Selected Haiku

Kathrin Walsch

Global Haiku Tradition
Millikin University, Spring 2001

Kathrin Walsch


Kathrin's Profile On
Eric Amann

Kathrin's Essay On
Roseliep & Amann


Although it seems so simple, haiku is a very complex form of poetry. In order to write a haiku one must learn to capture the essence of a moment. Haiku is about stopping to appreciate the smaller things in life. A good haiku is able to take you to a place filled with sights, sounds, smells, and other senses so real you'd think you were really there. Often a good haiku with cause you to associate with it past memories and conjure a familiar feeling.

When writing haiku it is best to free your mind of day-to-day tasks.
Ironically enough I wrote most of my haiku when I was at work (performing day-to-day tasks). However, the best time and place to write haiku are no time and nowhere. What I mean by that is, the best way to write a meaningful haiku is when you feel free enough to concentrate on what you are writing and feeling at that particular moment. It is more difficult to write excellent haiku than most people believe. The process requires meditative thought.

Below are some of the poems I've written that come close to meeting my
standards for good haiku. I had a very hard time choosing which 20 to use, because to me they all mean something significant.

—Kathrin Walsch

Reader's Introduction

While taking the Haiku Roundtable class in Spring 2000, I was introduced to Kathrin Walsch. It was in this class that I began to notice her talent for haiku writing. Even though this was both of our first haiku class, she approached the style as an old pro. This spring I was honored in being giving a second chance to read her work. Her images and technique have blossomed over the year into wonderful and very unique haiku. She brings all five senses to life in her beautiful and vibrant images For example:

slippery stone trail
after the rain shower

Kathrin’s ability to capture significant moments in time such as this one fascinates her readers. Her haiku challenge us to see beyond the ordinary and look deeper into ourselves as human beings. Many of her haiku this semester are focused around nature. She finds the simplest things in the environment that are usually overlooked and adds depth and warmth to them. The following haiku is a great example of this natural ability:

twisted tree trunk
along the trail—
nature’s recliner

Some of her haiku this semester focus on life. Through her haiku readers can remember and imagine the innocence of being young and the wisdom of growing old. One of her many haiku this semester conveys both:

relaxing bubble bath
hands and feet
now 70 years old

Kathrin truly is a talented writer. I have enjoyed experiencing and sharing haiku with her as one of my friends and editing partners. Whatever path she takes in life after college, I hope she carries along writing material with her. Someday, I look forward to seeing her name in a bookstore across her own personal collection of haiku. I am sure it will be a best seller in the haiku community.

—Melanie Hayes, reader
May 2001

empty wooden swing
a single tulip
tall above the grass

(Adult category Award
Sister Cities Competition)

old wooden watchtower
warm sun beating down
on his guitar

young girl on daddy's lap
4 hands
on the steering wheel



bicycle wheel wobbling
old man fumbles
for another cigarette

wooden steps
lead to the river's edge
afternoon picnic



dark cemetery
the soft crunch of fallen leaves
beneath our feet

©2001 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors