Haiku Kukai 3 Favorites

Global Haiku--Kukai 3, Spring 2009

hanging beads
remind her
of that one time

Lizzy Kelly

I like the very general nature of this haiku. The colorful beads are probably hanging from the rearview mirror of her car. She has seen them hundreds of times as she gets in and out the car, but this particular moment she is reminded of a certain time in her life. As she sits in the car alone, the memories come back to her in vivid detail. Taking a moment to reminisce, she sits there until deciding the past is the past and she must move on. Maybe it is my pessimistic nature, but I get a sad, melancholy feeling from the haiku, that events did not quite happen as she would have liked. I like the fact that this one is so open to interpretation. It leaves the reader wanting to know more about “that one time.” Was it a relationship issue, or something that happened? We as readers must define that moment in time. Jennifer

I have so many beads from parties, sporting events, and exchanges with friends (all of which were acquired in an entirely wholesome fashion). I always hang them up in my room. I love looking at them and remembering where they came from. I wonder, as I read this haiku, which “one time” the author is remembering that stands out among the collection of beads. Did this particular strand of beads come from a one-time lover? Do they commemorate a moment of spontaneity and boldness that she never believed herself capable of? I wonder too, were her beads acquired in a wholesome fashion? Tiffany

Mardi Gras wager
5 shots later
strangers no longer strangers

Jennifer Godwin

This haiku is a perfect example of not only Mardi Gras, but the night life at bars in general. I can’t count how many times someone that I have never talked to has stricken up a conversation with me at a bar after they have had a considerable amount to drink. The effects that alcohol have an us to be more outgoing than normal is well perceived in this haiku, and the seasonal element adds to it in a much more specific way. Bill

I would make a small edit to this haiku. I feel like the last line should say “strangers no longer.” The extra strangers is unnecessary to me. Other than that, I really liked this haiku because of the truth to it. Alcohol tends to make people friendly. I can see two people sitting at the bar making a bet and taking shots; by the end of the night they are best friends. I feel like there could be a long story to go with the haiku, and I kind of want to know what it is. Who made the wager? Who are not strangers anymore? What kind of shots were they? Lacy

drunk girl squats
in the street

Sierra Shaw

inundated by worthless trinkets
two old ladies

Jennifer Godwin

drunk and sleepy
my hotel key
I cannot find

february winds
French Quarter thriving again
another hurricane?

midnight confessional
in the dark…
she searches

Jennifer Godwin

This haiku gives me almost a sense of guilt because I have been in that position where you know you have to pray for something but your conscious wont let you open your mind to the wrong doing. It’s an unsettling feeling for someone who wants to confess but isn’t able to. Hector

I like this haiku because it has like an underlying theme to it. It talks about a young girl (in her teens, I imagine) going to a confessional hen no one is around. Perhaps because her sins are so heavy on her, that she does not want anyone to know what she did or even who she is, reason being why she went in the dark . I take the line, “she searches” as she is searching the depths of her soul to tell the truth about everything so that she come can come clean. Dar

seeing the beads
along my neck
dad's face

Brandy Bockewitz (7)

I like this haiku because the first thing I see is the father’s face. I picture is at curious, confused, disappointed, and angry all at the same time. I also feel the awkwardness between their exchanged looks and about what they are going to eventually say to each other. I also feel ashamed, guilty, and disappointed when I picture the girl. She is angry at herself that she didn’t take the beads off or that she saw her dad when she came in the home. Lizzy

This kukai is neat because this has happened to me before. I can remember when I went to Mexico for spring break my senior year and my father gave me the “remember to act like a young lady” talk. I could not get enough of his life long stories filled with morals that I should not forget. I am now 22 and I live in my own place and I often remember the lessons and evil stares that I got for doing immature things. Jey

bouncing breasts
adorned in
cheap plastic

Sierra Shaw (8)

This haiku really bothers me because of the imagery. The idea of cheap plastic wrapping around a women’s body parts really disrespects the female body. After I thought about this idea, I realized that these women who do this really only bring this on themselves, and then I began to reflect on the everydayness of the exchange of beads for a peep show. I really enjoy the alliteration “bouncing breasts” simply because it really describes the youthfulness and freedom of not only the body part, but the actual women herself. Will

