Haiku Kukai 1

PACE Global Haiku • Millikin University • Kukai 1, July 2011

packed car
stranded on a country road
raindrops on the window

Tyler Riggs (4)

This haiku was very interesting that was also written by a fellow classmate at Millikin. This automatically took me took me to one of my first road trips that I took with some high school buddies when we decided to up north to go visit some friends that were in their first year of college. There were four of us guys trying to get to a place that none of us had ever been before. It was raining as we were heading up, and we were making good time just jamming out to some rock n roll. All of a sudden we hear a big pop and the car started to swerve a little be and the driver and myself looked at each other both knowing that we had a flat. We ended up playing paper, scissor, rock to see which two were going to have to get out in the rain and change the flat. Needless to say, I did not have to go out there. Zach

the smell of burnt rubber
on race day

draft beer
the summer concert porta-potty

Aaron Weldy (5)

I thought of all the summer country concerts and festivals I attend during the summer. I didn't partake in the draft beer drinking, but it is often humorous to watch those who do. There are always lines of people in front of the porta-pottys with beer in hand. It would not be a good thing for me because porta-pottys are one of my greatest fears. I used to try as a child not wanting to go into the gross, smelly, dark things. I'd rather not drink anything and use the facilities that are attached to plumbing. Whitney

honeysuckle bushes
with the forbidden ice pick
holes in a jar lid

Sunday sunrise
dishes clanking
in the kitchen

Amber Gray (5)

This reminds me of typical Sunday mornings in my house as a child. My mom would always be up rattling dishes around and it would wake me up. Usually, I would also smell cinnamon rolls in the oven! Aaron

I liked this one because it reminded me of when I was little and my mom would fix a big breakfast for us and then we would be so full. We would be in the living room on the couch watching Sunday morning cartons while my mom cleaned up the kitchen and did dishes. Tera

dad's cop car
always follows me
to your house

Erica McDonald (3)

side by side
slicing a bucket of peaches
we talk about anything

thirty-one flavors
the winner is

Dawn Johnson (8)

prom night
knock on the door
a rush

Kim Blunt (5)

I really like this haiku because it took me to my very first prom that I had ever went to. I was a junior in highs school and I had started dating this girl at the beginning of the school year around homecoming. I was the one that was picking her up for what was going to be a night to remember, and when I showed up on the from door I was the one that had a rush. My nervousness had me hot, and sweating badly. The door then swung open and it was her dad telling me to come in that it was going to be a second. I will never forget sitting in the living room that I hade been in a thousand times, scared like I was a little kid out in the dark. Then the moment came I look up to the top of the stairs and there she was, in a beautiful dress and looking amazing. She came down gave me a great big hug and the rush then calmed itself. This haiku will always do something for someone that participated in high school prom. Zach

to the deep snowfall
we keep talking

Aaron Weldy (7)

This haiku makes me feel winter and being close with someone. I imagine being in a deep conversation with someone, and not even realizing the snow outside falling. The temp drop as conversation gets more intense. The conversation carries on as the snow falls harder. Once the conversation lets up the two people realize how hard the snow has fallen and how oblivious they were to it. Brittany

Reminds me of my special times spent with the man I love. When we are together we talk and talk so much we can come oblivious to the time and hours would pass by. We enjoy talking at night sitting out on the patio deck no matter what the weather. Because it is our time to be together and we discuss our day. Because, he works second shift we like to spend our lunch hours together because we know we won't see each other until late a night. Therefore, we try to spend as much time as we can. Shauna

morning dew
wet footprints
across the kitchen floor

in grandma's kitchen
pots rattle on the stove
savory smells

I imagine Thanksgiving Day at my grandmother's house. There is always rattling pots while cooking big meals. The smells of gravy, potatoes, turkey, and stuffing fill the air. The feeling of grandma's kitchen is something all people love. The feelings of comfort, love and full stomachs are the feelings you feel while at grandma's. Brittany

Mother's Day
snuggled in the sheets
laughter down the hall

a little girl?
I find myself singing to her
on the drive to work

Shelley Benson (4)

jar of seashells
on the mantel
a trip never forgotten

Amber Gray (5)

