Haiku Kukai 03 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Summer 2020


fresh bangs
frame my face
the reflection a stranger

Ally Banks

I went fourteen weeks between haircuts due to the Covid-19 shutdown. It felt so good to be in my stylist's chair again. There is something about a fresh haircut that makes you feel good. I have never been one to stare at myself in her mirror. I tend to watch what she is doing. There have been moments though that I don't recognize the person looking back in the mirror. Who is that gray-haired woman? When did she get to be so old? I certainly do not feel old on the inside, but yet there are signs of aging. It happens to all of us, but it can be a bit of a surprise when it does. Sheila Jackman

This haiku reminds me of when I would get my haircut at the salon. Walking into the hair salon ready to get a fresh new cut. I picture a woman ready for a new change in life and it's starting with the hair. As she sits down in the chair, she tells the hairdresser what she wants with very descripted detail. She watches the hairdresser cutting her hair from the mirror that is in front of her face. After the haircut is all done with, she looks at herself in the mirror to see the final result and loves the way her bangs frame her face. Riley Sawin


slowing to a stop
the trophy case
full of my ghosts

Ally Banks


yellow flowers
bloom again
for now

Sheila Jackman


waiting for the phone
to ring


she doesn't call
I don't call
no one answers

Sheila Jackman


childish songs
fill the air
my teenage sister


painted rocks found
looking for
the perfect hiding spot

Anna Ernst

This Haiku is beautifully written. It takes me to a memory and a moment that actually took place in my life. It was a friendship. That did not last long. I still do not know why, and I am done trying to figure it out. Or figure her out. I felt like her little project. She had this beautiful hobby. She would paint rocks and write beautiful and inspirational messages on the rocks. She would leave a note from God on the painted rocks. She would leave them in places that a stranger would come across. This would brighten the stranger's day. Maybe they would feel loved. Maybe they would smile. Hopefully, they would pass it on. One day we went to Peoria. We had a delicious lunch in a beautiful and artistic place. After our delicious lunch, we walked by the river and hid some of her painted rocks. I remember we put one of her painted rocks right under a bench. We even took pictures of each other on the railroad tracks. We went to a Christian concert. She left another painted rock in a stranger's seat. We had so much fun. Then, she stopped calling and I do not chase people. Robin Hodge


this crooked walk
known as a gimp
God why this limp


it consumes me
broken dry wall

Tristan Birt

This haiku reminds me of a teenage boy with anger issues. He just had a fight with his girlfriend. He hung up the phone, threw it and then launched his fist into the wall of his bedroom. Tears start flowing from anger. He shakes with his cracked-open knuckles molded into fists. His face is a deep red color you would associate with hate. After a couple minutes, he puts himself back together and heads to the hardware store. His Momma will never know. Holly Schmidt


all was still and then
air bubbles reached the surface
showing signs of life

Tristan Birt


the warm glow of
wild flowers



crisp cool morning
sipping coffee
on the porch

Anna Ernst

the cool breeze, you can feel hitting your body as your read the first sentence. It lays out the setting of the haiku, it is during fall and the weather is starting the change outside. They word “crisp” relates to a dryness outside which helps imagine the sensory around. They are enjoying the weather outside before it starts to get too cold for them to sit outside. The leaves are falling off the tree because the weather is starting to dry out. It is a calm feeling while they start to wake themselves up. You can imagine the coffee smell hitting your noise and the steam rising heating up your face from the cold breeze hitting it. You can feel the hotness touching your tongue as you sip on the coffee and it making you shiver. This line is very visual and brings you into the haiku like you are actually in the moment. It's a warm cozy feeling that makes people happy. This is a good transition to the last sentence; it flows smoothly relating to the previous line. This is important because you don't want your haiku to be in a list, you want it to tell a story that flows. On the porch proves that the person is sitting outside on the porch drinking coffee in the morning. It's key to slowly pick apart the important words to create the story behind the haiku and with the smooth transitions, it made it easier to feel what was happening. Riley Sawin

