Haiku Kukai 7 - Open Topic Favorites

Roundtable Haiku • Millikin University, Fall 2010

Dad and his Fox News
one thing about home
I'll never miss.

Nora Kocher (3)

shades of black
color
my world

baby blues
illuminated
by twinkling lights

heating pad on my stomach
she holds my hand
through the pain

Becky Smith (2)

I thought this haiku was sweetly sad. It reminds me of a miscarriage or a painful experience. I can imagine a young daughter lying on her bed as her mother holds her hand…It’s a powerful moment between the two women. My friend had a miscarriage and her mom helped her through it more than any of her friends could, since none of them had dealt with being pregnant before. Jade

Christmas morning—
Dad's passed out.
There is not Santa.

the reflection
of kites drifting
over the pond

Jordan Pennington (3)

sitting on a park bench,
eyeing the strangers
who ignore his rants

churchyard shadows
the priest confesses
to an empty room

Aubrie Cox (9)

I love how this is an empty room. He isn’t confessing to the congregation or to any one person. He is confessing to himself and God. I also like the twist because it is the priest confessing, not the Catholic person. Becky

I really enjoyed the complete imagery created throughout this haiku. A churchyard can very well be a happy place, but the focus is placed on the shadows to provide a dark atmosphere. Likewise, priests may be present in joyous occasions such as a wedding or baptism, yet inthis priest is confessing. A priest is sought for when members need confession, making the image of a priest needing his own confession very strong. The final line completes the haiku. Confession is comprised of two people, but this unique scenario leaves the priest to confess alone. The spiritual interpretation I take from this is that the priest is not alone, but sharing himself with God. A great haiku.

I like that this haiku has religion in it, but it is also dark. The shadows illuminate the secrecy of the moment. Everyone makes mistakes and does things they regret, and this shows that priests even succumb to bad behavior and need to let it out. Hollie

One of the most deliciously dark pieces we've encountered this semester, this haiku runs the whole gambit of deep and twisting emotions. Guilt. Betrayal. Loneliness. Sin. Shadows. Confusion. Doubt. The priest is in this room, with only his own thoughts and worries about his faith, and I can easily visualize the moon and trees or gravestones outside creating disproportionately tall shadows that surround his solitary figure. It's somewhat disconcerting, but very powerful. Jordan

a secret kiss
under the moonlight--
my frog prince

Becky Smith (3)

wobbly Christmas tree
no match
for the puppy

Nora Kocher (5)

I absolutely love this! It reminds me of my dog. Every year we put up the Christmas tree, we have these Santa Claus and snowman stuffed dolls we sit in the Christmas tree. And every year... my dog thinks that when we turn our backs, he can try to get them out of the Christmas tree. He always ends up getting caught and when he knows he's caught, he jumps and runs... and usually hits the tree with his butt and makes it wobble. Tara

reaching out for help
still wasting life
he holds the bottle

underage cleavage
I let her order
another drink

Susie Wirthlin (6)

This senryu is not only shocking, but has a number of layers and key word choices that make this an excellent senryu. The way that the author focuses on the cleavage, rather than the girl, emphasizes that someone who would participate in such actions typically is focused on body parts rather than the person as a whole. The second line leaves just enough to the reader's imagination--is the "I" the bartender, or is the "I" someone buying the drinks for her. "Another" also implies that this is a reoccurring thing, despite knowing the girl is underage. It has a good balance of telling and leaving it to the reader's imagination; it has the best qualities of a senryu. Aubrie

The first line really makes this haiku. “Underage cleavage”. It’s perfect. Cleavage has such an immature connotation with it, and it paints the picture of who the drink is being ordered for, the attitude of the person ordering drinks, and thus the circumstances of the haiku, very well. You can almost hear the annoyed sigh from the person ordering drinks when they see the smile plastered on the underage girl’s face when the drink comes, like she just got a great treat. Jackson

I love the humor in this haiku!  “Underage cleavage” is such a funny line—instead of referring to the girl, it is focusing on the part that is attracting this person.  It shows the temptation the speaker is feeling as they continue to buy her drinks. Jade

last Thanksgiving
before the trial
I let him win at cards

Aubrie Cox (6)

