Haiku Kukai 01 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2021


towers of boxes
no time to take in
one last view


photos of friends
on the cinderblock wall
a call from mom

India Guerrero (6)

This haiku brings me to my freshman year dorm room. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling of trying to make a cold cell-like dorm room into a warm, cozy, home-away-from home. The photos of friends seem peaceful and warm whereas the cold cinder block wall feels dark and cold. The call from mom almost seems separate from the first phrase with the wall between them. The photos of friends are a reminder of life at college with your new friends, but the call from mom is almost like a separate world. Katie Curtis , Fall 2021


three a.m.
your mother cries


why didn’t they tell us
falling out of touch
would be so easy?

India Guerrero (6)

This haiku immediately made me feel a sense of longing for everything that was taken from me due to COVID. Rather than savoring the last months of my senior year with my friends, I was stuck inside my house with an incredible fear of stepping outside. When starting college I was yet stuck again in my dorm trying to survive my online classes. I essentially fell out of touch with the world and myself. Although I stayed close with a few friends from high school, It was incredibly difficult not being able to see them other than through a screen. Other people I thought I was close with completely disappeared from my life the day school ended. It is expected to drift from people when going to college but I didn’t expect total isolation from the world due to a pandemic. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


laughing, stomping, bass
pound from above
vacuuming the ceiling


catching up with friends
we watch
the sunrise


lemon tea cakes
and veggie pizza
drown my sorrows

Allison Durham (8)


diet on weekdays
stress eat Saturday
guilt trip Sunday


you have no idea
who I am

Barrett Van (5)

This reminds me a lot of doing introductions for class and thinking about all the things you don’t say. A teacher will often ask you to give one fun fact about yourself and you have to pick one hobby, anecdote, or other fact to share with the class. I often think about what I don’t want to tell the class before I find something I want to share. I used to keep the fact that I wrote a secret. Now I say it, since it’s an easy fact to say, and I’ve realized that no one is particularly interested in reading what you write just because you say you write. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


the path I’ve walked
a thousand times
each step new

Allison Durham (6)

This haiku feels very relevant to starting a new school year. Personally, I feel like each year I’ve been at Millikin I’ve been a different person, but in a good way. Each year there’s growth, so it the walking the same path with new steps stands out to me and feels very relevant to my personal experience at Millikin. It’s kind of like my perspective of myself and the world around me changes and grows as each year passes, so even though I’m walking the same path to LTSC, for example, that I’ve walked since I was a freshman, it is new to me each year. This haiku has a kind of “who will you be this year” feel to it, and I like it a lot. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


second year
a classroom
I’ve never seen before

Barrett Van (5)


late night calls
soon you won’t be
so far away

Barrett Van

I picture someone like myself in college who isn’t by their boyfriend/girlfriend. They are on facetime for a while catching up on how each other's day went and sharing random details. It’s late at night and they are both lying down, tired from their day and missing eachother. With that being said, the last two lines of the haiku bring happiness and hope. Although they are apart, being in a long-distance relationship is about cherishing the times you do have together and trusting in each other that everything will be okay. I also really like this haiku because it could also relate to family and friends that you are no longer close in distance too. Reece Brown, Fall 2021


Alice in the rabbit’s den
to find a new world
. . . it’s the same thing

Shay Buchanan (3)

I really love this haiku, for it alludes to my favorite story from my childhood. With that, I read this and imagined a new school year where the air has that fresh “first day of school” scent (it’s real, trust me). The phrase “new year, new me” rings in my ear. Yet, as stress begins to pile (along with homework), old patterns return, and procrastination ensues. From a different perspective, I read this poem and see Alice looking to escape her past worries and societal troubles, but those don’t go away so easily. No matter what world you’re in, there will always be evil queens and condescending cheshire cats. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


