Kukai 3 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Spring 2016

mountain of shoes
bottom pair
price sticker scratched off

a wardrobe full
dressing up
my dreams

translucent jellies
darkness surrounds
the waning moon

barefoot on the grass
three two
one last kiss

Taryn Pepping (8)

I really enjoyed this haiku because it made me think of a couple that is getting ready to be separated by a long distance and only have a little time left to spend with each other. For example, an old boyfriend of mine was leaving for the military, and was going to be gone for months. I can remember the last day we had together before he left, and it was much like this haiku. One last kiss was never enough; soon one last kiss became two, and two became three. Whitney

cool water runs
over my body

Alexis Dockins (5)

I like this haiku because it reminds me of taking an ice bath after a rough performance. Often times when I am done playing tennis or doing some sort of physical training I jump in the ice bath so that I can recover quickly from the soreness. My body wont necessarily be bruised but just sore. I learned this from my coach and from seeing other professional athletes do the same. For these particular reasons I was easily able to relate to this haiku in a way that made it worth writing about. Emilio

This haiku created very vivid imagery in my mind, but of something that I hope to happen. My dad and I are really excited to buy a paddle board this summer. I'm pumped because we're going back to Clear Lake, a state forest campground that we haven't been to since my brother and I were in middle school, at least. I can see my tan (summer) arms in one of my water-shirts out on the lake. I'm standing strong on the board, rowing towards the channel at the north end. Out past the channel are tons of little fingers of lake where motor boats can't always reach. I have my book and my dog on the bow of the board, paddling towards silence and solitude. I can see clear down to the bottom of the lake, and there's nothing but blue sky above me. I row towards the shore in one of the outlets, and drag the board and the paddle onto shore. I spread out my blanket and let Lucy (the dog) off to explore. My feet are burying themselves in the hot sand, and my towel welcomes me to my alone time. Marah

I like this haiku because it reminded me of the days when I played sports year round and would go from one to another to another. Each time, I always thought I was in shape, but there would always be a new muscle that I hadn't used in the previous sport. No matter how "in shape" I thought I was, my sore muscles always ached, so my coaches would have us take ice baths. After reading this haiku, I could feel the sting of the ice and the soreness in my muscles again. Whitney

Valentine's Day
dancing in the kitchen
with two best friends

Whitney Gray (6)

I am a little biased since I was partially the inspiration for this haiku but it is still one of my favorites. At first reading, the reader would think of a lot of love and probably a couple. The second line also made me think of a couple dancing in their kitchen, having a good time together. However, the third line puts it in a different perspective. There is still love and joy happening on their Valentine's Day but it is between a groups of friends instead of a couple. It shows that even though a person may be single on Valentine's Day, they can still have fun and make the best of their day. It reminds me of the saying, "I'm a strong independent woman and I don't need a man to make me happy." Erica

three hour lecture
his mind wanders
around the room

Erica Forbes

I have had one three hour lecture so far since I have been to school. While the class is nice, sometimes the duration of the class drags a little too much. I often find myself in wild places during the class only to quickly flash back and realize I missed something important. This haiku is simple but it can have a lot behind it with the complexity of the mind. The human mind has no restrictions, it can search and surf forever. Sometimes a lengthy lecture is the perfect time for that to happen. Tyler

raking leaves
building walls
our imaginary house

positive thoughts
through the valley
I stride

Emilio Tejada

I made this haiku but I thought that it was worth writing about because I felt really passionate about it. I wrote this haiku because I felt that many people could relate to it. This haiku can be representative of a challenge or objective that someone wants to overcome in order to achieve their goals. In addition, I want to add that I wrote, "stride" because I am not just walking to my goal I am really making an effort to go and get it. So for me I thought I would write about my own haiku because it has so many different meanings I which anyone can relate to. Emilio

winter air bites her nose
cold valentine's day
just like the last

young lungs
filled with smoke
it still hurts

lights flashing
crowd jumping

rain falls on my face as you fall from my arms

snow covered boots
hot tea
and a hand to hold

music punches
the right notes
in the heart

Genevieve Breitbach (8)

