Kukai 1

PACE Global Haiku • Millikin University • Kukai 1, September 2009

early morning
why her
silence . . .

Zac Young (12)

When I read this haiku, I immediately thought of a sweet, young woman. My mind went several different ways with this. I knew something bad had happened. I wasn’t sure if she had been raped or beaten, but whatever had happened, this wonderful woman didn’t deserve it. Maybe she had died and her family was sitting around mourning her death. I just know I thought something bad had happened to a wonderful young woman. Jamie

I laugh every time I read this one. It could just as easily be “why him” for some people. I picture a guy and a girl lying in bed, after a night out on the town. It is early morning; the sun has started to come up and is shining through parts of the shade. He awakes first and is not sure if his memories of the night before are real or a bad dream. He looks over to see his ex-girlfriend laying there with only a sheet on. He is attracted to her, but they do not mix well and there is always disaster somewhere, lurking. They are at his place, so he cannot leave. So, he lies there and thinks, “what the hell were you thinking.” Jeremy

When reading this haiku my visualization was a young man waking up the next day after a wild night out. He rolls over and finds a girl next to him and doesn’t know who she is and is trying to figure out what to say to her. He may not even remember her name. Then when I found out what the writer was really trying to convey, or what inspired this haiku, I felt shallow. He told me not to worry about it and that he found it interesting to hear other people's interpretations of the haiku. Sam

The picture coming to my mind is a husband and wife who had a fight the night before. Neither one of them could sleep very well, and now they have gotten up early. The husband doesn’t know what he can do, because his wife won’t talk to him. She is silent thinking of what she wants to do or say. Stacy

images flickering
on the bedroom wall
the day is finally done

Amy Jedlicka (8)

At first, I pictured a candle burning in the dark. As I read on, I thought more of bedtime. It made me think of when I go to bed and recap on the day and the things that happened. To me the “images flickering on the bedroom wall” represented me looking back over my day. Jamie

This haiku creates a very serene and complete feeling. It brings a feeling of closure to a day that was very exhausting. I see a couple putting the finishing touches on the day, brushing teeth, combing hair, turning down the bed, and watching the evening news. The images from the TV are creating the flickering images on the wall. No lights are on and the conversation is limited and focused mostly on reviewing the things done throughout the day. I see them climbing into bed, setting the timer on the TV, and each one dozing off within minutes. The last sentence creates a feeling of closure when a person actually drifts off to sleep. Charlotte

My response imagined response to this Haiku is as follows: The scene for this Haiku is in a bedroom of a small house at the end of the day. The bedroom area of any house is one of the most personal places that people have, and sometimes share. The Haiku conjures warm images of a cozy setting, where I can envision being alone or with my spouse. The flickering of a candle, TV, or even lights reflecting against the wall, presents a time for reflection about the day’s issues or just intimate conversation with that special someone. Doug

cemetery rain
this pain of loss
fresh as new dirt

Jeff Crabtree (8)

If you have lost someone close to you, you get this. There is not a single pain like it. The first line sets the mood of a dark gloomy day. The next two lines make me think that this person is experiencing their first loss. They are getting this pain for the first time. Zac


take the top off
buckle up
for a ride in the Jeep



newborn boy
I think
the socks will be too small

I see a proud couple who just had their first kid. They are both examining the little boy, and joke that he has big feet. They are sitting close together and the mother is holding her child. Both parents are excited. Zac

pink hair and heavy eyeliner
full cd changer
road trip

Charlotte Ryan (4)

on the river
paddling downstream
rain gently falling

Doug Taylor (3)

Quietly the canoe paddles move the water with each stroke. It is an early morning in autumn. Red, gold, orange leaves guide me downstream from the river’s edge. Elk at drinking from water’s edge freeze in place as the canoe gently glides by. The gentle rain drops feather kisses as I paddle downstream with only the occasional call of a bird breaking the serene silence. This is my special time. Nature and I mixing together each in our way.

playing tag
in their good clothes
after church

Jamie Houchins (2)

cold dark street
boy running fast
got away

Jeff Gulley (4)

The first thing I pictured was a scared little boy running from someone or something. Maybe the boy was walking home and thought someone was after him. The first line set the scene well. I picture it being day but kind of foggy and cold out. I even pictured pebbled street in between two old buildings. I pictured the boy running with everything he had until he finally got away from whatever he was afraid of. Mand