your breath
a breeze through my hair
holding hands

Maya Gomez

This haiku made me imagine a stroll through a warm beach. I see a beautiful sunset with pink-orange streaks and a bright yellow sun at the horizon of the sea. The breeze is cool and a bit salty. Although it is a warm summer night, I feel more warmth coming from the hand holding mine. I walk with a person in comfortable silence as we enjoy the breathtaking view with each other. This may seem like a clique from a movie but enjoying breathtaking views with someone special creates the best memories for me because I am experiencing beauty with another loved one. It is a shared, intimate experience that occurs once in a lifetime because each sunset, or even each day is never the same as the last. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


the worn out blade
used for years
the warrior’s secret

Shay Buchanan

When reading this haiku, I picture someone digging through an antique store or an attic. They find an old sword that is heavily worn. Then this person imagines the person who must have used it. For the sword to be so worn down, it must have been used often. If it was used often to the point that it was worn, that means the person who wielded it must have survived many battles. This skill of staying alive in the presence of danger is thus “the warrior’s secret.” I especially love the diction of that last line. The author didn’t choose to use the word soldier. They didn’t choose to use the word skill, training, or instinct. They used the word secret, and I think that adds a level of mystery and illusion that I appreciate. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021


taking off the costume
from the stage to home
another mask on

Shay Buchanan (2)

I feel this one every time I go home. I feel like I’m at school, and I’m doing my thing. I’m with my friends, and doing my work for school. Then I go home, and I’m suddenly with these people (my family) who don’t really see that part of me. I don’t love talking to my family about what I do as a performer because I feel like they won’t really get it. My solution is then just to kind of sit in silence and answer whatever questions come my way. It’s a weird front that I put up, and I’m not sure why I feel the need to do it. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021

I can picture walking home from SOTAD after a long audition week. I also like how the word mask is ambiguous. Mask could mean, in this current time, the masks we wear to protect ourselves against the coronavirus. The author could mean switching from a singing/performing mask to a standard mask to walk home. Or, perhaps, the author could be referring to the metaphorical mask we put on ourselves when we’re on the stage. We take off that “actor” mask when we exit. However, when living with other people, sometimes we can find it hard to truly be ourselves, even in our own home. In this sense, there’s another mask being put on. I love how this poem can be interpreted in many different ways. It makes you think. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021


call me
day and night

Maya Gomez (4)

I love that this haiku can be read quite distinctly in two different ways. It can be read as a question to someone to call you their love over and over, day an night. And it can be read as a question to your love to call you all the time. I also like that it is so simple and straightforward without being unthoughtful. It is a genuine moment that is captured in writing. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021


moths linger
a stomach ache you can’t place
porch light belly button

Maya Gomez (5)


I come to class
with my mind out of step
from myself

Paul Cushman (2)


your toes curl
around technicolor

Paul Cushman (5)


morning moon
there is lovely
in all your in-betweens

Bailey Banks (12)

I love this haiku. First of all, it’s comforting and supportive. Secondly, the imagery perfectly matches the message. I can picture the moon in the sky while sitting on the Quad during midday. The morning moon is, in itself, an in-between. It isn’t a night sky, but the moon’s still there. It’s a transition. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to the message. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021

I love how gently this haiku reads. Some phrases just feel rounded and soft to me. I wish I could explain the feeling but I simply can not. All I can say is that as sweet of a message as this haiku has, the words feel just as sweet rolling gently off the tongue. To me, this haiku seemed to perfectly encapsulate the idea of the beauty in everyday things that we discussed. The first line also made me think of the book “Goodnight Moon,” which is a very calming and gentle book. I don’t know if it’s the soft words or the message focusing on the beauty of little moments, but this haiku feels like a warm cup of tea in the autumn. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


my long hair
still stands out
6 inches shorter


I’m sorry email
signed with a heart
starting off strong

Bailey Banks (12)

An ex-best friend sends you a passive aggressive email for the 18,000th time this year. It’s some stupid gripe that isn’t even that big of a deal, an assumption that something you said to someone else was directed at him when really you were talking about a character from a TV show you were watching, and that time that you accidentally made eye contact. So sick and tired of this, you respond with just “I’m sorry <3” and that heart has all the hatred in the whole world packed into it. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


fading tanlines and
bright colored nails
hanging on to summer


is just enough away
to take a nap

Bailey Banks (12)

