Haiku Kukai 7 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Spring 2017

the day
she smiles in the mirror
she wins

Andrea Burns (4)

This reminds me of a haiku I've wrote and talked about. I love victory stories and this is one in 3 little lines. She could be smiling because she likes the weight loss she sees, or that she conquered something, or she could be smiling at her reflection because there was a time when she didn't like it. Whatever the reason is, she wins in the end and its solely on her, she's not waiting on someone else to tell her she's beautiful, she finds happiness in herself and that makes me happy. That's why this was one of my double votes. Dub

asking my favorite flower
he brings me
Gerber daisies instead

Amanda Donohoe

This one made me smile because I thought immediately of how boys tend to be incompetent at romantic things like this. He clearly asked her favorite flower and she probably gave him a definite answer, but he ended up getting daisies instead. Daisies are like the most basic flowers right after carnations, so I feel like he kind of gave up looking for whatever her favorite flower was and just got daisies. Or maybe he didn't know what her favorite flower looked like and he was too proud to ask someone for help in finding it. But he still got her flowers anyway and it's the thought that counts. Jacob

sweet sweet Lucy
my saxophone plays
the notes of my heart

jump in the car
rev the engine

Kyle Kite (6)

at the funeral
an old man
grabs the last cookie

Kyle McMahon (8)

This haiku is very unique in my mind. I haven't seen many haiku written about funerals, and this one sets a different scene. The haiku is not about the passing of the person, the funeral or the pain itself, but rather, grabbing the last cookie. I think there is something pure and complete about this observation made about the old man. At the end of the day, we are all human. Brittany

late night
dancing around the kitchen
instead of doing work

Amanda Donohoe (7)

This was one of the ones that I thought I wrote because it is absolutely me. I spent a good chunk of the last few weeks choreographing dances for multiple events and the kitchen was the best place for me to dance as it has the most open room. I would often say, “Well this is work for another project, so it's fine.” usually discounting my real homework just for the chance to dance. I love dance and it literally takes the stress out of my body so I often choose it, especially if I can justify its value for another project. Andie

the doors slide open
the scent from
Grandma's last day

Paige Dorsel

I like this haiku because despite the pain of having lost one's grandmother, the narrator is able to find peace. The scent of one's grandma is very special and unique; it's comforting. Despite her death, I think that the narrator is finding comfort in the smell of his grandmother. Maybe the narrator is going to his grandmother's house to clean it after her passing, and once he or she opens the door, they get an immediate smell of her. Brittany

daily devotional
Psalm 73:28
a wedding ring

long day in court
the judge
ready to make his decision

one day at a time
30 day chip
60 day chip . . .

Caitlyn Latshaw (4)

slicing onions
to explain
my tears

Brittany Walsh (10)

I feel the pain
so she
no longer has to

their first visit
both of them have on their best
“Inmate 45531-96855 visitors”

Yunek Moore (3)

i love
wiping his hair
out of his eyes

she wears her inmate badge
over her heart

Andrea Burns

Beautiful Disaster.
a tattoo
on an offender's right arm

Andrea Burns (3)

going to visit grandpa
Police officer asks the 6 year old
to take        off his shoes

innocent black man
finally released from prison—
suicide a month later

in the garden
alone at last

Paige Dorsel (6)

trenches filled with men
holding guns
holding onto home

neck pain
she wonders
if he's hurting

they voice the thing
I've been feeling for months
the need for community

I fight the thought
that no cis boy
wants a boy like me

im big boned
i say
with a new smile

Caitlyn Latshaw (4)

he stands
through it all

Paige Dorsel

the solider
waits for morning
it never comes

Brittany Walsh (5)

the new
agent orange

Chase Smith (3)

game of street whiffle ball—
waiting for
the car to pass

Emily Chudzik (13)

I chose this haiku has my favorite and double vote for Kukai 7. I really liked this one because it brought me back to my childhood. I lived in a cul-de-sac so my friends and I would always play in the middle of the street because it wasn't too busy. Every once in a while you would hear some yell car and we would all immediate clear the street by picking up the bases and the bats. I liked this one because of the memories it brought back to me. Chase

I really like this haiku because I felt like it captured that moment perfectly. As I read the poem I was able to put my self on the side of the street waiting on the car to pass so we could continue playing the game. Most haiku that I have read have done a great job of painting a picture of the scene and what is going on but I felt as though this particular haiku actually put me in the street I felt the annoyance and anticipation as the car drove through the middle of our field. Caitlyn

third day and still
no call—
no news is good news, right?

