Haiku Kukai 1 - Favorites

Global Haiku PACE Students • Millikin University • November 2012

summer night . . .
family gathers
fresh garden salads

Amanda Guyse (10)

rocket ship starts
goodnight kisses
. . . go all around

Shauna Klauser (5)

a dark green
park bench

Charlie Gillaspie (4)

This haiku really stood out to me because you can go so many different ways with it. Is it the bench that is homeless and lonely because no one sits upon it? Or is it a homeless person who sleeps or sits upon the dark green park bench? We spoke about this haiku in class and I think it has a very deep meaning to it. This dark green park bench also reminds me of a park I used to hang out at all the time as a kid. I played sports at this park, ran around the playground and even attended festivals there. I enjoyed this haiku because even though it has a solemn tone to it, I remembered happy memories. Chelsea

football grunts
women's chatter . . .
saying grace

Amanda Guyse

I really enjoy this haiku. The poem is very sound descriptive. It reminds me of holidays with the family. The men are always loud and watching football on TV. The women are always catching up on each other and cooking up a huge meal. All of this comes to complete silence when it is time to say grace. Kimberly

With the holidays here, this takes me to my grandma and grandpa Fox's home. My family gets together and sits laughing, talking, and watchign football. I can hear my grandpa saying grace and see the family in a line making their plates. It makes me smile remembering all the memories of my family and the time we have spent together. Shauna

first morning home
tousled hair
duffle bag in the corner

Amber Potts (5)

I loved this haiku. I felt very connected to this scene. I have a son who is a United States Marine and when he comes home on leave he drops his duffels in the corner and hits the bed for some well deserved rest. By the time my son gets up his short hair is tousled and I as his mother am thrilled to have him home safe and out of harm’s way for the moment. I could also see how well this haiku relates to so many different families. The family whose child is home from college for break, a hard working father home from the oil rigs, a child home from visiting relatives, etc It fits any family’s dynamics and fills you with peace that the missing family member is home. It is really easy for any reader to picture this scene and apply to oneself. I would be interested to know who the writer was really thinking of when it was written. Charlie

pumpkin pie
I gather with giants
to watch the game

Brendan Skeffington (4)

Less than a week from Thanksgiving, this haiku hit the spot. The first line paints the picture of thanksgiving so simply by stating one of the most popluar dishes associated with the holiday. With my memory set on thanksgiving, gathering with giants to watch the game is tailored to my past. Being the youngest of 6 male cousins, I remember watching the football games on Thanksgiving with them, even when I did not have any idea why I was watching. This haiku connects to my memories of thanksgiving and I am guessing many other’s memories as well. Justin

4 pounds
half ounce
Happy Mother's Day

Amber Potts (11)

with tears falling
she whispers
. . . I'm pregnant

Sherie Baker (15)

This haiku created a very vivid scene. I can see a female as the tears stream down her face. I instantly wonder if they are tears of joy or tears of sadness. I begin to think of the times in which I found out that I was pregnant. I imagined my reactions and how I felt at those exact moments. I find it funny that with one pregnancy I was happy while the other was a total shock resulting in sadness. I like how the haiku is open-ended and forces the reader to created an ending. Amanda

This Haiku reminded me of the emotions that overflowed when I learned that I was pregnant.  Not yet married and still in high school, I was nervous when I told my boyfriend (now husband of nearly 30 years) because I was unsure of what his reaction would be, scared to tell my mother because I knew she would overreact to the situation, ashamed to tell my school authoritarians, and uncertain of the reaction that friends and my boyfriend’s mother would have. The abundance of those emotions overshadowed my own excitement to be carrying a baby inside of me. Dianne

One of the most emotional times for a woman, regardless of their situation, is the day they find out they are pregnant. This haiku does an excellent job of capturing that moment. Having experienced this moment first hand not too long ago, I can notice the vulnerability of the confession. I imagine a young lady, unsure of how her lover will react, sharing the news with him. This haiku paints the picture as well as triggers a memory of mine, two of the most important traits of a good haiku in my opinion. Justin

I felt a lot of emotion from this Haiku because I have two children. The first emotion I felt was upset and sad because I was only 19 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I can remember telling my now husband and the tears falling were scared and worried tears. I can also remember telling my husband about our son and the tears falling were tears of joy and excitement. This Haiku really captures feeling for me and hits a soft spot. Lindsey W

