Rengay Attempts

Global Haiku Tradition • Rengay Attempts 1, Spring 2017

That Night

he pulls her closer
to tell her
how jealous he is

his hands just “resting”
on her waist

she looks around
to see who
might see them

the lights are dim just enough

drunk college kids
surround this moment

a girl in her own moment
accidentally dumps her beer

by Andrea Burns
John Farina &
Michael Alexander

That Night was my favorite Rengay from the first attempts we tried. I liked this one because it is funny and relatable. It starts out cute and then end with the girl being caught up in the moment that she spills her entire beer. I like the flow of the Rengay as well because the one we tried didn't really make much sense. I also like how many people wrote about similar thing. I think Rengays might be fun to do a matching contest with them. Chase


figure eights
on her thigh
an exhale

a cigarette slowly burns
on the bedside table

peering out
the motel window
fuzzy lights

we didn't plan on a night
like tonight

the flower petals
sprinkled on the floor
and the twinkle in your eye

the candles cast shadows
I watch them as I drift off to sleep . . .

by Andrea Burns
Jordan Oelze
Kala Keller &
Kyle Kite

The rengay Last Night takes me in out of different perspectives of a scene as well as feeling. I start off in our person's body feeling as if someone is making figure eights on my thighs. Then I jump to another perspective of someone looking at a cigarette and with the context I assume its inside a hotel room. The link connects the scene together by giving me an idea of where they are. The next haiku tell me exactly where they are. That said they are in a motel room and these people in the room can see car lights. It's an obnoxious scene because when someone doesn't turn their car lights off, the light just shines right through the window. Then it transitions the scene back to the motel room and the bedside. It's as if these people were being very spontaneous which is connected by the neck haiku. It's as if this couple went out and randomly got married because they talk about the flower petals. It then switches the scene of the person outside that motel window watching the movements of the figures formed from the candle light. It makes me wonder if this was someone's past lover creeping on them. In all it's a creepy rengay that takes me through different perspectives but makes the images very clear. Kate

This was fore sure my favorite rengay and even liked it right from the start in class. They all connect so perfectly and make one great rengay and really give such a great description without telling the whole story, leaving the reader wanting more. The author connected each one so well and they were so sentimental, who ever they were with they truly felt for. I got a eerie feeling and even though they were content with each other I just imagined a couple who had a very rough couple of days crashing in a random, worked up motel in the middle of nowhere. This rengay was very well put together and took a lot of thought. Kyle M.

My favorite rengay from the class was the rengay entitled last night. I really liked this collection because it was able to give me a very clear image. I thing that the poems flowed well together allowing a little bit more information and story to be put into the rengay. I also liked this rengay because of the feeling that it gave off. I imagined a dirty hotel room with very low lighting. The people in the poem I imagine as being two that have been through a lot. Their appearance just shows that they have lived hard lives. The fact that I could construct very specific characters in the rengay really drew me to this specific one. Caitlyn


against his better judgment
he gives her a
playful shove

eyes weary from no
sleep last night

in an autumn breeze
she finds the
strength she needs

chasing the sunset in
a beat-up Jetta

against her better judgment
she gives him
her whole heart

one-way tickets

by Emily Chudzik &

I really like the rengay titled "Better." I recall learning rengays for the first time, and being told that each two liner introduces new information to add to the "story" of the rengay. I think that this rengay did that perfectly! The second set of lines, or the first pair off the hokku—"eyes weary . . . " adds information: not only is the situation from the hokku fun and playful, but there is something else occurring that is weary and exhausting. The same is found with the second two-liner—"chasing the sunset/ in a beat up Jetta." Nothing about a car has been mentioned thus far in the poem, and I respect the added movements! The last full haiku returns to a theme found in the hokku ("against his/her better judgment"), which I do not know is allowed, but really like, and it is complemented with the last two-line pair—"one way tickets/home"—which I just think is structured and written so beautifully. Kala

Good Night

light of the television
the old man's bare chest

tired wife in the kitchen
doing dishes

a house quiet
after a long hard day
an empty nest

imagining the tap
of running feet on the hardwood

cold beds
not slept in for years
now guest bedrooms

she slips under the blanket
on the couch
behind her husband

by Caitlyn Latshaw &
Spencer Garner

My favorite Rengay from this week was titled “Good Night.” This was my favorite one because I thought the authors did a very good job with making each section stand on it's own but the overall story flowed well. Even though there were no switches or transitions like there was suppose to be, the rengay was still good. It gave good imagery and each section gave a story that connected to the whole rengay yet, could have been a haiku by itself. Even the ending was a good close to the story I imagined. Dub

