Global Haiku • Spring 2010
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Olivia Birkey

3rd Place Haiku Story Award
as judged by
Dr. David Lanoue


Olivia Birkey


As he sits at his desk, the pen lays still. Why can’t he write? He has been trying all day. He has picked up the pen numerous times, but when he goes to write, nothing comes out. The pen stands still. He watches the kids, the animals, all of the nature pass him by. What a terrible day to write, a day when nothing can come out. You see, this isn’t the first time he has had this problem. No, Puma-Dida has had this problem for the past two weeks. He used to write so well. He was so inspired. Ever since his mom died two weeks ago, though, nothing inspires him. His last attempt failed miserably.

why doesn’t my mom come back to me?
as I sit here in this big boring chair
the clouds don’t part

Obviously this was an utter failure. In fact, Puma-Dida was so upset about it that he ripped it up into little pieces and flushed it down the toilet. No one would ever see this haiku.


The Help of a Friend

The next day Puma-Dida called his friend Batsabinyah. Batsabinyah was a great haiku poet in the city. He was known for writing the best, most beautiful haiku in all of the region. Puma-Dida was lucky enough to have him as a friend. Batsabinyah had sent Puma-Dida a haiku after his mother died.

she’s watching you
among the stars
wish upon her

When Puma-Dida had read this, he knew that his mom was watching down on him. He didn’t know how Batsabinyah knew this, but Puma-Dida knew it was true. He was inspired and had written that haiku from his heart. When Batsabinyah arrived at Puma-Dida’s house, he walked in in silence. He looked around and took in his surroundings. Immediately Puma-Dida felt at peace. Batsabinyah had already lifted an enormous weight off of Puma-Dida’s shoulders. They sat down together at Puma-Dida’s desk. Batsabinyah had him pick up his pen and just write all of the words in his mind. As he did, Batsabinyah began to formulate haiku. Puma-Dida read one that truly spoke to him.

children walk by
staring at the dead man
with the pen

Puma-Dida did not want to be dead. He wanted to be alive, and he knew he had to fix this.


A New Beginning

From that day on, Puma-Dida vowed to come back to life. Instead of sitting in his house staring out the window, we went outside. He talked with the little children. He watched the animals. He felt the breeze blow on his face and smelled the scents of all the blooming plants. He wrote his first new haiku the next day.

flowers bloom
like my soul
new beginnings

Puma-Dida knew he was back as soon as he wrote that haiku. Although it wasn’t the best haiku he could have written, he knew it was a start for a turning point in his life. No longer did he feel so dark and alone. Yes, he still missed his mother terribly, but he decided to even look at that differently. He decided that he wanted to make his mother proud of what she was looking down on and make her happy that he was happy. So Puma-Dida strove to make every day a good day and be happy and thankful for what he had.



A few weeks later Puma-Dida made the hike to see Batsabinyah. He knew that he must thank his dear friend for helping him change. He knew that none of this would have happened without his friend’s guidance. He had written him a haiku to thank him for his guidance.

trying to fly
the baby bird
is helped by his guardian

He hoped that this would please Batsabinyah and make him see what a wonderful thing he had done for Puma-Dida.

Puma-Dida neared Batsabinyah’s house. He was surprised with what he found, however. There was no home where Batsabinyah’s used to be. It looked as if a home had never been there. When Puma-Dida asked the neighbors about him, no one knew what he was talking about. They said they had never known a man named Batsabinyah. Puma-Dida left, puzzled, wondering about his friend.

an old friend
a ghost

          Olivia Birkey

© 2010, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.