After reading this Haiku, I imagine a couple who have struggled for years to get pregnant. They have tried all fertility options with no success. The couple decides to take a step back from the fertility doctor and weigh other possibilities including adoption. For the last several days, she is having symptoms of early pregnancy but is afraid to believe it could be; she has felt this way many times before, only to be disappointed. She has not even told her husband her suspicions. She finally gets the nerve to take the test. The results come back positive. They are finally pregnant! She cries as she whispers they are going to have a baby. Mindy

My mother had me at a young age, and this makes me invision my mom at 15 finding out she was pregnant. I was always thankful that she wants to keep me and raised me the way she did. I also had a friend who got pregnant at a young age and it take me back to sitting in my bathroom and seeing the two lines pop up. Shauna

saturday morning
early risers
elbows to kneecaps

Kimberly Hanners (5)

pacing throughout the night
cool baths
shift change

Carrie Killings

I think parents taking turns at night while their child is sick. I can see them putting the child in the cool bath water to help bring down the temperature. The parents are taking turns throughout the night so they both can have some sleep. Lindsay M

amazing grace sung
in the rain
her grave

child lays still
on a trampoline
spotted: the big dipper

Chelsea Taylor (6)

This brings me back to be in a little kid when on rare occasion we were out late in the evening playing. We didn’t have a trampoline but our neighbors did and we played on it often. I remember one time laying on it and looking up at the stars.  There was four of us that night and we all wondered how far away they actually where and they twinkled. Later on during a camping trip with my grandparents I learned more about those stars. My grandpapa was a sailor in the Navy during World War 2 and he learned a lot about the stars and how they guided ships. He taught us some of that stuff and may other things to do with the stars. Shelly

sudden shower
her jacket
becomes an umbrella

Jennifer Joyner (6)

This is another descriptive haiku that really does not trigger an emotional response. It is something that is relatable to almost anyone, and I like it for its simplicity. It draws an image that I can easily picture. Brendan

This is a great haiku. I love that most people can relate to it. I can remember several occasions when I have second guessed myself. Because I took the risk I was caught in the rain with no umbrella. The next best thing was my leather jacket. I can remember it raining so hard that it looked like I had jumped into a pool. As the rain poured, I continued to run to my car. That is a day is a day I will never forget. Helena

I change . . .
the F's to B's
before my mother sees

Jennifer Joyner (10)

I really like this one. I could so imagine myself doing the same thing. I’m often worried about my child’s future and if history will repeat itself. I see a teenage child looking at his report card in disgust trying to figure out how they are going to show the card to their mother. I see the perplexed look on the adolescents face as they try to every so carefully change the grades. I see the look of joy on their face as they think they are going to get away with the deception of the century. The adolescent seems real pleased with herself. Amber

I think we can all relate. None of us wanted to have bad grades growing up. Many of us were mischievous and could definitely try to change our grades. I remember on True or False tests growing up making them all true and when we graded them in class, I’d just add the little slash to make it an F. My punishment was always being grounded from the T.V. that’s why I added that as a response. Joy

This haiku is very funny to me. I can see a little boy doing this to stay out of trouble. Looking for the red pen to match to grade and trying to very hard to not make an error. This poem is very simple but still allows my mind to imagine the scene clearly. Kimberly

I liked this haiku a lot. It made me laugh and reminded me of my childhood. I liked the honesty and the playfulness that was in this haiku. I also liked how it kind of rhymes. It was fun to read and you could hear the author’s voice in it. I think it was well written and I like the memories behind it. Steven


at my youth
in granddaughter's face

Dianne Bailey (12)

I begin to think of my grandmother. She used to always tell me that I reminded her of herself when she was younger. As I have gotten older I can look at my mother and begin to see the resemblance. Then I begin to think about all the times someone has told me that my daughter looks identical to me, yet I do not see it. I find it fascinating how features and characteristics are passed down from generation to generation. I have always believed that there is no escaping genetics. Therefore it does not surprise me when I am out in public and someone instantly knows who my relatives are just by looking at me. Amanda

