Haiku Attempts 3 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Spring 2017

I call my landlord
the furnace
still broken

glimmer of a ring
right finger
left hand

sliding my cold feet
under the covers
to feel his warmth

Caitlyn Latshaw

The absolute best thing about being in a relationship is having someone to sleep with at night. It doesn't need to be sexual in the slightest, just having someone there to reach out to when you're cold or when you just need to remember that you're not alone in this godforsaken world, it's the best feeling there is. If you're with the right person, they won't really care about your cold feet against their leg. Hell if you're really with the right person they'll welcome it, because you run cold and they run hot and together you even each other out so that sleeping isn't uncomfortable it's just the two of you sharing this tired, intimate space together. This haiku is cute, but it is also a sign of someone in love. Sam

valentine's card
pink heart on the front
thanks mom

Nicholas Kemp (5)

May 7th
the day that WAS
my anniversary

plane ticket sent
young lovers anticipate a visit
he holds her close—heartbeats

sleeping without you
I reach and find
cold sheets

Samuel Miller (9)

I enjoyed this haiku because of the word “cold” primarily. That is such a sensory image and it really attaches so many emotions to it. I get regret, anxiety, hesitation, and maybe even some despair just from that word alone. Then we start with the idea of sleeping without someone in particular and that alone is something that packs a punch. All in all, this haiku is extremely clear yet lets the reader associate their own person and understanding of “cold”. Andie

This haiku is very simple and appealing to me because of how real it is. When you spend a significant amount of time with a person and sleep in the same bed with them, it's difficult when they are not there. The sheets are cold and the bed feels empty. There is a sense of longing here that I completely understand. Sleeping next to someone is incredibly special and something to be treasured. Sleeping is such a simple act and sharing it with someone is beautiful. Brittany

I really liked this one because it brought about mixed emotions for me. College baseball season has started and that means that the nights I see Spencer are becoming few and far between. Sleeping alone at night is hard to do once you get used to having someone there and so the first couple of lines had me thinking about that. The last line however, made the poem happier for me. I unlike many others love cold sheets. I related the cold sheets to the thought that Spencer is out doing what he loves to do. He is improving his knowledge of coaching and I know someday it will help us in the future. Caitlyn

dial the number
waiting at my door for him
pizza delivery man

heavy snowfall
his fingers
graze mine

Jordan Oelze

I think this haiku is really sweet and meaningful. It's easy to picture the snow falling in big, fat, white flakes. I see a young couple sitting on the couch, watching it through the window. They're a newer couple, so there are still nerves involved. Hesitantly, he reaches over to hold her hand, but he's anxious, so he pulls back but ends up grazing her hand. It's a sweet moment between the two of them. Emily


wrapped in a blanket
breaking the fever
I didn't know I had

February 14th
I can always expect a card
from my mom

Jacob Melssen

I imagined my freshmen year of college, my first valentine day without my mom. All my life my mother has been my valentine, even if I had a real one I still had to do something with my mom first, or after. My mom made a point to make sure her girls felt loved every day and made sure every Valentine day was no different. She would buy me and my sisters gifts and cards, take us out to eat and a movie. My freshman year was the first time I wasn't able to do that and I was also sad because I did not have someone to spend the day with, for the first time in my life. Yet, something told me to go check my mailbox and to my surprise my mother still sent me a card and made sure I enjoyed my day. Like this poem said, I can always expect a card from my mom. Dub

eating spaghetti
we realize we're not as cute
as Lady and the Tramp

Amanda Donohoe (4)

This haiku creates such a cute and adorable image. The image of the Lady and the Tramp eating spaghetti is iconic, which makes this haiku extremely accessible. The two people eating spaghetti together are trying to be cute and adorable, but fail miserably because eating spaghetti is a messy task. I like the comparisons that this haiku creates with such little worlds. I appreciate how simple and genuine this is. There is no pain, there is no suffering. This haiku is more of a cute observation which reminds me of the beauty of haiku. Brittany

we cross paths on campus
almost every day
always exchanging smiles

Jacob Melssen (3)

triple decker ice cream sundae's
with a smile, we both realize
we don't like cherries

alone in the house
dehydrated flowers
beer run

pointed toes
tutus out
curtains roll back

Paige Dorsel

eyes meet
turning heads
in the produce aisle

Amanda Donohoe

I loved this one because of how sweet and simple it is. Some small interaction like this is truly all it takes for someone to change your life. This haiku is all about chance and then the moment that changes it all. I love how it's the produce aisle, too. Such a specific location, yet so accessible for anyone who's gone grocery shopping. Andie

broken heart
snow falling
no love to be found

unable to keep still
my thoughts
pace around the room

Emily Chudzik (7)