This haiku is really well done. It's very bittersweet. I picture the speaker as a father who is making one last ill-fated effort to spare his young son's innocence before something he knows will destroy their worlds happens. He understands that letting the child win at cards won't change anything, but he's almost desperate to do anything. He knows that he's let his son down horribly, but he still wants to believe he can make it right. Nora

he holds onto her
promises of a new life
falling in love

Tara Goheen (4)

i like this poem because i can totally relate to the experience. me and a girl spent our first few months inseperabtle because we thought we were falling in love. we are now good friends on the strains because of homework and duty, but a rpomise from the heartache she faced and the calmity of my past relationship made us fall head over heels. i really like this poem because it doesn't bring bad thoughts of relationships, just the ones that were never finished. Joseph

behind the glass
I see the boy
I taught to speak

Jade Anderson

I don’t know how I missed this one in class the other day, but I certainly did.  It made me go “Ouch” and flinch after I read it, and that’s how I know it’s a good haiku.  I picture a mother visiting her son in prison.  Her calling him a boy makes this moment even more poignant, and I find it interesting that the author chose “I taught to speak” instead of “I taught any of the other numerous things a mother teaches.”  I think this makes the woman his mother in more than blood; blood is thin compared to love and I believe teaching someone to speak—to express ideas and curiosity and have opinions—makes a true parent. Ky

I seem to be leaning towards the sad "family member in or going to prison" themed haiku this week. I think I wrote a similar haiku to this a few weeks back. This subject lends itself really well to haiku because it's easy to imagine the emotions (love, shame, sorrow, etc) a mother would feel seeing her son in prison, and you don't need to give the reader much more than the image. It's heartbreaking, but really beautiful at the same time, because you can see how much she loves him. If she didn't, it wouldn't hurt her to see him like that. Nora

batting my eye lashes
to get out of a ticket
the joy of being a woman

Becky Smith (4)

wedding day,
sunflowers dance
on the tip of her nose

Garrett Derman (6)

baking with mom
she tells me
she's leaving dad.

Hollie Logsdon (6)

I liked this poem because it seems to present a common phenomenon of human psychology that I never really thought about until reading it.  It seems to say that people who are breaking bad news, saying something controversial, or being temperamental always have a task that they are involved with at the same time. Whether it be twittering their fingers, pulling on their hair, shaking their leg, or tapping on something nearby, people have a task or a twitch that they exert in order to engender a sense of familiarity in tight situations, by performing familiar actions. It really is a great haiku just for that reason. Alex

slipper feet
quietly pad their way
to the Christmas tree

Hollie Logsdon (5)

all day texting
my friend: it's okay
to miss a girl

“Admitted.”
my little brother entering
the psych ward

Jade Anderson (8)

dad asks about mom
I break down
in the airport

family back together
arguing over
what movie to rent

Nora Kocher (2)

late night
and an empty page
new moon

deer watching
the wind
whispers for us

Jackson Lewis

inside this shell . . .
no way to
hear the ocean

Jade Anderson (10)

This haiku totally explains my life at the moment. My shell is made of stress and it is almost like I ignore everything around me. I don’t enjoy the noise made by the ocean nor do I enjoy most other luxuries. It is basically explaining that when you let this shell control you, you will never enjoy. Becky

thinking back
to summers
at the old bridge

Jordan Pennington (2)

my ex's best friend
ignoring
my texts

late night drive
my ex and I timidly
hug goodbye

car ride back
to the millibubble
the calm before the homework

Joseph Sparks

The last line is awesome.  I love the play on an old phrase; it makes it fresh and really makes the point.  I think I probably like this one mostly because I can relate to it.  Homework after Thanksgiving really is a storm. Ky

an open book
I read your heart
with pursed lips

Joseph Sparks (6)

black Friday
my brother takes pictures
of the dedicated

Kylie Cochran (7)

car ride to nowhere
everything calm
nothing planned

Tara Goheen

I liked this one because I have taken many a car ride just like the one described. They call it 'cruising,' I call it wasting time, trying to find something better to do. I really enjoy that everything is came though. Driving is a very relaxing thing, for me anyway. When my nieces are tired and fighting the shut eye that they so desperately need, I simply take them for a ride, and they are asleep within 5 minutes. I liked this calming aspect of the haiku as well. It’s a good one. Alex

lazy afternoon
our shadow puppets
dance on the wall

The forgotten line
of Harry Potter
"DOBBY DIED!!?!"