This haiku was the first one that I marked as a favorite. It felt like it could be as surface level or as deep as you wanted it to be. Perhaps you are just putting off homework and fitting naps in between classes. The haiku could be nothing more than a part of the internal monologue running through your mind as you plan out the rest of your day. Or perhaps it's a bit heavier than that. Maybe the problems of today are just too much. The burden gets heavier after you’ve been carrying it for too long. You’re not giving up just yet but… but tomorrow is just enough away to take a nap. A short rest stop on your journey to finding the light at the end of the tunnel. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021

This type of haiku we read in class today was so fun to read. If I were to describe the tone of this haiku and others like it, I would say it resembles both the feeling of giving up and embracing the hardships to come. In a way, these types of haiku embody my mentality for getting through college; day by day I give up thinking it’ll be easy but also accepting how I need to still get things done. This haiku, however, also connects with my chronic procrastination. Feeling fine enough to take naps in the day without worrying about homework later on is a privilege that I would love to have. (I still do it anyways) Nico Velazquez, Fall 2021

I really like this haiku because it makes me laugh. I go through this kind of thinking pretty much every day because I love naps. Every day it’s like a debate over whether I should take one, and it always seems like I have more productive things I need to be doing, but somehow I always manage to convince myself that tomorrow is just enough away to take a nap—there’s just enough time to take a nap and get things done. This does often result in me rushing to do some things or not doing some of the things I probably should do (clean my room), but in my mind the nap is always worth it. Sometimes I fall asleep while I’m trying to decide if I should nap which probably means I needed it anyway. So, I liked this haiku because it felt like my own stream of conscious while I convince myself it’s ok to take a nap. India Guerrero, Fall 2021

I resonate with this haiku as a college student. Towards the end of last semester, I developed the worst sleep habits I’ve ever had because I was burnt out. The night before I moved out of my dorm I stayed up until 6 o’clock in the morning working on assignments. I had to wake up at seven, so my good night’s rest was reduced to merely a nap. When I read this haiku, I can feel the bags beneath my eyes and the total exhaustion of both mind and body, grateful for even a minute of sleep. It is one of those sleeps where it feels like you blink and you alarm is already going off. You stay up so late that the lines between today and tomorrow are blurred along with your vision. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


back to school
the phrase holds
a notable sting


first day of school
the perfect outfit
planned for weeks


puddles on the ground
clouds in the air
a new band of color


velvet horns bloodied 
skin hanging loose  
a new season begins

Daniel Clear (7)

When reading this haiku, I get a very visceral reaction to that description of velvet shedding. It also gives me the impression of things changing, and how transformation can be painful but is ultimately necessary. Mason Hoyt, Fall 2021


neon lights flashing
chants of my name
waking up in a dorm


your delicate finger
traces my leg
3rd degree burns

Priscilla Sabourin (15)

I love the intimacy and vulnerability this haiku presents. The author talks about someone tracing their leg with a delicate finger. They’re obviously close with whoever it is, and presumably are/were involved. It seems to be about a relationship that’s ended, because the delicate finger has left burns that have scarred and have taken a long time to heal (that is, if they have healed). This haiku puts into words the difficulty of moving on after a relationship ends, and the way we carry things with us even if we’ve left the person themself behind. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021

This haiku held so much trauma that I didn't even know if I wanted to understand what it was about. To start, 3rd degree burns hurt only the surrounding area of the wound but not the wound itself due to burning off the nerves. I feel this could possibly mean that the author felt whoever was touching their leg brought so much trauma to their surrounding life but not technically theirs. Maybe this was a family member who didn’t necessarily hurt the author but maybe their mom or dad and because of that, the author’s life was affected dramatically by it. It kind of reminds me of how your parents would tell you their parents (your grandparents) were low-key abusive to them throughout their childhood but when they grow older and more fragile, they seem to forget about all the trauma they caused your parents. And when you grow older, you realize that your parent’s parenting style was a direct result of their childhood. Maybe the author looks at their grandparent with empathy and extreme caution due to the stories their parents told them. Nico Velazquez, Fall 2021

