Global Haiku • Spring 2009
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Tiffany Owens

Kasen Renga
Unmortared Bricks

Evening Traffic

Tiffany Owens

Life can be so busy. The things of life often get in the way of the actual act of living. It is very easy for us to become so caught up in things we have to do, places we have to be, so trapped in the tedious and mundane, that we forget to live. It is so easy for us to lose sight of our purpose in life, so easy to lose hope.

At those times more than any other, it is important that we learn to pay close attention to the details. We need to focus on the small events that distinguish each day, the tiny moments of beauty that remind us what is important in life.

Haiku have the gift of not being bogged down with too many words. Because they are so short and intentional, haiku give us the unique ability to capture the essence of a single moment without cluttering it. We don't have to worry about the context. We can examine the isolated event and recognize the joy or humor in it without being bogged down by its mundane surroundings.

This year has been a year of hardship for me. However, that is not what my poetry is about. My haiku are a collection of all the small moments that gave me joy even during hardship. The poems in this collection remind me that life is still beautiful even when it seems dreary.

The title "Evening Traffic" comes from one of my poems that retells one of the most beautiful moments born out of this difficult year. More than that, though, evening traffic represents all the chaos and stress of life. It represents all the day-to-day stress and worry that keeps us from the things we love. However, in the midst of all of it, there are moments of joy.

The poems in this collection are lighthearted and sometimes humorous. I hope that as you read them you will smile. And I hope you will relate. I hope this collection causes you to reflect on all the moments of beauty in your own life. I hope this short work provides a short break from your chaotic day or your chaotic year. After all, it's okay to take a break every now and again.

Reader's Preface

Tiffany Owens is a wonderful poet. Her attention to detail and her eloquent way with words make her haiku stand out.

Over the course of the last three months, I've had the opportunity to watch her develop her sense of haiku. From studying the works of other poets and explaining how haiku works to several individuals, she has gained insight into this lovely art form. Through her constant persistence in developing her own style, she has created several haiku that will touch your heart.

When I sit down to read her haiku, I try to do so when I don't have anything to distract me, because I know that I'm diving into the work that is Tiffany Owens. Whether it's a sad but humorous reality of life

every welcome center

or a haiku about snowflakes, she draws you into an experience. Something that she always emphasized was that haiku shouldn't be limited to the author, and she does a good job of allowing the reader to relate their own experiences once they're drawn into her poetic environment.

—Joshua Harris, Decatur, IL
May 7, 2009

a million
awkward questions
about how we met

autumn campfire
only warms
my front side


Nebraska dinner
staring at me
from a wall mounting

national silk museum
we missed out exit
forty miles ago


an old friend's farm
baby goat licks my face
a new friend

evening traffic
you whisper
grow old with me


gusty April afternoon
my favorite skirt
a little too short

Grandfather's watch
the scent of cigars
still lingers


drive by shooting
my favorite jeans
painted by a stranger

hand on your chest
rises and falls
awake in the dark


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