I chose this haiku because music speaks to the soul, mind, and heart of every hearing abled human. Whenever I need a break from reality, I can just sit on my bed and drown out the pain or problems going through my head. Especially when people are emotionally unstable, music can punch the right vibes into somebody's heart. Joe

hands stuck to her legs
tucked in for the night
like a mummy

Erica Forbes (5)

two styrofoam cups
equal number
of sparkling gold necklaces

love lost
lust lasts
through February

Grace Ganley

I enjoyed this haiku because it made me think of a person who maybe had their heartbroken and they are hurt and just looking for love, but really it's just hookups and lust. It is hard to be single around Valentine's Day when everyone is bragging about their relationships and I can relate to someone who has lost their love and is just replacing it with lust so they don't have to think about it. Alexis

existential crises
every Sunday
I rush to do my work

Cori Grzenia (6)

This haiku isn't deep or ponderous, and it doesn't follow the Gail Sher rules of writing, but this kind of haiku is one of my favorites. It's clever, funny, and relatable, and even though Peggy Lyles may not think it's the perfect poem, I think that can be all you need to write a good haiku. Whenever I write open topic haiku, they tend to be about whatever is on my mind at the time, so what makes this one especially funny is that the author was most likely at their computer at about 11:30 on Sunday night before the assignment is due saying "Crap, I have three more, what do I write about? Sunday night procrastinating!" At least, I like to think of it this way because I am usually that person. I also love seeing other funny haiku in Kukai because it's one of the ways I can be creative and put myself into what I write. I think that's another reason clever haiku do so well—they are always genuine as well. Natalie

low tide
honesty calmly
shifts to the right

you want to get married
in a church
but where is your faith

Corrin Littlefield (9)

This was my favorite kakai from this past week. In class it was explained as someone wanting to get married, and expecting to be married in a church but never really practicing a religion. I initially took it as a person who maybe wanted to get married in life but could never stay faithful to the person they are with. Grace

the sun on my back
cool water drips
down the paddle

Alexis Dockins (7)

the ashes are placed
tears start to build up
one big breath

I don't need a tissue
not yet

seventy degree atmosphere
covers the wrist

loud bass bumping
eyes closed
imagining a shadier lifestyle

green grass beneath his feet fetching the tennis ball

Joseph Pegura (3)

just over the hill
a lone saxophone
breaks the silence

Genevieve Breitbach

This has a very quite sound with the sharp sound of jazz. It is a very beautiful scene. Usually with haiku I mostly see and feel what is represented in the poem. Though with this haiku, I not only picture it but I can hear the sound. It reminds me of the scene in the hotel room in the Great Gatsby when Nick Carraway looks out to see a young man wailing on his trumpet or saxophone. Grace

hair slicked back
new suit and tie
ready for the real world

Joseph Pegura (7)

This haiku brings up one of my pet peeves. The real world is right now. Everyone has to experience school, and some people have more responsibilities than others. Whether or not they are covered by parents or by someone working on the side, the real world is what everyone has to go through. Everyone has to go through school and everyone has to rely on someone else. This arrogant phrase annoys me to my core, because people like to sound as though they have years of experience, but now, I realize that a lot of people, especially ones that reference the real world, are just as lost and childish as anyone. I feel as though this haiku brings that to light, as there is an emphasis on the word "real". Noah

vitamin stack
chug back
        . . . eye slice of pie

students hunch
to class
angry penguins

Genevieve Breitbach (10)

This Haiku reminds me of myself every morning because I have to wake up very early and roll out of bed to stumble through the cold. I put my coat on with my hood up, and hunch over with my hands in my pockets. I can imagine someone looking out their window at me and thinking I look like a penguin as I waddle to class. The angry aspect of this haiku would come from the fact that I am not a morning person, and for the first hour of my day, my eyes are half closed so I look grumpy. Seeing myself in the mornings is why I like this haiku. Jacob

small town
in a pizza buffet
pals reunite

Katherine Viviano

I have lived in a pretty small town for the past 6 years, prior to that I lived in a pretty large suburb of Des Moines. So upon moving to this incredibly dull town, the closeness of everyone within the town was really strange and hard to get used to. This haiku makes me think of the last time I tried to get food with some friends from this small town. We had all gone off to college in different states, and had grown a ton. So "pals" is a really great term for that; we weren't really close friends anymore, but we were still chummy. So while this haiku brings back warm memories, it also brings back some uncomfortable ones. Taryn

hot and sweaty
out of breath
Shilling stairs

Katherine Viviano (3)

