Haiku Kukai 1 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • November 2014

small talk over coffee
for just a moment
common ground

Brittani Allen (4)

This is one of my favorites because it is exactly like a typical day at the office. Each floor has at least two kitchenettes on either side, and with so many people, it can get a little busy. People are making their coffee, toasting their breakfast, or using the microwave. There are times I know the names of everyone who is in there at that time, other times I do not. But even though it may be one of those times where I do not know the person(s) name, we still manage to find something to talk about. This talk can cover anything from the weather, to school, or just our weird morning rituals. Kristina

This makes me think of a patient that is going through chemotherapy treatment with cancer and they are hooked up to the machines. Waiting patiently as they finish the treatment over time it will be a new life and kill the cancer off. It’s almost bittersweet because its sad they have to go through all of it but will be reborn when they are finished. Melissa

cherished moment
first laugh
at the touch of grass

Monica Ashley

I see a warm spring day, warm sunshine on your face, a chance for a little one to play outside. A little one who has just mastered walking during the long winter and is eager to stretch his legs outside. The first barefoot steps into the fresh smelling grass. The little giggles as the grass tickles his bare feet. Amanda

one text
changed my life forever

wrapped in the arms
of a mother's embrace
no place like home

Karianne Woods (6)

class in the woods
we found more ticks
than birds

Paul L. Mercer (9)

birth day
nature's push
breast milk and lullabies

looking across the table
I find a smile
until we meet again

Youlanda Johnson

I liked this poem because it reminds me of meeting a special someone for the first time, or the first glance and smile you see from someone that you immediately feel attracted to and what is to come after that. This poem makes me imagine two people amongst a group of friends that meet for the first time and are attracted to each other. Even though they may not get the chance to talk very much, the smiles they exchange lets them both know that there is more to come. Brian

This haiku was a favorite of mine. I have run into people that I knew a long time ago or used to be friends with. We just smile and keep on going about our business. We don’t stop to make conversation. When that happens it brings back lots of memories of our friendship or how we knew each other. I like the frequent running into people and just smiling. Until we meet again. Kristen

a birds song
sizzling in the skillet

never again
will I find satisfaction
I settle for just ok

Youlanda Johnson (3)

judge's gavel slams
little boy smiles
with tears in his eyes

Kristina Swaggerty

I like this one. I sense these are happy tears about the final decision of the judge allowing the boy a second chance. This engages the emotions because most people would like to wipe a slate clean start anew. Danette

sleepy boy
cuddles his momma

Monica Ashley (4)

first missing tooth
on Halloween eve
jack-o-lantern smiles

Brittani Allen (6)

Grandma tucks the quilt close to my cheek
a soft pat
keeping warm

flipping the channels
find something interesting
credits start to roll

Sam Reisman (4)

This is one of my top five favorites because it is a reflection of my experiences watching television. Total lack of entertainment, drama, and interest from the broadcasting industry is why I rarely watch any television at all. While the purpose of this response is not to bash the networks, it is safe to say that broadcasting on television does not appeal to everyone. I frequently flip through all of the channels in search of something I find interesting. Usually when I find something of interest, the credits start to roll up the screen. Programming such as shows, and movies accomplish little to attract and maintain my attention as a member of the viewing audience. I believe television today is an advertising medium. This is why I have become a news “junkie.” Fox news and CNN are my most watched channels. I have not missed out on anything from the broadcasting industry by attending PACE at Millikin University and not sitting at home watching the television during weeknights. The author of this haiku thought carefully and developed a Haiku that is related to all of us at some time or another. Unfortunately, it relates to me all of the time. This may be the reason why I google the internet so often instead of watching the television. The author hit a home run composing this haiku. Mark

pottery class clay
I don't use very often

cold winter air
a family plays
in the street

Sunday morning
home work
is my church

Cristi Haddock (8)

