Haiku Kukai 01 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • June 2020


meat on the grill
smoke fills the air

Sheila Jackman

This haiku reminds me of summer cookouts and family being together. Grandpa is cooking for the whole family hamburgers on the grill. Later that night we sit by the fire and roast marshmallows. Liz Shipman

I liked this haiku because it reminds me of summer time. I picture a family getting together having a barbecue. Everyone is happy, there's music playing in the background. Then late at night, the smore making begins. All the kids are thrilled and proceed to ask everyone if they can make them a smore. Samantha Wahl


fishing pole bends
reeling something in . . .
a rusty beer can

Robin Hodge

I love the juxtaposition within this haiku. The first two lines create an image of excitement as you expect to reel in a fish. The third line is unexpected, much like the catch. I imagine a young boy and his father fishing and the little boy thinking he's finally caught something at the end of the day only to find a littered beer can. He would feel sad as his hopes were high to only be greeted with trash. This haiku feels symbolic of the card's life plays us sometimes. We might think things are going well and we're pursuing a great opportunity and come up short. It's a sad haiku about disappointment when you least expect it. Ally Banks


so beautiful today
strongly in love they are


county fair
lights are spinning
she sits alone waiting

Liz Shipman

Intense imagery hits my brain when I read this haiku. As a child, I would beg and plead my mom to buy me tickets for the local carnival in town. It only comes once a year, so I was always so excited. When my mom finally caved, I excitedly ran to the carnival to begin my journey. I would message my friends to join me, then buy a funnel cake and sit, waiting to be greeted. Arianna Mergler


twirling by
with wind-blown hair
sticky sweet fingers


running barefoot
through the clothes
on the line

Anna Ernst

Flashbacks of my childhood ring through my head. My grandparents live within 3 blocks of my house, making it easy for my sister and I to go whenever we wanted. My grandma was a believer in fresh air and refused to use the dryer if the sun was shining. My sister and I would play made-up games, prancing through the yard with no shoes, using the clothes as protection from “invaders.” The smells of crisp laundry detergent and my grandparents' house fill my nostrils as the wind blows in my direction. Arianna Mergler


sweet morning
my babies barking
for a dang piece of cheese



sparkling blue water
hot concrete

Sheila Jackman

This haiku reminds me of vacationing on the ocean in the heat of the summer. The sand is white, the ocean is blue and you can see all the way down to the bottom. The scorching sun heats the concrete so hot that it burns your feet as you run to the sand. The smell of coconut sunscreen lingers through the air as rows of people are laying out, catching a tan. There are also several coconut drinks made inside a coconut with a colorful straw and umbrella sticking out. Everywhere you look, people are laughing, wearing their big floppy hats, sunglasses and swimwear, having the time of their lives. Anna Ernst

Sparkling blue water is probably my favorite beginning line I read. I absolutely love the ocean and water. It takes me to some of my favorite memories where I can remember how sparkling the water was, in places like Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Samantha Wahl

This Haiku takes me to a place I desperately need. No break for me though. For almost 2 years now, I have been working, taking classes, staying on the Dean's List, taking care of my beautiful stepdaughter, feeling less time with my husband, not passing and passing the Content tests, taking care of my doggies, and I sure do love going to sleep at night. Stop. Breathe. Take a moment. Closing my eyes. I can see the most beautiful water again. The sting ray swimming by was for my eyes only. My toes are in the water. My butt feels the hot concrete. I'm in deep appreciation for everything. Honey, can I have one of those fancy drinks in a real coconut? Mmmmmmm. So sweet and delicious Robin Hodge


unpacking boxes
hanging pictures
30-year commitment

Sheila Jackman


weeks of isolation
not a single responsibility
       until the e-mail

Arianna Mergler

I imagine having fun all summer not having to care or do any homework. Then we receive an email that it is time to start our summer class then we have to start being responsible again and doing our homework. Liz Shipman

