haiGoon kukai

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Spring 2008

What's a haigoon?
It's a haibun written from an unusual perspective giving voice to someone or something usually not voiced,
(a troll, an object, a mythical being, a person not usually associated with writing haiku or poetry).

I know the hand of an artist very well. Together we have given birth to a collection of works that we are proud of. I have swept along the surfaces of many things. My touch has danced across canvas leaving nymphs and deer as well as placing color on paper-mache. My hairs have been many different colors ranging from bull browns to vibrant metallic red. I have shaded unicorns, given a penguin his black coat, and given an elk his eyes. After all we have been through; my artist has been good to me by washing my hair and keeping me properly stored. I am proud to be his paintbrush.

laden with blue and white—
I sweep water
onto canvas

Andy Jones (15)

I like the first poem on the left of the first page. I love the vivid description of the life of a paintbrush and the connection between the artist and his brush. In the haiku, I love the word "laden". It works so well in the poem. Elise

This haigoon is awesome, and so much fun. I love the way the writer keeps it a secret until the very end what the thing is that this perspective is coming from. In the beginning it almost sounds as though the haigoon is an actual haibun that is describing a specific person. As the haibun continues one begins to wonder what type of person this could possibly be about, the mind starts to wander to pick out other things it could be. The entire haigoon is a lot like a journey. Furthermore, the leaps that the haigoon make in the paint brushes journey keep the flow and allows the imagination to wander with the different types of artwork that are being created. Lastly, the concluding haiku of this haigoon is very effective. It holds onto the idea of colors slathering over the paintbrush, however, it extends this idea and specifies it introducing us to a new piece of artwork. Kersten

I really like this Haigoon! It just seems so care free and whimsical!! I absolutely adore how it goes through the entire prose portion without ever saying what it is that is telling us this story. I became really confused at the point where it said its hair had been many colors and at first I thought it was the artists hand but in the end it wasn’t which was great because it really connected the story together for me. The Haiku accompaniment is very well done also. I love how the first two lines almost lead you astray and I actually thought it was about a janitor but the last night brings it all home for the audience while still allowing them to make the conclusion on their own. I absolutely loved this piece!! Nick

This haigoon is amazing. I love how the brush is animated and given character. The haiku is a perfect representation of the prose as well, but could stand by itself which follows haibun traditions. The words appear to be carefully chosen and mold together in a final thought at the end of the prose. While this narrowness may be against haibun standards, the story presented is truly a good one. Jason

Life under a bridge is renowned to be that of a troll, and that it is. Floods on occasion make the home a bit wet, but a little mold and algae never hurt anything. Fresh fish daily, a billy goat if lucky; however, this is not prime real-estate--it's just beneath the price of a cardboard box. Stones wedged together with natural mortar arch overhead and shade the muddy water so that one can barely see the fish going by. They come up to the surface, their fishy mouths gaping, gasping for air; their glazed eyes never see warted hands, or fishing rods coming for them. (I hate fishing rods, by the way.) Trash is littered everywhere--lost treasures from passerbys. Rain matters little when every spring the neighborhood gets carried downstream.

wagon overhead
rubble plops in
the cracked teacup

Aubrie Cox (9)

I thought this haigoon was hilarious, for it dealt with the dwelling of a troll in the same manner that a real estate agent would deal with a home. Maybe the troll here is trying to sell his home, and thus is trying to make it sound like an appealing life: a humorous concept to us, with our big snooty houses and air conditioning. We’re snobbish, I guess. Plus I really like the haiku at the end of the haigoon. The humorous irony of rubble dropping into a teacup is implicit. Plus the teacup is cracked, suggesting a lot of past. Gordon

I really like this because the first sentence really reminds me of A Troll in Central Park. He doesn’t live under a bridge, but that was the first thought I had. Then, I started to think about the Three Billy Goats Gruff. It is written really well and brings me back to my childhood. I like the way that the haiku at the end compliments the prose without repeating it. Erin

There is this little stuffed plushie called Kerberos. When Sakura, Tomoyo, Syaoran, or Meiling are around, though, he is an active little bugger. He doesn't need to eat, but loves to anyway. He is a little lion-shaped plushie with white wings and a tufty tail. Kero-chan is the Guardian of the Clow.

sugar and sweets
the best bribe
for the sun guardian

All day we stare at each other. He’s constantly barking orders at me, and if I don’t comply correctly, he gets angry. If he wants to listen to some music, I play it for him, and if he wants me to write something I do it. Since I organize all of his projects, you think he’d show some more respect. Even if I get sick with a virus, all he cares about is getting me healthy so I can go back to working for him. Admittedly, it is fun to play games and surf the web together. Then again, I guess that’s the life of a computer.

the computer's

Brett Coffman (9)

I really like the haigoon about the computer on the first page bottom left. I like it because it personifies the computer very well and it reminds me of stuff that I do to my computer. I am not a fan of computers at all and when they run slow or break down or just not do anything the way that I want I flip out and start yelling at it. So really its interesting to look at it from a computers perspective. Pat

My job is pretty crappy. I start off in a package with a dozen of myself. I am shelved, bought, and taken to a house. I get put in a storage closet until it is my turn to be used. Once my time comes, I get put on a roller and then I get spun around until there is nothing left of me. I end up wiping the crap off of someone’s butt. Then I go to the holy land by the porcelain express.

wiping butts—
let’s see Mike Rowe
do this dirty job

Elise Wildman (5)