This immediately brings to mind a foot chase. I can feel the adrenaline pumping and hearthe radio traffic. The boy is wearing ablack hhody and jeans and i can hear the sirens and see the lights as allavailable officers rush to help with the chase. Trudy

laughing gas
in one hand pliers in another
the door closing


hot summer sun
boys playing in the pond
in their Sunday’s best

Jeremy Fraught (4)

Bright sunlight, hot, mid-day July, after sitting thru services in the old church, energy now abounds. Cooling off in the pond, games increasing in intensity, splashing water higher and higher, scaring the catfish. Clothes are the last consideration in this spontaneous moment of pure fun. Oh to be that young and carefree. The area around the pond was quiet prior to the boys jumping in. The mid day hat and sun has driven everyone and everything in search of shade and cool breezes. Now curious eyes watch the boys from the shadows and their noise has drawn the attention of nature. Renee

This haiku is one of my favorites because I can see the playfulness and happiness of boys playing without a care in the world. Even though they probably have been told a million times to behave in their Sunday’s best, it never crosses their minds when they see the cool water. I can picture them coming from a church that is sitting upon a hill with green grass all around and at the bottom of the hill, there is a pond that the boys all look towards at one time so they all take off running towards it. Meanwhile, the parents are socializing with other parents and members of the church and have no idea that the boys would actually take off because they have been told so many times about their Sunday’s best. After some time has past one of the parent’s notices the boys splashing in the pond and screams to the top of the lungs for the boys to get out the water; however, the boys do not hear the screams until the parent are almost in the water. When the boys finally notice the look of surprise on their faces cause one of the father’s to walk away laughing to himself. Juanette

I can see the boys playing in the pond they have sweat through their shirts and the punishment of scolding they may get form playing in the pond will be totally worth it. I also am aware of parents maybe seeing the boys yet only giving a cursory warning telling the boys they are going to get away with what they are doing because this is a time when family is together for and all to rare gathering. What ever trouble they get into will be tempered with the joy they feel in visiting with memories of this day. Jeff C.

I knew we were in trouble when I looked up and saw Phillip’s mom and my dad standing on the bank. I was so excited about going to church today because there was going to be a picnic afterwards. Joe, Phillip, Sam and Jacob and I were all going to be there together. We had talked about swimming in the pond behind the church all week. We were told it wasn’t a good idea because there hadn’t been very much rain for the last couple of months and the pond wasn’t very deep. To us this only meant more fun. We could wade some, then look for crawdads and maybe even catch some fish with our hands, we couldn’t wait. We had only told Joe’s dad what we wanted to do because he was pretty cool and he would let Joe do things most of the other parents wouldn’t. Joe’s mom would try to stop him from doing things, but his Dad always seemed to convince her that the boys only wanted to have some fun. As long as no one got hurt, this is happen a few times, we would be fine. Joe’s Dad did catch some heat the time Phillip got stitches and the time Sam broke his arm, but we all just laughed. Not in front of the mad parents of course. Thinking about it now, I can’t explain why we just didn’t run up to the church and change our clothes. We were all just excited and wanted to get as much time as we could in the pond before anyone noticed we were gone. We could have even changed behind a bush or something. It started off with us just folding our pant legs up and looking for fish and stuff. Then Joe and Sam bumped into each other. Sam has a temper and he yelled at Joe to watch where he going. Joe just laughed and said whatever. Sam didn’t like that response so he lunged at Joe. I yelled at them to stop and then when they didn’t I went over to try to pull one off. Then we all ended up wrestling in the mud. Someone must have heard the yelling because the next thing we know we were in trouble. I stopped because I heard a loud noise that didn’t come from any of us. I looked up to see my dad, Phillip’s mom and some other parents standing on the bank looking at us. Not one of them was very happy. Except Joe’s Dad he was smiling while standing towards the back of the crowd. Well we were all sent to the front of the church away form everyone else to be yelled at and then washed off and sent home. No homemade apple pie, oh well, it was worth it for me. Gay


wind in my hair
back and forth

LeAnn Dossett (2)

This haiku made me feel like a little girl again. Just swinging at the playground. Not worried about anything else but the wind in my hair. I pictured a fall day out at the playground. I pictured myself swinging with my best friend. Mandi

I picture a little girl or teenage girl swinging on a rope swing outside a farm house, not bored but content that there is no one to play with. She is lost in her thoughts while she swings as though she is the only person in the world. Back and forth time stands still in her mind. Although there is family members in the house and the woods and yard are alive with animals and insects as any other day would be. Michael


Tall Tales
around a campfire's glow
golden marshmallows

Renee Robbynes (6)

This haiku immediately takes me to family camping trips. When I was younger my parents would take me and friends camping at Lake Shelbyville. After we picked the perfect campsite my father would start a campfire before we set up camp. My father told me a campfire means everything on a camping trip. The fire is always center stage. This is where everyone gathers to eat meals, socialize, and roast marshmallows. I spent many nights starring into a campfires glow listening to ghost stories. Danielle

Everyone is sitting around the camp fire cooking marshmallows and telling stories. Everyone is laughing and telling funny stories from the past. Some marshmallows are charcoal black while others are lightly golden brown. LeAnn

chairs on top of the desks
the janitor cleans
the empty classroom

Danielle Seider (4)

My response to this Haiku is as follows: The scene is at a school after everyone has gone for the day, except the keeper of the school; the janitor. One of my previous assignments as a police officer was the school liaison officer at Eisenhower High School. I have had many occasions to be in the school after everyone has left, sometimes, including the janitors. On occasion, I walked around the school as it was being cleaned and prepared for the next day. This Haiku invokes memories within me, about shattered dreams or dreams yet to be accomplished. The chairs on top of the desks represent the education of the children being done for the day. As the janitor cleans, I see a young or middle age man wiping things down or sweeping up the debris from the floor. To me, he is not just performing this physical act of cleaning, but is reflecting about his life. I imagine he is thinking and considering what he could have done with his life, or what else he still would like to accomplish. The setting feels very somber, alone, and extremely quiet. I believe the empty classroom symbolizes an image of the janitor’s life. Everyone should have an opportunity to experience this!! Doug

the coin
scratches the card

Samantha Sloman (5)

This haiku makes me think of long car trips with my husband. Every time my husband and I take a long car trip I purchase scratch off lottery tickets at the gas station when we stop to fill up the gas tank. I scratch away hoping to win big. With each scratch the anticipation builds hoping that I win enough money to pay for our trip. As I scratch the last box I feel disappointment; another loser until next time. Danielle

This is a lighthearted haiku. I can see myself scratching the ticket,hoping for any win, and feeling the disappointment when I don’t winanything. Trudy


spinning the ball
watching and waiting
My Cat



father and son
walking along the bank
skip skip splunk

Renee Robbynes (7)

I see a little boy with a proud father that are going fishing. On the way to their fishing hole, the father is teaching the boy how to skip rocks. The water is calm with a reflection like glass and it is in small lake or pond. You can hear the skip, skip, splunk because there is no wind. Jeff

This haiku immediately made me think of my wife and me at the end of the day. When we finally get a chance to lie down and relax, it is like the most relaxing thing to lay there, in silence, and just relax in the peace and quiet for a few minutes. I pictured a log cabin style house, with the logs showing on the inside walls too. I see a house in the country, with a nice large pond in the backyard and a forest of trees on the other side of the pond. The moon is bright in the sky and reflecting off the lake. The bedroom has large windows and a sliding glass door, leading out to a deck. There are candles spread out throughout the room and they are all lit. I see a couple lying on the bed, touching hands and listening to owls and crickets through the screen door. Jeremy