Recalling the Kiss

breeze blowing
tall green grasses
the young frog

the blades of grass
hide the little frog

in the pond
an orange guppie
follows the light

leading the way home
the ship blows
its horn

the captain's daughter
looks out among the waters

rethinking her love
lost in the summer
. . . moon

by Paige Dorsel &
Chase Smith

Rain, Rain

rain pounds against
the bedroom window—
spring announcing its arrival

the little girl grabs
her rain boots

drowning in the
shallow puddle
a single daisy

feet deep
in the water

she snatches a
fallen bucket
hoping to catch the drops

squishing the puddle
within her shoes

by Emily Chudzik &
Kate Gebultowicz

I really liked this because it was very nature like with all its haiku. I really liked the first descriptive haiku about the rain on the window because it sets you into a darker more glommed place, but the next link shows a bright playful aspect to it. Nicholas


clock strikes 5
finally headed home

phone lights up
plans are born

we gather around
the red and orange flames

the crisp, clean crack
of a cold one

the light from the fire
reflects faintly
from the metal

to my despise
Natty Light

by Nick Retherford


sidewalk cracks
    carpeted by
orange leaves

the breeze blows away
i go with it

a poodle
ruffled by the wind
    sits on a stairway

broken foundations
where so many families reside
I take a step in

a dogwood tree
the roots
    in every direction

up the trunk the branches spread
covering the streets below

by Jordan Oelze &
Daniel Nieves


dewy grass
and a message
from the moon

forbidden thoughts
confided in the sky above

chatty stars
whisper the secrets
I told in a wish

under your watch
my shaking hands

trembling digits
recall the time
they once held you

clenching the phone
my finger spins the wire

by Kala
Jordan &
Kyle K.

I really liked the rengay titled “Searching.” I liked the way every verse connected with the one before it without being completely linear. The shift from nature to people as a focus worked quite nicely. There were some definite leaps, but they worked well. I also think it told a story, but I had to work to figure out what that story was. My favorite kind of haiku are the ones I have to try and figure out. Emily

Gushing Wind

below the clouds
      the wind
whispers in my ear

rage in her eyes
tangled hair

grabbing another
I clench my thirst
with a beer

missing keys
from the table

eyes to the sky
I ponder
patiently waiting

next morning
she awakes on the couch

by Kate Gebultowicz

My favorite rengay was Gushing Wind. I thought Gushing wind brought chills and was mysterious. I felt that this one brought a lot of emotions all at once. I felt some anger, irritation, and almost lost. I liked this haiku because it is relatable and it is about lost love which almost everyone can relate too. Olivia

Away From Home

car pulls up
lights flick off
engine is cut

the moon's guiding light
blankets the Earth below

packed like canned goods
trunk is full
car ride

the radio blares
flying down the highway

sleepy eyes creep open
the sun slowly rising
the ocean

a world away
worries left behind

by Nick Retherford

She Speaks

eyes closed
trees breathing
     calming wind

quietly stirs
nature speaks

blue birds dance
to the rustling of leaves
     earth makes music

mind wonders
scenes of past

deep brown eyes
holding hands
laying here next to you

world is old
     and so are we

by Olivia Gonzalez

I really like this Rengay because its love related. I love the way its written. I like the use of the blue birds and the nature setting. I love the description of her eyes. I like when haiku use eyes to represent a deep connection because I always read people better in their “eye language”. I love how everything in the Rengay connects back to the feeling of love and admiration. I kind of think its talking about growing old with someone. Paige

I really enjoyed the She Speaks rengay. It really stood out to me because of how it used the senses within the haiku. The use of sound and sight in the nature setting really puts the reader right there amongst the trees, giving them the feeling of the wind teasing their skin. The idea of thinking about memories makes it more emotional, and ties everything together very well. Nick R.

I Knew You

smooth steps
avoiding light

chandelier glistening
hand over mouth

have to get away
     glass shatters

blood dripping down my knees
he sees me

a standoff
his dark eyes
     he has changed

no remorse
this is it

by Olivia Gonzalez


over the tall oaks
the brick buildings
backpack tugging

breeze blowing through hair
the steps get closer

he follows
close behind, wishing he
could be with her

pencils tapping, bubbles fill up
only 10 more minutes

the glimpse of her
rushes through his head
love struck

she finally notices
flashing a smirk his way

by Paige Dorsel
Chase Smith &
Natalie Krol

I like the Rengay “Questions” because of the story it tells. I like that you are with the same characters throughout the small haiku link because you can find out a lot in a short period of time. I like the third link because it adds a romantic aspect to the link that wasn't there before. Just as well, the sixth assures the readers that the love story isn't a total loss, which adds that twist to the end. Kyle K.

© 2017, Randy Brooks • Millikin University • last updated: May 17, 2017
All rights returned to authors upon publication.