Haiku Matching Contest - Let Go My Ego Favorites

Haiku Writing Roundtable • Millikin University • Fall 2010

calling out to
my own echo...
a stranger

Nora Kocher

one month later
her name still
in my address book

Aubrie Cox

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

Jade Anderson

i’ve never loved you
the sprinklers
whisper

Jackson Lewis

calling out to
my own echo...
a stranger

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

 

top quarter champion

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

 

top half champion

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

bottom quarter champion

a goofy picture
before the tumor is removed
from dad’s brain

laundry
only one
of my enemies

a goofy picture
before the tumor is removed
from dad’s brain

fear seeps
into my light—
babies born dead

Ky Cochran

laundry
only one
of my enemies

Tara Goheen

a goofy picture
before the tumor is removed
from dad’s brain

Colton Shaw

pretending the book
hides his addiction:
texting

Becky Smith

 

top half champion

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

 

champion

bottom half champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

already late for school
I keep on
straightening my hair

Tara Goheen

playing with her silly bands
I can tell
she wants to be younger

Becky Smith

touching his beard
to make sure
it’s still there

Becky Smith

unending argument
finally
his touch

Jade Anderson

playing with her silly bands
I can tell
she wants to be younger

unending argument
finally
his touch

 

top quarter champion

unending argument
finally
his touch

 

bottom half champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

bottom quarter champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

in the moonshine
he sees her
true beauty

a rainbow carp
imitates a woman;
mood ring

Joseph Sparks

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

Garrett Derman

firefly
in the stars
I think of her

Garrett Derman

in the moonshine
he sees her
true beauty

Garrett Derman

Double-header Matching Contest!

 

top champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

 

 

GRAND CHAMPION

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

 

bottom champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

Double-header Matching Contest!

 

snowball fight
in our pajamas
bad idea

Tara Goheen

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

Susie Wirthlin

Christmas
the homeless man crosses
himself

Susie Wirthlin

 

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

top quarter champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

top half champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

bottom quarter champion

cock and bull story
my eyes roll
with the clouds

walking through the forrest
eating bark
and drinking sun

cock and bull story
my eyes roll
with the clouds

walking through the forrest
eating bark
and drinking sun

Alex Kitchens

to grandma's
with a bucket of tomatoes
she gives me two

Aubrie Cox

piles of grey clouds
hang over lofty boulders
clash of the titans

Tyler Lamensky

cock and bull story
my eyes roll
with the clouds

Jade Anderson

 

top half champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

bottom half champion

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

rainy sunday
snuggling closer
in the pew

Susie Wirthlin

muggy sun
gathering for Bach
their child plays

Susie Wirthlin

airport
thousands of faces
looking for one

Nora Kocher

on top of my Porsche
a stranger cat
bathing in sun

Colton Shaw

rainy sunday
snuggling closer
in the pew

airport
thousands of faces
looking for one

 

top quarter champion

airport
thousands of faces
looking for one

 

bottom half champion

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

bottom quarter champion

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

lying in the dark
a tree branch
scrapes his window

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

Hollie Logsdon

climbing up
the roller coaster
sunrise beyond the handrails

Jackson Lewis

rowing
oars in and out
of the mist

Aubrie Cox

lying in the dark
a tree branch
scrapes his window

Jackson Lewis

© 2010, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.

 

Commentaries

calling out to
my own echo...
a stranger

Nora Kocher

one month later
her name still
in my address book

Aubrie Cox

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

Jade Anderson

i’ve never loved you
the sprinklers
whisper

Jackson Lewis

calling out to
my own echo...
a stranger

Nora Kocher

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

Jade Anderson

I really enjoyed this haiku pair for several reasons. Both haiku brought inanimate objects into play by taking their qualities and correlating them to human actions. The feeling of the wind caressingher shoulder is comparable to the whispering of the sprinklers. In addition, the haiku possess a sense of apathy and rejection. This is seen by the caressing being unwanted, and the whispering was to say I’ve never loved you. Both are great haiku, and an ever better match. Tyler

These two haiku make such a good match! They are both very lonely and reflective. I can imagine someone sitting on their front porch, staring sadly around the neighborhood, just wallowing in their sadness. One of the people feels the wind’s comfort, while the other person feels mocked by the sprinklers around him. Either way, they both are affected by their surroundings. Jade