Emily Chudzik (3)

greeting me as i
emerge from underground
the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower

Emily Chudzik (2)

I really like this haiku because it speaks of being greeted, which has a very positive connotation to an arrival. The second line makes the reader wonder where the author is underground and why they are underground. The last line of the haiku reveals the exact location of the author, Paris. I love the way it was written because it makes you filled with wonder. I like how they use the underground, a dark grungy place, where they are escaping from. The last line brings a sense of happiness with the "glittering" description. This last line also makes me wonder if the first line was speaking of being greeted by an individual or simply by the beautiful Eiffel Tower. Paige

not a glance
my way
snow man

Paige Dorsel

tragedy in life
he whistles on

Chase Smith (3)

scrubbing the walls
crayon dinosaur
won't come off

Nicholas Kemp (8)

a call from grandma
somehow always finds a way
to brighten my day

tiny crab
good at burrowing
but I can't find him

the moon lights
our bad ideas
the weekend

Nick Retherford (8)

I picture sneaking out of your house when you were younger. Always going out and stargazing or running through dark parks when it was past your bedtime. Walking out very quietly so that your parents wouldn't find out. Nicholas

the cat lounges lazily
blanketed by shade
the heat of the day

Nick Retherford (4)

ash cross
trickles down forehead
cleaning off her mistakes

Nicholas Kemp

I like this haiku because it brings a reasonable perspective to what Ash Wednesday is. Personally, I grew up in a Catholic school, and our school would have Ash Wednesday mass. I never thought about what the black dirt is on my forehead for and would wipe some of it off after it was put on. This day is to prepare for the journey of Jesus' death and resurrection. I personally, like Lent (except for no meat on Fridays) because it is a time to renew or make new of yourself. I remember I would usually give up chocolate or pop for Lent for the longest time but now it means so much more to me. Each year, when Ash Wednesday comes along, being marked with the ash is a sign that Jesus' death for us has saved us, and I love that. I absolutely love that. There will always be mistakes through life's journey and knowing that there is an option to be cleanse from your sins to be with God, I can't help the joyful tears running down my face. Olivia

golden koi
shimmering in the sun
wedding nerves

on the left side of the bed
on the right side of the bed
waking up alone


cornfields for miles
gas light dings
I pull out my last cigarette

Kyle Kite (3)

I still think that this haiku is a horror movie waiting to happen. Even if it's not, this is still a great haiku. It plays on multiple senses here. We see the vast cornfields surrounding us, we hear that fateful ding of the gas tank finally hitting ‘E', and we can smell that acrid cigarette smoke as the author lights up. Even though there are only a few key details in this haiku, it is a fully realized scene and it allows the reader to fill in those other details without sacrificing the meat of the poem. Sam

I like this haiku for many reasons. First off, my friends and I really enjoy driving through and exploring the cornfields that surround Decatur. There's something about the vast stalks of corn and sky that really comfort us, and it always makes for a good escape. There have been so many times where I will be out exploring and my gas light comes on. I always question just how long I can go before I actually need to get gas, and I've definitely been pushing it a couple of times. Another reason why I like it is because I can just see this person carelessly exploring through the cornfields, not thinking about a thing. When suddenly the gas light comes on. This can create such a sense of anxiousness depending on how far out in the cornfields you are. This person was probably stressed about the gas so they just decided to light a cigarette and calm down. It's funny because they clearly had the mindset to bring some cigarettes, but didn't think to put more gas in the car. Jordan

glamorous faces
staring back at me
from social media

if i knew
it was the last embrace
    i would've held tighter

Jordan Oelze (13)

