Haiku Kukai 5 Favorites

Roundtable Haiku • Kukai 5, Fall 2008

hook, line
and sinker
the fisherman's hat

end of my
the bell rings

hard workout
the breeze
in my hair

Michelle Dixson

on the park bench
why we came

Sam Sinkhorn

I like this haiku a lot. I picture an elderly couple sitting at a beautiful park, taking in the scenery simply because they cannot remember why they came. This is also a humorous haiku. Brandy

sex poem
church bells
in the background

Aubrie Cox

old ladies in church
knit along
with the sermon

sitting alone
on the railroad track
come what may

Amy Van Rheeden

The first thing that came to my mind with this haiku was last spring, just before the end of the school year, and thus less than a year after high school graduation, I learned that one of my classmates had been hit and killed by a train. I only heard the story in pieces—that it was at 1am, that he had been apparently talking on his cellphone. I never knew why he was on those train tracks, or why he didn't move, but in a way... I can see him in this. Aubrie

into the fog
back out of the fog
gentle oars

her children at home
the woman sits alone
in the church pew

Brandy Bockewitz

I like this haiku because it comments on how religion seems to be for older people and is losing its fellowship. More and more people question religion and fewer believe. I think this is a good representation of that. Michelle

curtain calls
you grab my hand
extra tightly

Mark Beanblossom

This one reminds me of a job well done and the intimacy of working hard together. A kind of extreme happiness. Michelle

I enjoy how this haiku includes the author noticing the small physical sense of someone holding onto their hand. Curtain calls are a special time of the show, when everyone gets to bow. Is the extra tight grip from excitement, nervousness, or just an unconscious reaction to the event? I'm glad that the author noticed it, because small things like that would be easy to forget in the activity of the curtain call. Debbie


finish line:
the sound of the gun
moves her

Sam Sinkhorn

This haiku seems like a description of a very convincing Nike commercial. I like the open-ness of the last two lines. Perhaps she is startled by the gun—it makers her jump because she is so anxious to start the race. Perhaps it is just a creative description of a cause and effect situation; the gun goes off and the race begins. Or, perhaps she is so concentrated, so in the moment, that it really is as though the gun moves her—the gun goes off, and without a thought, without a moment’s hesitation, her legs begin to propel her toward the finish line. Melanie

I ran track for five years, so I understand this feeling (or really, this blend of several feelings, most conflicting, all intense) very well. I like the use of the words “moves her”, as that has several meanings, including not only the physical act of running in response to the gun shot, but also a spiritual and emotional effort that is made on the part of the runner. It is a very Zen thing, honestly, as your entire existence become focused on this single moment where your entire being is pushed towards something. Mark

I have a great mental image of a footrace track with all of the runners tensed upon the starting blocks. At the sound of the gun, they all spring into motion. It's like the Olympics, or it's like junior high track behind your high school. Debbie

a frog leaps in
the boy
keeps sweeping leaves

home from work
no dirty dishes
but my own

Debbie Myers

This haiku reminds me when I lived alone during the summer. I couldn't wait for my roommates to move out, but I found it difficult to come home after work, night after night, to no one but my empty house. It was nice because I was the only person making a mess in the house, and I didn't mind cleaning it up, but at times, it would have been nice to have someone else there to clean up after. This haiku does a great job of capturing the loneliness of the person in the haiku. There is also a sense of longing in this haiku as well. The person just doesn't want to be alone anymore. Sam

World Series
he nods
to everything you say

Sam Sinkhorn

I really enjoy this haiku for the humor, as well as the truth. My boyfriend does the exact same thing to me when something he likes is on television, something big. Brandy

fast asleep
he commandos
my side

first one home—
dead mouse
on the livingroom floor

at the wedding
my eye is on
the cake

stood up
oh well!
two desserts for me

Melanie McLay

I love the playfulness of this haiku. In one view, it shows the person potentially getting over being stood up rather quickly, and thus, that means they get to have both deserts. On the other hand, they may not have ordered yet, and so to soothe themselves, he or she orders both deserts so as a way to compensate. All the while, he or she is being rather over the top as to assure the waiter that everything in perfectly fine. Aubrie

I like the optimism in this haiku, but there is a realism behind it as well. Someone can be an optimist but really just kidding themselves. The narrator could be simply in denial of the fact that she has been stood up, choosing instead to focus on the one positive of this situation, which is how most people would probably react. But I also get the sense that instead of being in denial, the narrator simply doesn’t care, and realizes that simple pleasure such as two desserts really are what life is all about. Mark

the stray dog
my grievances fall on
nonjudgmental ears

dead of winter
a rabbit’s footprints
through the snow

thinking about
my day at work.
i hit a squirrel.

Debbie Myers

I like the punctuation and matter-of-factness of this haiku. I do not like it when I’m so deep in thought and I do something destructive to an animal while driving—it’s happened to me more than once. Amy

light shines through
double-hung windows
reflecting ocean waves

cool autumn evening
the black-bottomed kettle

seven years later
the dryer spins
a hand-me down

un-carved pumpkin
after Halloween

Michelle Dixson

Awwww... poor pumpkin! It had a truly uneventful Halloween. Not carved, but not even smashed! I'm sure as it sits on the doorstep it is pondering the meaning of its life while it waits for the squirrels. Debbie

echappe, echappe,
pas du bouree?
was that MY routine

Amy Van Rheeden

I can relate to this haiku, not as a dancer, but as a pianist. I know what it is like to have a performance so ingrained in my muscle memory that I don’t even remember the actual notes. This can be very dangerous when performing—if you lose your concentration it is hard to get started again! When the music gets this ingrained in your muscle memory, it is important to stay completely “in the moment” to get through your performance. Melanie

your bedside
since I left you

Sam Sinkhorn

This haiku gets at the heart of a broken relationship, not that I enjoy having broken relationships. It is a very honest portrayal, and I appreciate it. Amy

in the crowded subway
we stand...

playing video games:
he does not hear
the cat throw up.

Debbie Myers

This haiku captures a situation I have been in. Although my cat has never thrown up while anyone was playing video games, I know what it is like to be ignored when someone is so encompassed by what they are doing they refuse to pay attention of anything that is going on around them. This haiku does a great job of illustrating that situation. I also like how she managed to fit in “cat throw up” into a haiku without making it seem disgusting. This haiku is funny, but it also captures the truth of how people are so enthralled with technology these days. Sam

heated rant—
she eats
all of his cake


© 2008, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.