This Kukai immediately takes me to Florida. My family has vacationed in Florida every since I was a little boy. Growing up, I had two stepsisters that lived in Florida. We would take a trip down to visit them every year, or maybe even more, depending if there was a special occasion going on. I have made so many memories with my family during those trips that I will remember forever. In addition, my wife and I have been taking my daughter down every year to a different part of Florida to vacation every year. She has had the opportunity to experience so many things for the first time in Florida, and I will never forget the link between my childhood memories and the memories my daughter has had as well. Adam

This haiku reminds me of love and family. Perhaps the trip never forgotten is a honeymoon or family vacation. The jar of seashells represents memories closed up tightly to be keep forever and viewed through the clear glass. Je'Taun

This haiku describes exactly what my family does each year. After we go on vacation, we always bring home some type of memoir and place it in our family room—usually on the fireplace. The last several years we have vacationed in Daytona Beach, Florida twice, Orlando, Miami, Myrtle Beach, SC, and we have brought home tons of seashells that we have placed in decorative vases throughout the house. It always creates long and interesting conversation pieces when our friends question the vases! In addition, vases frequently remind us of our fun and wild times away from home. It seems no one ever has a problem remembering where the seashells originated from. Kim

My Uncle Ed has lived in Florida the majority of my childhood and adult life. It would never fail we would go to Florida to see him and I would want to spend my whole time collecting seashells. I thought each was better than the last. After many years of travelling back and forth to Florida the hunt for the best seashell never wore off, until I moved from my parent's house. My mother made me take all my seashells with me. Boy did I have a TON of seashells. I asked my mom why she let me collect all of those every year, just throw them back when I wasn't looking. She said I had a special story for each of them, how a mermaid must have put it there for me to find. I always wanted to be a mermaid growing up, so I guess this was the being of my career. Collecting seashells. Sara

washing peaches
his hand brushes mine
my heart skips a beat

morning breeze
her coffee
sputters in the kitchen

morning sun
in the white bedroom
grandmother's good morning kiss

the older kid
murders a firefly to light up
his ring finger


lipstick prints
midnight shadow
we say good night

Beth Miller (4)

My imagined response to this haiku would be of a man and woman ending a date. It is late evening and perhaps a little cool, he has walked her to the door. The couple is dressed up. They enjoyed each other's company and rather not see the night end. This is the beginning of something new and exciting. Je'Taun

It's our third date and I am so excited. I have read all the books that explain dating etiquette so I know that I am ready. I have learned that easy girls will give in this time, and centered girls will wait until the vows are exchanged. At this moment I don't know which girl I am, but we are about to find out. He kisses me on my neck just below my ear. As he does this my lipstick touches his collar. I smile. We then release on another and realize we are alone. Alone with only our shadows watching. Alone with a huge decision to make. We both slowly say goodnight. I open the door, and he follows me in. This led to our first good morning. TyKyna

picnic table
soft kisses
for lunch

Karen Logue (6)

Picnic lunches are so intimate. I enjoy them because it's only the two of us no busy restaurants. Just us in the park. Being able to spend this time together allows us to reflect on our relationship and how we want to become. We share our most important times and look forward to when we can do it again. Shauna

unbearable summer evening heat
clothes on the ground
          skinny dippers

Beth Miller (7)

my thoughts are
running a 5K marathon
let's skip dinner

TyKyna Fox (2)

after dark
two sisters running

Karen Logue (6)

I think of the girls that my daughter plays with that live next door. They are always dirty and always out after dark. I can see them running around their house, acting like little kids act like. Ok, I was going to say "fools" but they're just kids . . . and that's a little harsh. Aaron

My sister and I were always barefoot in the summer as kids. It seems like as soon as we ended each school year we would just seem to lose our shoes for the summer. Even today when I get home from work or school the first thing off is my shoes. She and I would always run in the yard, be it in the hot summer grass, or the cool dewy grass at night. Our favorite game to play was flash light tag. It is a game that is basically like hide and go seek but in the dark and whoever is it has the flash light. I was of course bare foot and my favorite place to hide was up a tree. I think I must have monkey toes because I could climb the tree faster without shoes then I could with them on. Sara

talking in the kitchen
to steal a bite

Erica McDonald (6)