Joseph Sparks (2)

watermelon on the porch
with Grandpa. counting
cars of different color

family dinner
Dad tells that fishing story
again...

Susie Wirthlin (7)

I like this one because it seems like every dad is a bit ridiculous when it comes to stories. There's dads that tell stories because they enjoy the story so much, dads that tell stories over again because they forget they told it five times before, and dads that tell stories over again and exaggerate more every time. Every time I come home, my dad tells me the same story about 4 different times. It never fails. Tara

What I love about this is the structure. I like how the last line of the haiku didn’t actually need to be added in, yet it fits in perfectly because it is consistent to the storyline of the haiku. I also like the frustrated tone that is associated with this haiku. Garrett

poetry partners:
collaborated lines
n txt lingo

november wind
spreading her arms
the girl on the roof

Susie Wirthlin (5)

I remember when
you were my best friend—
suicidal brother.

Christmas Day Catholic
in the back pew
for Mom

Nora Kocher (4)

This haiku really resonated with me.  I used to be religious but am not anymore, and my family hardly ever goes to Mass, except for holidays like Christmas and Easter.  And always, every year, it is my mom who pushes the family to go.  I always end up going to please her and make her happy, and this haiku just perfectly described how I feel every Christmas: maybe not liking the religion, but in absolute devotion to the feelings of love and loyalty to the family. Susie

This is very tender, and it's clear that there's an intense bond between mother and child that can pull the child to church, but only on Christmas and only in the back pew. It's a delicate balance between push and pull that is very translatable to the personal experiences of a number of different readers. jordan

the word “aunt” before my name—
a tired toddler gets
another bite

Kylie Cochran (5)

cutyourhairlosewieghttalktoboyschangeyourclotheswearmakeup
Fuck off
Not Everyone wants to be barbie

Nora Kocher (7)

I love the frantic pace and energy in this haiku. I also like how the second line is so abrupt and crude, perfectly contrasting with the frenetic whirlwind of the first line. The last line is both triumphant and sad: this girl knows who she is and who she doesn’t want to be, but at the same time, one can see the girl’s sadness at the fact that in this world, societal norms dictate who she should be, and that she is powerless to stop it. Susie

I… love… this… haiku. I realize it is directed towards a female audience, and I like it for the same reason a woman with similar thoughts would, just from a third party perspective. In today’s society women are constantly told what is beautiful and what they should be like through commercials, movies, advertisements, and popular culture. Because of this men have a warped impression of the qualities they should find attractive in a woman. It all gets so bogged up in what everyone else says that sometimes you just have to force open some room for you and your self esteem. This poem does that. I also like the choice of capitalized words. It adds a punch to those words that polishes the haiku very well. Jackson

INDIVIDUALISM!!?! i love it! everyone tells me to put on shoes, to cut my hair, wear pants, shave, stand straight, stop laughing, do your homework, have a favorite color, have one genre of music to listen to; NO WAY! as a DotNet, i am labelled as someone who doesn't like labels, and that label suits me just fine. props to nora on this haiku, I LOVE IT! Joseph

on top of the sky
searching the lights...
“There’s home!”

icy touch
my father's smile
disappears

loosening your grip
and tightening my hold . . .
I'm losing you.

Jade Anderson (7)

The contrasting play on words associated with the relationship between two close individuals made this haiku stand out to me. The narrator begins by commenting on the other persons slipping grip first instead of their own. The second line conveys the writer's response of trying to continue holding on. While the reader is hoping for the tightening grip to make a difference, the shattering third line confirms our fear of loss. No matter how hard the writer holds on, the loosening grip of another will determine the fate of their connection. Tyler

loosening your grip
and tightening my hold . . .
I'm losing you.
This haiku was so sad. I feel as though a loved one is onhis death bed and being lost to the disease. His wife, daughter, whatever is byhis bedside trying to hold on, but it does not matter how hard she tried tohold on, she cannot keep the inevitable from happening as the life seeps out ofhim. Hollie

nighttime kisses
momma's girl
all grown up

old card deck
the bent card
everyone recognizes

Aubrie Cox (7)

I really like the different ways this haiku can be interpreted. At first glance I think of someone doing a magic trick and the audience has seen the trick so often that they know which card to look for. Another interesting scenario I think about is a high school reunion, where everyone has changed but people can still recognize the “bent cards” who come back. Garrett

seating the elderly
the waitress remains polite
despite the coming absence


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