I didn't even have to think twice about choosing this haiku as a favorite because it hit right on the spot with my mind as well. It seems as of lately I always catch myself just pacing around my room shuffling ideas and thoughts. I suffer from bad anxiety at times, as well as a lot of us, and recently I have been going threw so many life changing decisions lately and how my future will be laid out and I always find myself just packing back and forth not even thinking about anything in particular at that, just having straight anxiety. This haiku described that anxiety and I felt a relationship with this one. Kyle M

I have this problem when doing homework where I keep wanting to do something else. I will start the homework assignment and for an hour look at what I want to listen to for music. I imagine someone trying to focus when it is impossible for them to. I pictured them doing homework or a paper. Nicholas K

I can imagine being stressed about something and trying desperately to process it and make sense of it. So naturally, I walk around without thinking. It's like turning down the music while driving carefully, it doesn't really make sense but we do it anyway. Nick R

simple day
cuddle my dog
eat ice cream

eight hours
flying over the blue
cool ocean

Valentine's Day
hope this guy stops
talking about his dead cat

Olivia Gonzalez (12)

I liked this haiku just because it's freaking hilarious. It also paints the picture quite nicely for the reader. I get a strong sense of awkwardness from reading this, like a first date gone wrong situation. I also hear the voices inside this person's head asking, “What's wrong with this guy?” or “What have I gotten myself into?” I also get the idea that this guy is probably kind of sad looking or maybe not the “perfect man” material and is a little on the strange side, so a very comical situation. Kyle K

skipping rocks
off the deck
fishing rods

I'll love you forever
he wrote . . .
on the card in the trash

Caitlyn Latshaw (8)

I personally relate to this haiku because I have been told something like this. In the end, it didn't work out and everything ever said or written was thrown in the trash. It's sad when things like this happen because it just makes it feel like words don't have meanings anymore when relationships don't work out. I like how this haiku starts off very lovely and it makes the reader anticipate something amazing. But in the end, it throws you a curve ball and says that the card is in the trash. It changes the whole scenario which makes it very interesting. Kate

your hand on my waist
we watch the sunrise

he spoke well
dressed proper
fresh out of jail

Chase Smith

This this makes me think of all the innocent Black men that have fallen victim to the criminal justice system. So many years spent behind bars and so much potential gone to waste, when the whole time he wasn't even a stereotype. He was well spoken, knew how to dress and was innocent, yet he is also fresh out of jail. So many stories like this I've seen on the news, social media and experienced in my own life. Dub

fuel light appears
harder on the pedal
will I make it?

soft rumbling
i hope no one hears . . .
my hungry stomach in class

the creak and squeak
as I pedal
grandma's old bike

Caitlyn Latshaw (3)

As I'm helping my mother clean out my grandparents house for us to sell it, she suggests we have a picnic on the hill behind their house. After scrounging around in the kitchen, I come up empty handed. There is nothing in the house to make a delectable sandwich or a scrumptious dessert, so I decide it's time for a trip into town. It takes about ten minutes to drive into town, almost 45 minutes to walk there. Mom jokingly suggests I take grandma's old bike for a spin. Giggling, I look at it and realize that it's still in good condition. There's only a bit of rust of it, so what's stopping me from using it? I put my wallet in the basket and lace up my gym shoes. I hop onto the bike and ride down the dirt path toward town. It's older than I thought it was, the bike that is, but it's doing the job. With every push of the pedal a tiny “squeak” chirps out from the gears. I wonder if my grandma enjoyed riding her bike into town as much as I am. Amanda