To me, my favorite aspect of writing haiku at the moment is the contrast, the story arc that can happen in three lines. This type of writing, where you expect one thing and get the other, puts me in a place that really opens my mind to a world of possibilities. Life is filled with little ironies if you look for them, and this is no exception. This took me to a place of driving at night with someone you love so much who has done you so so wrong. Their hand on your thigh, and the tightness in your throat feeling like you can’t stand up for yourself. Their touch lingers and it’s painful to even think about. The type of touch that leaves scars the more you try to alleviate the burning feelings on your skin. Bailey Banks, Fall 2021 


cardboard box
didn’t fit in the trunk
new trash can?

Priscilla Sabourin (7)


coffee taste and 
a brisk walk 
before I’m awake 

Daniel Clear

When I came home from school last year, Covid had really gotten the best of me. A heavy schedule mixed with online schooling left me feeling burnt out and unmotivated- questioning what was real and what was even worth fighting for. I was honestly amazed that I made it out without failing any classes. I came home feeling tired, gloomy, and unproductive. In a desperate attempt to gain some control back, I tried to start by setting up a consistent morning routine. I would wake up every morning at 7am and go on a thirty minute walk before coming home to a ten minute or so meditation and making coffee. This haiku took me right back to those mornings. Dragging myself out of bed to my alarm and forcing myself to walk straight outside without thinking because the second I thought about how tired I was, I would be trying to crawl straight back into my bed. Those mornings honestly became my favorite part of the day. They were my little escape. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021

The obvious takeaway could be that the writer is simply tired, but I also like the idea that they're dreaming about coffee and a brisk walk. Pleasant dream that must be. :) Mason Hoyt, Fall 2021


my sister and I
over the potato peeler

Nathan Gallop (6)


vacuuming away
a years' worth
of unresolved issues

Nathan Gallop (8)


shattered glass
a field of daffodils
crinkled paper


country backroads
warm sunset against my face
music freeing my mind


i return to campus yet again
a new normal
yet again

Reece Brown (7)

I feel this one. We got SO CLOSE to having a relatively normal year this time around, and it was so heartbreaking whenever that got turned around last minute. The repetition of “yet again” feels like the author is exhausted from the circumstances of the past two years (and understandably so). I think this time around is a little bit better, but we’re all still feeling the pain of not being able to be close to our friends the way we used to be. Everybody is having to make sacrifices for their own safety, which becomes all the more frustrating when others won’t make those sacrifices. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021



a sea of faces
elevator pitches
pull up your mask please


two weeks off
why didn't I say bye
see you soon


my last night 
as this personality
a part of me dies


friends huddle together
for warmth and conversation
early hibernation


too late 
to transfer
taco night

Nico Velazquez (13)

This was a class favorite haiku, and for such a good reason. I love the fun quality of this haiku, and the sense of embracing the grittiness of life. I love that this haiku could be a title to replace "Taco Tuesday". The alliteration in this haiku makes each word pop. I find this haiku to be extremely relatable to college students, which is something I love about haiku. I love finding haiku that resonate with you on a personal level and you can think about during your day to day life. I will certainly be using this haiku on Tuesdays! Maya Gomez, Fall 2021

The humor behind this haiku is like a breath of fresh air. It’s not very often we see a haiku with humor like this, however all college students can most likely relate to it. We joke about transferring or dropping out all the time, but we aren’t actually going to do it. The alliteration in this haiku is really powerful as well. It makes it flow very nicely. I picture a group of friends in their apartment avoiding all responsibilities and saying they should have taco night instead. Katie Curtis , Fall 2021

