Haiku Kukai 07 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Summer 2020


petals unfolding
the dying rose
on her grave

Sheila Jackman

It seems more of a Kuro style haiku. It gives you a gloomy vibe when reading it. It also makes me think of what kind of life did this person live. Being at a grave doesn't always have to be negative. I think you can also associate it with the great person you once knew, and celebrate their life. Samantha Wahl


head in the clouds
I feel
the thunder of my feet

Sheila Jackman


twenty two chairs
star spangled banner
small speech


her beautiful nails

Sheila Jackman

Being a girl, I know this feeling of wanting fake nails all the time. When you get fake nails, you feel like a whole different person and the vibe changes. You use your hands so much that it's something that people notice first on a person. Since they are fake you are able to get them any size you would like with any design. For me personally I like getting my nails done because it makes me have more self confidence in myself. Riley Sawin

I like this haiku as most girls are taught that being beautiful is important. This means getting dressed up, doing your hair, nail, and makeup. All of these things are seen physically but no one ever knows if it is all just for show. All the physical may be just fake. Delaney Manning


splash water balloon
cold on my feet
my niece's devious laugh


inch by inch
winning the race

Sheila Jackman


dog bowls
in the corner of the room


they suffer
we watch in silence
America runs on tragedy

Holly Schmidt


old photographs
at the thrift store
“names unknown”

Ally Banks


in the graveyard
flower vases

Ally Banks


trying on my favorite dresses
a fancy date
me and my cat

Ally Banks


witness to a death
I don't call for help
I simply press record

Holly Schmidt

This haiku is so relevant to our culture and current events. Reading this haiku I instantly thought of the tragic death of George Floyd. There is so much police brutality and such a lack of compassion for human life within our government that the culture in our country has become filming brutality rather than calling for help so there is a record of what actually has happened. Realistically, the odds of justice being served to a police officer who abuses power is much better if their brutality is caught on tape and cannot be twisted by the officers. This haiku makes me sad because our country has come to a point where we cannot trust the people who are supposed to keep us safe and our instinct has transitioned from help to capture for accountability. It is truly heartbreaking but perfectly encapsulates the culture in our country. Ally Banks

This haiku has a large impact in so little words. Today, the news tells outrageous stories and the media is used at great lengths. Many would say that they see people on their phone more than actually communicating face-to-face. It is sad that if a harmful event would occur people would take their phones out first rather than help the situation. Delaney Manning

This haiku hits deep in the heart. With everything that has happened so far this year, it really broke my heart reading this piece. Knowing that there are people out there who refuse to jump in and save another human disgusts me. It's even more disgusting when that reasoning is because of the victim's skin color; the recorder would rather have likes and views on the internet than have morals. Although it is convenient to post videos in order to bring awareness, like in George Floyd's case (may he rest in peace). However, there is a fine line between using video as evidence and using it as an excuse not to intervene. Arianna Mergler


dog prints
follow my footsteps

Riley Sawin

This haiku has been the epitome of my summer. I moved in with my friend at the Woods at Millikin, who has a dog. I love when I'm in my room and it's quiet, then all of a sudden, I hear “Jazzy, come.” Then footsteps followed by dog nails against the floor and the jingling of her collar. I gives me peace and solidarity knowing that a small furry creature lives here. Not only that, she is an ESA, which allows her to be more patient and willing to be pet, as well as she knows what to do when her owner or I are in distress. Dog cuddles are the best cuddles. Arianna Mergler


dark clouds
surround like me like
a bubble


bikini season
boys like me
for the wrong reasons

Liz Shipman

This haiku explains a lot in what boys look for in a girl. I imagine it being summertime and they are at the pool swimming. A girl has her bikini on, and it is showing a lot of her skin drawing attention to her. Boys not having any respect for the girl watch her while she is swimming, she notices them looking but not at the important of her. There is a lot more that goes into liking someone and being mature enough to handle it. Riley Sawin

This haiku is extremely relatable as I am a female myself. I hate how boys our age are only interested in a women's body rather than her personality or any other important characteristic. I imagine a high-school girl who is at the neighborhood pool party with all her friends from her class. Suddenly, all her guy friends start to drool over her. She wonders what caused the sudden attention and flirting going on. Then, she realizes she's half naked. Holly Schmidt


feeling like a time-lapse
one side to the other


finally working
I forgot
it sucks

Liz Shipman

I like 17. It made me laugh. I think this is someone who gets to go back to work now that things are slowly reopening. You're so eager to get back because being at home can be so boring. Then, once you're finally back, you realize you never liked working in the first place. Samantha Wahl

This haiku hits home. I'm back to working at my retail job and to quote line 3, “it sucks”. During the first few months of COVID-19, my store was closed and I was honestly so bored at home that I wished we were open. Now that I'm back at work I'm wishing we were still closed or just doing curbside pickup. Working during a global pandemic is not fun. We wear masks, are constantly cleaning everything, and deal with the most annoying people on planet Earth (I truly believe this is not an exaggeration). I miss the regular days where it sucked a little less because things were at least normal. Ally Banks

Upon reading this haiku, I know that the author feels the same kind of pain I currently am in after not doing anything for over 3 months. I'm a server, so I went from doing absolutely nothing to being on my feet and interacting with people for hours on end. It's a great workout, but when dance has ruined your body and you've had 2 knees surgeries, it gets old really quick. Also, I believe I'm introverted for the most part. Because of this, I tend to have a limited amount of time for social interaction before I can't do it anymore. Arianna Mergler


our nation's birthday
sparklers light up the sky


children giggle
sliding down the inflatable slide
parents bank account slides too

Tristan Birt


broken tradition
first time not celebrating you
nation's heart aches


clothing store worker
in the latest trend

Tristan Birt

Although I have always had office jobs, I have secretly dreamed of a career in high-end retail. Except for the dealing-with-the-public aspect, it sounds like fun. I do not envy retail workers! My hat is off to them, especially during the holidays. I love to shop, and I love clothes, shoes, and makeup. I would totally be “in” to an employee discount, but I'm afraid I might spend too much of my earnings on goodies from the store. So for those of you who get to do this, keep it up! You're looking good, girl! Sheila Jackman


in the water
all this love on one boat

Robin Hodge


rowing by
rowing by
say hello to my dream home

Robin Hodge

23 was one of my favorites I read. It reminds me of when I go to my friends lake house. All of the houses surrounding are huge, one even has a helicopter pad. I can picture my friends and I passing these houses in a boat thinking we want one of these one day. Samantha Wahl


in total darkness
she finds herself
cold bedroom

Anna Ernst


light the wick
and flee

Arianna Mergler


in the sky
clouds floating
no strings attached


vivid dream
she makes herself

Anna Ernst


cold hand
nothing remains
but the body


sitting down
on the broken couch
I hope I can get out


hours upon hours
making money—
ankles the size of calves

Arianna Mergler


on the trampoline
playing popcorn with family
how high can you go



tan skin
a small spot
begins to peel

Samantha Wahl

I can relate to this haiku because I'm always out in the sun during summer. At the start of summer my skin is not used to being in the sun a lot. The first time after being outside I come home with a sun burn. As my skin starts to heel, it forms little sports where you can start peeling the dead skin off. It's one of the best feelings because you have a new layer of skin coming in and it always comes back tanner. Riley Sawin

In this haiku I imagine a hot summers week I have been in the hot sun trying to get a tan. I finally have gotten a tan and my skin is peeling. I then will start to peel my skin until it is raw. Liz Shipman


the calming sound
of the ocean
a breeze on my face


jetski bouncing on the water
the sun beats down
upon my back


he waves the flag
the first time
as an American

Sheila Jackman

This haiku recognizes the hardships freedom offers when relating to independence day. Not everyone is born free, especially if from another country other than America. Immigrants from all over the world come to America to get rights they may never have had. This haiku allows those people to be recognized and the great feeling when they know they are finally free. Delaney Manning


perhaps tomorrow
I'll put off

Sheila Jackman

I like this haiku because of the cleverness of the words choice. I am so bad about procrastinating, especially when it comes to homework. I honestly feel that I work better under pressure, with a deadline. I often tell myself that I am not going to procrastinate with the next assignment, I may even prepare for it ahead of time but when it comes down to it, it is highly unlikely that I am going to get it completed before the due date. Anna Ernst