This haiku is timeless in that it can take place in any season. Perhaps the leaves are turning, and it's early Fall. Maybe it is Spring, and a robin has made his first appearance. I can easily picture myself sitting on a porch sipping coffee and taking it all in no matter what the season. I feel anticipation for the day ahead and comfort from my hot cup of coffee. It's a lovely, tranquil moment. Sheila Jackman


bronzed skin
tan lines starting to show
what's on the inside


fills the room
no one else feels it

Samantha Wahl

I instantly felt a personal connection to this haiku. I suffer from severe anxiety and have found myself in a situation like this countless times. My mind first went back to memories from high school. I remember the sophomore year I was in a history class where we had to give these huge presentations frequently that made my anxiety go through the roof. I remember standing in front of my class having a full-blown anxiety attack internally and almost feeling like I was watching myself give my presentation outside of my body. The anxiety was all-encompassing, yet my classmates had no idea what was going on in my head. I remember asking a friend after class how bad I looked while giving my presentation and could she tell if I was freaking out. She told me she hadn't even noticed and I seemed completely put together. I find moments like these extremely isolating when I feel like my brain is going into full emergency mode and yet no one around me even knows what is going on. Ally Banks

This haiku starts off with a hard word that some people never have to go through. It comes from nervousness or fear. Starting off the haiku with such a powerful word sets the tone as the reader continues reading. The tone from the first sentence says a lot about how the author wants the reader to feel while reading. You can tell that the writer is expressing how they are feeling, and their anxiety is starting to kick in. It important that they release how they are feeling because it's hard to talk about it sometimes. The senses continue as you keep on reading the second line. Their anxiety is starting to take over their body complete and it feels like it is surrounding them and is unable to escape it. I find this line very important to add because when a person is having anxiety they want to be left alone in a room. You can envision how the person is feeling bring in a room surrounded by nothing just you and your mind.
People don't understand what runs through others minds and it makes people think that how they are feeling is not okay. They are feeling an emptiness of wanting other to understand what they are going through, so they can talk to them and get comfort. It's the comfort that people want but can't receive and I find this necessary because everyone should have someone to talk to about their problems. Riley Sawin

This haiku might as well just be called, “Arianna,” because this is my life summed up into a haiku. I enjoy being around others and talking to them, but I find myself to get awkward and unable to find a topic for conversation. I'm always afraid I will say the wrong thing or do something stupid. While everyone around me is having a good time, I'm stuck battling the voices in my head. Arianna Mergler

This haiku is one of my favorite because it reminds me of something that happens to me easily. I will be sitting in the room with so much anxiety and no one knows what I am going through and no one else is feeling it either. Liz Shipman


Friday night friends
weak coffee
strong minds

Sheila Jackman


curling hair
Taylor Swift in the background
what to wear


tiny blades of grass
to cover up
what might have been

Sheila Jackman


morning coffee awaits
on the counter


sunny day
kids playing outside
lunch time


a stern voice rumbles
one toe on the floor
flex of a muscle


moonlight shinning
glares reflecting off the window
dogs howling


nine o'clock
always a kiss

Sheila Jackman

Flashbacks to my childhood come to my head. As I sat in my bed about to fall asleep, I could hear the tv on downstairs. It was my dad watching his shows to relax himself before going to bed. When I heard the tv shut off that's when I know it was time to actually go to sleep. My parents would come up stairs together and give each of the kids a kiss goodnight before going to bed. Riley Sawin


wood barn
sways & rattles
will today be the day?



