EN340 / IN350 Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks
Millikin University PACE November 2004
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Karen Fleener

Reader's Introduction:

I have been married to Karen for 15 years. I have seen her through many things. We have helped each other study for different classes we have taken. This haiku class takes the cake though. I never ever would have thought that she or I would either one actually write haiku. I didn’t even know what it was until she came home that first night after class. I got the impression from her that she actually had enjoyed her first haiku class. The next week, she came home and told me she needed my help. She explained the rengay to me and away we went. I am glad the class was only 5 weeks long. I’m not sure what all she would have had me writing.

What I did not realize was the quality haiku she was writing on her own. After reading this collection of her writings, I find it to be an amazing transformation. There is a look into her inner thoughts: from nature to newborns. I find it a surprising look into life.

Ken Fleener


Author’s Introduction:

I was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois. I have been and RN for 25 years and am now attending Millikin University in pursuit of my BSN. I signed up for Global Haiku Traditions as part of the PACE program and really had no idea what I was signing up for. I can tell you, it has been a breath of fresh air. I was never much one for poetry, but this kind of poetry, I can handle. I have actually enjoyed reading and writing haiku. I have no illusions of becoming a great haiku poet, but it is something that I may play around with from time to time and enjoy reading.

So please, sit back, relax and enjoy my collection of haiku. Let your imagination lead you to memories of your own. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Karen Fleener, 2004

solitary leaf
blows across the schoolyard . . .
Christmas break

  family portraits
          on the wall
life’s security

little buds
the icicles last drip

the white horizon
the lone pine tree

little hands held in mine
gently let go . . .
first steps



across the room
he catches her eye
the butterfly flitters

spoon dropped
to the floor
where’s the dog?



the stars in the sky . . .
a reflection
of her eyes

tiny fingers
wrapped around mine
warm breath



winter sunrise . . .
frost on the
window pane

This week we were to do a Ginko, or another project for our haiku writing. I had to put a little spin on the Ginko and instead of a nature walk with friends, it was a Christmas candy making affair with family and friends. I hope this is okay! We had a wonderful time making Christmas goodies and came up with a few good haiku too!

sugar spilled
on the counter top
snowflakes on the ground

stir until
you can stir no more
soft crack

spoon dropped
to the floor
where is the dog?

plastic spoon
getting shorter and shorter
melted in the candy

hands gooey
from rolling balls
lick, lick, lick

fudge spread
in the pan
I’ll lick the spoon

sink piled with
dirty dishes
who’s gonna wash

ran out of
powdered sugar
she ran to the store

melted chocolate
brown silk

cold outside
warm inside
let’s make more

tired legs
from standing all day
candy everywhere

rewards everywhere
let’s sample
our work

We did have a great time. Everyone enjoyed trying to think of haiku. Several were omitted to protect the innocent! They are not all the BEST haiku, but for our first try, I think we did fairly well!

Karen Fleener, Joy Pittman, Carol GreenLeaf, Danielle GreenLeaf, Marlene Briggs, and Estelene Hood



bare trees
on the gray horizon
raindrops fall

            a   river flowing
            calm and serene

a woodchopper's ax
in a stump of wood
a long day's work

            strong calloused hands
            being washed in the stream
            hurry home to her

a lover's quarrel
harsh words spoken   

            the sun sets
            into darkness
            a howl is heard

Ken & Karen Fleener

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©2004 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors