Global Haiku • Spring 2009
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Natalie Perfetti

Kasen Renga
Unmortared Bricks

last song's echo

Natalie Perfetti

My booklet, entitled “last song’s echo,” presents a collection of the best haiku I have written during this semester’s class. As a graduating senior this semester marks my last, so I have chosen the title “last song’s echo” as a fitting reflection of the final poetry I have written while at Millikin. As befits the course of this class, my collection begins in winter with haiku that feature icicles, snow, and coldness. Midway through the collection, the haiku begin to soften with the onset of spring.

Finally, “last song’s echo” ends in sunlight and coconut in anticipation of summer break. I have rendered each haiku—such as “in the winter sun” and “waves lapping”—so as to capture the beauty of each encapsulated moment. Many haiku—such as “first love…” and “shaking snow”—feature the extraordinary in the ordinary. Some poems reflect upon memories, while others are drawn from imagination. You will have to decide which are which as you read my “last song’s echo.”

Japan Tea House - April 2009

The Japan House sits far back from the road, hidden by hills and trees. Our socks, silent upon the hallway floor, take part in the silence of the tea ceremony. The tea is prepared, the bowl wiped, the tea poured and served in solemn silence. I glimpse a server quietly explaining how to drink the tea to an American. With shoes back on, we explore the surrounding gardens. I listen to water trickle from a bamboo fountain while the tour guide explains the name of each surrounding plant. Like this man, the garden has a history. The gravel garden nearby has been raked just so—its curving lines flow leisurely around the larger rocks. These stones remind me of the ocean.

tea ceremony
the sliding screen

faint scent of tea…
from the summer vase
a single blossom

my step’s echo
beyond    the gravel garden


the taste of icicle—
your mitten
in mine

first love…
buried in snow
the broken sled


in the winter sun
a katana
without its sheath

etched in frost
upon the windshield
a star


beneath the door
the glow of warmth…
key jam

shaking snow
from my shoes—
memories of him


retreat from the snow
of ice cream

past the waves
of the city


last song’s echo
my cologne still mingling
with yours

caught in aging branches
patches of new sky  


secluded riverbank
fresh on her cheek
his kiss

sun-drenched trees
their shadows
stripe the ravine


the sound of hail
softer and softer…
I turn off the radio

houselights flickering
like birthday candles…
the winding road ahead


blinding sunlight
from the lake
a pair of crocodile eyes

waves lapping
our empty kayak…
the taste of fresh coconut


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