Haiku Attempts 11 - Final Kukai - Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Spring 2010

sandlewood bookmark
she inhales and smells

new blooms
my little sister romps
in my old playhouse


new blooms
my little sister romps
in my old playhouse

This haiku is just bounding with new life and energy, while still comfortable. I can imagine the old playhouse: the paint's a little chipped, and maybe it's not as bright as it used to be, but it's worn and welcoming for the youngster who is playing with vigor and vitality. 'Romp' is a strong and unique word that provides the reader with a sense of what the little sister is like. Aubrie

the changing tide;
a starfish clings to its


This is my absolute favorite haiku of the kukai. This starfish seems scared. The tide is constantly changing; the waves never cease to move. This poor creature has to live its life in a never-ending battle to stay at “home” or to have a place of stability. Yet with the way life goes, he must roll with the flaws of the tides. I feel like I am the starfish sometimes, so desperately resisting the constant changes because I am too comfortable in my habits. This haiku shows we need to learn to simply let go and go with the flow—the tide will never stop changing. Jade

smelling of moths and dust
the old quilt
comforts her tears



making him smile
his only friends
made of clay


I like this haiku because I see a little boy who doesn’t have any friends. You think he would be sad, right? Well as said in the first line, he smiles and really does enjoy his time with his clay friends. Becky

summer storm
Dad lights a cigarette
wet smoke

late night
of coffee and yawning
praying for an A

athlete stuck in
his glory days...


the pitter-patter
of rain on the awnings
we hold each other closer

moon belly
he feels
it kick


I love this haiku. It is so simple and elegant, and yet so full of life (literally). I especially like how the moon is brought in with the image of a pregnant belly, which is so true and such a wonderful thing to see in my mind. The final two lines of “he feels” can be seen not only as him feeling the kick of his unborn child, but also of feeling emotion at the thought of his baby. Susie

I like the intimacy of this haiku—a couple marveling at the pregnancy. How full she is, glowing like a moon. And he wants to connect, to feel, to understand what's going on in this ever changing belly. Randy b

higher and higher
jumping contest
off the swings

security camera
I hide my face
in Orwell's 1984


This haiku just made me laugh. 1984 is one of my favorite novels, and ever since reading it I’ve noticed all the illusions made to it in our world. Technology is ever-growing, and this haiku finds the irony in it. Hiding one’s face in a book about conspiracy and “big brother” to avoid a security camera is just too ironic. Susie

from shaking earth
and brown soil
a violet


sheltered by cornfields
muffled moans

childhood movies
I forget
I’m no longer a child…


I’m no longer a child…
I really like this haiku because it brings me back to my Disney viewings. I love watching children movies and I do forget I’m no longer a child whenever I sit down to view it. This haiku connects a lot with me and it has a hint of humor which I really like. Kari

beneath my toes
the dew
reflecting moonlight

my dad’s campfire stories
aren’t the same
through the phone

I think it is interesting how this haiku conveys a growing distance between the child and father. There is a longing to be there, in person, around the campfire, hearing dad's stories. Just listening in by phone with a shorten, generic version of the story is a poor substitute. Randy b

no longer a blur
I breathe in
mountain colors

I hear him whisper
as I lay in bed


I really enjoy haiku that I can take more than approach to. This one, I first see a person layng in bed and as they are praying, they hear God whisper “All will be ok” or something like that. That makes this haiku really powerful. However, I can also see it as a person laying in bed and they hear their spouse quietly praying. This takes them by surprise because it doesn’t usually happen. Becky

Flamingo Hotel
gambling away
his doctorate


This still remains one of my personal favorites from the semester. I like the sort of vintage feel from "Flamingo Hotel," along with the cheesiness of it. The degenerative nature of the first two lines set up the twist at the end. Some would probably read this haiku mainly as putting one's career down the drain, giving into temptation of bad habits. To me, there is a sense of those people who are intimidated by their own success and their own potential, and are driven to self-destructive habits to reconcile the feeling. Aubrie

breathing in his scent
I feel a connection
like none other

subway rush
stepping out from the tunnel
ground zero

storm clouds
don’t matter
father daughter banana split


tree trunk bark
our names
carved in a heart

yelling “I know her!”
just because
she won


you think you can fix it
with flowers and candy
happy valentine’s day

old oak tree
her fingers stretch out
a tiny ant

ripples in the pond
bits of myself
in you


her heart
a Rubik’s cube
to figure out

babysitter asleep
purple marker…


This one is one of my favorites because it reminds me of my childhood. Growing up with 2 other siblings I know full well what happens when our babysitter falls asleep. I love the simple haiku that have humor in them and this one is head on. I can see this being something I did when I was younger. I always enjoy the haiku that relate to me more personally. Kari

Calvin and Hobbes. Enough said. Every time I read this haiku, I think of the cover of The Revenge of the Baby-Sat. The purple also reminds of Herald and the Purple Crayon. Aubrie

