PACE Global Haiku • PACE July 2013
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Daniel Bradford


Daniel Bradford

I was born August 17, 1970 in Decatur, IL. My Mom did her best as a single parent to raise my 3 siblings and I. She was also a college student, is seems all of my young life. As I watched her do all of this with a smile (most of the time), I always wanted to help. I performed several different jobs as a teenager: such as mowing lawns, raking leaves, and shoveling snow. I didn't know my father until I was 9 years old. I can remember one morning he pulled in front of my grandparents' house and called me to the car, and asked me if I wanted to ride with him? I responded with "No, I don't know you Daniel". He stated "Why Don't you call me Daddy? I responded with "It doesn't sound right". That was the first time I wanted to be by myself to think, did I hurt his feelings? Or should I have been hurt for his absence in my life? Who was wrong he or I.

I started writing diaries, which turned to journals and finally spoken word. This course helped me to turn my physical situations to meaningful words on paper with haiku. I learned two pages of notes can be summarized in three lines of haiku. I also intend on getting more experienced with haiku and possibly writing a book of haiku.

As I grew older the more I realized Decatur wasn't the place for me: there was violence and drugs in the neighborhood I was in, at that time. One day after graduation from Douglas Macarthur High School in 1988, I moved to Brownsville, Tennessee a small town outside of Memphis. I lived with my paternal Grandparents until I married and moved out to have a family of my own. Even though my intentions were to never leave my kids the way I had been without my father. To make a long story short, I am presently in my third marriage and of all places back in Decatur. There is a lot about my life I could write about, but, hey! Maybe it will all be in my biography.

Most of the haiku I wrote in this class dealt with family issues and moments of peace. Here are a few that I put into my first collection.

a lumpy pillow
she has learned
the soft spots


Christmas night
the angel shines
atop a tree

a boat pauses
on the calm pond
      stopper disappears


granddad's Bible—
same notes
on worn pages

Christmas bells ring
   a boy drops coins . . .
      in a red bucket  


after a hard rain
a boy stirs oily rainbows
in the gutter

father and son walk
hand in hand
matching jerseys


it's halftime—
crowds rush the bathrooms
room for more beer

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