Oh my goodness! This is my truth! During school semesters I feel like home work is all that I do. Now that can be homework for school or house work because my house is a complete mess. Sundays during school semesters tend to me the worst due to the fact that I usually have both the require attention without the normal demands of the weekdays. Kristina

This haiku is my favorite from kukai 1. Homework from Millikin University is work assigned to the students to be completed outside of class. Homework in all classes consumes about twenty hours a week. As a PACE student, courses are taught on an accelerated format. This means a large quantity of homework. Reading, writing, problem solving, and typing are all completed on Sunday’s. I have dedicated Sunday as homework day and make it the only priority for the day. I normally start Sunday off at 1:00 a.m. I believe that I have made positive achievements by dedicating the entire day to homework. Homework being my church I have increased my knowledge and improved my abilities and skills in all the courses I have taken. This haiku touches the entire EN340 Global Haiku Traditions class. I have spoke to most of the students and they have all dedicated Sunday to homework day. The author of this haiku thought well about their allocation of time when composing this haiku. Mark

football Sunday
in the crockpot

Cristi Haddock (7)

I love this image, every Sunday I try to cook some kind of warm snack for the football games. Each week I get up and get excited put on my teams colors and watch football all day long as the chili, cheese dip, meatballs or any snack I chose to make that week is cooking. Melissa

This haiku takes me back a few years to when we watched football every Sunday with NFL Sunday Ticket. We always had friends a family over to watch the game. Everybody brought snacks, we cooked up a big pile of hot wings. There was no house work to worry about and everything was put on hold for one day so we could all just sit down, relax, enjoy each other’s company, and the game. Paul

children running through
green grass

going in for lunch
check out all the lines
eat the same thing as always

closet full
memorial fresh
reading line after line

cold coffee scorched shirt
o'dark thirty
snow flurries

the sun coming up
coffee grounds
brewing in the pot

morning drive home
in the rear view mirror
an X on my forehead

dawn breaks
coffee pot perks up
my mind

Brian Johnson (3)

This is every day of my life! The first thing I do is start my coffee pot each morning and as it perks I start to wake up. It gets me through my 45 minute to work drive each morning. And I enjoyed the play on words use here as well. Cristi

Christmas morning
the smell
of burning wood

Amber Hendricks

Christmas in Illinois is always cold being that it is December. Lots of older homes had fire places or wood stoves that you would burn wood in to warm your house. With many families gathering on a cold Christmas morning, wood would be burning to get the house warm. It reminds me of being a child at my grandmothers or my aunts that both had wood burners to warm their homes. Amber

This haiku gave me a mental picture of a loving father and caring husband. I imagine him up long before sunrise while the rest of his family sleeps. He knows that the echo of little feet will soon pitter pat their way into the large family room, and so, he builds a fire. As the sound of crackling wood brings a nostalgic familiarity of Christmases long ago, he breathes in with a thankful heart. Blue – Orange – Yellow – White, the fire emits a fragrant smell as it marries with the fresh balsam scent of the Christmas tree coupled with a faint hint of cinnamon. The air envelops him like a warm hug and for a moment, he’s nine-years old again. A tear glistens in his eye as he thinks of his own children. Shannon

This reminds me of Christmas at my grandpa's old house. I can see the family waking early on a snowy morning, groggy and all of the sudden the memory of the special day hits them. They all gather in the family room around the fireplace ready to open presents and spend the entire day together, opening presents and eating dinner. Andee

spring wedding
something new
a liquid diet

Amanda Prahl (6)

This makes me think of the diet I did right before my wedding. It was called a military diet, not liquids but only about 500 calories a day. Tatum

hair covered in foils
girl talk

Tatum McCutcheon (9)

When I go to my hairdresser who I have known for the past 15 years, we always have girl talk, talking about the kids, catching up on what we have been up to. It is always nice to go get your hair done. It is relaxing environment you get pampered and it is all about you for a few hours. I just love going to the salon. Kariann