I love how sleazy this haiku is. Cheap plastic, anonymous bouncing breasts – the whole poem screams the cheapness that the Mardi Gras celebration has taken on in our society. It has become yet another opportunity for druken, stupid college kids to get together to drink and act stupidly. Tiffany

winter wind
the philosophy book
missing a page

Natalie Perfetti

I love the simplistic nature of this haiku. I imagine a person who is running across campus in the middle of winter. The wind is blowing fiercely. For some reason, they are carrying their books. As a gust of wind kicks up, the book is torn from their hands and lands open on the ground. The pages flip around wildly and one page is suddenly ripped out by the wind and carried across the ground. Already cursing, the student snatches the book up and continues on, hoping that particular page is not needed. I like the fact that the wind could have could the page to be missing, or they just noticed that a page was missing in the book as they were reading it. Either way, it invokes a cold and empty feeling with the chosen words, winter wind and missing. For some reason I like the fact that it is a philosophy book that is missing a page, maybe because it would enrage an intellectual that a page is missing from their text book. I think it is put together well and the words chosen seem to flow smoothly together. Good job. Jennifer

candlelight flickers
in the shadows
her faith tested once more

Jennifer Godwin (4)

This haiku possesses a strong sense of imagery. I picture a darkened cathedral lit only by an altar of candles. Each time the woman passes the altar, the candles flicker and sway. In turn, the shadows on the cathedral walls and the statue of Mary flicker. I can imagine the woman pacing back and forth below this statue, mired in her conundrum. When she begins to believe that she is not strong enough to overcome her trouble, the woman looks up at the shadowed statue of Mary. Natalie


amidst the sugary delicacy
a tiny baby

Jennifer Godwin

Ha! What a fun haiku! It’s very playful; “sugary delicacy”—I like the way this sounds. I enjoy how the author entertains the idea that the tiny, plastic baby hidden inside the cake is playing a game of hide & seek. Very clever! Billy

mardi gras beads
after mardi gras
we put away our grins

drunken embrace
the BIG easy...
what's his name?

a Man toasts
his final beer

Hector Galvan (8)

My interpretation of this haiku is that the man mentioned has decided to give up alcohol for Lent. One of my good friends is currently doing the same, although he did not cry over his last beer for the next forty days. The reason I did pick this haiku is that I can relate to it with my current sacrifice for Lent, which is giving up caffeine. To be frank, I would consider myself a caffeine addict, as I have roughly four to five caffeinated beverages a day (usually coffee). With only a week passed, I am craving my next cup of coffee once Lent is over, and doing my best to struggle through the long school days without my usual pick-me-up. Bill

too close—
the fire spitter
singes my hair

hearing screams
the carnie
speeds it up

the carnie screams
at the shaking cart
red balloon

my favorite
pants way-too small

Jey Smith

finally, a lazy day
I slip into
my running shoes

Natalie Perfetti (6)

I love the attitude of this haiku because it sets up the scene of a lazy day, and ironically ends it with the author putting on their running shoes, a very anti-lazy day. There are words in the haiku that imply the feeling of laziness such as “slip” and “finally” which give the reader the feeling of hectic ness is over. However, again the poet does the technique of placing the irony at the end of the poem. Will

I’m not sure why I enjoyed this haiku as much as I did- a rare break in my normally objective reading. I don’t connect to the image, either directly or indirectly. For some reason, I find the image beautiful, and written perfectly. The first line is perfect. The use of “finally” to open the haiku expresses the sense of in media res definitive of haiku. The narrator seems to have been waiting for this moment. Once the moment arrives, he/she puts on his/her running shoes and gets to work. Ryan

the stars
so white
so right

Pilling Chapel
glass doors

downward facing dog
inhale, exhale, in and out

I dim the lights . . .
calm now
talking with God

Bill Ryan (5)

the Bible
greatest bedtime story
of all

Bible stories…
the English major
trying not to analyze

Natalie Perfetti (5)

I used to do this all the time when I went to Sunday school! I guess I knew when I was eight that I loved English. While my teacher would go on and on about how Moses led the people or how Jonah was swallowed by a whale, I would be thinking of different meanings and how things could be changed with a simple word. Very creative haiku! Brandy

This brings back memories from my childhood. My parents always read me stories from the Bible. They would get the children’s books that simplified the stories with all the pictures. I still enjoy reading some of those stories in those books. The Bible is hard to read and understand sometimes, but these books really break it down. My favorite Bible story is about Noah’s Ark. I see a little kid laying in bed all covered up and just waiting for that story before they can fall asleep. I don’t know what it is about a good bedtime story, but it makes everything better. Emily

This is a haiku which I can relate to directly. As an English major, it’s difficult to read for pleasure. I often find myself questioning specific word-choice, grammar and compare the work to previous readings. There can’t be mention of a snake without me immediately connecting it to the story of original sin and Rushdie’s brilliant splicing of that image with Vishnu. At this point, I almost always read to study the writing style or use as a reference in my own writing. Ryan

in my hands
clearest water
“what would you die for?”