This is a powerful haiku and really makes you appreciate every moment you have with someone special. Every time someone passes away in my life I always look back at the last moment I spent with them and I always wish I stayed a little longer and said a little more. That being said, it makes you appreciate every moment you spend with someone as if it is your last. This haiku explains that perfectly and really makes you appreciate every moment you have. I enjoy the construction of this haiku and the choosing of the word "embrace". Kyle M.

drunk and daring
I ask you
       to stay the night

Jordan Oelze (8)

I loved this one because the structure assisted the hesitancy within the situation. That takes guts; to ask someone to stay over, so it's no wonder that the structure aids the aesthetic. I also love the alliteration with “drunk and daring” because it is just so pleasing with the delivery and makes the whole poem that much more cohesive and satisfying. All in all, probably one of my favorites of all time. Wow, major double vote for me here. Andie

rain smacks
my window pane
    as I put on his shirt

father and son
    and his girlfriend

Jordan Oelze (3)

angled faces
tilted at the perfect degree for
a photoshoot

Jacob Melssen (2)

a gentle breeze
tickles the hair
on my legs

one impulse
a melodic phrase

wrong note
only i know

Olivia Gonzalez (7)

I stand beneath
the Eiffel Tower
so that's how tall it is

Kyle Kite (4)

mother's touch
keeps the memories

Kate Gebultowicz

This haiku is short, sweet and to the point and also allows the reader to create a story of there own and what memories your mother is keeping away from you. No matter what I will always be a "momma's boy" and am so close to my mother and tell her almost everything as she understands me more than anyone I know. A mother can help a child not think of bad times and bad memories with a simple hug. Being away at school there are times I miss my mother but I am getting older and it is time to be off on my own but it is always great to go back home and vent to my mother about all the problems with school and life and this haiku reminds me of this. Kyle M.

The News
the words flow off her lips
in disbelief

family of four
sit quietly
in court

rebel voice arising
luring me into
the thunder

Kate Gebultowicz (5)

I love a good apocalyptic haiku and that's what this one feels like to me. I feel like the leader of a revolution is calling me out into the storm so that I can take one whatever Big Bad needs to be stopped. This haiku is filled with strong words like “thunder” and “rebel.” Even “luring” is a strong word because it doesn't get used a lot. The author could have used a more common word like “called” but they chose not to and that shows that there was thought put into this haiku. Sam

parallel hands
on either side of the tracks
the grass is always greener

the first time we left
the look on
my mother's face

my dad picks me up
from my mom's house

Jordan Oelze (6)

once more I find myself
by an empty home

Jacob Melssen (9)

This haiku was my double vote. Personally, I could really relate to it. Sometimes the presence of other people can be overwhelming, and I just want to be alone in my house without having to entertain or talk to anyone. Even if I'm just in my room and people are home, it's not the same. I can still hear them, and there's always a chance they might come down to ask me something. I love the feeling of having an entire house to myself and relaxing in the quiet. Emily

Debussy's Premiere Rhapsodie
but no one wants to hear
a clarinet

motioning her over
he reaches for her waist
guiding her feet

thin layer of soil
on top of
her casket

Kate Gebultowicz (4)

the milky way
our headlights
and a full tank

Kala Keller (10)

in the tattoo
waiting room

Kyle McMahon

This poem brought up a very vivid memory for me. When I got my first tattoo I was in Florida with my grandma and my mom. While we waited I was so nervous to go that I made my mom go first. When she was done I realized how scared my grandma had become so I decided to go second. As I walked into the room to get my tattoo I started to shake I was so nervous that it would hurt. Once he started I realized how silly it was to be so scared. It reminded me of when a little kid gets a shot and they are so scared the whole day to get that one little prick but once it happens they are okay. Caitlyn

we walk the beach
a child's sense of wonder
fills my soul

he's flopping my limp arms
looking for a giggle
hey, macarena!