I think every woman can relate to this, we have all seen someone with foils on their head because they are having their hair colored. It reminds me of times spent at the salon with my own daughters and the great conversations and wonderful memories we have made there. Whether it is the beautiful memories or the fact that they are making themselves beautiful it is a great time. Cristi

I’m a practical person in many respects. You won’t find an extensive shoe collection in my closet nor do I blow hundreds of dollars on designer handbags. I prefer the high of thrift store shopping to retail stores, and have become quite savvy in getting the biggest bang for my buck. However, there is one area of my life in which I refuse to cut corners…my hair! I absolutely relish going to the beauty salon and count down the days until my next appointment with a childlike giddiness. To me, finding a good stylist is almost as important as finding a good husband. I’m still single but I digress. The beauty salon experience is just for me. Whether I’m in for a quick trim or all out make over, she’s my confidant, counselor, consoler, and all around BFF for the time spent in her chair. And most women will agree, they have a special bond with their stylist. One time I overheard an older woman saying to her stylist, “Honey, you’ve been with me through three marriages!” Now THAT’S loyalty. Shannon

I loved this haiku because it is exactly true. For many women getting your hair done is very relaxing and makes you feel beautiful. This is one time for me that I can have adult time. Having a little one you don't have adult time near as much. My hair dresser has been the same for 9 years, so we are very close. It is nice to go get my hair done, catch up, and feel beautiful all at once. They always offer beverages and have magazines to look at while you are waiting. Katie

alone and scared
I find myself
missing you

Dana George (5)

tears roll down her face
loss of a loved one
has no words

Jaime Taylor (7)

the dusty rocking chair
in the nursery

Kristen Johnson (6)

I feel a heavy sadness in this. I can relate quite well. A family who has tried for so long to bring new life into the home they have created. I can see the mom in the doorway of the nursery. Standing there just looking at this rocking chair and pleading to God for the miracle of life. Amanda

A good friend of mine lost her baby a few months ago to SIDS, this makes me think of her and the struggle that she is going through. Tatum

me and my sister
waiting and waiting—
streetlights come on

Kristen Johnson

ill father
looking him eye to eye
for the first time

Amber Hendricks (5)

a four year old
on the edge of his seat

Cristi Haddock (3)

I really like this haiku. Just recently I took my 9 year old step-daughter to see the Chinese acrobats at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center. She seemed to be mesmerized with the same sense of wonder portrayed by this haiku. It also takes me back to when I was a child watching the circus acrobats for the first time. Even though that was a different kind of show I remember having that same sense of wonder. Paul

starry night
trying to find
my inner roar

Andee Cavanaugh (4)

car in neutral
enjoy the rainbows

Veronica McQuire

This haiku seems to have multiple meanings. At first read, I picture exactly what the haiku explains. I imagine stopping along the side of the road to look at a beautiful rainbow in the sky. The haiku also reminds me to just sit back and enjoy life sometimes. The "car in neutral" portion of the text seems symbolic of the reminder to sit back and relax. We don't always have to be going a full speed. The rainbow is a reminder to enjoy the simple things in life. Brittani

sunshine on soft dirt
roses on her bed
rain clears tears

rows of pews
standing behind her
day of her life

basket of lemons
and sweet sugar
hard times

quietly nursing heavy eyes
mother lifts the morning fog

Shannon Lucas

I think of every mother who is nursing their child late in the night and early in the morning. Many times the baby only sleeps a few hours at a time and gets up very early before the sun comes up. The mother sees the sun coming up and the fog clearing outside, as their child lay in their arms falling asleep while nursing. Monica

hooked up
to all kinds of machines
new life

Katie Luedke (5)

This haiku is interesting. When you wake up in a hospital all hooked up to machines and you are unsure of how you got in that situation you are going to have a new life. Whether it is just diet, exercise, daily medications, etc. The life you used to know is no longer the life that you had before. Kristen