heels click
green jumps
what a lucky day


baby kisses
cuddles so tender
i am home

Robin Hodge

The author of this piece definitely knew what he/she was doing. This haiku definitely strikes a soft spot in my heart. I love infants. The smell is just so fresh and soothing; skin so soft, like the petal of a rose. This haiku also reminds me of my niece when she was born. I loved placing her on my chest and letting her sleep. Her small wiggles and respirations always supplied peace to my mind, like nothing else exists. I can only imagine what it will feel like when the infant I'm holding is mine. Arianna Mergler


eyes filled with tears
leaning on mom
1 year anniversary

Logan Allsup

This is a very emotions haiku. Reading the first sentence you can tell someone is very upset to the point where it is making them want to cry. It's to the point where their eyes are starting to gloss over from the tears building up, but they are trying to stay strong and hold back from letting it out. You can tell that everyone handles their emotions differently and there could be a reason for that. Maybe this person needs to stay strong for someone else in order for them to get back up on their own two feet. There are many different views on how you look at the person in this haiku. It is always helpful if there is someone that you can go to, to cry on. As I continue reading their word choice that helps you imagine what is going on. The word “leaning” really describes that this person needed someone to help pick them during the hard time in their life. Having it be their mother helping cope with their emotions shows the bond that they have created. The last sentence wraps it all up explaining why the individuals in this haiku are so upset. Today marks 1 year since someone special in their life left them and it tells the whole story behind the writing. This haiku is good because I find it important that the author included the ending to show the emotion and have the reader feel it as well. Its emotions but heartwarming because everyone needs that someone that will be there with them. Riley Sawin


walking up to Casey's
picking candy and snacks
card denied

Logan Allsup

This Haiku makes me feel like a teenager at first. And then I realize I am an adult with a debit card. Not cash. I am an adult, standing in front of the cashier, asking her to try again. I am an adult. I am going on a much-needed road trip. I really need these snacks. So, I can enjoy and turn the music up loud. I am going to my best friend's house in St. Louis for a wine weekend. I really need these candies and snacks. Why is my card denied? Oh, I get paid tomorrow. Robin Hodge


of the tires
how many more times


this hill
must go up
must go down

Robin Hodge

When I read these words, I can almost feel my heart pounding and hear my heavy breathing. Whether you have walked or run a hill, you understand the physical challenge. I like hills in that they must be conquered with determination, but don't remind me at the time. There are dread and anxiety, but you push through and get to the top. Ah! Sweet victory! Then you must get back down the hill without wrecking your knees or losing control. So, you concentrate on each step, making sure your pace is regulated. Now it is all over, until the next hill, and the next one after that. Sheila Jackman


late for work
heart racing
it will not start

Logan Allsup


dog on a leash
a squirrel in the distance
oh no, here we go

Holly Schmidt

This haiku beings a very vivid image to mind when I read this haiku. Being a dog owner, you get to know how they act around other animals. Not much animals would come in my backyard because it didn't have much greenery, but when there were animals my dog would go crazy. She would spot them from a far distance and bark very loud and every time it would happen we knew what she had saw and was wondering when it would stop. Riley Sawin


rioting and protesting
COVID-19 outbreak
the land of the free

Holly Schmidt


cracking fingers
no reason why

Liz Shipman

I can definitely relate to this haiku. I have a bad habit of cracking my knuckles, even though my grandma always told me if I continued to do this, I would have huge, manly- looking hands. When I am nervous, I don't even realize that I am doing it unless the popping noise is loud in the silence, which is usually what makes me nervous. Public speaking also causes me great anxiety and I have to focus my attention on not cracking my fingers. When it's all said and done, I realize that my nerves get the best of me for no reason. Anna Ernst


covered in bugs
I am uncomfortable
time to go home


grown up
too fast
I want to be a kid again

Liz Shipman

I really liked haiku 35. I think we can all relate to this one. Kids have such an innocence to them. There's so much they get to learn and they have their whole lives ahead of them. Sometimes I just want to be a kid again. Especially during stressful times. Samantha Wahl


pay day
I need to pay the bills
broke again

Holly Schmidt

I think everyone can relate to this haiku at one point in their life. They finally get paid then have so many bills to pay that they are broke again. This reminds me of the college life. Liz Shipman


the sun rises
human rights violated
       who's next?

