm so sorry

Trista Smith (5)

I LOVE THIS! Absolutely love it! This haiku inspired some of my newly written ones for this assignment. This haiku takes me back to my sophomore year of high school and my first real break-up. I can hear the "dreaded words" being spoken like it was happening all over again. While this memory is in the back of my mind and is rarely thought of, this haiku brought it all back. I have learned so much from hearing "I'm so sorry," and it is one of the many things I have used to shape who I am today. This haiku is beautiful! Sara

a knock on the door
a friend in need
I can't help her

Alexandria Wilson (6)

chicken bones in planters
Little Child plays God after dinner

Taylor Hagerdorn (5)

This haiku, was just incredibly adorable and made me smile over the innocence and excitement of the young child. Clearly you cannot grow chickens, but this Little Child is determined to. It brings back a memory of mine from when I was about four years old and would have green beans for lunch. On a nice day, I would make sure to save the inside of the green beans, the bean, and after lunch, I would take them outside to plant them in my backyard. I was convinced and determined to grow a green bean stalk. I never did grow a green bean stalk, but I kept trying to. This haiku is just incredibly relatable for me from my childhood and thus I wanted to write on it. Olivia

undress other,
more layers to get past
checkpoints and fumbles

shiver down the spine
arm envelopes me
and pulls me in close

somewhere between
kindness and compassion
I'm a goner

Mckenzie Peck (4)

I could stay mad
but the sun’s rays
wipe away my grudge

how good is hot breath
against an ear
morning noon evening starlight

a light wake up call
to my mother's
butterfly kisses

in his place
all that's left
is the laughter of stars

Mckenzie Peck (8)

fishing pond
an old friendship

Sara Siegfried (4)

I thought that the idea of fishing up some new friends was extremely cool. I actually think that this haiku helped influence me to contact some old friends that I haven't been in contact with since high school. I don't exactly think of a scene or people actually fishing, just that the concept for this haiku was what made it really great. Alec

close enough to
touch stars resting on
a father's comforting shoulders

Daniel Rausch

While I do not know the origin of this haiku, I appreciate this so much. It gives the reader the opportunity to backtrack to their childhood, creating this depiction of little fists in adoration of who once was the tallest and strongest man on Earth. The innocence of it all – I feel like Holden Caulfield and the world is just a Salinger story. But, I digress. I am just truly in love with this haiku, with the unconditional adulation of the height of the shoulders of the father. While this reads like a sentence, the image is priceless. I just can't get enough of this. Congrats to this author, they've really turned me into a nostalgic wreck. Jonathan

hand in paw
one last

Daniel Rausch (9)

This haiku brings back all of the memories of when my first cat Blue died. My mom and dad had gotten the cat before I was born and she was already about 19 when she passed away. When we found out my sister and I made a little headstone and decorated a shoebox for her. I remember picking flowers for her to put on the box. Mikayla

Dammit. This is really upsetting. I hate losing animals. I hate it more than just about anything. I have such a strong emotional reaction to this haiku that I can't seem to find the words to express it. I am so thankful Daniel wrote this because in so few syllables, he connects with everyone who has ever said goodbye to warm eyes and fur, memories and comfort, understanding and love. It really sucks, but it's so very good to have that companion in the first place. Taylor

tulip in a cup
ne'er growing
the pawn meets the king

grandfather's tools
in my hands

your palms
my dearest someone

dark, deep set circles
sunglasses slide up his nose
as he slugs the thick coffee

straight back
curved arms
plié plié plié

momentary lapse
covered in a web of wires
          o father, who art in heaven.

bottom of the teacup
a stranger
looking back

cool sheets
I miss
someone I haven't met

Trista Smith (15)

I enjoyed this one because loneliness is a real thing. Wanting that person who is your other half is a very popular desire. Many people have gone through relationship after relationship of failure and just want that person to hold them in the darkness of the night. This poem struck me very hard because one can actually sense the desire behind this poem, the want for that person who will care about you. Everyone wants to share their life with someone who understands, not necessarily a lover, just someone who understands and comforts/protects. Brandi

I really, really, really enjoyed this haiku! As I read this haiku, I can feel myself tossing and turning in my bed during the colder, winter nights. I would go into fetal position and wrap the blankets all around me. Sometimes, I wish someone, anyone was there to hold me. I know I am still very young, but I find myself longing for a companion most nights. I always dream about the future and what it has in store for me. Fictional scenarios pop up into my head and I pray that someday I will find someone to call my own! This haiku is also really interesting because the cool sheets signals that you need someone to keep you warm, whether that is figuratively or literally. Valina

don't look back
       all that

Trista Smith (8)