This haiku written by a classmate was my favorite from the first kukai. The reason why I like certain haiku’s is because I can relate to them. Out of the first kukai list our class had, I could relate to this Haiku the most. When I read it, it reminds me of the cookouts my husband and I have at our house. The men are always outside, standing over the grill talking, while the women are always inside cooking other food and getting things ready. The women always go into the kitchen to talk away from the men and snack on the food before its time to eat. Amber

This haiku took me to every cook out or family gathering we have ever had. It would be my immediate family and the same people all the time. While there was meat being grilled and beers being drank by all the men outside all the women were inside preparing finger foods to go along with it. However, I would be in and out of the house. I knew that I wouldn't get any pickings from the grill but my mother, aunt, and my grandmother would always allow me to get whatever I wanted. Being with family is always a good time and memories. This is exactly what this haiku did for me. Tyler

Grandmother's kitchen
a taste of coffee
and good conversation

Brittany Smith (4)

When I read this haiku it automatically took me back to when I was a child and my mom, brother and myself would go to my grandma's house for coffee and visit. My grandma would let me have some coffee. I thought I was one of the big girls when she would let me do that. Sometimes some of my cousins would come in and visit too. My grandma passed away on Feb. 14th of last year. We still go in there to visit my grandpa, but it just isn't the same as it was when my grandma was here. Shelley

When I was little I always had to have everything that my grandma and grandpa had. I seemed to spend a lot of time at their house just because I liked being there. I would wake up in the morning and want to have coffee just like them, so my grandma would make me coffee in my special Garfield coffee cup. It was always half coffee and half milk with tons of sugar. We would listen to the AM radio show where people would call in trying to sell their stuff and try to get grandpa to buy something. Staci

the old radio on the fridge

Erica McDonald

This makes me think of my grandma. My whole family liked Elvis but my grandma was the biggest Elvis fan of us all. She had every Elvis album in her record collection and listened to them all the time. I have always been an Elvis fan too, but I cannot hear his music without thinking about my grandma. Karen


Emergency Room
we gather for the news
about father's fall

Dawn Johnson (4)

In connection to the above response, my father was recently in a motorcycle accident. For almost an hour and a half after we heard of the accident, we had no idea what his condition was. Assuming the worst, but hoping for the best, we sat in the ER for what seemed like an eternity waiting to hear how he was. The relief of finding he had made it and that he would be spending awhile in intensive care, was the beginning of a whole new chapter in our family. Tim

she pulls out of the driveway
with her long blonde hair

large metal fish on a pole
grandpa's fishing

Celeste Settles (3)

quiet street
no balls bouncing
at the end of summer

Je'Taun Irons (5)

This haiku brought me back to when I was younger and it came down to the last couple of days of summer. There is some excitement to go back to school but the sadness that it was time to go back to school and the summer nights are now ending. It specifically took me to my parents drive way and the house lights coming on and I would come in when I finally couldn't see anymore. I can almost remember every night in the summer when that happened but could always remember that last night. It was like to fit one more summer night before the nights filled up with homework. Tyler

my sister
curled up on the couch
a bookworm

My sister also is a bookworm, along with myself and my mom. We love to go to other worlds in books and we like to share those experiences with each other. Rather than curled on the couch, my sis would be sitting outside reading her latest greatest read on her Nook color. She then would be calling me at work to tell me about it. Karen

home alone
free as a bird
the doorbell rings

Je'Taun Irons (8)

This haiku reminds me of the several times in my life I believed to have had a moment to myself when either the doorbell or the phone would ring. I can picture myself coming home changing into something more comfortable, housework completed, and then finally getting that moment to sit down and watch TV, read a book, or maybe fit in a quick nap. As soon as I am ready to be at my most relaxed state a neighborhood friend would be at the door to see if the children were available to play or the phone would begin to ring. If the phone would ring, it would be the one person that I had already talked to several times that day or the dreaded telemarketer. While not always home by myself, this aggravating occurrence would also seem to take place majority of the time when my children were younger and had just fallen asleep for their afternoon nap. Although, I too have probably been the one to ring the doorbell or call on the phone while someone had just settled in for a nice relaxed moment, it is always nice to enjoy a moment of silence and freedom from the day-to-day activities that seem to be so commonly rushed. Celeste