I chose this poem because of the dual meanings behind it. One is happy and one is sad. The happy meaning can be a newborn being hooked up to machines as they are born to keep them alive and track of their vitals or a mother being hooked in to keep track while she gives birth. The sad version is someone who needs to be hooked into machines to live. This is one that I have experienced. While I was young my grandma had smoked and got cancer. Throughout most of my life she ended up needing to be connected to an oxygen tank. She had small ones that she could bring out of the house with her, but otherwise she would have to stay connected to large ones in the house. Sam

Saturday morning errands
sirens and lights
a high-speed chase

a Christmas card
that was never sent
from mother

Amber Hendricks (8)

mind racing
home alone

Tatum McCutcheon

I am seeing a woman whose family is out of town for the night giving her some "me time." She might be thinking of all the chores she should be doing; the cleaning, shopping, organizing. Perhaps she has gotten all of her work done, and is now wondering what she should do with herself because she can't remember the last time she had time to relax. Andee

This brings me back to my teenage years living in the country. Our nearest neighbor was quarter mile down the road and we were surrounded by fields on all four sides. At night the house would make noises and when it was my sisters and me or just me, we would tend to get scared come night time. The house would make noises and we would have every light on in the house. Jamie

cold afternoon
clowns, bears and elephants
at the circus

watching every drip
enter my body

Downward Dog.
yoga master

fire light
words are spoken with
past strangers

fire crackling
cards being played
home away from home

Andee Cavanaugh (4)

This all starts with a family and close friends on a camping trip. They begin by choosing a weekend that is best for all. They all get settled in their favorite camping spots. They take turns on which campsite they gather at for the three nights they stay. As dinner is cooking on the open fire they come up with a plan for the evening. Everyone eats dinner, grabs their favorite beverage, and heads to the picnic table. The card game begins with the warmth of the fire. Jacqueline

Since the holidays are coming up. For Thanksgiving we are traveling to Little Rock, AR that is where my mother in law lives. It reminds me of us playing cards at the dining room table after we have ate and enjoying each other company since we do not get to see each other that often with her being so far away. Karianne

hockey gear hangs
in the basement
a stink like no other

bicycle lying in the yard
six of clubs
stuck in the spoke

Paul L. Mercer (6)

This is a little boy who was running late. The boy lives in a small neighborhood where the boys are very close. They decided one day to take a longer bike ride than usual. The same day the boys thought it would be cool to put the card in the spokes of their bikes so that it sounded like a moped. So, they begin on their journey and the boy realizes he is supposed to be home for dinner at 5:00 p.m. He says to the other boys I have to hurry home for dinner. He pedals as fast as he can because he knows if he is late he will be in trouble. He flies into the yard slams the bike down in the yard. Dad gets home and sees the bike and is not very happy. Dad tells him if he cannot take care of his bike he will not be riding it anymore. Jacqueline

waking up
traffic lights flicker
through my curtains

long cold winter
labor and delivery worker
baby boom

Amanda Prahl

This Haiku is one of my favorites because its cheekiness. This writing gives me a warm feeling inside. I imagine snuggling up with someone special, and just passing the time away. This Haiku represents the only things I love about winter. Youlanda

wandering in the dark
looking for something
I can't seem to find

his little hands raise up high
in victory

Kristina Swaggerty (10)

I chose this poem because I can picture a student raising their hand up high to answer a question or because they answered one correctly and they are proud of themselves. I have seen some students shoot their hands into the air like lightning just to answer a question. That is why I can easily see it happening with this poem too. Sam

long lines, loud chatter
snacks, pizza
beer in the shopping carts

Thanksgiving sunshine
family dinner
wine and board games

Easter morning
the warm blanket
a family tradition

Melissa McFadden (2)

When reading this haiku, I imagine a big family, all cuddled up under blankets in a family room together. The haiku suggests a feeling of relaxation and joy, and it leaves readers with a sense of warmth—from both the feeling of the blanket and love of the family. Though the reader may not have shared this specific family tradition, one can imagine other lazy mornings with loved ones that are spent talking and spending time together. Brittani

a child cries
her mother slips
into the darkness

Kristen Johnson (2)

