Rengay Favorites

Global Haiku Tradition • Rengay Attempts 1, Spring 2014


cracked open
to reach the heart
fortune cookie

old man
eats alone tonight

the rose-scented candle
long since extinguished
another no-show

drowning sorrows
in cheap wine

dragging out the box of old photographs
against better judgment

midnight park
reliving memories


I like this rengay because of the story it tells. It flows well and slowly gives away certain details. The images are also great at revealing the story in a vivid way. After reading this, I feel my heart sink a little bit for this man. Erin

I enjoy this rengay because it tells of all the ways that love can go astray or be hurtful. It is a reflection on how many ways love can hurt whether it be through being stood up at on a date or having a loved one pass away. This is a collect of short stories of broken hearts. However it seems that these are all from different view points so it depicts the idea that all of the hurt lovers are connect through their heart break and are not alone. Mikayla


soft pitter patter
sharp squeak
the mouse was caught

the cage slides down the pole
gotta love board games

screaming and squealing
jovial laughter
it's game night

thanksgiving night
grandma takes out Scrabble...
things just got serious

the Sunday edition
crosswords done in pen

too much
family fun
now searching the classifieds.

The Yellow Brick Road

staring down
the yellow brick road
I make my wish

spiraling colors on lollipops appear
we are the lollipop guild

my eyes play tricks
as sparkles emerge
I hold my breath

lions and tigers
and bears
Oh my

my sanity rests
in his hands

clicking three times
wishing for home
ruby red magic


After reading the various rengay this was my ultimate favorite. I was immediately intrigued by the title and was amazed at how well it fit the rest of the haiku. I loved the feeling and color presented in the first and second haiku. The image of spiraling colors on lollipops brought images of a beautiful world of color and feelings of happiness. The last links to the haiku brought a sudden darker image to the cheerful first links. The rengay takes a sudden turn to a land that isn't so perfect, a land other than on the yellow brick road. Overall, I love this haiku and chose it as my favorite for the creative title, as well as the emotion and color presented within the links. Sara

Regretful Day

one too many drinks
feeling woozy
sad again

a stumbling man
exits the bar alone

the divorced man
sits down on a bench
people give him change

a pair of children
laughing at nothing

parents hush
the chatting toddlers
Sunday church service

the donation jar
empty as usual


This was my favorite rengay out of the class’s attempts. I really enjoy the imagery that these verses create and I feel that it mirrors everyday life. The reader gets a glimpse into a different person’s day on each verse and to me, this signifies how everyone lives their own lives. Each individual may be fighting a battle, and I may not know it. Everybody has their own unique story and this rengay does a great job at introducing that. It reminds me of an ensemble film where the storyline focuses on an abundance of characters and their stories. I think this rengay is very well-written and if it continued as a mad-verse rengay, I think we would have gotten to know the characters a bit more. Valina

I really like this rengay because there are so many stories in this poem. The different aspects of the story actually flow from one to the next. Also, the authors really just scratched the surface of the situation, leaving the reader to infer the reason why each action happened. Rebecca

Although this haiku isn't as cheerful as my first choice I found myself drawn to this rengay for the feelings conveyed throughout the links. I love how the title fits in perfectly from the first line to the last. While the feelings present make the reader feel sad and sometimes angry they also create a beautiful image. My favorite link in this rengay "a pair of children, laughing at nothing" brings back memories of childhood when life was carefree until you were shushed by your parents which coincidently happens in the next link. Overall, I love how this rengay is written as well as the feelings presented within the six links. Sara

I like the imagery and story that these haikus tell. Also I like the sense of community I get that is quiet different from the normal type of community. Instead of coming together, it's a group of people linked together by their flaws. It starts out in the typical downtrodden place in any town, to the streets, to the children, and ends up in the place people think the best of. Even in the church there are flaws and I feel like it could be argued that these haikus run in a circle. Trista










you trickle
down the spine—
rain in the gutter

hands meet my ribcage
cocoon breaks; butterfly

lips slightly parted
pink petals
awaiting dew

tattoos blossom over moonlight skin
branded by the night

awakened by the
taste of your tongue
morning coffee

snow-angeled mattress
retelling lightening breaths


I liked the rengay magnificence, I loved how it made what I assume to be a sexual encounter something filled with innocent images. It’s a lot like when someone holds you close from behind, someone you care about, you get all these butterflies in you. You feel them rolling around in your stomach and then they burst out of you. The feeling of being in love is a wonderful thing, and it is something that can tell its own tale. Each time this poem relates a part of the body or an action to something that seems almost entirely unrelated, it excites me because I realize then that the objects being compared are actually related in the most amazing way. Like the tickle down the spine being compared to a rain gutter makes me so happy because it is just such a spot on comparison. Brandi

This rengay was connected yet disjointed enough to describe this relationship or string of relationships. I imagined this as an almost one night stand. They are both so enamored by each other, but the girl was planning on sneaking out of the house in the early morning. Instead, she wakes up to coffee and his kisses. She is pleasantly surprised but just accepts the drink, and the new relationship. Danna

My favorite Rengay is the one entitled “Magnificence.” I enjoyed this one because the flow is amazing and the fact that although each haiku by itself may seem to tell one story, them all put together tell this magnificently story that is beautifully crafted. Their word choice is so sweet and gives me such deep feelings of love. I couldn’t help but smile while reading it. I just really loved it. Olivia