I am home alone, which doesn't happen often. So I decide to be fancy free and walk around with no clothes on. I turn the music up real loud. The children are away at summer camp, and my husband is a pilot that is on his last day of work. I have a day with no commitments, so this is what I call using my time wisely. 80's music pipes through the stereo, and ultimately throughout the entire house. My husband thought that was a good idea to have surround sound throughout the house. I like it. In between songs I hear a loud boom. It was a knock at the door. I am startled, afraid, embarrassed all in the same thought. Then I scramble to find my robe, and run to the door. A police captain is standing there sternly. I know what this means. The funeral for my daughter is one week later. TyKyna

swimming pool

hot day
popsicle sticks
scattered throughout my yard

We never had these kinds of popsicles; we always had the ones that were like plastic tubes of juice that you froze. My friends and I would spend all day in the pool and get in and out just to eat popsicles. We always seemed to get in trouble because we would leave the plastic tubes all over the yard and on the pool deck. Staci

hot summer day
sweet watermelon
covered with ants

hospital test
she sits alone
not knowing what is to come

I cannot directly relate to this haiku, but I can tell you how it makes me feel. Very, very sad. I picture some young lady waiting all alone, afraid and inpatient, waiting for the outcome or results of a family member's illness. Her mind is racing, and she is upset as she fear the 'unknown'. The minutes are just slowly creeping by. She is wondering if the disease will be curable or not. At what stage is it? Will the doctor's be able to provide a treatment plan? At this point, she doesn't want to call anyone until she knows some facts. Why worry the rest of the family until she speaks with the doctor herself. Kim

the school bus pulls up
and older children get on
my toys come alive

Je'Taun Irons (3)

To me the third line of this haiku is the most captivating. It reminds me of sending my oldest child to school and the youngest feeling left behind. I can see the bright yellow school bus pulling up to the drive, and the children climbing on as they wave goodbye. The youngest would always walk back up the driveway with their feet moving slowly and their head drooped to the ground. As soon as the door was opened and they were led in, their first words were always "mom do you want to play." Several toys made up stories as we sat in the middle of the living room floor. New games were invented and old ones became new. Out of the three children, only the second was more capable of sitting quietly on her bedroom floor and letting her imagination come to life. My other two seemed to have less patience and could always us a little more guidance. This year my youngest starts Kindergarten and the toys will have to hang their heads down low. Celeste

tiny casket
one day we will
meet again

Tera Cook (3)

Autumn sunset
picking the perfect pumpkin

Adam Buxton (6)

What I liked the most about this haiku is that the word “together” felt like it completed it. When I read this haiku, thoughts of my family going to a pumpkin patch every year comes to my mind. Each year, we spend the entire day together doing all the fun things at the pumpkin patch and at the end of the day we pick out a pumpkin together before we go home. Amber

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the different color of the leaves and the cool weather. As a family we take the kids to the pumpkin patch and let the kids pick out their favorite pumpkin. We spend the day looking at all the different decorations and taste the apple cider. It is a time we can all do something fun together. Tera

ducks on the pond
my shaky trigger

surgery scheduled
he calmly explains he wants
to see me graduate

Dawn Johnson (3)

Growing up, my stepfather was who I considered to be my real father. He was everything to me. He passed away when I was 23 years old, which just so happened to be the year I was getting married. He found out earlier that year that he had stage 4 cancer, and only had a short time to live. As we were given the news, the earth shattered below my feet. I was devastated. All I could think about was what am I going to do without my dad. We had several discussions before he passed away pertaining to life after he was gone. He not only encouraged me to keep on being the best I could be, but look out for others along the way. I hope I am at least half the dad, that he didn't have to be. Adam

church camp . . .
she tells us
it's ok to leave

snow falling
church bells ringing
Midnight Mass

Adam Buxton (3)

I love this Haiku because it makes me think of Christmas Eve Service. Particularly last year, the snow fall was so heavy that we didn’t know if we would make it or not. It is tradition that my family and I have dinner together and go to Christmas Eve service. We went out for the challenge last year and made it safe. It was one of the best services I have been to. Beth

