Global Haiku • Fall 2020
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Rebecca Murphy

Essay on
Kalamu Ya Salaam




The Smell of Rain

Rebecca Murphy

I wrote “the smell of rain” in my Global Haiku Traditions course at Millikin University. During my time in the course I learned about what inspired me to write haiku, as well as important aspects of haiku. I chose the title, “the smell of rain” because of a series of haiku I wrote about a time my friends and I ran in the rain outside of our dorm. The smell of rain is connected to many other memories for me as well, both negative and positive. I have found that when writing haiku I tend to write about people and how they interact with nature or objects. I try to capture an exact moment that another person or I is in and the emotions they are feeling. The haiku that I have chose for this collection are both happy and sad, heavy and light. I tried to show contrast in emotion because it is our human nature. In my opinion, good haiku can be written using many methods, but they all capture a short moment and experience. The should also include a juxtaposition of images. I personally do not shy away from punctuation and varying formats, as shown in this collection, and I believe that without these elements many of the haiku would be weaker. I hope that you find something that resonates with you in this collection and the next time it rains I urge you to go outside and take a deep breath.

breathing in
their laughter—
the smell of rain

drunk on rain
we immortalize our smiles
developing poloroid

the shhh
of the car's wheels
on damp pavement

mainly for my dogs
but yeah, you too

Thursday session
telling my therapist
I lost the war

angels fall
saints make mistakes,
I thought you were better

old man's
uncosented stare
I ask my friend if she's okay

funeral dress
I hide in
the back of the closet

I cross my legs
on the wooden pew,
damn this dress

cancer diagnosis
the first time
I'm angry at God

sun setting
I wonder how much
time he has

park walk—
my father stops
at every memorial bench

planning our futures
we make
carpet angels

problems of morality
pizza and cheese bread

the historic house stands
on the hillside

cow's munching on grass,
I think of food
and climate change

I spin the globe—
one day I will
change the world

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