I really liked how this rengay carried out the risqué theme that we previously attempted. I love how one of the links tied in the "blossom" theme that is present in many famous haiku author's signature haiku. I also really like how this rengay seems to tell the story of night as well as transitioning into day. I also like how romance is tied into the links in a very subtle manner. Overall, I chose this haiku as one of my favorites because of the feelings and romance found within its links. Sara

This rengay is STUNNING. I love the angsty hormonal vibes. It's even better because they are presented in this soft-filter romantic light and it's so edgy and alive and gorgeous. I relate to what is being conveyed, and I am so grateful that this was written. Taylor


The Abandoned Lot

a pacifier left
in a parking lot

wailing infant
shopping cart

a mother's last nerve
the freshly removed
wedding band

the line untanned
from before he left

echoing footsteps
his signature still wet
divorce papers

on the court steps
unsure where to go


I like this rengay attempt because it is sort of like a complete story although it leaves a cliffhanger at the end. The group that did this one really work together to make the story come together nicely. I love the mystery at the end. I can see a mother getting so frustrated with her child on the verge of tears. She is so stressed out and hurt at the same time. She is not only a divorced woman, but now she is a single mother. I can feel her frustration in this rengay. Deja

When I read the first linked verse, I would not have expected the rengay to take the turn it did. This rengay appeals to me because it has so much depth and emotion within it. When I read this, my heart aches for the family. People get married in hopes of loving each other for the rest of their lives, and sometimes it doesn’t go the way things plan, and as a result, families become broken. I like the turning point and the imagery the second linked verse brings to the rengay. I can see the line of the wedding band on the mother’s left hand and I can imagine a signature on the divorce papers. I really enjoy the lines “echoing footsteps” and “his signature still wet.” From what I have heard divorce seems like a long process and I feel as if the two parties are reminded every day by the stress of it until it gets finalized. I also like how the authors ended this. To me, it can also mean that they are unsure on where to go in life after their divorce. Valina

My favorite Rengay (apart from my own, of course) was The Abandoned Lot. I just really connected to this on a personal level. Divorce has been a very prevalent part of my life, and this rengay reminds me of scenarios my mother might have gone through when my dad and she split when I was two. This is just a really interesting picture of a divorce, focusing on the aspects of being alone and trying to juggle legal proceedings and children at the same time. I just really thought that this was a cool way to express the elapse of a divorce in a creative way. The images compiled to make a small silent film noir, almost. Jonathan

I loved how this one told a story. The rengay tells the narrative of the struggles that a couple goes through after separation, eventually leading to divorce. I liked how the divorce is kind of described through the entire family's point of view. The child is too young to realize exactly what is going on, but (s)he knows that something is not right, and it upsets him/her. The woman is frustrated and fed up with her (now ex) husband. I get the sense that she is also hurt, because she was loyal to him (her wedding ring was not taken off until after they separated), and he betrayed her by leaving them. I feel like the man is just overwhelmed with everything. He didn't necessarily want to leave, but he couldn't stay. It was too much, and he couldn't handle it. That much is evident in his hesitance after signing the divorce papers. He hadn't really thought of a plan; he just had to get away. Mackenzie

I really liked this rengay because I think each haiku was distinctly different and could stand alone, but together they told one cohesive story. I also liked this rengay because it was one of the few rengay that did not repeat the same words either. I really liked the journey the rengay took me on. It started off with a baby and ended in divorce which I think says a lot about our culture today. Most marriages end in divorce and this rengay made it seem like the couple got married because they had a baby together and thus the marriage was short lived.  Allie


Ice Breaker

lost and afraid
nowhere to turn
a shot in the dark

darkness enhances
feelings of fear

a cold hand
breaks the ice
. . . surrounded . . .

nowhere to run
she gives in
first kiss

falling in
ice covered water

when did love
take a turn
when it chose me?


I really loved this rengay. Although it repeats words, particularly the word “ice,” I think it worked in this rengay. I loved how this one started off dark and mysterious, but then it turned into a rengay involving love. I think this worked particularly well since love is something that can appear suddenly and unexpectedly. That’s why I thought this rengay worked well. Allie

Crazy MoFos

I cannot try
to silence my excitement
we are crazy

screams fill
the entire room

lying on the floor
I catch my breath
endless slumber party

the clock ticks
soon enough
three a.m.

the music turns down
as do we

too bad
it is Tuesday
classes tomorrow

First Snowfall

quiet autumn evening
white flakes
begin to fall

a young face
peers through the glass

school tomorrow
on until . . .
a sharp riNGGG

brings news
of a day full of fun

droplets fallings
from every eave

as we watch our masterful creation
melt away . . .


This is one of my favorites because it reminded me of being a little kid again. I love snow and this just brings back so many memories of playing in the snow with friends and family. This Rengay tells a story and I like the way it flows. It gives me excitement for the snow to come. Erin

Queen Sabi

the prettiest princess:
her best friend
the bravest warrior

she became
her own best friend

it can be
a form of company

standing alone,
I still shine

who needs to fit in?
those who live for themselves
have the most fun

pigeons flock together,
eagles fly alone


I really like this rengay because of the flow it has. Each haiku fits really well with the one before and after. I also like the message that this haiku conveys to its audience. It all connects and has a main theme of individuality that courses throughout. I especially like the last haiku. I like the last haiku because it connects everything together and shows that one can still be strong when he or she stands alone. Eagles hold a power and vision with them that can be seen when they fly. Daniel


© 2014, Randy Brooks • Millikin University • last updated: November 20, 2014
All rights returned to authors upon publication.