I liked this haiku because it reminded me of comments my daughter and I get about how much she looks like me. This haiku indicates that the grandmother sees her own youth when she looks at her granddaughter, likely because the granddaughter looks much like she did when she was that age. This is the case with my daughter and me and I see the resemblance too, especially when I compare pictures of myself at her age. She has heard these comments since she was a toddler and hates it because she doesn’t want to be compared to “an old lady”…those are her words! It’s interesting how young people view the world; as if they will be young forever and look the way they do today. I think it’s hard for those who are young like my daughter to comprehend that, regardless of the way we look today, we were all young at one time and they too will grow older.  Because I was a mixture between my parents, I didn’t look particularly like either of them so I find it so special that my daughter and I actually look alike. I also find it very complimentary when people notice the similarities between the two of us because she not only looks like me; but she also acts very much like I did when I was her age...which isn’t always a good thing! Sandy

plowed fields in the distance
Autumn leaves swirling
against the chain link fence

a halo of crumbs
surround the high chair

magnified light
trembling hands
stitching with love

Dianne Bailey

This haiku instantly made me think of my Nannie (Grandma), teaching me how to crochet. She has nerve damage caused by a childhood accident that put her eye out, so her hands tremble non-stop. Watching her maneuver the wobbling needle in and out of the loops of yarn while she had me follow with a smaller needle and yarn of my own is a memory I will carry forever. I still crochet to relax myself from time to time. Jennifer

Grandma's sewing box
the smell of cigarettes
in the pin cushion

Joy Morgret

I put my left foot in
I take my left foot out . . .
of my mouth

Jennifer Joyner (9)

As I first read this haiku I pictured children standing together in a circle playing the hokey pokey. Following the leader and putting their left foot in and out of a circle. I could hear the music playing and hear the children laughing as they tried to keep up. When I read the last line I laughed and then shook my head knowing how often some of us really put our foot in our mouths. It is an interesting haiku because every reader understands the hokey pokey and every reader gets making the mistake of speaking outside boundaries that we place on ourselves. I did not expect it to take such a surprise turn. It was simple but surprising because it was not how I expected it to end and yet it was a great ending! Charlie

This haiku just makes me laugh. There is not much more to really say about it. This is the first truly open ended and yet comical haiku, I have read. Brendan

To me, I connect with this Haiku because I have found myself in situations where gossiping is occurring. I always feel bad afterwards if I partake. These are the moments where I “take my left foot out of my mouth” and then I have to repent because I’ve said something out of line and I feel convicted for it. Even though, I know this is common, I don’t like to be known for saying bad things. Joy

I laughed when I read this because it reminded me of a lady I work with. She is constantly in everyone business and asked a lot of question that are not appropriate to be asking people about their business. This on many occasions gets her in deep situations that she tries to back peddle out of. Just like the haiku states above. Shelly

The 1st and 2nd line takes me back to the skating rink, doing the hooky poky in roller skates. The 2nd & 3rd line remind me of the times I open mouth & insert foot. Sometimes, I need to watch what I say or how I say it. Sherie

one on one
quality time

Kimberly Hanners

I recalled warm summer mornings when our oldest son and his dad would get up and go down to the park together to shoot a few rounds of basketball. These were times for them to talk about whatever was going on, time for questions to be asked and answered, or time to simply exist together. Jennifer

This makes me think of a child and a family member spending time together alone that they may not get all the time. I can see them on the basketball court playing against each other laughing while they run up and down the court. Or it could even be a couple that is having a date night without children enjoying the quiet. Lindsay M

white porcelain
Nannie's glass eye
in a shot glass

quick visit
blue mask on
a perfect baby boy

Shauna Klauser (12)

Again this Haiku made me think of my son. While I was pregnant there were some complications and we were very worried that he may be born with some defects or have to have surgery after birth. We had to take all the precautions when he was born and did not get to hold him right away which was the quick visit for me, the blue mask was making sure we were protecting him from germs. The perfect baby boy was the emotion for me. He was born perfect and it was such an overwhelming feeling. Lindsey W

cross stitch
the way mom taught me
hemming pants

Christmas presents
grandpa sneaks his open
out of turn

Lindsay Malone (5)

