Kukai 1 - winter break & semester start

Roundtable Renga • Millikin University, Spring 2011

(1) kukai - just select your favorite haiku (as many as you love)
(2) renga hokku - mark 1-2 haiku that would be an excellent start for a kasen renga with a big H
(3) renga links - circle ones that you think would be excellent as links instead of hokku

blankets of snow
filling the yard—
cuddling up in bed

White Christmas
covered with snow—
sung into a holy hymn

all alone—
winter storm
shakes my window

my goal is three spins
for this, I will practice much
the purple tights will help

rescue cat kneads
my robe

Aubrie Cox

I really like this haiku because it's just really sweet. I love animals! I can just see some poor kitty stuck outside in the snow and bringing it in for warmth and cuddle up next to it. I like that I can see myself doing something of this sort. Tara

African night sky
first time I see
the Milky Way

Kate Eagler (5)

I think this haiku has really strong imagery and I love the suggestion of discovery and adventure. The speaker seems to have come to Africa in search of new things, but she also discovers something she's always known to be there. Maybe there is some suggestion that she's discovered new things about herself as well. The Milky Way is something she's always known about, but she had to come half way around the world to find it. It's a beautiful sentiment about the ways travel and adventure can enrich our lives. Nora

the purple sunset
the wind whistles
she sighs, closes the windows

errand run
grandma slips me
raspberry jam

Aubrie Cox (5)

pacing in the waiting room
dying to hear
one word

Becky Smith (3)

I love ironic haiku. While I understand and appreciate the serious tone of this haiku, I can’t help but point out the usage of “dying” in the second line. It adds a sense of desperation, but also a sense of schadenfreude for the reader. I also can see the scene extremely clearly: a loved one slowing walking around nowhere, waiting for something other than the harsh fluorescent lights to give them hope. Susie

snowed in
unpacking my sweater
one more night

tender touch
fading from my life
your soul

winter break
watching every single
movie I own

icy hill
the black sky matches
her bruise

Susie Wirthlin (7)

Again, it's hard to pick out just one favorite haiku from our kukai session. Everyone in our class is so talented! I would say that first one that really jumped out at me was, "icyhill/the black sky matches/her bruise." I love the imagery of it, and the way the sky is black and bruises are typically black and blue. It's a nice subtle repetition. And this haiku just has a nice sound to it. It was definitely within my top three favorite. Kate

lazy saturday
an hour drive
to find a used book store

Nora Kocher (7)

Santa Claus creeps into
cinnamon-smelling chimney
along with secret gifts

near sleep
click click click
of my roommate's computer

Becky Smith (2)

I also really liked, "near sleep/click click click/of my roommate's compute," because I can relate to this haiku, and I know what it feels like to be trying to fall asleep but my roommate is making too much noise. It also has a nice sound to it, and I like the imagery of it, and it's relatability. Kate

cold sting
a smile that warms
the journey begins

Elise Scannell

Literally, “cold sting” sounds like negative way from author’s point of view since she or he uses the word “sting”. It presents the coldness in winter that makes you feel down and even have bad impact on soul. However, in this kukai, it changes! From “a smile that warms, the journey begins”, we can feel the positive image the author tries to deliver. In my point of view, “sting” can be said the key word that strengthens the image of this kukai. Just like, “I don’t feel the loneness on my road as pursuing future even the wind is cold and hurts my heart. I still keep the positive attitude to start my journey which is warm enough and I believe I can do it” Therefore, this poem gives me the inspiration to keep going on even there are many obstacles on my road. Still, I keep the faith to be stronger and braver! Cindy

made Dean's list last year
a perfect way to exhale
now breathe in again

ancient-walled city
down cobblestone streets
I wander

Kate Eagler (8)

midnight snack
a solitary

Susie Wirthlin (6)

winter solstice
my mother's cat paws
the pendulum

keeping me awake
a faint cry
in the other bedroom

Tara Goheen (6)

new year's eve
in Time's Square
on a small TV

Nora Kocher

snowed in
I finally read her
a story

Susie Wirthlin (7)

my sister stands
on the edge

Susie Wirthlin (6)

summer afternoon
my baby’s breath crown
tickles my forehead

hot grass
the child crowns me
with clover

Susie Wirthlin (3)

The innocence of this haiku is endearing. Clover also is an interesting term. As I noted in class, I usually think of daisy crowns, or some sort of flower. Although it could be the clover blossoms, I see the leaves themselves more distinctly. Children are always giving adults/older figures in their lives the things they make, but the crowning makes it something very particular. In a way, it's showing the person that they are the ruling figure in his or her life, the person they admire, but at the same time, it's almost the child's way of claiming ownership. Aubrie

false recollection
wintertime blues?
missing college

crackling fire—
the sunset catches
in icy branches

Aubrie Cox (7)

The visual beauty of this haiku is unbelievable. The icy branches make everything colorful and act as a prism. You can see the reflection of the orange fire as well as many other colors. Becky

new year
death looms overhead
another day

Elise Scannell (3)

And then my other super-favorite haiku was, "new year/death looms overhead/another day." I like the ominous feel that this haiku gives me, plus it's a very real haiku because death is always looming on our doorsteps. I think of all of the haiku, except maybe the first one mentioned, this one stuck out to me the most, and I like it the best of all. Kate

© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.