This haiku hits the nail on the head with life's current status. This immediately brings me back to spring break when we found out that we weren't coming back to school. I was so heartbroken and truly felt isolated. We had an extra week of spring break added and I figured I should continue working on homework as if we were returning to campus like normal, but I couldn't find the strength at first to keep pushing forward. I completely relate to the second line “not a single responsibility” because going online for school made it somehow all seem fake. These assignments and calls weren't real life and I found it extremely hard to do the work when I just felt sad and alone. Then the third line hits when you're not ready. I love that it is spaced more than the previous two lines because it is unexpected, much like the emails we'd receive. It felt like I was in my own world struggling and then an email saying assignments were due, finals were approaching, and project deadlines approaching would appear. It would snap me back into reality and force me to pop my bubble of self-isolation. I really like how this haiku can sum up the complicated feelings of being a student during a global pandemic in only a few words. Ally Banks


heart beating
she sees her reflection
and jumps

Ally Banks

This was one of my favorites from Kukai as it holds many emotions in such a little amount of words. I feel as though the individual represented in this haiku is very anxious and nervous. The littlest of things can spook them. The person may have had a difficult past that made them scared of almost anything. I also can see this haiku as telling a horror story as a person may have heard a noise and went to turn around the corner to see what it was and saw themselves and got scared. I know that I have done that before and it takes my breath away every time. Delaney Manning


head to toe
they lie
whispering to the stars

Ally Banks


pizza pringle fingers
we lie on the boat laughing

Ally Banks

hen I read this haiku I instantly smiled. This haiku is just simply perfect, in my opinion. I can imagine the pringle dust on two young girl's fingers while they are joking about something dumb that they both have in common. I see them lying on the boat floor with the fake grass imprinting on their backs. I see the bag of pizza pringles ripped open from one of them opening it too much and the pringles laying around them. It is the simple things in life that bring the most joy much like this haiku. I love it for that reason. Delaney Manning

This Haiku makes me want to lick my fingers. I can see and taste the red powder on my fingers. Licking each finger, without a care in the world. My hair is in a long ponytail and I can feel it hitting my back, along with the hot sun. My best friend and I are relaxing, laying on the boat, after riding on our jet skis and getting completely soaked. We are both wearing our new bathing suits we got from Walmart, along with all our supplies for the sunny day on the lake. My bathing suit is hot pink with ruffles and white polka dots. Her bathing suit is 2-pieces with a purple top and white bottoms. We both feel pretty and do not need any boys today, just each other. We are taking turns with our Banana Boat oil and the MP3 player, listening to our favorite songs. Making college plans. Robin Hodge


strong arms
raise me above his head
shoulders are my foundation

Arianna Mergler

I liked this haiku because it makes me think of my dad. When I was younger he used to always put me on his shoulders and I felt like I was on top of the world. It was one of my favorite places to be. I picture us being at a fair specifically and me begging to go on his shoulders to see everything. You see the world from a whole new view .Samantha Wahl

I enjoy this Haiku because it reminds me of my dad. As a child, I looked up to my parents, literally and figuratively. Nothing was cooler than when my dad would lift me up and put me on his shoulders. It's like reaching a new height. I felt like I could see things I've never seen before. I felt on top of the world, even though I was only on top of my dad's shoulders. I like how the author used the word “strong” when describing his arms. I remember always thinking my father was super strong because he could lift me up that high. It's amazing the way children think and I love how this Haiku took me back to those special moments of being a child. Holly Schmidt


on the balcony
not a soul in sight
Mother Sun says goodnight


grandpa and me
bouncing on a knee
not a care in the world


the perfect day
ocean breeze clear skies
time to surf



life in our twenties
who has their life together
not me

Samantha Wahl

This haiku does a great job at giving you an idea on what growing up is about. Everyone in there mid twenties is expected to know what they are going to be doing for the rest of their lives (which is a scaring thought in my opinion). Twenties seem to be the years where “teenagers” are really understanding the meaning of live and how precious it is. At any second, something wrong could happen and your whole life is turned upside down. Logan Allsup

I really love this Haiku. It's humorous, but also totally relatable. As a person in her twenties myself, I question if I'm making the right steps toward my future all the time. Am I in the right career path? Am I making enough money? Am I living life the way a normal twenty-year- old would? Those are questions I ask myself on a regular basis. It's hard being this age. Some people still live at home while some live on their own or with their significant other. Some people are going to college while others went straight into the work force. We all live our lives differently and I think that's why we question ourselves. This Haiku showed me that I am not the only one who doesn't have their life together. However, the question is “Will we ever?” Holly Schmidt


driving home from school
in the silent car
heart broken

Logan Allsup

I felt connected to this haiku as I can see myself in high school. I drove home almost every day by myself and I remember times where I would be having a difficult time either with friends or with boys. I would cry on my way home and the tears would flow from my cheeks and I could feel the silence in the car. I would stare so straight at the road I would forget I was even driving and by the time I would remember I would be pulling into my driveway. This haiku took back to that time and I could perfectly remember those days and emotions. Delaney Manning

This haiku brought back a sad memory from my life. My senior year of high school a girl in my grade took her own life in our school. All of us students were on lockdown in our classrooms and they ended up sending us all home around 9:30 am so that investigations could occur without the interference of students. I remember walking out to my car sobbing and just sitting at my steering wheel until I could pull myself together in order to drive safely. The second line, “in the silent car” pulled at my heartstrings. I remember driving home, the same way as always, and feeling suffocated in the silence of it all. It felt wrong to put on the radio after the tragedy had happened just down the hall and I remember feeling like my thoughts were screaming but I couldn't even muster a sound. That day I really was “heart broken”. I have never experienced the emotions I had that day again but there is still a part of me that carries the tragedy of that day with me at all times. Ally Banks


fresh shower
pajama pants on
watching The Office

Logan Allsup


hiking in the sun
a cool breeze


car windows down
wind hitting my face
where are we going


swimming all around
inventing new games to play
water dripping down

Riley Sawin


neighborhood kids
a whistle blows
the water is still

Liz Shipman


same street
two friends
different sides of town

Liz Shipman


dogs barking
doors slamming
will it ever end

Liz Shipman


brother sister bond
playing sports in the backyard
throwing to the stars

Riley Sawin


red white & blue
fake flowers
walking through graves

Liz Shipman

Through the use of identifying colors, this haiku is introduced specifically to capture the audience's attentions. It is straight forwards and gets the point across to aware people what is getting talked about. The colors resemble the United States of America and the people that have served for our country. Every color has a different meaning to it that exemplifies the independence that we have. Flowers portray many different meanings to it like; love, hope, healing, loss, and good luck. Flowers are brought to love ones in a tine to express their feelings to them without words. Sometimes actions speak louder than words and although it might be in spirit, their actions show the love that they have for the individual. As I read this line there are fake flowers because they want them to last for a long time without anyone taking care of them. This is the setting of where everything is taking place. It is a tough place for individuals to visit because its beings back the hard times and the love that they have for this person. I envision while reading that these are all the veterans that have fought and died for our country. A family is walking past all the graves to get to the grave that their love one is at, to visit and rest the flowers next to them. It is a very said haiku with a lot of meaning behind it. Riley Sawin

Where I live, we have a cemetery past our back yard. I find it to be a peaceful place to walk and enjoy the silence. My daughter goes with me a lot and we discuss the names on the tombstones and love looking at the ones that have pictures, poems and decorations. This haiku reminds me the cemetery after Memorial Day weekend. There are so many visitors that come by that weekend and leave colorful flowers by their loved ones graves. This gives the cemetery a whole new look and feel when we walk through it. It also leaves a sense of sadness for those who have been forgotten. Anna Ernst

This haiku captures a somber moment and brings to mind a recent memory. A few years ago, my husband and I traveled to Arkansas to visit his father. Our trip coincided with Memorial Day. Dad, being a retired Army colonel, has a soft spot for veterans. We drove from his house to a nearby cemetery where we placed small American flags on the graves of former service members. We were saddened to see tattered headstones and faded flowers of “forgotten” loved ones. It was an enjoyable way to spend time together, but it was also very meaningful. Sheila Jackman


dad's house
every other weekend
Wii bowling tournament


running into
the corner of the wall
stitches to my head

Holly Schmidt


late night
reflection in the water
wondering who is out there

Liz Shipman


summer night
lights come on
the girl starts running home


baby brother
scared at night
asleep on my floor

Holly Schmidt


muddy water
bobbers swaying
in the trees


Grandma's makeup
I learned to

Anna Ernst


or bubblegum?

Delaney Manning

I liked this poem because it made me laugh. I think of the dentist office where the hygienist asks what flavor you want to have swishing around your mouth. I always pick mint because it seems the most familiar. Samantha Wahl


time to meet
for the first time
our hearts pounding


the whispers echo
inside my skull
       but they don't know you


sled attached
to the golf cart

Delaney Manning


scrapes on knees
bails of hay
Mom making lemonade


mother's eyeshadow
on the sofa
a magical world


       cover it all
foundation, concealer, eyeshadow
       they won't see behind the mask

Arianna Mergler

This Haiku is me every single day. Not as much, since being in quarantine. On a normal day though. I wake up every morning and dot the concealer all over my face with a brush, covering all the dark spots created by sun damage. Then, I get my gigantic makeup sponge and blend my silky, Epionce foundation all over my face. I make my nose look a little slimmer, by my bronzer brush. Same bronzer wakes up my eyes. Eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, lip liner, and more lip gloss. Maybe powder? I look for sign of sun damage. Well, I did the best I could do. Robin Hodge


the car is packed
no more
notes in my lunch

Ally Banks


turn out, pull up
ribcage in
     the judges will pick you apart


in the sheets
pizza box open

Delaney Manning

This haiku makes me smile, so much so that it seems like someone has been spying on me. College has allowed my bed to become one of my favorite places. The late nights of studying (and partying) usually always ended up with ordering food and only doing the bare minimum. Unfortunately, that bare minimum always ended up with washing the sheets in the morning. The faint smell of alcohol fills my nostrils, while my mouth still waters at the thought of a supreme pizza smell filling the room. Arianna Mergler


empty court
crickets chirping
with a calm mind


almost sound asleep
he hears the chirping
of one cricket

Anna Ernst

Who hasn't been highly annoyed at a silly cricket? Who hasn't been drifting off to sleep only to hear something that ends up keeping you awake for hours? We can all identify with the author's frustration. I am not a cricket fan, and in fact, they pretty much gross me out. If I were being assaulted this way by a cricket, I would hunt him down and send him down the river. Sheila Jackman


books and binders
heavy on my back

Sheila Jackman


one more minute
the girl and her cat
stretch together

Ally Banks


a rusty old ladder
the perfect stage
for a driveway play

Ally Banks


a broken fence
the door to wonderland

Ally Banks


shattered glass
teary eyes
empty beer cans

Holly Schmidt

This is a broken home where the mom and dad have separated, and the kids are at loss. The starting line brings in a lot of commotion involving the family's separation, it did not happen smoothly. There is loud banging consistently happening and nothing but a raucous in the household where their dad lives. There is lot of anger built up and the time has come where the anger has cracked with anger. Not knowing what to do or what is going to happen next, the emotions in everyone's eyes start to build up. Their lives are turning into something that they could have never imagined and with hope nothing is released. Their eyes glossed over with every tear that is held back and everything in sight becoming blurrier. Sad heavy eyes start to weigh them down, not much more that they can handle before breaking down. Nothing left inside just a feeling of emptiness with beer cans on the side. The father's emotions brought him to start drinking causing problems in the house. There has been a lack of motivation to do anything but to drink his emotions away. This part of the haiku is the center to the whole things, it brings the whole thing together to tell the story behind it. Riley Sawin


