Kukai 6 - wabi sabi Favorites

Roundtable Haiku • Millikin University, Fall 2010

old jazz record
my grandfather taps his finger
to the static

Aubrie Cox (5)

I absolutely love the vision this haiku gives me. It gives me 2 pictures: One, of the grandfather sitting at the record player when he is old. The other, I see him as a young boy, dancing around the record player to the same song. It reminds me of the prom dress one above because both people are trying to go back into the past. Becky

What I love about this is the many different ways it can be interpreted. At first glance I think that the record is old and broken and the grandfather is to senile to notice, but another reading is how the grandfather knows the song so well than even when there is more static than music he is able to pick out the melody.  Garrett

This haiku fits perfectly with my own grandfather - he is obsessed with jazz music, but has absolutely no sense of rhythm, so his clapping, tapping, or swaying is always off, never quite right.  My grandfather is also starting to suffer from dementia, which gave me a unique reading of this haiku.  This grandfather could be losing his memories, memories made when this old jazz album was new, but now these bright memories are nothing more than static. Susie

i identify mom’s favorite mug
by the chips
around the rim

uneven stairs
in the cabin my grandparents
built themselves

sunrise run,
singing the room
a lullaby

Garrett Derman

I like the loneliness portrayed so roundaboutly.  It doesn’t say the singer is alone, but the only
reason the lullaby would be sung to a room is that being the case.  I think the choice of lullaby is interesting as well.  A lullaby at sunrise?  How peculiar.  Also, the specificity of that (a lullaby, not just a song) makes it more compelling. Ky

she gently lifts
her mother’s tombstone
back into place

Becky Smith (6)

strokes, heart attacks, and other medical problems. She could barely move, she couldn't walk, and talking was a struggle. On one of my days off from work, I came in and read to her when I would normally be making my rounds. I spent an hour in there, and her attention was on me the whole time. From then on, I caught her smiling. She started to enjoy what she could more, and she even started talking to me! You don't know how exciting for something so simple to be caused by such a pure act, but it really impacts you. The haiku reminds me of her, of simple love acts that completely change things. No one told me to come read to her, I wanted to; and I think it fits with the poem too. No one told her to put the tombstone back, she wanted to, out of love. Joe

home in the woods
weather stricken and rundown
my happiness

Tara Goheen

I like this haiku (like most of them) because I can relate. I love nature, and camping is one of my favorite childhood past times. My parents always took a camper, so I never felt like we actually went camping so I slept outside with a sleeping bag on my back and the stars as a cover. It's so beautiful to look up and see such a sight, almost poetic in a sense. I didn't share any of my poems with them because my computer was out of commission last week (internal battery quit). I had to use a old renga me and my cousin wrote a couple months ago about a babysitter we both had. Joe

Mom’s lasagna
always better
after refrigeration

Alex Kitchens (4)

creaking rope
moonlight scattered
over the river

Aubrie Cox (3)

I really liked this haiku because I used to love swing-jumping into this riverbed in Arizona. It was a source of fun and relief for me as I coped with my family's drastic move to that seemingly horrible place. I really liked the fact that the rope is creaking, because you never really know if those things are going to be able to hold you; it's just a risk that you take to have an awesome time. I also liked the way that the moonlight is presented as a tangible thing; not just as it exists alone, but the way that it reflects off of the surface of the tumultuous water. Really great! Alex

the moonlight
my father’s wrinkles

making my bed
the left pillow needs
to be off kilter

she pokes a finger
through the hole
in my sweater

seagull afternoon
the smoothest of shells

Jordan Pennington (3)

dogwood leaves
the youngest sister climbing
my old branches

Susie Wirthlin (4)

prom dress
zipping back
into high school

Susie Wirthlin (7)

I like the play on the word “zipping” in this haiku. I think it is a fun way to connect going back to high school, as well as the actual zip of the dress. I also like the meaning behind the haiku because I know most girls try on their prom dresses again and again just to feel pretty and young. Becky

sister time
helping her shimmy into
my princess dress

Susie Wirthlin (3)

smoke break
dad’s old lighter fueling
my addiction

Susie Wirthlin (8)

I always like haiku that mention dads, but this one has a little bit of sadness to it. I imagine a dad who died of lung cancer, because of all the smoking he did. Even though the person knows this, they cannot break the addiction. The haiku shows that we are products of our environments. I also like the fact that the lighter is an heirloom, something to remember the father by, because they look at it every time they light a cigarette, and always think of the dad. Hollie

“Fueling” is used wonderfully here.  That play on words is fantastic. I like that it’s Dad’s old lighter. I, at first, assume that Dad is dead (killed by lung cancer possibly? I would love that irony), but I suppose he could have just kicked the habit (more irony there). Either way smoking is an interesting thing to hand down.  Not something the father would want to pass to his son or daughter. “Dad’s” serves to highlight the negativity of the action. I like it. Ky

burning rubber,
she loosens
her strap

high school t-shirt
too tight
I place it in the keep pile

Hollie Logsdon (5)

I like this because of the two very different interpretations I get from this haiku. First I simply see a girl who doesn’t like to give things away, but on a more in depth interpretation I see someone who can't shed the past no matter how small the keepsake is. Garrett

It's like the person really doesn't want to get rid of their high school memories. Like she knows that it's too tight on her… but it's treasured and it means something. It has memories behind it that no one unless they're from that school can begin to understand. This reminds me of my graduation gown. I still have it hanging in my room as a reminder of memories and success. Tara

frowny faces in her facebook status
when she sells
her junker car

Ky Cochran (3)

a gentle kiss—
father says goodbye
to his first car

Becky Smith (3)

grandmother’s album
her shaky cursive

Susie Wirthlin (2)

a letter
faded from time.
She knows it by heart.