This haiku was very entertaining. I liked it a lot. It was playful and funny and reminded me a lot of my family. My family is very playful and like to do things like this. I imagine my dad with this and how he would do something like that anyways. Christmas was always a fun time for us and we were always able to laugh and joke around and share great memories like this one. I could see the family ties with the author on this. Steven

wedding photo
on the fireplace mantle
her questions

Lindsey Wright (9)
Editing assistance, Joy Morgret

This Haiku reminded me of the ongoing questions that I am asked by my granddaughters, as they observe the historic family photos displayed around my house. There is no end to the questions, and many times the questions develop into deep discussions which I use to share warm memories about a family member no longer with us.  Dianne

I must admit that I really like this haiku. There several ways you can take this haiku as you read it repeatedly. I first imagined a woman looking at her wedding photo and questioning her choice in marriage. The beginning was full of love and happiness. She also wonders what it was that made them so happy as well as when and at what point did things begin to change. She also looks at the image and laughs at the smile on their faces because her husband said something funny to make her smile. This Haiku was written with a different meaning which makes me think more in depth when reading other haiku. A little girl sees her mothers wedding picture with her in it and begins to ask her several questions about her parents wedding day. Helena

wind blows hair
tears flow as
tail lights disappear

Mindy Humphrey (8)

Weirdly enough, this makes me think of my Mother too. When I was a child she and I would fight because she and I have never had a good relationship. She’d always get overly angry and leave. I remember running out of the house and screaming and crying because she’d leave out of anger. I always feared she’d never come back. I always worried that she’d leave in anger and something bad would happen to her. This just reminded me bitterly of my childhood and those moments. Joy

This is not a memory but what my future holds. My daughter is a junior in high school and I think in a year in a half my baby will be going away to school. I think of her driving away for the first time when she heads back. Sherie

strong winds
swirling the leaves
dogs outside

a warm roll
flies towards my head
Thanksgiving at Grandma's

Brendan Skeffington (2)

subtle warmth
the first bloom
Spring again

water ripples
sand between my toes
. . . laughter

Shauna Klauser (2)

I love this haiku because it makes me think of two things. Vacation and when I used to live in Washington and California. I think of a family on the beach running around, laughing, and enjoying themselves. I remember always going to the beach at Kalaloch Lodge and looking for driftwood, or when we lived in California and we would search for sea shells and sand dollars. This haiku also makes me want to take a vacation somewhere warm, near the beautiful blue sea. Chelsea

In reading this Haiku, I think of a family vacation to the beach. The family includes two small children who get to experience the sand beneath their toes for the first time. The small children feel the water pulling the sand from feet. The sand tickles their toes so much it makes the kids giggle. The family searches each morning for sea shells along the beach. It becomes the most memorable vacation yet. Mindy

playing dress up
my sister and I
fragrance lingers

she takes another puff
storm clouds rolling in
loud sirens

Sherie Baker (6)

I see the image of a strong fearless woman. A woman who faces the storms of life head on without a fearful bone in her body. I see her hair blowing in the wind and a stern look on her face. I see the grey sky and the dark grey clouds. I huge clouds moving fast across the sky. I see the red orange light at the end of her cigarette. Amber

This haiku made me think of my mother. First of all, my mother is a heavy smoker and a force to be reckoned with. To me, the storm clouds rolling in could either take me to her sitting out on the back patio smoking a cigarette waiting on the storm or could just be an imagery thing involving her. This made me think of Spring, rainstorms and the smell of cigarette smoke mixed with the rain coming. I get a weird sense of Peace when reading this Haiku. Joy

the icy river
the warm summer breeze
sweet contrast

Steven Cook

tapping away at the keys
my grandma
taught me

Lindsey Wright (5)

Silent night
passing candlelight
through the pews

Lindsay Malone (7)

Because I love the Christmas season, this haiku automatically was one of my favorites. My husband and I go to the candlelight service with our two kids each Christmas Eve.  Silent Night is the first song we sing after diming the lights and lighting our candles. We each light our candle from our neighbor in the pews and then turn to the person sitting on the opposite side of us to light their candle. Each person does this until everyone’s candle is lit. We always sit in the balcony so we can see the entire congregation sitting below us. The candles are glowing throughout the sanctuary, which seem to give the words to the song much more meaning. It brings tears to my eyes each year because at that moment, you tend to forget everything else and focus on the true meaning of the season. Sandy

© 2012, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.