Arianna Mergler

This haiku reminds me of a predator, molesting their victim. The next morning, feelings of guilt, sadness, betrayal, violation, and being ashamed take over the victim so they decide to do nothing. This leads to the predator to claim their next victim. It's unfortunate that human rights are allowed to be violated without consequences due to the emotional stress it puts the victim through. Anna Ernst


driving by
the golden arches

Arianna Mergler


the time has come . . .
white lab coats
fluorescent bulbs



blisters on heels
from stiff shoes
anything to be beautiful

Arianna Mergler


curly to straight
straight to curly
never happy with reality

Arianna Mergler


a bicycle
can be tandem
with enough duct tape

Ally Banks


tiny dog
scared of thunder
curls under my feet


children laughing
when did the trees
. . . grow up

Ally Banks

I wrote this haiku but it is one of my favorites I've written thus far. This haiku is inspired by my neighbors across the street and my own memories of childhood. A new family moved in a few years back all with young children and I often see and hear them outside playing through my window. I see them running around in their bathing suits, playing tag, laughing, and just playing carefree. I am reminded of myself and my next-door neighbor. We used to play together every single day and have a world that was all our own. Now we barely talk and neither of us spend much time outside. I'm reminded how long it has been since we were the young kids playing in the neighborhood when I look at the trees in the yard of the young kids. I remember when the old neighbors planted the tiny tree, flimsy enough to be kicked over, but now see a tall and sturdy tree. Though I've lived in the same house all these years it feels like time went by when I wasn't looking. All of a sudden I'm grown up just like the baby tree across the street. Ally Banks


snowy path
a trail of footprints
check points


late night text
we journey
to get ice cream

Ally Banks

This is a fun one for me. It happens so often that you may be lying in bed and you get a hankering for ice cream. But the problem is, you don't want to go alone because, let's be honest, what is the fun in that. So you text your best friend and go on a late night trip to get some ice cream and hang out with each other. It happens all the time and in fact just tonight for me. Tristan Birt

This haiku reminds me of days I have now. My best friend and I hang out regularly. It's a normal thing to get a late night text about going to grab food. When reading this haiku I see her texting me replying to the late night question of whether she would be up to get ice cream and her replying “of course!” I go pick her up and immediately she is catching me up on the latest boy and work drama. We drive for a while talking and singing to music on the radio. We get our favorite ice cream and sit in the car for a couple hours just laughing and talking. It's a great time and I will always be so grateful for having her as a friend! This haiku helps remind me of that. Delaney Manning


sweat dripping
putting in work to improve
high jump


my elderly mother
a story
about her daughter


broken heart
text messages rolling in
she responds

Riley Sawin

I love this haiku because I imagine sitting there texting someone that just break my heart and we are going back and forth trying to fight for what they have left. This hit close to home because everyone has had a heartbreak in their life, and it is never easy. Liz Shipman


a girl looks . . .
to her black clothes
instead of his


six used cars
in the yard
one empty battery


driving away
one night of breaking
healing coffee when i rise


little boy
and his French fries
a day with Mommy

Robin Hodge

I like haiku 53. It reminds me of when I was younger. My grandma used to pick me up from preschool and we would go to McDonald's every day. It brings back those happy memories. I always looked forward to a day with my grandma. Samantha Wahl

When I was a kid I would love to go to lunch with my mom. We would sit there and talk about everything that was going on in our lives and really got to enjoy each other's presents. Almost every kid loves French fries so this a very accurate description about what is going on in this haiku. I imagine a mom and her child driving to McDonald's and the kid being super excited to get to play at the playset and eat fries. Logan Allsup