The sun was setting and I felt at peace with God and the world. This was the end to a great day that was actually the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. The last couple of months have not been easy for any of us. My wife and I were not speaking much and when we did it was usually unkind words. My son Mark just turned fifteen and had found the love of his life, or so he thought, and was angry because he had to leave her. My middle daughter Amanda, who was thirteen, had turned from an outgoing happy girl, to a silent and withdrawn girl. My youngest daughter Jessica, who was eight, was always trying to help and make everyone happy. This however was her usual personality, right now it only seemed to annoy her siblings and make things more uncomfortable. My company was closing the office where we now lived, but offered me a very good job at their corporate office. We had to move, not just out of town, but out of state. This was the bad news; the worse news was we were moving so far from my wife’s parents, which driving to visit us would not be easy for them. My company’s main office is in Chicago and we lived in Atlanta, Georgia. I looked around for a different job, but time was not on my side. If I took a chance I might find a job here and if I didn’t find one, things would not be good for any of us. The move however was not proving to be a popular decision with the rest of my family. My wife had not worked since our second child was born. She had her teaching degree and might be able to find a job, again might. My wife and I talked about it and decide this seemed to be the best direction for our family. What we weren’t counting on were the responses from her parents and our children. They were all were making life, well not happy. My wife and I flew up to Chicago for a week, found a beautiful house in a suburb that a fellow colleague had suggested. The school district was one of the best in the area and we loved the house when we walked through. My company was willing to buy mine after ninety days if it had not sold, but we had several people interested, just no offers yet. We were set to move the first week of August, which would allow the children to hopefully get to know some people before they school started. We arrived at the new house the two older children showed no signs of excitement, but as usual I could always count on Jessica to find the good in anything. After a week things seemed to calm down, especially when Mark saw the pond that was about a mile from the house. He told my wife that it reminded him of the fishing trips Grandpa would take him on in Georgia. When I found out he liked the pond I suggested we look into either building a small boat or buy one, whichever he wanted to do. Once Amanda got out of the house, she found about four girls her age who all had the same interest, boys. About a week before school started the neighborhood had their annual block barbeque; this was when it all came together. Mark met a few boys his age and found out about the sports offered at his new school. Amanda became her outgoing happy self and I brought my wife home a puppy. The puppy my wife had always wanted, a German Sheppard, we named her Josie. Later in the evening Mark came up to me and asked if we could go for a walk. I could not have been happier. We walked down to the pond and talked about baseball, nothing else, just baseball and skipped stones until the sun set. Finally we had started to move forward and that’s when I realized all that mattered was we were together and things would be fine. Gay

reflections on the lake
walking hand-in-hand
two become one

Jeremy Fraught (8)


Safe in the basement
my child says
let’s go home

Trudy Karr

Tornado warning have been coming on the TV and over the radio for several hours. As a little boy and his mother are visiting his mother’s friends, they must take shelter. Since they have been in the basement for several hours, the boy is getting anxious and wants to go home. Jeff

father and daughter
hand in hand
Prayers in the night

Michael Clark (8)

The use of words in the last line immediately caught my attention. They give the haiku a very playful feel which fits right in with the relationship I imagine between the father and son. I see a warm summer day, where the father has made special time to be with his son. They are enjoying the day because there are no pressures for them to be anywhere. They are deciding what they will do for the rest of the day, where they will eat lunch together, and talking about different things that have taken place over the course of the last few weeks. This haiku creates an image of calm and contentment with regard to the relationship and feelings between the father and son. Charlotte

I feel this Haiku contains so much emotion and feeling. The thought of a father kneeling down to pray with is daughter is so pure and genuine. It makes me wonder what they are praying about together, whether it is a daily routine or something tragic has happened to a loved one. Stacy

I really like this haiku because it is sweet. You can picture a father tucking his daughter into bed and they are saying their goodnight prayers. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Another interpretation I had of this haiku was a father and daughter holding hands in prayer around a hospital bed of a dying mother which turns my sweet thought to a sad thought, either way I tear up reading this haiku. Sam

I have been in this scene many times and have found joy in it no matter what has occurred earlier in the day. The image of the young girl i get in my mind is so pure and the father so proud that she is growing up to be such a beautiful young lady. Jeff C.

calm lake water
late in the day
not a bite

Samantha Sloman

I see the lake and the water as calm as a sheet of glass. The fishing string is the only thing that’s seems to make even the slightest ripples. The sun is setting in the west behind the hardwoods. The man fishing on the bank is relaxed and enjoying the time outdoors. Wishing for a bite but just happy to be where he is. Michael

sitting in the church pew
mind wondering
on what needs done this week

Stacy Burrous (6)

Your intentions were good by going to church, but you are thinking of all the other million things that need to be done. Making a list of what you need to do when you get home. Then you feel bad for letting your mind wonder while at church. LeAnn

I like this church because it reminds me of my relationship with God in going to church to worship him. However, someone how I have let the outside world trigger what I need to accomplish this week when church is over. Juanette

© 2009, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.