A Millikin classic, this haiku about climbing the flights of Shilling Hall makes my thighs think they are beginning to burn and the balls of my feet imagine feeling sore. Such a strange thing, that so many able-bodied people struggle with those stairs; is it the level of steepness, or the rush people are always in that make these stairs, seemingly benign until you battle them, so very interesting for students and professors alike? Reading this haiku brings my heart rate up and my breath shortens. I imagine myself climbing the third or fourth flight just when it starts to kick your butt. The scene sways a bit as I move upward. I also go back to when I had crutches and sometimes would run out of time to take the elevator. I would also sometimes refuse to take it, thinking it would help me stay in shape. If you think the stairs are fun when your hands and feet are both free, try it with one foot and two sore armpits! Genevieve

picking at my nails
looking for the right words

Lauren Montesano

I enjoyed this haiku because of its simplicity and relatable nature. How often I have found myself picking at my nails, looking for words to explain something to a peer or a teacher. It is funny to me because picking my nails doesn't magically give me any answers, but somehow my brain thinks that it does. Viv

This haiku speaks so clearly to me. I was gifted with the remarkable ability to say the wrong thing almost always at the wrong time. Once I realized this, I've spent a lot of difficult conversations just scraping away my nail polish or biting my nails, looking for something to do with my hands, something to keep me from saying something stupid. Over the past couple of months, i've had a lot of conversations that aren't necessarily difficult, but require careful thought, and so my nail polish is a wreck. Marah

Ever since I was little I would bite and pick at my nails. While this isn't the best thing to do it gave me time to think and come up with the right thing to say sometimes. This haiku brings me back to all the times I was at a loss for words and had to pick at my fingers to find the right ones. Sometimes I found the right thing to say and other times I had no clue what I was trying to get at. I'm not the best with words or talking so occasionally I'll need some extra time to make sure I get my point across properly. Tyler

jazz tastes nice
behind my
joker face

searing hot pan
the egg sizzles
the second it hits

her beauty grows
bibbity bobbity boo

Grace Ganley (7)

I lay in bed
memories watch over me
in my sleep

Grace Ganley

I also enjoyed this haiku because every night I sit in my bed for a couple of hours before I fall asleep, and all of my memories keep me up. I always run through all of the things that have happened and all of the things that might happen in my life. This haiku is interesting because it infers that the memories still keep working over you even after you have fallen asleep. This thought is also intriguing because it is said that you can only dream about things you have already seen or experienced, proving that your memories are what guide your dreams, and are always hovering over you, awake or asleep. Lauren

stand up | hop hop | sit down
stand up | hop hop
stand up |

I close my eyes
wait for the rush
roller coasters

behind the curtain
my hand quivers

summer night
she snuggles
on daddy's lap

soft wind blows
extinguishing the fire
we once shared

Michael Barber (11)

There weren't many haiku in this set of Kukai that stood out to me. This one, I would say, did the most. All throughout my life, I have always enjoyed stories, poems, songs, and movies on love, or more specifically lost love. I feel as though those are the moments in which people experience a heavy loss, but its not heavy enough to cause a huge disaster, like the physical loss of a loved one. So, usually when a haiku comes up in our Kukai, or in our books of haiku we have to read, I enjoy and connect with them the most. This one I enjoyed especially because you don't realize that it is a haiku about a lost love until the end, which causes you to want to read it back over and understand it more carefully. Lauren

This haiku really stood out to me because of the words used. They are very descriptive and help to make the haiku create an image and feeling. The soft wind makes you think that the fire or spark was a small one. The word extinguishing makes the fire seem like it is completely gone with no hope of coming back. The last line, we once shared, reassures that it is in the past, but makes it seem more special and sweet with the word shared. Alexis

This brought me to a cold autumn evening, a man and woman have just parted ways and the fire is lost, just like the campfire that I imagined in my head before reading "we once shared". I feel a bit cold myself because I hate the thought of losing someone dearly in my life. Yet, the fact that it was a soft wind that blew out the fire because sometimes it is just a small incident that can blow something way out of proportion. Joe

hands, calloused and cracked
he does this
for us

Marah Kittelson

I really like this haiku mostly because the first line. The imagery is very strong and vivid as I can picture the hands in my head. They make his job seem terrible. The following two lines puts into perspective why he does his job. He cares about his family and works to make sure that they can enjoy their lives. I also like that this haiku is in the position of a different family member, either a child or wife, and not the man himself. The recognition and appreciation of why he does what he does is what makes this haiku good. Michael