up the stairs
catching my breath
will I make it on time

Liz Shipman

This haiku made me laugh and think of being on campus. The first line, “up the stairs” instantly made me think of Shilling and the daunting climb to the fourth floor for class. No matter how much time I allow myself, I always end up half running up the stairs trying to make it to class feeling like I'm gonna die by the time I reach the third floor. Something about the stairs in Shilling is instantly energy draining and I feel like I'm always rushing into my class out of breath looking like I just ran a marathon. I could take the elevator but it feels like cheating so time after time I partake in this little race with my mind and body to conquer that daunting staircase. My friends and I often joke that no matter how fit we are those stairs will never be an easy trek and will continue to set our heartrate into overdrive terrified we'll have to walk into class late and sweaty with everyone's eyes on us. Ally Banks


vacuum car
pump gas
windshield wipers going fast



summer night
smoke in the air
crushed cans

Liz Shipman


comfy sheets
feet touching
I know I'm safe

Liz Shipman

Ever since I was young, I have always been a “feet cuddler”. Throughout years of experiencing this, I have come to figure out why I do this. I do it as a protectant thing. As soon I don't feel the person's feet anymore, I wake up to make sure they are okay and didn't get taken or anything. It is just the protective side of myself. Tristan Birt


fingers interlocked
I look over at my boyfriend
the sun sets behind him


how are you
what have you been up to
sidewalk talk


final moments
holding grandpa's hand
Deal or No Deal in the background


late night
tip toeing through the house
a light goes on

Samantha Wahl

This is a great one to me because it takes me back to living in my parents and think about all the times we went to my friends after a night out. We would sneak out and go party then try to sneak back in until a light goes on. Sitting under it was usually one of the parents whom noticed we tried to pull a sly one. Tristan Birt

I really enjoyed this haiku! I always remember when I was younger waking up in the middle of the night to go get a drink and then deciding to be sneaky and grab a dessert. I would tiptoe around the hall barely able to see anything. I quietly go down the stairs and make sure no one's bedroom door is open. I grab some water then take a cookie as quiet as I possibly can. Until I see a light flick on and my heart races, I eat the cookie as fast as imaginable before the person comes through the kitchen. This is such a fun memory to have been reminded of which is why I enjoy this haiku. Delaney Manning


buzzing in my ears
tiny bites all over me
I want to go home

Tristan Birt


rain pours
romantic movie on TV
I miss you


fresh salon hair
expensive perfume
date night

Holly Schmidt

I liked haiku 64 a lot. It makes me think of the excitement you get when dating. You want to look your best. That fresh salon hair feeling is wonderful. Then you pull out your best outfit, along with your best perfume. Sometimes dating can be stressful, but I do like this aspect of it. Samantha Wahl


plus or minus
blue line or nothing
life changes

Samantha Wahl


light beams through the trees
I sit and take it in
calmed by the fresh air


people pass by
old benches
on a worn path


significant achievements
a speck
in the sky

Anna Ernst


middle child
fighting for
the front seat


upon entering work
I pause . . .
to put on my mask

Anna Ernst

This haiku is so irritating! Not the haiku itself, but its content. I started working again this week and let me tell you, nothing is worse than having your hands full of stuff and having to stop, turn around, and go back to your car because you forgot to put on your mask. Additionally, I think people really underestimate what it's like being a big girl with oily skin, working as a server, and having to wear a mask. When I tell you the amount of sweat produced is utterly insane and disgusting, believe me. Arianna Mergler

I work at a pharmacy so I can really understand how this haiku goes. I always feel like I am finishing up getting ready for work putting my mask on in the care. I do pause for a second to just get use to the cloth around my head ready for work. The way this corona virus has disrupted the entire world from being able to do what it needs to do. Logan Allsup


away from home
our son has gone
wearing combat boots

Anna Ernst

I have two good friends that went off to the military and it is really sad to see them go, but it is awesome to see what they become from those experiences. Military can be a very scary experience, but the people you get to meet and the sacrifice you are doing for this country is amazing and more people should be grateful. Logan Allsup

