PACE Global Haiku • PACE September 2009
Dr. Randy Brooks

Previous Home Next

Gay Helgemo

Selected Haiku

Gay Helgemo

I have enjoyed learning about Haiku and how to write them. I have a very active imagination and writing responses for Haiku came very easy for me.

Writing was more challenging. Haiku is about letting the thoughts flow and deciding which words to place in the poem. The words chosen allow the reading to become involved and use their imagination to either create a story or recall memories.  The first words of the haiku set the scene and should guide the reader.

The next words add an image or context to help the reader to start thinking. I hope with these haiku the reader will be able to either visualize a setting or create a story. I would like for the reader to be able to feel emotion and possibly recall some memories of their own.

Reader's Introduction:

Gay Helgamo has become quite the haiku author during these 5 weeks in class. Gay has a wonderful way with words. She is able to describe a picture in such few words. I have enjoyed her collection especially the scenes she is able to create in my mind.

Saturday morning
butterflies on the daisies
they walk hand in hand

I envision a walk through rock springs with my husband enjoying a spring morning.
Not only does Gay create wonderful scenes but also her loving spirit as a mother:

moonlight shinning
through the window
she hugs the worn bunny

When all is said and done, Gay is able to generate many memories and emotions with her descriptions of scents and scenes. Thank you Gay for letting me reminisce while reading your work. Well done Gay!

Danielle Seider

loud noise from outside
the dog perks his ears
jumps from the couch

she shivers
as she walks to the bus stop
snow starts to fall

It is 1:30 am and she is just getting home from mass at St Vincent’s. After she unlocks the front door, it sticks as she tries to push it open. The heat feels like it is a hundred degrees and her blouse is sticking to her back. Luckily she lives by the ocean and she opens the windows to let the breeze flow through. It had been a long day. Her Saturday morning started early when her mother called her to ask for her to go and help her Grandmother clean her house. She already had plans to go with friends to the beach early in the afternoon, but she wasn’t sure if that was going to be possible now. Her Grandmother lived about thirty minutes from her apartment and always wanted to talk. Annabelle didn’t mind most of the time because she knew her Grandmother really missed her Grandfather. So off she went to help her Grandma, which ended up taking all day. She finally arrived back at her apartment in time to grab a quick change of clothes and make plans with her friends to go to a movie. She put on her white silk blouse and her silver crucifix. They met at the Chinese place to eat and then went to the movie. After the movie they went to the pool hall for a few hours and then went to St Vincent’s for midnight mass. While she was sitting at mass, she realized she had not sat down all day except at the movie and she started to get very tired, very fast. After mass she said goodbye to her friends and got on the bus to go back to her apartment. She didn’t have a lot of energy and was very hot, but reflected on her day. She smiled as she remembered how her Grandma’s face lit up when she saw her at the door. She thought about how even though cleaning wasn’t fun; she had a nice visit with her Grandma as she cleaned. Her Grandma followed her around the house in her electric chair just chatting away and asking many questions. Her Grandma was eighty now and couldn’t walk very well. She lived in a medium size house that she really couldn’t take care of anymore, especially after her Grandpa passed away last year. The bus came to her stop and she got off and headed towards her apartment. The back of her shirt was now very damp from her sweat and going to shower and go to bed.

sun is shinning
through bedroom window
new day dawning

I sneeze
colorful leaves
fall from the tree


Victorian home
aromas of pine and lemon
from the antique furniture


trinket from the past
dangles from a chain
Grandma's necklace

It was dusk on the Wagoner farm and Hank the German shepherd was patrolling around the yard when he thought he heard a noise. He stopped and perked up his ears some more, straining to hear the sound again. Hank was about three years old and guarded the yard very seriously. Many people would not get out of their cars until someone called Hank over to calm him down. Hank was never put on a lead because he never left the yard, it was his and he wasn’t going to take a chance on someone coming into his territory. He would patrol the yard and then the field many times during the day and night. He would play ball or Frisbee for short periods of time and then stop when he thought it was time to do his patrol. My father found many squirrels, rabbits and a few cats that dared to enter his area and didn’t make it very far, regretting their choice. Back off in the distance was a small forest that had a house in the middle, which no one lived in anymore. All around us was fields that farmers planted corn or beans in. Our closest neighbor was about one and a half miles in either direction. Our house was a ranch, a decent size, and sat on about five acres of land. There was an about two acres fenced in where several horses ran and a large barn connected to the fenced in area. Hank only barked when he felt threatened or felt the need to alert us of something he thought was important. This particular day he seemed to be barking a lot and in the same direction, the old Jones house. It was Saturday and we were all home. Dad was concerned about what Hank was barking at. Around three o’ clock he called the sheriff and asked them if they could try to stop by the old Jones house and that Hank seemed to be concerned about something in that area. We went about our chores and other things, but Hank continued to be concerned. Hank would not come in or eat anything; he stayed on that same side of the yard the whole day. Not long after we ate supper a sheriff’s car pulled in the drive and Hank went running and barking. Dad went to the door and yelled at Hank to back off, but this time he didn’t. Dad had to go outside and grab his color before we would stop barking. The deputy then got out of the car and told Dad someone had broke into the Jones house, was partying and trashing the place. He said hard telling how long they would have stayed because no one ever goes to check on that area. He then thanked us for calling and told us we had a very good guard dog. He knew something wasn’t right and was telling you to be careful. We were all speechless and we brought Hank a very special treat home with us after church the next day. Some dogs are very special.

dog stretched out
in the grass
child runs out the back door

carolers singing
as they walk through central park
snow drifts from the sky

sparks fly
from the marshmellow
almost brown


It had turned out to be a beautiful night. The stars were shinning bright and the air was slightly chilly, but we didn’t mind. Finally we were able to have a weekend away together. Kent and I really needed some time alone away from the kids. We dropped the kids off at my mothers on the way out of town and Kent told me he had rented a sailboat for the weekend. We arrived at the marina, the owner gave Kent instructions and we set sail for our destination: Sado Isle. The trip started as peaceful and relaxing. We dropped anchor around noon and had a wonderful lunch while we talked and laughed. Late in the afternoon the sky to the south started turning dark and looked as though it was heading right towards us. Kent got on the radio to see if he could find out any information about the storm and I took over the steering. He didn’t get a response form the radio so we keep on course. After about another hour or so the dark clouds seemed even closer and Kent decided to drop anchor and wait. Not long after this the winds picked up and the sea started to get a little rough. The waves rocked the boat and the wind started to push the boat around in a circle. Kent dropped another anchor at the other end of the boat to keep us some what still. We went into to the cabin and tried to played cards while we waited to see what the storm was going to do. Early in the evening the boat became still and Kent decided to go on deck to check things out. After a few minutes Kent yelled for me to come up and see. As I got to the top of the steps I stopped in complete amazement at what I saw. The sky was beautiful. The color was not black, but looked to be a very dark blue and it was covered with stars. I had never seen this many starts which seemed to be so close, as if I could reach out and touch them. Kent walked over and put his arms around me and we just stood there for the longest time. He went below, grabbed a few blankets, a bottle of wine and glasses and we both lay on the deck and looked up at the stars. Then Kent pointed and said, “Look is that the Milky Way?” “Yes, I think that is,” I said. We stayed there for a while longer and then pulled up anchor and started back on our trip.

cool breeze
from the ocean
she applies suntan lotion

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