This reminds me of what it has been like for tennis. Since break, people have not played tennis very much, and by the end of the first practice everyone had blisters and were in pain. By now, they have calloused over and become hardened. No one complained, because we knew that everyone had them, because we wanted to work for the team. So a really calloused hand represents a sacrifice that everyone on the team has had to go through. Sometimes, certain teammates have a worse time than others, and when they're done with their match, their hands are blistered and dry. With this, everyone on the team acknowledges the amount of work that person went through for us. Noah

We all sit down for dinner and they kids are frantically telling him about their day. They constantly try to beat each other to the punch. "One at a time guys," he says. Dinner proceeds and we're all laughing and smiling. I noticed his hands. They were calloused, cracked, and slightly black. I got over the "dirty" hands a while ago. The roughness of his hands just shows all of the hard work he puts in to keep the family afloat. Plus, he loves his job. He knows that it takes a toll on him, but that doesn't make him love it any less. The children love asking him what he did today and he loves to tell them. Our youngest loves to give him her pink princess band aids whenever he has a boo-boo. To them, their dad is a mighty man with a lot of strength and hope, which is completely true. Corrin

through the window
watching snow cover
my steps from last night

Michael Barber (3)

hospital bed
her frail hand reaches up
one last time

Katherine Viviano (3)

where you lead
I follow
ducks in a row

ripping off her top
               inhales deeply for the first time in months

Taryn Pepping (2)

a drunk
reaches for his shirt
in a tree

Noah Klumpe (5)

This haiku is very funny to me personally. When I read this haiku, I think about my friend. This summer, my friend was drunk and threw his shirt in a tree. When he realized what he did, he climbed the tree and tried to get it down. However, when he climbed the tree he fell out of it. This is one of the funniest memories that I have and this haiku reminded me of it. I can also picture a random person reaching up into a tree and losing balance whenever he looks up. Michael

I enjoy this haiku because it makes me think of that one guy at every party who has way too much to drink. He can typically be spotted on the walk back from parties when he makes the worst decisions because he has too much space and freedom when not inside a house. One of the antics of this man will be taking off his shirt in the cold winter air and throwing it in a tree because he, "doesn't feel the cold." Then he will immediately regret his decision, spend a minute fetching his shirt, and then go back to his home to purge in inconvenient places. Jacob

early morning
serving up smiles
to people less fortunate

Noah Klumpe (2)

today will be different
he starts the car
coffee spills

Natalie Smith (8)

Oh how accurate this is. It's like Murphy's Law- where just when you have found that positive attitude that today will be a good day, something happens that just ruins it all over again. It is sad, but also pretty comical when reflecting on it. No one wants spilt coffee, but like the old saying goes, "you can't cry over spilt milk." We just have to get up and move on, otherwise days like these will never get better. Viv

This haiku is my life. No matter how much prepping you put in the night before or work you put in towards some goal, something will go wrong, and you have to deal with it. I can just imagine myself getting up on time for the first day all week and then getting spilled all over, making me live in discomfort all day or ruin my timely start. Either way, I must adapt, but it's probably not what I wanted to hear at that moment. Cori


Mother's new blender
I finish my sister's
soupy margarita

looking at the clouds
I realize
just how minor I am

Michael Barber (4)

soap bar suds
lather in my hands
to wash away the sin

Katherine Viviano (5)

jumpIng rope
my mind leaps
through old memories

Noah Klumpe (3)

praying to forget           regret

Marah Kittelson (4)

bright pink lipstick
winter scarf
awaiting his arrival

no passing zone
an old couple
takes their time

Noah Klumpe (10)

Though I would like to hope I would act differently in my daily life, I would probably be a very irate person, should I be observing this situation. I'd probably be saying something along the lines of "hurry up, you don't have much time left" and passive-aggressively laughing with friends. Best case scenario, I would just watch them being cute (doubtful). However, if I imagine myself as a member of the old couple, I wouldn't care what people said. Life goes on and it's important to do what makes you happy. Cori

Valentine's Day
Nutella and Netflix
maybe next year

smoke out the window
her cigarette glows
it's not your fault

porch wifi
plastic cup ashtray
hoodie up

Tyler Trzcinski (3)

steel spoon stirring soup
unable to digest anything
after our talk

chirping gaily
a language of their own
mother and daughter

Marah Kittelson (6)