Besides containing my laughter, when I first read this poem, I relived the feeling of defeat similar to that of forgetting to turn in an assignment or sleeping through a class. It’s the special kind of defeat that says, “there’s nothing I can do about it now, so you might as well make the best of it.” Whether that means continuing to sleep after snoozing through the first class or eating tacos, I imagine trying to make the best of a slip up or bad situation. My question is whether this defeat constitutes making tacos in the kitchen, the smell of grilled vegetables and tortillas in the air, or driving up to Taco Bell and spending the night on the toilet. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


fan blades spin
and bring me back to life
modern day Lazarus

Mason Hoyt

I also really loved number 44: My own imagined response to this comes from a place of mental illness projection, so trigger warning for in depth descriptions of depressive episodes incoming. This puts me in a place of laying on the back on the floor. It exerts too much energy to reach the bed. Going to bed is another task. I haven’t earned the bed. The carpet itches my skin, and I am warm but not in a good way. I am staring up at my ceiling fan, and I want to move so bad but it feels like there a rocks in my lungs that are too heavy to lift on my own. Every atom in me is shaking and I am paralyzed. My mind is going a million miles a minute, but not like a racecar, like TV static. Then all of a sudden, from my open-eyed coma, I have too much in my mind to remember how I got on the floor. So I stand up, and I wait for the cycle to start again. Being brought back to life, like the modern day Lazarus I am. Bailey Banks, Fall 2021


power cable
at last my world
is complete again

Mason Hoyt (4)

This haiku makes me think of the importance of technology in today's generation. We are so focused on being on our phones, it's practically our entire world on that screen. I imagine you have just moved back to school and you realize you don't have enough outlets in your room for all of your electronic devices so you’re scrambling to find a power cord to plug everything into so that you have access to all of your devices again. Katie Curtis , Fall 2021


dad carries 
the last box
longer stairs


eight legs
crawl up the desk
scattered friends


Windy City 
filled with music
in the garden


prison break
just to realize
you were already free


through boxes a path
to a bed
i don’t know

Emily Nicholas (6)


electric current
on and off again
we flicker

Barrett Van (2)

I love this poem because I like to write about light myself, and this haiku made me wish I wrote it! I love the imagery behind the flickering. The words “electric current” bring such a strong physical response that immediately engages you in the haiku. I imagine lovers that are in an on again off again stage in their relationship when I read this haiku. The flickering, fleeting, bursts of love between them are only moments among a time of disconnect. However, when the light is on and love is there, it feels like an electric current. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021


I broke it and yet
I kiss him
one last time

Emily Nicholas (5)

This particular haiku can be interpreted in so many ways. Whoever broke it could have broken the relationship and created problems that could not be resolved, broken off the relationship all together, or even broken their partners heart. I envisioned this haiku to be a girl breaking up with her boyfriend because he was unhealthy to her and never treat her right. She finally realizes that she deserved more and ends things with him. With that being said, she still has a love from him regardless because feelings like that don’t go away over night. After she gets the courage to end things, she kisses him goodbye. She does this because she loves him, but it could also be a way of closure, a final goodbye, and one last chance to remember the good parts of their relationship. I picture this whole scene taking place in the boyfriends car on a summer night. The AC is on, and they are both wearing something along the lines of sweatpants and T-shirts. The music is off, or volume is so low you can’t actually hear the song itself. The air feels different than it ever has before, and everything just feels so off and uncertain. Reece Brown, Fall 2021

This haiku is great to me because of the tension and ambiguity it uses. First of all the ambiguity in “I broke it” is wonderful because you can’t tell whether the author “broke” the relationship by cheating/being toxic etc or whether the author broke it off by breaking up with their partner. I also love how it triggers my sense memory with this visceral imagery of “one last kiss.” That last goodbye is so hard for me and this haiku encapsulates it so well. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


mask off
face like a
wench’s ankle

Barrett Van (6)


your baby blues
my sweaty palms
what are you waiting for?