no capitals or punctuation
will he understand?
boys are stupid

F sharp chord—
green and yellow permeate
my mind

Valentine's day
grandpa makes a reservation
for one

Chase Smith

The flow of this haiku is very smooth because it transitions very nicely. The first line specifically tells you what day it is and the feelings that associate with Valentine's Day. Eventually it transfers over to what is happening specifically on that day. An older man making reservation but sadly the last line ends the haiku with sadness. It has a good closer and just ends the haiku with a big bang! I love it because it's something that everyone fears happening to them when they get older. It's a bittersweet moment to think about. Kate

the chilling wind
brushes against
. . . my black heart

first snowfall
our kids dress the snowman
in your clothes

coffee brews—
you tell me you
need more time

Emily Chudzik (8)

I loved starting out with an image and almost a topic that the couple is fixated on. This is the reason they are together right now, the coffee, but it isn't what they're talking about. The coffee stands as a distraction should they need it, but they really need to discuss their relationship. I also like the multiple “you”s, but I know they need to be there in order to make sense. I just like them for their sound and they also give a feeling of despair and confusion with them. It's not a nervous energy, it's a absorbing action that takes a second to work through. Andie

the neighborhood cat
paws at the door
cold and hungry

sunlight peeks through
a broken window
he chugs a beer

Jacob Melssen (3)

aching feet
sweat dripping from my brow
run the dance again

Andrea Burns

I am in a hot dance studio with about thirty other people. We are all attending the same cattle call audition. As I look around me, I see other driven, talented people who are fighting for the same roles as I am. Each one of us is dying to be cast in this show. The choreographer is giving some final notes on the combination before we do the actual audition. My feet are starting to hurt from my unsupportive dance shoes, and I can feel sweat starting to gather on my lower back. I try my best to ignore these distractions and keep my eyes on the prize, as the choreographer shouts out “5678.” Jake

creaky floor board
new home

reflective sunglasses
protect me
questions about my tears

Andrea Burns

I actually have a very specific memory that comes to mind when I read this. I think of a hot summer day in which I was working at a summer camp. I was new to the job and constantly worried if I was doing everything right. This one day a situation came up in which someone told me that I did not handle it correctly and that it was “just common sense”. I felt that they were calling me dumb and incapable of doing my job as a counselor. I remember the sweat beads on my nose that were making my sunglasses slip as tears rushed down my face. I wiped  the tears away and pushed up my sunglasses and returned to my kids, forcing myself to smile. Paige

whirling wind
bites my cheeks
cigarette smoke

a dove perched
on a branch
no mate

Paige Dorsel

This is a powerful haiku because its showing something as pure as a dove which symbolizes peace, love and holy spirit can even be left alone or alone in this world with no soul mate. That is the way I perceived this haiku. Kyle M

rearranging furniture
to cover up the stain
it's not working

make for
conversation starters

Brittany Walsh (6)

There is always a story behind every scar, that is so true. I have many scars on my body that I can talk about for hours and all the great memories that lie behind them. Scars can I guess also be great conversation starters as well.Kyle M

we are stuck
like candy
in a vending machine

Brittany Walsh (13)

her hand trembles
one last time
knock knock

Paige Dorsel (3)

straight white teeth
long blonde hair
an alcoholic

Jordan Oelze (4)

cover the floor
pi beta phi

flowers in the field
I pick one to save for

Paige Dorsel (4)

a full moon
will kiss me tonight?

vodka lips
popped balloons
cover the floor

Jordan Oelze (4)

views of the city
missing home
picture frame is tilted

fingers intertwined
you beg me
to come along

Emily Chudzik

I made a vow to myself when I was eight to never go into a haunted house again. Going through a haunted house once was enough, thank you very much. I really found no enjoyment being terrified to walk around every corner. I buried my face into my dad's back so I wouldn't have to open my eyes to finish going through the house. But here I am, twelve years later and you mention that there is a haunted house a few miles from school. I sarcastically agreed to go with you, and you took that as a yes. As I begrudgingly drove with you to the house, my stomach started to churn. You love thrills and I can't stand them, but you also love to make me do new things and face my fears. As we get out of the car, you walk over to me, take my hand, and beg me to come along. One look in your eyes, and I can't say no. We still laugh about how I screamed at the clown popping out at me. Amanda

flirtatious chatter
on the late night train
. . . girlfriend?

