Global Haiku • Fall 2020
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Bryn Sentnor

Reader Response Essay:

Sipping on PRUNE JUICE:
Musings over Senryu



A Sacred Vessel

Bryn Sentnor

Dear reader

Many people who write haiku have a certain approach that they take to writing, or a certain method that works for them. The haiku included in this collection were born in a number of different ways. Some came from a writing prompt; others were frantically typed into the “Notes” section of my phone in order to preserve the artistic integrity of the idea I had in that moment. My most successful haiku embody a sense of spontaneity, connection, living in the present moment, and appreciation for one’s surroundings. For me, most of those haiku are about love, nature, or both. The nature haiku capture fleeting moments in a few words, focusing on only a snapshot and the connection between the nature and people. I hope they play to your senses and transport you to those moments. The love haiku focus on the different kinds of connections and relationships people can have, portraying the excitement, the struggle, and the pain that accompanies love. Overall, the haiku that I find the most impactful are the ones that shrink down their scale and focus on the most specific of details in the right here and now.

The title “A Sacred Vessel” comes from one of my signature haiku, but it also felt appropriate as this collection itself is a sacred vessel filled with creativity, vulnerability, and imagination in the form of haiku, rengay, and tan-renga. In Judaism, it is said that in the beginning, there were ten sacred vessels that shattered, and their contents were scattered all across the earth. Like those vessels, this vessel and its contents are fragile; please be gentle with them. Those vessels that shattered, however, were filled with the light of God. I hope that once you have finished reading these poems, you share the light of these poems with the people you love.

high school dance
backseat of his car
our lips

dozens of old love letters
fall to the floor
new year's eve

you kept one
all this time . . .

Binny Tamang and Bryn Sentnor

evening campfire
our first kiss
sparks fly

you ask
if I'm okay
I breathe you in

in for four          hold for four

out for four        repeat

lying in the grass
staring up at the stars
her eyes catch mine

starry night sky
she sneaks a glance at me
and smiles

Close to Heaven

lying in the grass
she glances at me
and smiles

moonlight or starlight
she reflects with ease 

orion’s belt
connects the spaces
between us

I want to feel close
close to you feels like
close to the stars 

warm celestial bodies
above and below

I am on the ground 
I am in the sky 
I am everywhere with you

Bryn Sentnor and Maya Gomez

nighttime prairie hike
crackling wint o green mints
light up our mouths

driving home
back country roads
and Taylor Swift

Country Escape

a horse's neigh
her first memory

white paint peeling
off the wooden crossbucks

rotting loft doors
open peep holes
into her past

back country road
driving through an open field
longing for home

grass turns to hay
whizzing past her window

intertwining aromas
of barnyard must and sugar cubes
sweeten the air

Mickey McNaughton and Bryn Sentnor

on the candlelit ofrenda
one packet of MnM’s
and pictures of Papa

plush red cow
with uneven fur and one eye
still her favorite

a scroll of leather parchment
I chant the ancient words
inked in exquisite black

the violin
cries for forgiveness
echoing our plea

a single yellow flower
the one no one

her soul departs
what remains—
a sacred vessel


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