I really like this haiku because I really enjoy haikus with interesting punctuation or spacing, although sometimes it can be distracting, I really liked the use in this haiku. It emphasizes the simplicity of the words and gives them more meaning. When I first read this haiku it made me think of a poem that I really like called "Footprints in the Sand" that talks about how there were these two sets of footprints on a beach showing a person's life and where there were two sets of footprints it was when God had walked with the person, but the person noticed that at the hardest parts of their life there was only one set of footprints, then God said that when the person saw only one set of footprints that was when he carried him. This haiku reminds me of this poem a lot and I really like the idea of God saying not to look back at the footsteps and not to worry about how you get where you're going, but instead to just relish in your destination. Allie

all is dark
all is right
except the stomping above

Mikayla Shaw (4)

I like this haiku because I live in the Woods and I constantly live with this. Whether it is loud music, stomping, or the faintest smell of weed, there is always a disturbance coming from my neighbors. This haiku also reminded me of Silent Night because of the first two lines being "all is… all is…" and I think that it kind of stuck out to me because of that. Erin

the first game
in full uniform—
chickens and all
marching band season

butterfly net
trying to catch
my heart

Trista Smith (3)

a king of Saigon regal in the Chevrolet heaven

Jonathan Rieck (2)

she hides her wounds
behind metaphors
and Valencia

Valina Hoang

I know that Valina wrote this, and, this was one of my favorites from haiku – so much, that I kept it quiet as to have it be silently speculated. I love this haiku, and I really enjoyed this one because it was stark in word choice. She chose to incorporate the word "wounds", and it just makes the reality of the situation seem so much harsher than it could be. I also really liked the generalist view that this haiku possesses, not divulging into the reasons why the wounds are being hid from view. I really enjoyed the concept of hiding something behind metaphors, and it makes me think of the tortured soul writer who creates meaning and autobiography throughout their work like Poe and Fitzgerald. This haiku was excellent, and Valina has a great exigency and voice in her writing. Jonathan

orange pill bottles
stacked neatly—
my trophies

Valina Hoang (5)

moved furniture
worn paths
now leave bruises

Trista Smith

This haiku brings back so many feelings of frustration and aggravation. I cannot even remember all the times that I have walked into a couch or end table because it was not where it used to be. This haiku just brings back those memories of yelling at myself for not remembering how the furniture had been re-arranged while at the same time, nursing a stubbed toe. Natalie

saltines and socks
litter the bathroom floor
what happened last night

Alexandria Wilson (5)

nobody in the world
but you . . .
and I

warm embrace
can't be felt
on facetime

Deja Finley

There are so many emotions that this haiku brings on because I have family that lives all over the state that I miss so much. I was also in a three long distance relationship and one of the ways we communicated the most was through facetime. It was a blessing and a curse because yes it meant we could talk to each other but sometimes it was hard to see each other and realize how far apart we were from each other. Mikayla

at least rainclouds
never told me
I'm not good enough

Alec Campbell

I enjoyed the reality of this poem. Rain clouds can seem like dark and depressing things, but they rain on everyone. Rain might seem like a sad thing, but in reality, there are much sadder things. It is a hurt person who is reminded by rain that there are worse things in the world than rain, like someone telling you that you aren't good enough. Rain showers on everyone equally, no one is left out. That could be what is meant by this haiku, that the rain doesn't leave them out because it doesn't believe that he is good enough to receive the rain. Brandi

I really like this haiku because it's kind of a pick-me-up. Recently, I've been having some bad days and the cold, rainy weather can either make it better or worse depending on my mood. I've been feeling like I'm not good enough for a lot of things, but this haiku just points out some obvious things because nature will always be there for you and can't bring you down. People may attack you because they think they are gaining something, but there is something that can be learned in the peace and tranquility of nature. Erin

prepare the bugbox
she says
we've got another patient

Mckenzie Peck (4)

When I think of this poem, it automatically takes me back to when I collected bug in my backyard with my brothers. I like this haiku because of how playful it is. I think that the last line of this poem made the haiku shine for me. Without the last line, it would not be as fun. It almost makes me wonder what they are going to do with the bugs. Are they going to look at them under a magnifying glass? Or are they just going to collect as many bugs as they can find? No one will ever know. Daniel