Hollie Logsdon (3)

droopy eyes sulking around
pretty as ever,
pawprints on the hardwood

Tara Goheen (3)

I really, really love this haiku because I'm such a dog lover, and this is the perfect dog lover's haiku. It must be hard sometimes to understand why we even tolerate dogs. They make messes of our homes, swindle free food out of us and occasionally destroy our possessions. But, as crazy as it sounds, to a dog person, looking into their furry friend's eyes gives them all the reason they need to put up with any of it. Nora

jewelry box
inside that secret compartment . . .

Susie Wirthlin (5)

years removed from the show ring
an old mare
teaches another child to ride

end of semester
vanilla bean lotion
soothes my stress

Jade Anderson (2)

homemade ice cream—
my nephew struggles
with the crank

restarting a game
before we get to save
death plans in the making

Joseph Sparks (4)

Ahh, I hate when this happens! When I used to play the Sims, just like every other Sims player, I would sometimes have death plans for the people. The majority of my time though would be spent making the characters extremely happy, and then on occasion I would make them severely depressed. One of the most ridiculous ways to kill a Sim was to put them in the pool and then take away the ladder, like it's just too hard to climb out of the pool! I did that a couple times. Haha! Tara

an earmarked page
of my favorite book
falls out

used bookstore
with love
from no one I know

Aubrie Cox (5)

This is the best way to describe used book stores. They're so much fun to shop in because you can almost always stumble upon a great find for an incredible bargain. The book's previous owner suddenly becomes your favorite person in the world, because their decision to sell the book is the main thing that allowed you to have it. Nora

rose petals
the bath water fogs up
the mirror

Susie Wirthlin (4)

The thing I like most about this haiku is that it doesn't shoveanything in your face or flaunt any sort of message or idea overtly. I enjoythe idea of the beauty of the rose petals and the simple pleasure of a warmbath and don't really care if there's anything deeper than that. Jordan

raccoons scavenging
in the creek

his first play
at third base
Dad's old glove

Nora Kocker

I liked this one because I just love baseball, and there's something about a father-son relationship that ultimately must involve baseball. To me the baseball glove is a timeless object that causes an instant, visceral connection to the complexities and awesomeness of such a relationship. I'm literally looking at my glove right now, as I write this. Sure, it's battered, worn, and the colors are a bit faded, but whenever I gaze upon it I ignore those things that some people might call flaws, and instead of wanting to throw it away, I am thrown into a fury of childhood memories with my friends, and my father, that fill me with happiness. And even though the father-son relationship may be a bit complex, it's the simplicity of those memories that really inspire that happiness. Alex

two weeks after the honey moon
he happily pretends
to like her cooking

Nora Kocker (3)

Whenever I hear this haiku I see a man and his wife sitting across each other at a table. He tastes the food and pauses. His wife stares at him… and he smiles as he swallows the bite. It’s not a happy smile though. The mouth moves correctly but the eyes stay dim. In the future they may be arguing and he could get frustrated and bring the cooking up. It’s fun to consider how this one moment in time identifies their lives. Jackson

Sunday School,
she colors Jesus
bright pink

Garrett Derman (7)

How could I not choose this one? It made me laugh. Jordan

I love this one, because it reminds me of my nieces. Kids have such great imaginations, and I like that this particular child is letting loose and coloring a well known figure in her own way. She perhaps loves the color pink and wants everything to be pink so she colors Jesus pink. I think it also shows the innocence of childhood, and the ability to see things in vibrant colors. Hollie

I LOVE this haiku!  I love the innocent optimism of it.  Religion is a touchy topic and can cause tension as little as an argument and as huge as a war.  This child doesn’t see the world in that way though—she sees the brightness and the promise the world has to offer. Jade

This reminds me of my own days in Sunday School. I was always bored, never paying attention, and always sent off to do busy work. I suppose coloring pictures of Jesus and Mary was good, because it made me associate fun memories with the religious icons. This haiku works beautifully with building up anticipation, and then twisting that in a new direction with the “bright pink” coloring of Jesus.  Susie

antique mall
nestled in the fur coat
a joint

Susie Wirthlin (8)

There is an antique mall near me. I have been there once and I can see this kind of thing happening easily. The place is so musty that I would not be surprised if I bought a coat for poops and giggles and found a joint, cigarettes, or something of that kind. This haiku makes histories for antique clothes or other items seem more interesting. Who was the last person to own this thing? What did they do while wearing it? We have one clue: there’s a joint in the pocket. Jackson

This haiku is delicate—the word “nestled” is very appropriate for the delicate subject of an illegal substance.  It shows that this person is classy but still rebellious.  It adds so much mystery—since the coat is in an antique store, it was probably used a long time ago.  It makes you wonder who the person was and what kind of life they lived…And obviously they are pretty interesting if they are rebellious in such a way! Jade

hallow fields
silencing wind
wisping away thoughts

a compass
that won’t
point north—
just what I need
to lose myself

Jackson Lewis (7 for the tanka)

first solo,
on the phone

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