PACE Global Haiku • PACE February 2010
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Don Gardner

A New Journey

Don Gardner

Initially when it was suggested by my advisor to take Global Haiku, I was reluctant. I have never been very interested in poetry of any kind. But upon taking Dr. Brooks class I have realized that the world of Haiku is a very interesting place. The first thing I learned while writing/reading haiku is that it only takes 1 person to love your writing to make it good. Something else I learned is that you get inspired in the strangest places/times. Several of the haiku that I wrote were conceived in the early morning hours during my drive to work. For some reason, when I was the most tired was when I was the most creative. Some mornings I would spend the entire time driving with my knees and writing what inspired me. One such creation:

early morning
cut off in traffic
one finger wave

I’m sure you can figure out the meaning behind that one. Another thing I realized when writing haiku was that there are very few boundaries and guidelines that have to be followed. I have found that there are all different types of haiku out there. I find the one’s dealing with seduction and sensuality to be the most interesting, but I also enjoy reading one’s that deal with emotional bonding situations such as:

planting lilies
mother and daughter—

Writing haiku is a challenging activity, to say the least. But the reward far outweighs the headache and struggle, when something you’ve written is admired by your peers. I learned that by allowing myself to take a chance and learn something new like writing haiku, I have not only experienced something that I never could have imagined, but that I have allowed myself to see some of life’s simple things and looked deeper within to find something there that I may not have seen before.

Overall, this has been an eye opening experience. As I venture into my new career, I hope to be able to someday pass on the knowledge I’ve learned writing/reading haiku to young students. I really feel it is a way to open up your mind and express yourself like nothing else can. I would like to thank Dr. Randy Brooks for sharing his experience and superb subject knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories and heartfelt passion he shared. It made this ride an enjoyable one. I would also like to thank my wife and daughters who were my inspiration in a few of the haiku I wrote.

—Don Gardner

broken mirror
angry faces
staring back at me

dark rainy night
headlights staring at me—
wrong lane

the old girl
lays at my feet
her gray beard, matches mine

an old soul
Vietnam Veteran—
shrapnel in his neck

the buzzer sounds
the ball rims around
and around


© 2010, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.