I liked the one about the toilet paper. It was funny, and tasteful for the subject it was on. I also thought that the haiku written for it was very creative with its reference to a popular tv show. I have never thought about the point of view from a roll of toilet paper, but I guess it would be a terrible experience! Nicole

I really enjoyed this haiGoon because it was completely non-expected. I had to read it twice in order to actually grasp that it was toilet paper that was being talked about. Also the haiku brings in a different aspect, the whole Mike Rowe and dirty jobs thing that in my opinion takes this haigoon to another and better level. Amanda

The troll had escaped from the little girl’s chest of treasure after hours of toil. Why the girl had spent so much time fussing with its hair it would never know. The hours of torture were excruciating. Day in and day out the troll was forced to ride upon one of these “My Little Ponies” the girl was so enthused with. He would ride on these blue and pink ponies that had little stars on their bottoms through barnyards and through pink castles. The troll didn’t think the girl had any idea what the world was like outside. And she kept dressing him in long gowns! This was the most insulting thing of all! He was the most masculine troll he had ever met (the only one at that, but that’s another matter) and thus such acts were most insulting to him. Finally, he could escape and await the three goats underneath his bridge…now if only he’d remembered where that bridge was!

imagined life
yearning for
imagined freedom

Gordon Gilmore (10)

This haiku reminds me of a belief I had when I was child. The belief that my toys and stuffed animals came alive when I wasn’t in my room. I can remember a few times when I tried to “catch” them moving about by themselves. I’d do things like wait outside my door and at the slightest indication bust in like a SWAT team and look for an evidence of movement. Another tactic I used was “fake sleeping”, were I would pretend sleep until, just like with the first strategy, I heard some noise. Most of the time, however, I would actually fall asleep because I was exhausted from staying up so long. Brett

One could say I'm biased because it's about a troll, but I rather enjoy the imaginativeness of it, and crossing the idea of the toy troll and the troll under the bridge--usually these two have very different images associated with one another. While it goes into the perspective of the troll, it also tells it from a third person, limited view, which I also like. It has a nice blend of fairytale and childhood imagination, especially with the ending haiku, which blends them both together. Aubrie

I especially liked the haigoon about the troll. It brought me back to my childhood and a time when toys were “real” like in Toy Story. When my friends and I were little we would sometimes play with trolls or other toys in similar ways to the troll in the haigoon. We’d dress dolls up in frivolous outfits no matter what the gender and give them crazy hairstyles and make them ride ponies or drive pink convertibles and go on all sorts of silly adventures. Our toys probably thought we were very strange for making them do the things they did, but their adventures made perfect sense to us. Jessica

Another morning. Her curly tail pressed to my side leaves a mark. The mud around me seeps through my hooves. Warm goo everywhere. The tall wood walls are quiet this morning. The horse stamps three stalls down. The quiet is broken. Soon his stamp is met by a whinny and a moo. I wiggle my snout and snort. Clearly, I have no power in this barn's ranking. A chorus of horses quickly hushes my snort. The barn is alive and awake. All I want to do is sleep. Brown guck makes the perfect bedding, maybe I’ll take my morning nap now. Clacking comes from the end of the barn. Old man Dale walks through the door. Humans wear such funny skin—they’re so clean. I wish I could swish some mud in his direction. It would do the man good. I suppose the nap can wait—food or sleep…it’s a tough decision. Slop washes down my spine. I lick it up. Yum!

carrots mashed
into leftover meat—
barn yard breakfast

Being a wood nymph is fabulous! You get to spend all day running through the trees with dirt between your toes and butterflies in your hair! On really hot days I love to splash around in the creek and chat with the frogs and birds and other animals that stop by for a drink. Most of my time, though, is spent with the plants of the forest and coaxing little seeds to sprout from the earth with my special touch and a lot of love. One day though I was drifting from tree to tree, as a spirit of the forest I can do that you know, a hunter ran right into me. He was very handsome but scary at the same time. I didn’t know what to do or say or even if we would speak the same language. As a wood nymph whom has been around for a long time I’ve picked up many languages from fish to plant to a multitude of bird languages. So I sat there staring at him as he stared back. His death shooter (the metal thing he uses to take life) on the ground all but forgotten, he smiles and says “hello.” I’m in luck! He speaks a language I understand! So I greet him back. Then I asked him to not kill my friends. He looks puzzled and I explain that I’m a wood nymph and all that goes along with that. After this he looks from his death shooter to me and back again and then stands up. He nods and reaches out a hand which I gladly take to help me off the ground. I asked him about his life as we walked through the woods lost in conversation. Once we reached the edge he asked me to come live with him. I was surprised and taken aback but had to explain that a wood nymph cannot abandon his wild roots. Saddened he resolved to move to the woods to live with me and we have lived here happily ever since.

drifting from tree to tree
I collide
with my future love

I started off in a factory being assembled. I know I was destined for a very important job. This job is detrimental to young men and men everywhere. And yet here I am a year later. I am still running and still going but my blades have been replaced and my battery keeps on running out quicker and quicker. There’s always hair in the worst places, sometimes I wish he would just run me under the water for a but, but such is life. Day in and day out it’s the same routine, and frankly I am getting really sick of it. All I have to look forward to in the morning is the light flicking on and me being handled roughly. But what can I say I really don’t have a say, such is the life of a….CLICK….oh god.

life just as dull
as its blades

© 2008, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.