Haiku Kukai 1 - The Cold

Global Haiku, Spring 2014


making a snowball
one of several made today
hands can barely move

Aaron Fleming (5)

I feel cold wind on my exposed skin. My hands are wet and cold from making so many snowballs. My friends are all hiding behind various snow forts and trees. My feet are freezing but I don’t care. There is a warmth that stems from happiness within me. Kort

This haiku reminds me of my first college snow day, especially as I sit at my desk and wish for a day off school tomorrow. On our snow day, my friends and I got all bundled up and assembled for a snowball fight on the quad. Each team made their respective snow fort and then the call rang through the crisp, cool air, “Three, two, one, snow ball fight!!!”  Cold, hard packed snowballs came flying in from all angles and everyone ducked and dodged the incoming spheres of chill. Soon, the forts broke down and each person was scrambling to create enough snowballs to stay in the fight. Then, it was each man for himself, and everyone was laughing and smiling.  We called a truce as everyone was frozen ready to head indoors for some hot chocolate and much needed recuperation before it was again time to study. Adam

chilly day in the woods
camouflage boots, hat, and gloves
not cold anymore

frosted window
touched by a finger
ice disappears

Alex Brase (4)

What I really like about this haiku is that I can feel the cold against my fingertips as I read the poem . It really brings me back to the days when I didn’t drive and I would play with my hot breath against the window, drawing things on the car windows or writing initials and names. It’s a poem that really speaks to my touch sense. Jackie

bundled from head to toe
cold wind howls
just beyond the door

Jeremy Maxwell

When reading this haiku, my mind immediately went to my father, one of the many individuals in my hometown who scoops out the driveways of those who are snowed in when the need arises. On the days that he takes on this task, he bundles up in his camouflaged hunting gear and boots and heads out the back door to warm-up the four-wheeler. Usually there is a moment of hesitation just before he opens the door as he prepares himself to be outside in the cold for an extended period of time. This moment of hesitation is the same sensation I feel in the above haiku—an almost sense of dread of the cold, biting wind. Lexi

When I read this haiku, I went back to my days in grade school. My dad had a sign on the door with a reminder for us to wear our hats, gloves, scarves, and winter coats before we walked out the door. We had a wooden door that tended to shake at any sign of wind. Before leaving, I would stand there dreading the wind that stood on the other side of that door. Especially in this ruthless season, everyone can identify with this haiku. Debbie

cuddled for warmth
under the patchwork quilt
let it snow

Lexi DeSollar (2)

This was my favorite haiku from our first haiku because it reminded me of home. At home, I sit in the living room with my family and I always have a blanket because I’m always cold. I picture all of us by the fireplace and talking as we enjoy some hot chocolate.  I can feel the warmth of the fireplace and smell the hot chocolate. My great grandmother has made several quilts that we have at my house. I get the feeling of comfort and relaxation from this haiku. Comfort because of the blanket and being with my family and relaxation because it’s a snow day. I don’t have to worry about doing anything besides sitting around the fire and enjoying the day. Heather

penguins huddle
so do friends
one more hour

Debbie Vogel (7)

I really enjoyed this haiku for several reasons. First off, I love penguins. And second, I can relate really well to this moment. In high school I took AP Biology, and one day we watched a documentary on penguins, showing how they form masses of huddling penguins. Then, the next week we had a fire drill so we had to go outside, and my teacher said to everyone, “Okay, lets huddle like the penguins;” we huddled. So now, every time I am outside with a group of friends, and it is cold I always say, lets huddle like penguins. This haiku also has a quirkiness to it as well, bringing brightness to an uncomfortable situation, the cold. It makes it seem not as bad, when you think of people close together in the cold as penguins. Jenna

canvas sneakers
dragging through the drifts
soon sopping wet and freezing cold

Austin Evans

leaves brustling
the bundled hunter
gun ready

Blaine Buente

In this haiku I imagined sitting on the ground, with my back against a tree, and shotgun raised towards the crest of a hill. It is cold outside because it is late fall turkey season and I can hear a gobbler strutting and scraping leaves on the other side. I am looking down the barrel with the bead of my shotgun pointed right where I think he will pop up. Dillon

I really like the way this poem sounds. I love the word brustling, and also how it works with the word bundled. In addition, I am a big outdoors man, and I love the outdoors haikus like these. I can almost hear the leaves, and feel the heat of my own body kept in by the bundling that surounds me. Its a great poem that transports me outside, and rolls off the toung very easily. TJ

migrating geese
honking in the night
tis' the season

Blaine Buente (3)

morning dew on the ground
walking to the blind
as the sun comes up

quick steps
in the fresh snow
one block to go

Heather Nigh (5)

creaky hinges
threaten to break free

Jackie Dumitrescu

When I read this haiku, I first imagined a car sitting outside in the cold. I saw myself walking to the car, the wind howling, and opening up the creaky door of the car. Then, I realized that this is probably not the only thing that could be creaky in this haiku. It could be talking about an old, metal barn door or even a closet door. The creaky hinges could be due to the howling wind that can be heard inside the barn, or they could be from a person opening up the closet door that is creaky and the wind happens to be blowing outside. This haiku has endless possibilities. Blaine