Valentine's Day
come and gone
another year single as heck

lone sock
on the laundry room floor

Jacob Melssen (7)

This haiku was incredibly personal to me. Freshman year I had a thing with this guy, and he randomly told me that he didn't like me and was no longer interested. Kala was in the room with me when it happened, and she was so supportive and kind during. We went downstairs to get my laundry, and I turned around and dropped one sock on the floor. I looked up at Kala and started crying. It wasn't super sad, because we kind of laughed during. But it was such a vulnerable and emotional moment with a close friend. This haiku really brought me back to that sad moment of dropping the sock on the ground and feeling like everything was just going wrong. I can see the green sock on the marble floor just lying there, and my tear filled eyes scanning the floor. Jordan

Grandma's garden
a hummingbird
flies backwards

Jordan Oelze (2)

cigarette smoke
masked with perfume
her mother smiles

Jordan Oelze (6)

bright sunlight
streaming through
the slit in my curtain

light whispers
in darkness
the house creaks

Jordan Oelze (7)

When reading this haiku I was taken to an old house down the street from my grandparents' home. The house is set far back from the road and was abandoned for the longest time. My brother and I along with friends would always go and sneak in to the house, as the sun would set. The line "light whispers" sets the mood that the house is so silent just the light shining in the window makes the only sound. Caitlyn

twelve am
well past my bedtime
I sip coffee

in a tall vase
not quite wilted yet

he traces my back
with the softest touch
I pretend to sleep

Jordan Oelze (11)

This was my favorite haiku from our third kukai. I imagine two people lying in bed at night. They're both supposed to be asleep, but neither of them are. Maybe they're unable to fall asleep or woke up in the middle of the night. The man looks over and sees his lover asleep, so he reaches out, and, with a feather light touch, traces his lover's back. There are two possibilities for how the lover might feel. They either want to pretend to be asleep to preserve the moment for the man, or they don't want to deal with them at the moment and use sleep as a defense. Emily

reaching in the closet
a pair of jeans
worn on the bottom

their love
a blanket fort
a movie marathon

Samuel Miller (7)

I feel silly, giggling with the boy next to me. My ribs ache with laughter, and I can feel the hard edge of my grandmother's couch on my back. As he tickles my stomach, I feel like a kid again. The blanket roof collapses as we roll onto the floor. This haiku makes me feel very joyous and playful! It could be about a romantic love, or even about sibling or friend love! It is extremely nostalgic and open. I imagine two souls playing together on a couch, with a spilled bowl of popcorn and a titlted pile of DVDs on the floor. I can hear a movie playing in the background, with a TV flashing. I can understand the genuine free love between the two people, which is so simply stated as "their love." Kala

close the door
wipe off the makeup

Andrea Burns (2)

he returns the call
draped over
the couch

Kala Keller (6)

This haiku took me right back to my house. Whenever I talk on the phone I always find myself walking around in circles and playing with weird things around the house. I can't seem to stay still, and I have definitely draped myself over the couch, holding the phone upside down, just chatting away. This also reminded me of some movies when characters are on the phone while sitting on the couch. The images are so clear with the tan couch and my shoes up on the side of the couch, just lounging back. Jordan

This is me. I don't know why but whenever I am on the phone, I do weird things like pace around the house and lounge awkwardly. I imagine the phone call to be of high importance and stress, like finding out if he got a job or something along those lines. The stress is just killing him, so he sprawls over the couch. It's funny because a lot of people are this way. Nick R

morning cough
mother's cure
a cup of tea

I left your
on your bed
next to her name

Kala Keller (7)

I like this haiku because it was gives a very intense feeling when reading this. This brought me right back to when my friend went to basketball practice and left his girlfriend alone. When he got back he noticed there picture frame was smashed and she had his computer up where he was talking to other girls. I also like the way the author wrote next to her name. This line makes this haiku one of my favorites. I gave this one my double vote. Chase

Haikus are all about capturing your emotions, whether they are good or bad, and this one for some reason really gives me anxiety for that individual. Even though its not a good emotion it still brings it out in me so I like it. Its as if someone is getting caught cheating or doing something wrong. Kyle M