This haiku makes me laugh at the fact that I relate to it. Once you start procrastinating, there's no going back. I imagine a college student who has homework due tomorrow, but instead of getting it done tonight, they decide to finish it before class in the morning. They lie down in bed wondering if tomorrow will be the day they get their shit together. Holly Schmidt


shake up
and walk all day

Robin Hodge

This haiku makes me sad since so much of life has been canceled this year. Having grown up in Texas, I had never heard of a shake up until moving here nine years ago. There is nothing more refreshing than a lemon-strawberry shake up! Each time I have attended the Decatur Celebration and the Illinois State Fair, I have enjoyed this cold, sweet delicacy. I'm reminded of hours on end walking around the state fairgrounds, smelling the various foods, people watching, and enjoying life as a Midwesterner. I am really going to miss going this summer. Sheila Jackman


break ups
are hard
all day in the pool


wake up
go to work
money already spent

Arianna Mergler


sweet breeze nestles
beneath my chin
hair tossed at high tide


misty summer midnight
the humidity
weighs my heart down

Kathryn Bouxsein


fourth of July
we are still trying . . .
to find plans

Holly Schmidt


small town
fireworks light up the sky
from all directions

Holly Schmidt

This haiku brings back memories from my hometown. I live in a small town that has a huge firework display that lights up the sky. People come from all directions just to see our little towns fireworks. Liz Shipman


picture on the wall
one side
leans to the left

Holly Schmidt

This haiku is something I can definitely visualize. It seems that any picture that is uneven draws my attention and I just have to attempt to straighten it up. It amazes me that some pictures hang on the wall perfectly straight for years. Other pictures seem to lean to one side, no matter how many times you try to fix it. It's like the picture's way of showing us that it is supposed to be this way. Anna Ernst

I like this haiku because it addresses a mundane concern, yet a common frustration. I'm reminded of times I have hung a picture on the wall, and everything looks fine. Then, once I sit down across the room, I see that it is crooked. Grrr! My husband and I have not always agreed on what is “level,” despite what the carpenter's level says. I have learned not to get too wrapped around the axel about hanging things on the walls. As long as it's not too disproportionate, I'm good. After a while, we don't even really see what is hung on our walls, so it is not a hill to die on. Sheila Jackman


sticky popsicles
wash off our faces
the slip ‘n' slide

Ally Banks


new refrigerator box
a spaceship or castle
takes us on adventures

Ally Banks

I love the creativity aspect of this haiku. It reminds me of being younger and getting a big box that you could ride around in. It was so much fun decorating it, hiding in it and imagining going places with it. I often think about kids today having too many toys or technology and not using their imaginations like we used to. I was quite pleased when my daughter asked if she could bring some empty boxes in from the back porch to play with. Anna Ernst


hopping between couches
the floor is

Ally Banks

I love this haiku because it brings me to back the good ole memories of being a kid. I love how wild our imagination runs as children. I imagine three siblings cooped up inside on a rainy day. They decide to play a game where they can't touch the floor because it's lava. Their mom hears belly laughs all the way upstairs. The movie on the television plays in the background as they jump from couch to couch afraid of the floor. Holly Schmidt


down the river
calm morning breeze


Busch Lite
gradual conversation
with the old man

Logan Allsup


the night owls
watch over me
like a god


blood on the barbed wire
shackles in the hills
footsteps disappear


long white t-shirt
the smell of his cologne        all alone

Delaney Manning


clouds pass
by me quickly
elephants dancing

Delaney Manning

I love how whimsical this haiku is. I imagine a young girl and her mother are laying on their backs on a picnic blanket watching the clouds. The little girl spots two clouds moving along together and determines they look like elephants doing a funny dance up in the sky. Her and her mother spend the beautiful day trying to find more shapes in the sky and embracing the peaceful quiet. Ally Banks


first time celebrating
. . . without family
4th of July



long winding road
we talk about everything
and nothing

Ally Banks


tan lines
where she's been


relaxing in the sun
a butterfly rests
on my hand


click click click
a zookeeper
in my bedroom


little chirps
of excitement
teacher's pet

Ally Banks


spark of light
head tilted slightly up
with amazement


the smell of rain

Liz Shipman

It's dark outside I can see that it is about to rain. The storm hasn't come through yet but when you look out it just looks gloomy. You just know that the rain will hit soon because it just smells like it and the air feels cooler and different than when it isn't sunny out. Liz Shipman


I have to smile
people pleaser

Liz Shipman


to the gas station
what flavor Polar Pop?

Arianna Mergler


Junior year
almost over
can I go back already?


only achieved
in a hot shower

Arianna Mergler


broad shoulders
strong arms—
his embrace is heaven

Arianna Mergler

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