When reading this haiku, my mind seemed to go on a journey of its own. While there was not a specific individual mentioned, I thought immediately of a young woman, reading in the living room of her childhood home. Although there is no one else in the house, it is obvious that she is waiting for someone and the reading is something to only pass the time. It is a struggle for her to lose herself in what she is reading because her mind is spinning with constant worry. That being said, she is quite comfortable wrapped in a quilt on the couch. An older gentleman, her father, walks up to the front gate through the howling wind and unlatches it, pausing a moment to decide if he should return home or not. As he is deciding against it, he lets go of the gate momentarily, allowing the wind to tear it in the direction of the house. It opens and closes several times over, caught in the turbulence of the biting wind like driftwood in a stormy sea. For a moment, he fears that the gate will be torn from its hinges, and as he reaches to steady it into place the young woman looks up from her book, sees him, and smiles. Encouraged by the warmth of his daughter's enthusiasm, he walks up the front porch and opens the door. ~Lexi


the young boy
tugs at his red toboggan
uncharted territory

Lexi DeSollar (8)

trash bag heavy
in my hand
long cold walk to the dumpster

Kort Branscome (2)

demoralized by the cold
trains keep rolling
professors are still teaching

Jeremy Maxwell (5)

I really enjoy this haiku because it is very fitting to the recent weather. But more than that, I can connect to it extremely well. The cold has a way a stripping away any form of confidence in yourself and any form of comfort. It makes your nose runny, you cheeks turn red with wind burn, and hands turn white and freeze. It’s necessary to wear layers upon layers of clothes that are not the best looking. The lines trains keep rolling, is comical because there are lots of trains in Decatur, and one constantly gets in the way of my apartment and campus. So, there are times where I have to wait for the train, and usually it’s really cold. The third line, that “professors are still teaching” is also comical because campus rarely closes, so professors teach unless they cancel class. Overall, I really enjoyed this haiku. Jenna

steamy bathroom
door opens to a
chilly hallway

Kort Branscome (5)

blast of cold wind
in my face
empty mailbox

Randy Brooks (6)

I cannot explain how many times this haiku has played a role in my life. I have been to the mailbox numerous times and not seen anything in there. It’s like I ask myself why did I just make that pointless walk. It is even worse when I go outside to get the mail in the winter and there is nothing there. When I read this haiku, I imagine a cold winter morning. I imagine myself walking outside in the cold without many layers because I will only be outside for just a few seconds. I see myself letting the dog outside to go to the bathroom while I retrieve the mail. When I get to the mailbox, I get no reward for going outside in the cold because there is not any mail in the mailbox. I make a quick jog back to the door, let the dog inside, and shut the front door in disgust. ~ Blaine

an immovable door
cold to the touch
a howling wind behind it

his breath condenses
in the winter air
jumper cables

Lexi DeSollar (7)

I picked this as my favorite haiku from the class’ first kukai. I’ve got an older Oldsmobile Alero, and because of that I have become well acquainted with jumper cables in cold weather. It’s really frustrating, but it really reminds me to slow down and take life as it comes. Jeremy

full blast
waiting for the heat

Heather Nigh (4)

frost dusts the van
the inside—
a freezer

Austin Evans (2)

young hands rinse
dirt from fresh beans
a strand of silver hair

runny nose
tissue in hand
blanket around shoulders


I identified with this haiku because I have felt under the weather for the past week or so. At this time of year, it is common for many students to take ill with some bug. With my nose running, I would often run around my house with a tissue in my hand. I think the author of this haiku did a wonderful job using these three descriptive phrases to bring the readers to this feeling of illness. The author never says what the haiku is about. However, readers will be quick to put the pieces together. ~Debbie

I run my hands
over the ivory keys

Lexi DeSollar (6)

playing piano has been one of my favorite things of the past few years. for the most part, im the only person in my house that plays very often, so i get the opportunity to 'clean' the piano every time i have the chance to sit down and plunk out a tune. Because of this, this haiku makes me really sentemental. the words like ivory really bring out osme life in the poem as well. TJ Holmes

This was my favorite haiku in the kukai. It reminded me of going back to my parents' house and playing the piano. My sister doesn't play anymore, so it doesn’t get a whole lot of attention anymore. Usually when I sit down to play my favorite blues songs the piano keys have accumulated a decent amount of dust. Austin

I really enjoyed this haiku. It gave me the image of a person sitting down at a piano for the first time in a very long time, and wiping away the dust before actually hitting a key, trying to remember how long it has been. To me, the person has not played in a long time because they have no free time, but returns to it the first chance he gets, because it is what he loves. Probably I picture this because I can relate to it. I am constantly busy, and do not get much free time. So whenever I do get free time, I return to what I enjoy, which is also music. I can even relate further. Although my trumpet doesn’t get much dust in its case, my music books do, so whenever I do return to them, I have to clean the dust off of them first. This haiku brings me to playing my trumpet, which I don’t get to do when I’m busy. Aaron

© 2014, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.