This haiku was very confrontational and gave me an immediate impact. The harshness of the last line really strikes a chord inside of me because you know it's very serious. It gives you a read of goodbye and loss as the author is leaving something behind, but you also get the read of “good riddance” because it's next to their “mistress'” name. I just think this haiku is chilling and that's why I like it so much. Kyle K

gravel backs
under the stars
I felt the moon

Kala Keller

I have read and re-read this poem a hundred times and for the life of my I cannot figure out what that first line means. Are they lying on gravel? No matter how cool the stars and the moon look that can't possibly be comfortable. This haiku confuses me, but at the same time I am so intrigued by the imagery of it. I want to be there in this moment, I want to know what the moon feels like and I want to know why the author is lying on gravel, if that is in fact what's going on. This haiku is almost on the brink of being inaccessible, but it's still interesting enough that it really just pulls the reader in and makes them want to know more. Sam

the tapping on the window
soon becomes . . .
the pianist's tempo

Kate Gebultowicz (3)

I liked this haiku a lot,  I think this is my favorite haiku so far from Kukai. I imagined myself or this actually did happen. When either there are raindrops from the window and the rain drop is dripping in a rhythmic sense, I always find my self playing piano to the rhythm of the beat. This also reminds me of the time where I play piano and the clock above the piano on the wall ticks back and forth. It is just random beats around the house that make me think of this. Sometimes hearing the beats or a simple rhythm is it fun to play with. Olivia

figure eights
on her thigh
an exhale

Kala Keller (4)

cracks in the wall
by a Gorillaz poster

a wedding proposal
cherry flavored
Ring Pop

Samuel Miller (6)

frowning in the mirror
I've fixed this tie
a million times

same coffee
every day
just to say hi to him

Samuel Miller (7)

almost home
the smell of pizza
as I pass Domino's

tail wagging
bouncing from pile to pile
his first snow

red dresses
nude heels
don't forget your pearls

flowers bought
chocolates in the box
where is my valentine?

your eyes
my mind

Emily Chudzik (13)

I enjoyed this haiku because it expresses the feelings within the mind when there are feelings for someone involved. Eye contact is the most passionate expression when it comes to feelings and a lot of times the eye contact is the hardest to give the person you like. Once there's eye contact it's as if the other person can read your mind. It causes the butterflies in the stomach and the emotions take over. I enjoy how simple this haiku is but can be elaborated and intertwined into something very deep. Kate

your French press coffee
always leaves grounds
in my cup

Samuel Miller (4)

opening the car door
to let her out
should we kiss?

Nick Retherford (4)

This brings me back to my high school dating days. It is always awkward to initiate anything romantic at the beginning of dating someone because you don't really know if they will want you to kiss them or not. The question ran through my brain so many times and sometimes I would just wave goodbye and just see the face of a girl who is disappointed . . . and after I see that I screwed up. Nicholas K

Sunday brunch
Burger King
and chocolate shakes

Kyle Kite (5)

one step at a time
over the lumpy stones
gushing river water



dirty clothes
hair that smells like oil
a hard working mama

pawing at me
with a cold nose
and running through the yard

pins smack
strikes and spares
my mother laughs back at me

snow gently falls
as I blankly stare
a million miles away

Nick Retherford (7)

meant to be
doomed from the start
mochi ice cream

Samuel Miller

sitting on the bench
I lean forward . . .
to no one

black top hat
orange carrot nose

weather advisory
absolute zero
a term learned in chemistry

firetruck lights
bounce though the darkness
ears covered

silky night slippers
they kept my mom
in the house

civil rights
black and white keys
a piano

Olivia Gonzalez (8)

Latin music
moving hips

morning dizziness
a woodpecker's click
brightens the day

Nicholas Kemp (2)

the boy leaning over
looking lost
over his casket

Chase Smith (3)

boiling heat on my forehead
mid afternoon run
only a mile and a half

shopping for myself
unattended children
Ebenezer Scrooge

into the winter
the rabbit still
finds a carrot

the cozy bed
calls him in
the train blares

Chase Smith (4)