I imagine a family of four, now turning to three. The son just graduated high school and is ready to go into the military. He is gone and at boot camp, now. The family cried and cried after he left, but they know he's doing a good thing for himself and our country. He left behind his parents, sister and a couple dogs. The house isn't the same without him. They write letters to fulfill their sadness. All they can do is pray and wait for their boy and brother to return back to their small town. Holly Schmidt


daughter asks
so innocently
do you see what I see?


friday night lights
crowd roaring
a hug from grandma


solid cedar wood
couch scratches
a cat's blank stare


change clinks quietly
in a tin can
barely heard

Delaney Manning

It is sad to see people on the street just making it by trying to provide for their families if they have one. This haiku is a sad and humbling read that makes you think deep about how hard life really can be. For some people, living is a hard-enough task let alone trying to create an income for yourself. Logan Allsup


far away
only weeds

Delaney Manning


playground full of woodchips
no children

Logan Allsup

This reminds me of a couple of weekends ago when my husband, daughter and I went camping. We were very excited for the campgrounds to finally open. My daughter always loves going to the playground at the campground, but it still had yellow caution tape wrapped around it. This was very upsetting for us and a reminder of the time we have spent quarantined at home. There is something especially lonely about a childless playground. Anna Ernst


                  he runs ahead
        then lingers behind
the group


your smile
as bright as the sun
i wear sunglasses

Ally Banks


birch tree bark
   peeling away
the past

Sheila Jackman


drinks dropping
people falling
it's going to be a long night

Liz Shipman

I found this haiku to be funny. Now that I am 21, I understand what the writer is meaning by this. When the writer is talking about dropping drinks, they are talking about how kids can easily put down some drinks and how dangerous alcohol can be. Once people start getting crazy with their alcohol it can be a long night for everyone. Logan Allsup


warm summer rain
my fingers
become raisins

Ally Banks

I can relate to this so much. I am one of the unfortunate people where it is super easy for my hands and finger to get shriveled up within 10 minutes of being around water! This haiku is perfect for anyone who can relate. Raisins is a perfect example about what happens when people stay in the water for too long of a time. Spot on description. Logan Allsup


blinding lights
eyes are overwhelmed
take 5

Arianna Mergler


heard from a mile away
potato launcher


silent snowflakes
going door to door
helping neighbors

Logan Allsup


he's sleeping
a message comes in
who is she

Samantha Wahl

The girl has been lied to before. She has trust issues and feels insecure when it comes to other women. The boy's snores fill the room as the girl tries to sleep. His phone dings and suddenly, she's wide awake. Her head fills with uncertainty and wonder. “Should I check it?” she asks herself. Her heart is pounding out of her chest and her anxiety rises. Her mind won't quit. She knows checking his phone won't solve the issue of trusting one another so she lies there assuming the worst. Holly Schmidt

I liked this haiku because it reminds me that I am not alone when it comes to dealing with guys. This haiku starts off with a guy sleeping, I assume this man is the author's significant other. The next line states, “a message comes in” I can imagine a bright screen lighting up in the dark bedroom where the couple is sleeping. I then see the author picking up the phone to see what it is. The author notices a message on the screen from another girl the guy is texting. I can see her confused then becoming angry as she has no idea of who the other person is. This reminds me of times I have been in the same situation and the feelings I felt then. Delaney Manning


Jones sodas
mom says no more
sneakily opening the fridge

Samantha Wahl

I love Haikus that can take me to a different time. Especially, the Haikus that make me feel young again. When did I get old anyways? When did that happen? The first line, Jones sodas, makes me want to know more. What flavors are in the fridge? Is there orange? Is there strawberry? Is there grape? This is left unsaid and I love that about this Haiku. I just want a Jones soda. The second line, Mom says no more, I am thinking seriously please. We just want one more to wash our dinner down. They go perfect in ice cream floats. What is so wrong with that Mom? The third line, sneakily opening the fridge, makes me feel like it is worth a chance of getting in trouble or even yelled at a little. If Mom hears me open the door, I have a great back up plan. I will ask her if she wants one too. She needs to relax with a Jones soda. Robin Hodge

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