I really liked both of these haiku, because they made me feel similar when I read them. I thought they worked well together, becausethere is almost emptiness to both of them. When I read the first one I felt asthough I was there. I could see my breath floating in the wind as I yelled outand did not recognize myself. This haiku is more about knowing who you are as aperson, or not knowing who you are anymore. The second one I really felt theloneliness. To me this haiku almost seemed as though someone who had been takenadvantage of in the past was scared while walking home after the assault, andfelt that even the wind touching her was unwanted after what she had gonethrough. Both of them have sadness, and a reflection on oneself, and I thinkthey are an extremely interesting pair. Hollie

 

 

top quarter champion

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

 

top half champion

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

bottom quarter champion

a goofy picture
before the tumor is removed
from dad’s brain

laundry
only one
of my enemies

a goofy picture
before the tumor is removed
from dad’s brain

fear seeps
into my light—
babies born dead

Ky Cochran

laundry
only one
of my enemies

Tara Goheen

a goofy picture
before the tumor is removed
from dad’s brain

Colton Shaw

pretending the book
hides his addiction:
texting

Becky Smith

 

top half champion

unwanted
I feel the wind
caress my shoulder

 

champion

bottom half champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

already late for school
I keep on
straightening my hair

Tara Goheen

playing with her silly bands
I can tell
she wants to be younger

Becky Smith

touching his beard
to make sure
it’s still there

Becky Smith

unending argument
finally
his touch

Jade Anderson

I really like these two as a pair because they're both just in the moment. The top is all about “who cares what's going on” and the bottom one draws a pictures of this girl, in space (figuratively)... just playing with her silly bands. I think they're both gentle and carefree in a way. I like them together. Tara

I have heard many times that life is a series of moments. But like anything in life you cannot force moments to come. You have to let your life be fluid. You have to let the moments come and go as they please, allowing your life to bring you on a journey, and these poems are examples of people trying to force the moments in their lives. In the first one their mentality is simply: Whatever. I’m already late for school. I might as well continue my pointless task. It’s not worth it anyway. The other haiku is trying to grab onto a time in their life that has already passed. Moments should be given. Not taken. Jackson

I absolutely loved both of these and had the hardest time choosing between them. The laid back, I-don’t-care-right-now attitude from the first is so potent it’s amazing. I freak out about things already in the past very often (which is so stupid), so I envy the speaker of this poem. It feels like a nice reminder to not sweat the small stuff, or what you can’t change anyway. The second one I think goes very well with it, but I can’t express exactly how or why. I like the distance in the second one between the speaker and the object of the haiku. The perspective is priceless, and would be unrealistic from any other angle. I love how observant the speaker is, and how wise. Ky

unending argument
finally
his touch

 

top quarter champion

unending argument
finally
his touch

 

bottom half champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

bottom quarter champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

a rainbow carp
imitates a woman;
mood ring

Joseph Sparks

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

Garrett Derman

firefly
in the stars
I think of her

Garrett Derman

in the moonshine
he sees her
true beauty

Garrett Derman

I have to pick my own and Garrett's for two reasons. One,I don’t think my haiku was understood like it was written. the poem is supposed to represent how hard it is to catch a womans’ heart. She is quick, stealthy,and very good at hiding. It's hard to read her, because she can change in an instant with out a hint. Also, they remember everything a man tells them. With this,they can corner you with something you said weeks ago with something thatcontradicts that [with something you say today]. Garret's is along the same line. I see a boy on his first date, trading softly. Tip toeing through the night as if he’s behind enemy lines, he leaves a trail that she will always remember. The second haiku, he learns how [and where] to walk into the woman's heart. In mine, it’s a contemplation [ie meditation] on how to get there. Lol, there was no sexism to it! Joseph

I love these two as a pair. They have the same nighttime, clear and lit up sky feeling to them, and both relate night-light to a girl, but they both leave a lot of room for interpretation on what exactly is thought, who is thought of, what sparked a memory, etc. One thing that especially stands out is how the first one has the image of a firefly, somewhat blending into the stars. I see it as a metaphor for the starts being all the women in the world, but the one dot that stands out above all the others is like her standing out from other women. Colton

Double-header Matching Contest!