5am. My work shift is finally over. I walk home along the almost empty streets as the sun is just starting to peek up over the horizon. I think about the cars and joggers that pass by me, and how they're just starting their days. I've been up all night while they were sound asleep in their bed. Finally, I arrive at my apartment and trudge up the stairs to my floor. I drop my stuff as soon as I enter the front door, shedding my coat and shirt as I make my way to my bed. with a heavy flop, I lay down in bed. Eyes closed, I drift off to sleep almost immediately. A nearby train blares its horn, but I am too exhausted to notice. Jake

I relate to this one very well since my house is right next to train tracks. I imagine coming home on a Wednesday after class and work and just wanting to lie down and relax. I can even see myself under the covers, and right as I'm about to doze off, the horn goes off. Nick R

staring at the cursor
my mind drifts
back to her

Nick Retherford (2)

matching shirts
fake smiles
not really friends

jewelry box
open spot
pearls can't fill

on the stereo
you lean in to kiss me

with a box of noodles
and a pan of red sauce
dinner is served

hardwood floor
fingers softly trace
my beauty marks

Emily Chudzik (8)

i push your hand
off the steering wheel
i know how to drive

Emily Chudzik (9)

with a spasm
my friend Charlie
visits my leg

no matter the amount of creamer
it will never make my mornings as sweet
as you

walking to class
just glad
i got out of bed

Andrea Burns

I like this haiku because it is very relatable. Getting out of bed is getting harder and harder each week. To me this kind of means no matter how your day goes at least you got up for it and tried your best. College is hard and I just try to do my best in all my classes and basketball.  I like the way this haiku flows as well. I also get a peaceful vibe from this haiku when I read it more. Chase

driving to her house
dead end
still don't know where I'm going

Nicholas Kemp (5)

snow covered in dirt
sitting alone
in the parking lot

as the sun sets
it only takes the day
out of day dream

Amanda Donohoe (7)

This was a very smooth haiku to read and it is very creative. I enjoyed this one because it almost gives you a sense of hope and that even though the day is over our minds don't stop dreaming and imaginening of bigger and better things. It makes you realize that we are always thinking and dreaming. I also enjoyed that they used the sun setting in this haiku because I instantly thought of the sun setting and imagined it in my head and thought unfortunantly of my day coming to an end. This haiku was very creative and I enjoyed the sense of hope that it gave me. Kyle M

tilted street sign
   angry officer
      straight enough

helping mom
with Sunday dinner
crushed crackers

Samuel Miller (3)

lilac bushes
bare feet
Grandma's cooking

Samuel Miller (6)

When I was young, I visited my grandma's frequently. I particularly enjoyed playing at her house during the summer months, when I could tromp through her backyard and pick raspberries from her raspberry bushes. Raspberries were my favorite fruit, and I would often run out for a quick fix when my grandma wasn't looking. Across from the raspberry bushes were lilac bushes that lined the corner of the yard. My mom used to tell me stories of her adventures to the lilac bushes, and I would often pick lilacs bundles to give her when she came to take me home. The imagery in this haiku is extremely youthful and loose, and it reminds me of childhood carelessness and comfort. Kala

I imagine a granddaughter and a grandmother gardening in a garden. I remember when I was a little girl I use to go to my grandmoher's house all of the time and she would have tons of flowers bloom everywhere. The walk to her front door is filled with plants everywhere including the lilac bushes. This brings me back to the time where I would help my grandmother garden or plant vegetables because she would cook those vegetables such as fresh peppers or tomatoes. My grandmother's cooking is the absolute best. Every time I go to my grandmother's house I would have to eat. I do not think I left my grandma's house without eating. This haiku brought back those memories with the great times I had with my grandma. Olivia

I just love this haiku! First, I can smell the lilac bushes. I can see their vivid bright purple color. Then the frame shifts upon young little feet with ten brightly painted toenails on bright green grass. Then I can smell some delicious chicken and dumplings, something we only get when Grandma is in town. This makes me very nostalgic to summer days either at my Grandma's or when my Grandma was visiting us. Paige

i miss
the way our hands fit
in each other's

Andrea Burns (9)

© 2017, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.