India Guerrero

I am a SUCKER for the youthful, reckless abandon, that comes with young love. There is something so cinematic about this image of a nervous first. Life is short, and it never feels faster than when you are about to have an intimate moment. The feelings of second guessing, of the words caught in the back of your throat--the nervous excitement of what is on your face. What is the facade these two people could be putting up? What is the speaker reading into the subject’s baby blues? There is no consequence here, it feels like. Nothing matters and everything matters. That is beautiful. Bailey Banks, Fall 2021


same rocks, but different
who doesn’t dance

Emily Nicholas (5)

I love how how sad this haiku is.  I don’t think that I can quite conceptualize what the author is referring to with the rock’s, but the image of someone who no longer dances is so poignant. It feels heavy and strapped down, keeping this person in place. It feels like the spectator of this person is remembering a time when this person was lighter. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021



the smell of mom’s perfume
as she holds me tight
one more time


homemade raspberry jam
and warm crepes
happy birthday

India Guerrero (8)

This haiku makes me feel so warm inside. I picture waking up and smelling the raspberries cooking on the stove (if the jam is being made that morning). Then, I run downstairs to see the jam accompanied by crepes and my loved ones wishing me the happiest of birthdays. From there, we gather and have the perfect breakfast as I toast to a new year. India wrote a lovely haiku, and I would love to ask her if this is a yearly tradition she has or if this was how she recently celebrated her birthday. Either way, I read this poem and smile. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


i see
a dream never-ending
then close my eyes

Gabe Henderson

This one is just really sweet; it gives me the impression that whoever wrote this haiku is just really enjoying what life is giving them at this moment, and I'm happy for them too. :D Mason Hoyt, Fall 2021


i lie asleep
swirling sounds all
in my head

Gabe Henderson

I go to sleep after a day of writing and hear the voices of my characters in my head. It starts out as random words being said at the same time, but as I start to fall asleep, a new scene plays out in my head like a movie. When I wake up, of course, I don’t remember it, even though it would have been perfect. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021



comfortable silence
your breath is chance music
what color is this song to you?

Bailey Banks (11)

I simply love how romantic and intimate this haiku feels. I imagine two people cuddling under covers as they fall asleep, listening to the pattern of each other’s breaths, feeling safe and connected with one another. You are just so happy they are alive and here with you that their breath is music to your ears. This haiku also has a deeper meaning to me personally. I don’t think the author meant that there is literally a song playing, but that is the way I imagined it at first. My boyfriend has synesthesia, meaning they see colors to music. In the beginning of our relationship, I would always ask him what color my favorite songs were. This haiku brings very happy and romantic feelings for me. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021

At first this haiku didn’t speak to me, but after reading it out loud in class it has wormed its way into my brain. This is a very relaxing haiku to read. The rhythm of the words spoken out loud is comforting. Also, as I mentioned in class, I like that the breath is the music. I imagine these two people sitting in a car. A close enclosed space where the sounds of each other are the radio that fills the gaps between conversation. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021


whiskey breath
salt-stained cheeks
i still love you

Bailey Banks (14)

I love this haiku. It painted such a clear picture in my head. I envision a couple who was hanging out with friends at a party. They got into an argument because the boyfriend did something insensitive, rude, kissed another girl, got into a fight or something along those lines. They separate themselves from the party by going upstairs or stepping outside. While they talk about it and express their feelings about the issue the girlfriend gets upset and begins to cry. Although the fight isn't necessarily resolved, it is dropped, and they are going to move on for the night. He gives her a peck on the lips and as she does a tear drops down and she thinks the third line of “I still love you” to herself. Reece Brown, Fall 2021

I love this haiku because for me, it stimulates the senses so much. You can smell the whiskey breath, see the salt-stained cheeks, and feel the heartache of loving someone with great flaws. I thought of an abusive relationship when I read this haiku. It made me imagine an abusive drunk lover. This person still loves them, but they feel trapped in doing so. I love that the "I still love you" comes at the end of the haiku. After all of those things, love is (unfortunately?) still there for that person. I'd love to know the story behind this haiku and whether or not my interpretation was what the author was thinking of. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021


nighttime rumbling 
on the tracks 
then a blast of thunder

Daniel Clear

This haiku reminds me of some of my favorite nights at Millikin. I love the rain so much – it’s my favorite weather – so whenever it rains I just get really happy. This haiku remind me of nights freshman year in Dolson when it would pour and Oakland Avenue would flood so it was completely impassable. If you stayed up late enough (which I definitely did back then) you’d hear the train coming through in the middle of the night. For some reason that sound along with a thunderstorm is so oddly comforting to me and also brings back a lot of memories of freshman year. This is another haiku that feels more like a memory to me rather than someone else’s writing. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


stress behind comfort
where to put home
in a new room

Gabe Henderson (8)