This reminded me of my mom, my sister, and I. My sister and I can be pretty sassy to our mom, but she can be equally sassy back. Sometimes she even starts it. This reminded me of us bickering over nothing but it's too perfect to just stop. It also reminded me of the bond we share. I wouldn't trade the relationship I have with my mom and sister for the world. They are the people I go to when something goes wrong, or goes right. I will call my mom and ask her a question, say I'm going to go, and they stay because I remembered three other things I wanted to tell her. Our conversations go on like this until she finally says goodbye because she's sick of listening to me babble. My mom is a perfectly listener, but sometimes, she doesn't like to listen to me talk to myself. I wonder why. Corrin

boyishly puffy hair
smooth-talking his way into
a tightly barred cell

Taryn Pepping

There are so many great things about this haiku. It manages to fit such a complex story into such little space. Vague as it is, it is easy to picture the scenario. Some fifteen year old got too cocky around his friends and decided to do something stupid—not too destructive, just ridiculous. When a policeman happened to pass by the shady parking lot they hang out in, he goes "Don't worry guys, I got this." Because teenage boys tend to think they're a lot smarter than they are. Naturally he fails, and the police have to call his parents to pick him up from the jail cell he's been in for three whole hours, but that isn't what he'll tell everyone at school on Monday. It reminds me of the feeling I get when I open a text from a friend from home that says "Remember so and so from algebra? Haha he got a possession charge." I also love the way the second and third line are separated. The way we would naturally speak it, the word "into" would probably go with the third line. But the little cliff hanger leading us to believe the boy was successful made the haiku more fun after reading what actually happened. Natalie

gentlemen's match
swear words fly

breaking the news
mom and dad
I'm a liberal

Cori Grzenia (4)

lone footsteps in the snow
the difference I make

in the wilderness
snow falls
gently on my hand

Emilio Tejada

My hand feels the cold, wet nature of the first snowflake plunging unto its back. The locale of a forest clearing, with a white sky giving birth to the gentlest of snowflakes that float downward in slow motion. The woods I see are in the swell and fall of the hills from my home, the Driftless Region in Wisconsin. When a single snowflake places itself like that, it brings to mind the way a phoenix's tears heal in the Harry Potter series; at least, that sense of it landing, absorbing, and transforming the skin it touches. I appreciate the break in the line after "snow falls," and the inclusion of "gently;" both aspects help the imagination roar. Genevieve

slamming doors didn't stop
from coming back

Erica Forbes (6)

splashing us left and right
his floaties kept his
smile above the water

Erica Forbes (10)

heart shaped box
bought too early

Whitney Gray (9)

This two liner is really powerful for me. I like how simple it is, but how much sadness is held in it. It begins with a really sweet idea, a heart shaped box is really sentimental, and would typically be used to store other sweet things. However, the next line completely destroys this once cute idea. "bought too early" really breaks that heart shaped box in half. Taryn

trail of clothing
she follows to find
the toddler running naked

Whitney Gray (10)

windswept hair
broken kickstand
dad's old bike

Tyler Trzcinski (3)

watering the flowerbox
watching her grandchildren
play make-believe

Natalie Smith (2)

roommates in bed
what to text him next

Natalie Smith (12)

This haiku speaks so much to me. I have found myself in this same exact position so many times in my life. At first it seems calm because the roommates are just sitting in bed, hanging out. However, they are deliberating so it seems as if they are just trying to find out where they are going to get food or something mundane. The third line is when anxiety and indecisiveness set in. I could feel the nerves in both girls in addition to the numerous responses they are coming up with. I have not only done this for my friends but my friends have also helped me. Eric

This haiku brings me back to last year, living with my first roommate. I had never been the closest with girls, but I remember Whitney (Gray, suitemate) and Erica (Forbes, roommate) constantly asking each other what to text their boyfriends during difficult times. I had originally thought of it as weird, but it is not really all that different from when I ask help from my mother or friends before I send an important email. I just think of friends happily keeping each other sane and grounded during stressful/exciting times. Cori

broken blue classic
hidden among
rusted wrecks

just one beer
his famous last words
every time

Michael Barber (12)

handprint on the window
cool to the touch
racing raindrops

© 2016, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.