 

top champion

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

 

 

GRAND CHAMPION

barefoot,
he walks on
her heart

 

bottom champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

Double-header Matching Contest!

winter moon
undisturbed snow
on the cabin stairs

Colton Shaw

snowball fight
in our pajamas
bad idea

Tara Goheen

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

Susie Wirthlin

Christmas
the homeless man crosses
himself

Susie Wirthlin

winter moon
undisturbed snow
on the cabin stairs

Colton Shaw

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

Susie Wirthlin

This was such a perfect match! They could have been easily written by the same person. They both talk about Christmas which is supposed to be a family time with togetherness. However, both of these haiku have a very alone feeling. Becky

One of the main reasons I chose this pair was because I noticed how many pairs were written by the same person. I myself had two haiku that were paired together, and I find it interesting how you can see someone’s progression and thought process when you see two haiku about the same issue or idea. In this one I love how not only did they have my favorite holiday in them, but it also had a holy aspect to both. This was a great pair. Garrett

While I did write these two haiku, I’m not biased when I say that they are my favorite matched pair out of the contest. Both deal with the holiday of Christmas and looking at it from a new perspective, while leaving the message of the haiku open for interpretation. I really enjoyed how the class turned the priest haiku into something positive, where before I had written it to be slightly melancholy: this priest is celebrating the day of Jesus’ birth, but there is no one in his life to celebrate with him. However, I loved the viewpoint how the priest doesn’t need anything because he has his faith. Susie

This pair conveniently came together in the second round. I like how one focuses on winter as the season, and the other on the winter holiday. In both of these haiku I get a sense of lack, but not necessarily in a negative light. In the first, there is the lack of disturbance, the lack of human presence. The winter moonlight shines on the snow. If someone had been there, or if they had left the cabin recently, the moonlight would reveal this. Instead, it reveals the lack of activity, and a sense of serenity. The second haiku then presents the lack of presents beneath the tree. As Tyler had said in class, perhaps the priest doesn't expect anything. If that's the case, then the same harmony in the first poem resonates in the second. However, I am personally more inclined to feel that the priest is disillusioned, and upon returning home, he feels that strong sense of loneliness and lack. This dissonance then reverberates back into the other poem, giving it more of an ominous feeling. The way the two feed and influence each other gives rise to new meanings to both, making them an exceptionally strong pair. Aubrie

 

 

top quarter champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

top half champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

bottom quarter champion

cock and bull story
my eyes roll
with the clouds

walking through the forrest
eating bark
and drinking sun

Alex Kitchens

to grandma's
with a bucket of tomatoes
she gives me two

Aubrie Cox

piles of grey clouds
hang over lofty boulders
clash of the titans

Tyler Lamensky

cock and bull story
my eyes roll
with the clouds

Jade Anderson

 

These haiku have different surface interpretations, andinitially seem quite different other than the cloud references, but both make methink of people having some sort of confrontation or conflict. The first one’sgrey clouds seem to me like wispy grey eyebrows or hair of some sort on anelderly man, hanging over his craggy old face, and the clash of the titansrefers to some sort of disagreement in which he’s partaking. The second pieceis a little more light-hearted, but there’s still a personal interaction withcloud imagery. They seem to fit better the more you think about them, unlessthat’s just my hopeful imagination. Jordan

 

top half champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

 

champion

christmas eve
under the priest’s tree
nothing

bottom half champion

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

rainy sunday
snuggling closer
in the pew

Susie Wirthlin

muggy sun
gathering for Bach
their child plays

Susie Wirthlin

airport
thousands of faces
looking for one

Nora Kocher

on top of my Porsche
a stranger cat
bathing in sun

Colton Shaw

 

 

 

top quarter champion

airport
thousands of faces
looking for one

 

bottom half champion

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

bottom quarter champion

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

lying in the dark
a tree branch
scrapes his window

rolling down hill
autumn leaves
in her hair

Hollie Logsdon

climbing up
the roller coaster
sunrise beyond the handrails

Jackson Lewis

rowing
oars in and out
of the mist

Aubrie Cox

lying in the dark
a tree branch
scrapes his window

Jackson Lewis

© 2010, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.