Kala Keller (7)

drinking coffee the
next morning—
officially lovers

Emily Chudzik (10)

false happiness
masked over her face
turning the volume up

Nicholas Kemp (6)

This was one of my double votes, I liked this one because this was the only one that my sisters and myself voted for. In our household we love music, all kinds and its hard for us to do anything without it. We clean with it on, shower and get dressed, cook and do work, music is a happy place for us. Even when we are feeling down we can put our music on and dance around the house to make us feel better. We won't stop our music until we feel better, even if that means turning our music up. Even though we can't relate to the “false happiness” I can relate to not being genuinely happy until my music is louder. Dub

hospital waiting room
husband calls into work
for his dead wife

Yunek Moore

This poem was very startling to me. I was expecting him to call into work because he's busy in the ER with a family member or maybe he is injured or sick himself. But the final line struck me very sharply. It's sad but more so very blunt and I think that's why I still enjoyed it despite the feeling of tragedy. Seems like a silly thing to do, call into work for her right after she died. There are probably so many other arrangements he needs to make at that moment, but I think that was the easiest task to accomplish right then and there. Jacob

almost full
—last man standing

Kyle McMahon (7)

exiting the airplane
greeting new faces
    fake smiles

        our magic
the moon

Kala Keller (4)

a homeless man
repeats his signature
over and over.

Kyle McMahon (5)

The haiku emphasizes the light within something that's dark. Many people have their own idea of what a homeless person represents. Some people believe that someone is homeless because they got into drugs another person sees it as a falling into a hole, because of a job loss. There are many ways that people can fall deep in a hole and become bankrupt and eventually homeless. It's a sad thought but this haiku takes the idea of someone being homeless and gives hope because he is signing his signature. This shows that although something so sad has occurred this man is pushing through the struggles. He's not giving up, because he's resigning his name repeatedly. It's as if he's trying to remember who he is and is trying to keep himself together. Kate

at the base of the
purple mountain range
a single edelweiss

Emily Chudzik (5)

sitting in jail
writing home
the letters never sent.

Yunek Moore (3)

bumble bee
hovering on the page
autumn sky

his hand
    rising and falling
on my chest

Jordan Oelze (3)

Westminster Abbey mass—
The Lord's Prayer in
multiple tongues

the bottle of wine
crashes on the floor
she forgot what she was drinking for

Yunek Moore

I liked the first two lines of the haiku because it was intense and it could have added a touch of romance as well. I liked how it was a girl because most girls drink their problems away, especially to get drunk. This haiku could have easily been a scene from a random romance movie. I thought this haiku was suspenseful and dramatic because the third line can entail that the girl might have seen someone special which made her drop the bottle of wine. Olivia

walking through the lilac
smelling the spring air
no idea what I want to do after college

cigarette smoke

the yellow bee
missing one leg
still gathering the pollen

dad's boots
bent and tattered
almost the right fit

Nicholas Kemp (2)

I like this one because of the unspoken respect. The child is looking at their father's work boots and realizes how worn they are. That shows just how dedicated to the family the father is and how much he cares. By saying they are almost the right fit, it suggests that he put his family before himself and didn't even bother to get a pair of boots that fit correctly, maybe that way the kids could have something they wanted. I just really love the sacrifice that is inferred in this haiku. Nick R.

he closes
the piano
another day

the same bike
but with
a little less bolts

Chase Smith (5)

breathe before
the fingers land
on the keys

swinging on porch
the light shines
through the pain

Chase Smith (6)

sunshine finally erupts
from the clouds
first pitch

Nick Retherford (6)

a little yellow jacket
bounds between puddles

Nick Retherford (8)

hidden eyes
holding the truth behind
the sun glasses

Kate Gebultowicz (3)

curly haired roomie
back from a weekend home
missed my girl

suburban driveway
my first

Emily Chudzik (6)

every night
    I somehow end up
        next to you

Jordan Oelze (6)

text from mom asking
if I ordered graduation cards

another day
in another class with her;
this time she smiles

up at night
never going to
say it

sitting in the waiting rom
this one light keeps flickering,
fighting to live or die

a card waiting
fruit bowls
piles of pancakes

after last night
we try to remember
who kissed who

Samuel Miller (6)