I whisper in his ear
he comes
to life

the icy babbling brook
whispers quietly
of spring


This haiku is filled with sensory words and I love the alliteration in the first line. I really like this haiku because it is filled with sounds and visionary terms. I feel like it flows very nicely. The pauses remind me of the water flowing over rocks and the bubbling sound it makes. Kari

filthy roadside
black snow hides
unforgiving ice

a scurrying mouse
risks his life
for a simple meal


I really liked this one because it is so plain and simple. It is something that happens every day, but we think nothing of it. We see a mouse scurry out and want to kill it. There is irony in the situation in that we are trying to kill something that is performing an action to live. I love how this is such a weird thing to write a haiku about, yet it seems so poetic and true. Olivia

spring sun
inviting the sprouts
out to play


This haiku is so playful, not only in content but with the personification. The cute little sprouts seem to come alive as little babies, suddenly appearing to play together, although they are only growing plants. This is a very cute way of seeing springtime. Jade

boisterous fishermen
at dawn on the beach
the Lord's prayer


this wooden box
why won’t he wake up?
white lilies


two little monkeys
screaming on the bed


heavy rain drops
fall on his shoulders
another burden


This haiku reminds me of those bad days when you feel like everything is going wrong. Then you walk outside and it’s raining. That just makes your day so much worse. This is also a very powerful image because the rain hitting this guy’s shoulders just adds to everything else he carries around. Becky

curses under my breath
popping off
dandelion heads


he makes my birthday special
ice cream cake melting
with my heart

warm moonlit grass
tickles my arm
her pillow shifts

his name
on her back

talking with the moon
this time
no response


This haiku can be seen in a couple of ways. One thing I picture is Ray from "The Princess and the Frog." (Although he was talking to a star...) I can picture the poor little firefly falling in love with the moon, talking to it every night and constantly dreaming of them being together. In a more serious interpretation, I can picture myself (or anyone, for that matter) feeling so lost and stressed that the only thing you feel you can talk to is the moon. You pour your soul out to nothing and no one, but yet deep down, you still wish it would respond. In the end, you always end up disappointed, but at least the moon was there to help you vent... Nathan

a twinkle in my eyes
stars falling
for him

hot grass
my sun soaked face sings
with freckles

studying for the test
I read the chapter too closely
history book pillow

his name
connects the dots
in the stars

we’re all grown up
looking around the room
someday came suddenly


This haiku is so sad, and really reflects the feelings of growing up too quickly. I can picture myself with my brother or one of my friends looking around a room full of memories of days past. We spend so much time dreaming of what our future will be like, that I'm afraid we all too often forget to live in the present. I've been realizing that more and more lately, and it makes me so sad that so much of my life was wasted because I was worried about tomorrow, rather than today. Life is too short to waste any of it. Nathan

This haiku really hit me personally. I’m in college, practically a grown-up, and I’m about to go home for the summer and see all my old friends. I’ve been in the same school district since pre-school, so seeing all my peers growing up and living their lives has been strange. I especially love the last line of the haiku “someday came suddenly.” The alliteration is great, and the wistful tone and wabi-sabi feeling of the haiku is just perfect. Susie

pulling away
from the syringe
a tear

her sweet voice
ends our relationship
my venus fly trap


This is such a clever poem, and it speaks truth about the nature of troubled love. The Venus fly trap is used to symbolize the trapped feeling of the lover; he feels pulled in and drawn to this beautiful creature, but it deceives and destroys him. I think many people can relate to this, picture who their “Venus fly trap” is, and remember the grasp that person had on their emotions. Jade

watching butterflies
I flick off
a tick

watching clouds
lying in blades of grass
I’m a ninja


I wish I could tell you…
heart monitor flatlines


This haiku is just altogether tragic. I can picture someone dying in the arms of their loved one. The loved one has some secret; something they've always wanted to say, but can't. Maybe they were just about to say it. Maybe they were trying to find a different way to talk about it or simply just trying to comfort them. Whatever the case may be, they didn't get to say what they wanted to, and will never get that chance... Nathan

I absolutely love this one. It reminds me of what I try to live for every day. Every single day I try to treat people how I would want to treat them if this was my last day on earth. I tell the people I love that I love them. I spend time with those who matter most. I never leave anything unsaid or any forgiveness ungiven. I really just love how loudly this speaks when all life is going away. Such a powerful image gives such a powerful message. Olivia

tears fall
onto my keyboard
email to mom


I like this one because it reminds me of me. So many times I have chosen to email my mom about something rather than tell her over the phone because I think it will be easier. I think many college students go through this and I like how it connects with the reader. It’s really interesting to me how simple this is, how few words, yet I can feel the emotion so incredibly strongly. Olivia

out back, in black
I carve our initials
playing tag

battleground for religions,
also my heart

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