I fell in love with this poem because it is so whimsical and nostalgic. It takes me back to my childhood when I had made a bugbox in the second grade and eventually my science class caught bugs in them, mainly for our own fun. I can clearly imagine my best friend and I when we were eight years old playing doctor and in a way preparing the bugbox as a patient room. This haiku gave me a warm, happy feeling, which is why I am so in love with it. Olivia

warm hot steam
red scarf
by the river

the cooling weather makes your eyes (iloveyou)r

little coquette
turns me foolish
smoke hanging in the unbalanced

sun peeks out
from the storm clouds
i don't hate you anymore

Rebecca Coutcher (7)

I really liked this haiku, because it could be taken literally or metaphorically. The sun peeking out from storm clouds could literally be the sky clearing up after a storm, bringing along realizations and healing, making things new and fresh, or it could be something more symbolic. It could be a clearing of the difficulties in a relationship. The couple could have been going through a "stormy" patch, full of fighting and accusations and hate. The sun peeking out from behind the clouds could symbolize forgiveness and a new start. I really like that this haiku could be either (or both) of those things. Mackenzie

Again with the sun and clouds! I can never not like a piece of writing that incorporates the sun into it. I think this haiku is very relatable and the metaphoric feeling really shines through. It reminds me of compromise and getting over an argument with a loved one. It's as if the storm clouds are saying "Ah! Finally it's over!" This haiku also reminds me a lot about forgiving someone after being angry with them for a very long time. I get this feeling with the use of the word "anymore". It seems as if the writer chose to use that word to suggest that they've been feeling hatred towards someone for a long while. I can picture a sun peeking out from the storm cloud as I read this. But after I get to the third line, I can also picture two people hugging their problems out and things are good again. Valina

every exhale     midnight shower
(i pull up my boots
         yours come off)      linoleum snow angel

into the darkness
no dancing lights

dogs barking
. . . middle of the night
dad is in the hospital

vase on the desk
hoping it will escape

all covered in white
they march across
abbey road

real life where there's no lemons nor gold stars

Valina Hoang (11)

I very much enjoyed this haiku because of how heartbreakingly real it is. Although it is put rather bluntly, this haiku speaks the truth. In school, if a child does something right, they get a gold star. When the child grows up and gets a job however, he or she will be expected to do things correctly all of the time. They will not receive any award for doing these things correctly. They just have to understand that is the way real life will be. When life gives you lemons, you simply have lemons. You have to make the lemonade yourself. Daniel

When I read this, I knew Valina had written it without having to be told. It is such a deeply moving line, subtle yet heavy (and all too real). Why we grew up with the encouragement of golden stars or "when life gives you lemons," I can't say. At times, it seems futile to even think about making lemonade. To me, this fragment is laying in bed, unable to motivate one atom. This is the dark time in winter when I realized just how broken the world is, and how broken we can all be. Taylor

empty fields
nothing beyond the horizon
the light fades

a cold breeze
dead silent
makes me walk much faster

Gran's quilt is too warm
but I keep it on the same
November rainfall

blank slate
begin again

Mikayla Shaw

This reminds me of a show I watch called Dollhouse. In this show, the so called dolls are people who are without their personality or even a real personality at all; the show calls this a blank slate. They get a personality 'imprinted' on them for different jobs such as going on the perfect date, being a negotiator or being a body guard. Once the job is done they get the personality wiped from their mind and they return to being dolls. When this poem says blank slate it reminds me of when the dolls get their personalities and memories wiped away and then they just start again, and it was like nothing happened. Danna

 street performers
hot sauce
for the passersby

the child's shoes
snow chunks

Erin O'Brien (4)

This haiku makes me smile, bringing back my own memories from when I was little of trying on my dad's shoes and my feet absolutely swimming in them. This haiku makes me imagine an old photograph, maybe in an album or a scrapbook. The little girl is grinning from ear to ear while one hand is keeping her dad's hat from falling over her eyes and the other hand is fisted in his oversized white button-down shirt which falls just past her knees. The sleeves of the shirt are rolled up enough for her to use her hands and you can see her bright pink t-shirt and maybe yellow shorts through the white fabric and of course, her feet are in her father's shoes. Natalie

© 2014, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.