This was another one of my favorites. I can clearly imagine the scenario of this haiku. I feel that either an ex-couple or two friends had a few drinks and things took a more romantic turn. I think they were probably drinking because it talks about trying to remember what happened. The details are a bit fuzzy, and they're trying to figure how whatever happened happened. The tone, however, is a bit unclear. It could either be a good thing or a bad occurrence. Emily

pink pajamas
sprinkles on

Paige Dorsel (2)

fishing with family
takes me back
my missing father

Olivia Gonzalez

door bell rings
she slips on her shoes
as dad opens the door

Caitlyn Latshaw

The girl in this haiku reminds me of myself. I always wait for my dad to come home. Once he comes home I want to play volleyball and hang out with him. Therefore, I put myself in the shoes of this little girl. It brings back my own memories as a little girl. Once I step out of the box and think about why her dad is ringing the doorbell I jump to her parents being divorced or she was at another person's house. The mixture of feelings that this haiku makes me go through is what is so strong about this haiku. I feel different emotions and I can connect to the haiku, but then take the haiku to another level. It allows me to take different layers and unravel them so that I can experience different emotions. Kate

day by day
one step at a time
I will heal

Caitlyn Latshaw (7)

i wish
i wouldn't have to
explain falling for . . . him

young boy looks on in amazement,
his heroes the men in blue—
leaving his father's face blue . . .
                                         and black

Yunek Moore (6)

I like this haiku because it speaks about the race problem that our country is currently going through. Many kids grow up wanting to be police officers and looking up to them but now people especially African Americans are scared of them. I like the punctuation in the haiku. I also like the placement of the last line because it sticks out and is out there for a bigger. It's almost saying he was beaten for being black. Overall this haiku makes me feel uneasy because of the abuse the cops are doing in today's world. Chase

the little girl puts on her best dress,
mom did her hair
visitations. “Daddy!”

stepping up to the plate
one swing at a time
to get on base

each day
a new city
his handwriting on my calendar

overflowing trash
dirty dishes
i'm not your mother

Andrea Burns

i want to write haiku
    on your skin
with my lips

Jordan Oelze (10)

staying because
I don't know how
to leave

Brittany Walsh (6)

a lit cigarette
brings me back
to life

Brittany Walsh (4)

I like this one because of the irony that is present. A cigarette is something that over time actually kills you. So it is funny/ironic that it brings this person back to life. I get what they are saying though. I am very similar with caffeine; I need it to function and I imagine the author needs to smoke to function as well. Nick R.

ants crawl
across a
mossy log

Paige Dorsel

I really enjoy the picture that I am getting from this haiku. I can picture a rain forest of some sort. Where there is a fallen log that is home to an ant colony. I almost picture it as a bridge for the ants to go across. Nicholas

hoping the liquor store owner
thinks i look
like a "Carol"

Emily Chudzik (7)

corner of the Dunkin Donuts
we sip coffee
and talk about hormone therapy

the smell of coffee beans
and tennis balls
members only

fluttering past
gracefully dancing
lands on a twig

the fight is over
yet he moves closer

left for the weekend
everything is the same
dishes in the sink

Amanda Donohoe (6)

terrible actor
trying to make friends
with the enemies

Nicholas Kemp (5)

her certificates
hang on the fridge
a proud mom

lost in the jungle brush
a soldier
calls for his mother

Brittany Walsh

closing her eyes
that's her moment
with him

Crayola pencils
clack front and back
red, orange—yes—
even black!

Kala Keller (7)

I love the imagery and word choice here. I really appreciate her use of “Crayola” which brings back memories to all and gives a specificity to the description, rather than just saying “colored pencils”. I also like the verb “clack” to describe the noise, and I love the use of the fourth line and its exclamation point. The imagery is amazing using all the colors. Paige

This haiku reminds me of a Dr. Seuss poem. The structure of the haiku is perfect and fun. It sets up the image of Crayola crayons—something that everyone can immediately imagine. The action is given of what the pencils are doing, which is clacking—and what a fun word! The fact that everything is tied together by matching and using the rule of three just shows that this haiku was intricately executed. The playful attitude of the rhyming and colored pencils just reminds of me of being a kid. I can see myself opening that fresh new box of colored pencils, smelling the wood, hearing all of them clack against one and other. The haiku is fresh and fun and just brings me back to my childhood. Or even just last week when I had to use colored pencils for my makeup project. It's very relatable and exciting. It's such a creative haiku! Jordan

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