This Haiku is very sad. I don't know what it's like to lose a parent but my children do. My grandmother was the glue in our family, and to me she was a super hero. When she died I angrily asked what happened to her. It didn't dawn on me that she was well in her 80s and therefore fragile. This Haiku reminds me of what my grandma use to say "we are all are born to die". Youlanda

first born son
husband's happiness
pondering the future

messy hair
just two more bites
Cherrios on the floor

Brittani Allen (5)

I have three boys of my own and this automatically brought me back to when each of boys were 1-2 years old. Meals were fun and messy. There usually ended up being food in the hair, all over the face and shirt. There was also more than just Cheerios on the floor half the time. Jamie

white dress and veil
hand in hand
together forever

Karianne Woods

This gives me the vision of one of the most wonderful days of my life, my wedding. The white dress is one of the greatest symbols of a wedding and then the rest describes what the wedding creates, the marriage. I can visualize that special moment from this Haiku. What the marriage creates is taking two and making them one. Dana

I am reminded of my wedding day, I spent the day in a white dress and veil. That day is important and sacred to everyone involved. We walked hand in hand out of the church and are expecting it to last forever. Monica

still of the night
fresh blanket
let it snow

Mark Sweeney (8)

As I sit here doing this homework it is in fact snowing outside. This Haiku symbolizes the peace that snow brings and the chill. In the still of the snowing a fresh blanket that brings wonderful smells lets me sit and enjoy the snowfall. I can see the snow falling, someone cuddled on the couch watching it in this Haiku. The breeze that enters through the crack in the house from the chill outside has no effect on me because I am warm and content in the moment. Dana

sticky and wet
pinched or coiled

pink and yellow rose bushes
blooming in my basement
my winter joy

starry night
walk in the woods
holding hands

sunny day
feet in the sand

Karianne Woods (5)

This is very relaxing to me. I feel like I'm in Florida on the beach soaking up the sun. The weather is beautiful, as I'm watching my daughter build a sand castle. I am resting with my feet in the sand on my towel. It is our vacation but hopefully our home soon. I can see the waves in the ocean rolling in. The sky is clear and the ocean looks endless. It is breathtaking. Katie

baby face
I am cursing
the sands in the hourglass

Youlanda Johnson (2)

in our own world
we talk the night

Kristina Swaggerty (7)

I liked this one because it actually links to the above mentioned haiku and almost extends the story for me. My wife and I have gone through times like this, just sitting and enjoying each other’s company while time passes. I can imagine a newly untied couple sitting somewhere warm and relaxing, smiling, and sharing their best memories and thoughts about life. Brian

walking away
just to know
you're not alone


cuter as the hours pass
soul mates perhaps
thanks again for nothing

old wool afghan
touching toes
she steals a little warmth

Brittani Allen (3)

hot tea
hands resting around
     the cup

Mark Sweeney (6)

People not rushed to get to work or running kids around, having warm tea together relaxing. Chatting about what has been going on in their lives. Perhaps two busy moms finally getting to just have adult time together without children interrupting. Amber

first day gospel
prosperous black-eyed peas

Shannon Lucas

This reminds of a tradition from my parents' generation. On New Year's day they would cook certain types of dishes that would ensure the most prosperous year and was filled with the highest hopes. My Dad still talks about dishes to prepare on the first day of January. And it's not just the tradition—it's in his tone. Not just the cooking of the dishes but I hear the hopeful sounds in his voice that I sense is carried down from previous generations. It runs deep in my spirit and I feel good about this poem. Sometime after my Mom passed away, I was going through one of her purses. I found one or black-eye peas wrapped in aluminum foil—in her purse! I reflected that she and my Dad migrated from the south in the late 50's and were searching for a better life. They grew up poor and humble but they had family, and traditions, and hope. Danette


cold winter night
the tree limbs
sway toward the street lights

Melissa McFadden (4)

© 2014, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.