This particualar haiku really hit me when I read it. One of my favorite times of the year is winter time. I also love the sound of church bells ringing. I could actually picture people walking down the sidewalk on their way to church and the snow flakes falling and being lit up by the street lights, what a beautiful picture. I could also picture people walking out of church after the midnight service is over and walking out into the beautiful snow falling and having a wonderful scence of peace. Shelley

thunder rolls
off the porch
we wade through puddles

Sara Reynolds (2)

Again this reminds me of my childhood. As a little girl I couldn't resist a good rain storm. I could be inside all day but the first time I heard the thunder I was out the door just waiting for the first raindrops. I would run straight to the neighbor's house and see if my friends could come out and play. We would take turns running through the puddles to see who could splash the biggest. Staci

Very often as a child my favorite things to do was wade thru puddles or even right my bike thru them. My parents wouldn't be too happy, but it brought me great joy. It would never fail my mother would dress me for church in my best new frilly dress, and I would hop on my bike and pedal thru those puddles as fast as I could. I would get my lacey socks spotted with muddy water. My mother would tell me over and over stop doing that, but I would never listen, I loved it!! Sara

peony bushes
surround the front porch
a thunderstorm rolls in

Sara Reynolds (2)

sitting on grandma's lap
she combs my hair sharing
memories and laughter

Shauna Mays

front porch swing
on a hot day
crisp summer rain

I remember as a child watching the summer rains from our front porch. My step sisters and I couldn't wait for it to end so we could go walk barefoot through all the ditches full of water and puddles. Whitney

summer night
an engine roars to life
along with my heart

Karen Logue (8)

For a few years my family and I raced motorcycles and did trail riding for a family hobby. We are really competitive, so it was something we really got into and grew successful at. I loved nothing more than that sound of the bikes being started on race day. I can smell the exhaust and hear the guys giving all they have on the throttle at the starting line. No matter what was happening in my life at the time (during the dramatic times in high school) on race day that all melted away. The rush of racing was something I haven't ever felt sense then. I can feel my feet heavy wearing my riding boots and my hair rough from mud and sweat. The bike is so hot on my legs from being rode for hours through the woods and terrain. Erica

hot summer day
on grandma's porch
chickens crowing

summer breeze
little girl standing on a chair
in the kitchen

Tera Cook (4)

sun beaming
on the dirt roads

paw paw's hands
pull me on the sled
in summer

front porch
guitar and beer in hand
rain thunder tune

Tyler Riggs

deer camp
I'm one of the guys
with grandpa

Zach Keck (4)

I chose this Haiku because I really thought it was a female writer. I was shocked when a man said it was his Haiku. It really showed me that one’s interpretation can change the meaning of why the author originally wrote the Haiku. It made me think of my daughter with her bow. She loves to hunt and bow fish. When she is with the "guys" she becomes one of them. Beth

starry night
smoke from a Camel
billows from my mouth

we sit alone on the lake
the cold air
blows against my cheek

Staci Whitcomb

I am sitting in a boat at 5:30-6 a.m. with my dad fishing. It’s just us and the lake in that john boat. I use to get up really early of a morning in the summer/fall and fish with my dad when I was little. Before and shortly after my little brother was born it was just me and dad to do things together. I was such a daddy’s girl. That smell of the early morning air on the lake is something you can only experience really early and with the right "someone." Moments like that are timeless. My dad would get me up early and we would put on our coveralls. The smell of fish bait is not very desirable but it is there right with the early morning smell. They fit together to make a great moment in the end. Erica

Grandpa's specialty
chocolate chip flapjacks
peanut butter on top

father son
in deep conversation
cold beer

Zach Keck (8)

Recently, I met with family that I had not seen in almost half of my life. A major argument between my parents and my paternal grandparents had separated us from them for most of my childhood and early adulthood. I always thought that the only time that I would see my father and grandfather together again would be one of them at the other's funeral, as it was when my grandmother died. However, this past week, I sat and listened as my grandfather and father talked around two cold beers and an unexpectedly fun family gathering. Tim


© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.