PACE Global Haiku • PACE November 2014
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Youlanda Johnson

The Bitter and the Sweet

Youlanda Johnson

dedicated to Glenn Jones

Ever since I was old enough to look and listen, I have loved art. In all its formats, art is a way for me to breathe, live and love. I love music, photography, painting, fashion, and now haiku. Haiku is not just a form of poetry; it is a discipline. It requires that I stop, look, and listen. It allows and forces me to marinate and contemplate. The haiku I present here have become part of my therapy. Two years ago I lost someone very dear to me. He was my best friend and I found myself thinking of him often as I created these haiku.

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


never again
will I find satisfaction
I settle for just ok

tis the season
a pumpkin spice latte
with my name on it


the latest dance moves
in front of the Christmas tree,
childhood memories

stayed up all night
baking holiday pies
just like mommy


Christmas lights
whisky in my cup
keeping an open mind

as barrels burn
winter coats arrive
for those with no address


one part lemon, two parts
grandma's homemade

a toothy smile—
rotting with grief but
still holding on


every year I
pretend to be better but—
it never gets easier missing you

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