I am a creature of habit. The feeling of change when moving is not one that I particularly enjoy. After my parents helped me move in this semester, I just sat in my desk chair, defeated and lost on where to begin unpacking. I connect to this haiku because while I was trying to make my new space more comfortable, it definitely caused a lot of stress. Fitting and reshaping your belongs into a new place to make it feel like home is difficult sometimes, and I don’t feel comfortable until I’ve had a few days to adjust. This haiku perfectly encapsulates that transitionary period from being uncomfortable to adjusting to your new space. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


heels on sidewalk
cicadas stop chirping
as I walk by


the cloth curtain falls
a standing ovation
of pearly whites


pouring gold
into the cracks
the accident caused


a new person
in the same body
my trump card

Shay Buchanan (6)

I resonate with any sort of media that deals with the idea of masking. I have never been diagnosed as being atypical but the concept of masking made so much sense to me when I first heard of it because up until then, I thought everyone just was a totally different person depending on the setting they were in. I guess, in a way, everyone does but I don’t feel like everyone panics when they're in a situation where more than one group of people require one of your personalities are together. Also, the thought that the author has their other personality as their trump card is so devious. It reminds me of a villain in some sort of movie where the protagonist is about to get them in trouble but the villain is able to avoid that by completely changing their personality to get out of the situation. I guess I can feel like a villain when I have a personality I haven’t revealed to a new person yet. Nico Velazquez, Fall 2021


one more glassy picture
with which to enter
the world


no pets allowed
small dogs collectively
sniff the sign


maybe this time
the summer sun
won’t dry us into dust


walks with you
I don’t care where
we go

Maya Gomez (8)

To me, this is what it feels like to be in love. Being safe enough with someone to wander and just be is such a special feeling. Wandering and existing with someone who is more important than the destination of that wandering is such a great feeling to me—especially as someone who is anxious about people and choices. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


at least
a stripper won’t need
a college degree

Nico Velazquez (10)
This haiku provided some sort of comfort as I laughed reading it. As I start my second year of college I really start to question what I want to accomplish, who I am and what I am even doing at a university. Growing up I faced constant societal pressures that the only way to succeed is to go to college and get a degree. However, if considering money, there are plenty of ways for people to have a great quality of life without a college degree. Yet these roles in society are viewed as less because they aren’t fulfilled by people that spent thousands of dollars on a paper from a university. In fact, some may think that becoming a stripper is the smart way to go about life. They get paid hundreds of dollars (I think) nightly depending on the audience while others spend about 40 hours a week at work to make the equivalent. It was comforting to know that my fellow peers also every once in a while contemplate their decision between college and being a stripper. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021

This haiku perfectly describes how anxious I am about college. So many young adults are turning to sex work to survive because they either can’t afford college or the system of academia does not work for them. It’s tongue and cheek, but this haiku is relatable to so many people my age and that’s wrong. It is so nerve-wracking  to feel like you have to attend college to make a living while everything is a stressful nightmare—especially when stripping might make more than your chosen field! Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


stepping on the bus,
she is no longer
the baby I once held


broken mirror
my pain
is not love

Diana Hernandez (6)


ears of corn
all our bright ideas
seeking fertile ground


pH now 4.5 
Hydrangeas slowly 
turn deep blue


bowing their heads
even lower
sunflower rain

Randy Brooks (2)


sitting at my desk
mindless chatter
fills time between ticks


painted paddles
generations of sisterhood
inscribed on dark oak


dwindling virus
scarce masks in the grocery store
ounce of hope


dozing off
my notes
as my pillow


events that weren’t here
last year.


orange and purple vtech
Dora the explorer couch
Dora the explorer game

Reece Brown (9)


two shots then no masks
two shots back to masks
how many more times

Reece Brown (2)




© 2021, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.