dawn to dusk
we lay under
a blanket of sun


rose petals
fall to the floor
he loves me not

Holly Schmidt

Although she is picking at the petals of a rose flower, there is more meaning behind what is displayed. Humans pick at flower petals one by one saying she loves me she loves me not. This goes on all the way till the last petal on the flower and what is said speaks for that person. In the end she is sad to know what the end result happened to be. There is sad meaning left behind in this haiku. This conveys a relationship that is coming to an end with heavy emotion building up inside. The petals slowly falling to the to the floor give a heart-breaking sensation that he is not coming back to her. The rejection reflects on how she can start over and find another someone that can give her more than what he gave her. He is in the past and the sadness should fall and be left behind in order to move on. When life tries to make you fall, you have to grow new petals and put yourself out there. This haiku describes the action of the girl disappearing by using the word ‘fall' to notice she is feeling down about the situation. The feeling is so deep there is no words that could even describe it. The man that she loves does not feel the same way as she does, and it shows from a single flower. Every flower can be viewed differently from the eyes of others, it just takes times to realize. Riley Sawin


no movies, no popcorn
I wear a mask
to the grocery store

Robin Hodge

This haiku reminds me of the pandemic that we are all going through around the world. It makes me especially sad for the children who do not understand why things are not the same anymore. My daughter was so excited to go to the movies to see Trolls World Tour when it came out but that wasn't possible after the Covid-19 shut down. We were able to watch it at home but it just isn't the same as looking at the big screen, sharing laughter with the crowd, and eating theater popcorn with a box of candy. I have also been trying to avoid taking her to the grocery store whenever possible but the other day it was just the two of us and I needed something. It is scary for a child to have to put on a mask and see that everyone around them is also wearing a mask, in our hometown. That sense of safety and security is now lost. Anna Ernst


sitting in the pew listening
like I was told
tug on my long braid

Robin Hodge


out of the pool
into the school year

Holly Schmidt

This haiku really takes me back to enjoying the middle to last bit of summer and it coming to an abrupt stop. Summer can be such an exciting time, but once that last week of summer comes before us, we have to understand that school will start up again. Everyone seems to spend their summers swimming in pool and being around water and this haiku really does a great job at showing just how fast that last week of summer can be. Logan Allsup


fishing lure
freed from a tree
catches me

Randy Brooks

This brings me back to every summer where I always go fishing with my friends. I am never good at fishing, so I imagine myself getting my line stuck in a tree and pulling it away and almost falling backwards from pulling so hard. Liz Shipman


summer shade
a little breeze makes
all the difference

Randy Brooks

This haiku tells a story about the summer months of living in the Midwest. The summers in the Midwest can be brutal in the summer months, but once you are in the shade and are feeling a little breeze, that really does make the difference. The shade during the summer can be such a relaxing experience but when you combined that with a slight breeze, that is what really makes the difference during the summer months. Logan Allsup

In this haiku, I am transported back in time to my years spent in Texas. Summers were brutally hot. You might get a little relief taking refuge in the shade of a live oak tree, but it wasn't much help. Ah, but with even the slightest breeze, real relief would come, even if for just a moment. Sheila Jackman


Florida road trip
rollercoasters zooming past me fast
wind circling around


hitting a homerun
his smile won't disappear
concession stand popcorn

Logan Allsup


red skin
wind whipping through hair
singing at the top of our lungs

Logan Allsup

When reading this Haiku, I immediately think of a group of teenage girls on a Jeep ride with sun burnt skin. The Jeep has the top and all four doors off. It's a beautiful afternoon and the sun is still shining. The smell of nature fills your nose as the wind blows past your face. The friend in the passenger seat has her phone plugged into the aux. She is playing her throwback hits playlist on Spotify. The pain of the sunburn hasn't even set in yet. All that matters is the memories of this beautiful summer day. I really enjoy this Haiku. It takes me back to summers spent in high school. Time with my friends was what I looked forward to the most. And music helped create that feeling of being in the right place. Holly Schmidt


continuous summer
the never ending bonfires
now memories

Samantha Wahl

© 2020, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.