Natalie Perfetti (9)

This is a great question and I’ve never really thought about it. It would also be accurate to say that the haiku is very deep, perhaps like the water the person is holding. I also like the idea of clear water paired with the murkiness of the question. If most readers are like me, the question is not clear, but instead questionable and unsure. Brandy

forgotten ashes
on hands and face

Lizzy Kelly

The awkwardness of Ash Wednesday never surprises me. Sometimes you get those stares that almost make you mad. Its funny how the stares seem to decrease as the day goes along as though the people have already seen the ashes. It makes me feel good considering I might have saved someone from getting a nasty stare. But it also makes me feel good seeing the large amount of people that are still devoted to their faith. Hector

ashen symbol
traces of the cross
drawn by hand

Ash Wednesday
my usual seat

Bill Ryan (8)

I really like this haiku. I remember as a kid having to go to church every Sunday, but during holidays and other random days that I didn’t understand yet church was more crowded than usual. The part that I really hate about these days is that my family and I would have to get to church a couple of hours early in order to get our usual seats. Now, I find it funny that some people just go on important holidays. I guess I don’t get why they believe that they have to go on those days, but on no other occasion, like going to church is not important except for during the weeks of holidays. Lizzy

I don’t necessarily celebrate Ash Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure that is a Catholic thing, but this does make me think about when I go to church with my parents. It is SO important to them that they sit in the same seat EVERY time we go to church. And if for some reason we are late and someone else has it, church is just not the same! It is weird how important such small things are to each of us. This also reminds me of school, and how although we don’t have assigned seats, we almost always sit in the same seat. And when I come to class and someone else is in that seat, it’s almost like they forgot about me. Or at least that it how I feel. Emily

spring cleaning—
I wash away
my sins

Bill Ryan (6)

I really liked the thought of spring cleaning being a time to clean up your life and your act. I think it was a fun play on words that really fit. That is the time when people start to reevaluate themselves and think about Jesus taking the fall for our sins. It gives the feel that all the rest of the year it is fine to do wrong. When you stop to think about it, we do make excuses about clutter and whatnot in our lives due to the weather and we’re always inside. It really made me think, and I like haiku that do that. It isn’t just a pretty picture it is a complex thought said in a unique way. Lacy

My first response to this poem was to compare it with the Suzuki’s love haiku; its bold tone and confessional content are reminiscent of her work. I imagine a picturesque spring morning with sweeping blue skies, bright blooming flowers, and chattering songbirds. Inside a house, a woman, plastic gloves up to her elbows, scrubs vehemently next to a soap bucket. The water in the bucket is grimy and continues to blacken as she rinses out her scrub brush again and again. Finally, the woman finishes her scrubbing and dumps the dirty water out. Natalie

I’m not a particularly religious person, but this haiku truly spoke to me. The ritual of washing away a year’s worth of sin is captivating. Not only is this haiku well-written, but also approaches the subject from a point of view that allows even non-believers to crave the experience. Billy

I like this haiku because of the symbolism. They are comparing spring cleaning to washing away sins. A lot of times in church you hear people say wash you sins whiter than snow. This one they talk similar, I like it because of how they take a twist from the normal church saying. Also, I like how they use spring cleaning as a metaphor and not just plain cleaning. Spring cleaning is more eventful, when you do Spring cleaning, you go all the way. So it is like the ultimate cleaning, so they are washing all of their sins away and starting fresh. Dar

This is very cool. I often have a weird pure feeling when I wear freshly washed clothes; especially clean socks. I enjoyed this kukai because it reminded me of church. My mother is a deaconess and her responsibility is to prepare communion and to wash the feet of the newly baptized members. I can vividly see the new white linens that spread upon the altar on first Sunday in this kukai and I can also see myself happy to be washing clothes and wearing clean fabric softener socks. Jey

weird stares
wonder why?
X marks the spot

Hector Galvan (4)

Mardi Gras celebration—
so many
scurrying ants

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