Haiku Kukai 05 favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2021


a sketch from a friend
of someone in your head

Shay Buchanan (3)


Penang curry
he pays with
an empty wallet


meeting the parents
my mom gives him
the family egg

Trinity Pesko (4)

This one speaks to me not because of a connection to anything in my life, but because of the lack thereof. I hear constantly about family heirlooms and inviting the SO over for dinner, but none of that ever really happens in my family. My parents’ first time spending an extended amount of time with my boyfriend was them driving him to my first college triathlon which very coincidentally happened to be near home. These sort of silly formalities others find to be annoying make me a little jealous, just because I don’t have them. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


bourbon and pine
your shampoo
take me to the forest

Trinity Pesko (5)


tie the ribbon
to finish the dress
and my life

Shay Buchanan (3)


why do i feel so different
one day to the next


it’s not you
but you held it
teddy bear

Shay Buchanan (4)

This haiku reminds me of the scene from Lord of the Rings where Sam carries Frodo up Mount Doom because Frodo can barely bear the weight of the One Ring any longer. Sometimes I wish someone would do that to me. Not try and take on my problems or be my savior or live my life for me, but support me where I am. That’s such a pure expression of love. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


i don’t have the notes
to transcribe your song

Mason Hoyt (3)


home-cooked meal
       I can do this on my own

Mason Hoyt (5)

I love the use of space in this haiku to indicate pause and thought. There is so much in the indentation between meal and I can do this on my own that is left unsaid. The pause and thought of “oh shit I’m on my own” and the weight of a Home-Cooked Meal combine to give the reader so much to take a way from this haiku. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


they walk past unaware
their view of the world
makes me vomit

Nico Velazquez (6)


walking her home from school
brainstorming how to tell her I
want to end things

Nico Velazquez (7)

This haiku brought back an uncomfortable high school memory. I had been in a short relationship with a boy in high school that I decided just wasn’t for me. Unfortunately, I am not great with confrontation, so figuring out what to say and when was very stressful to me. I had asked him to drive me home from school so I could talk to him in person, but I spent the entire day of school zoning out with a stomach ache as I tried to prepare for what to say to him. I can picture sitting in my SRT silently while my friends all sat talking around me. I practiced and practiced in my head all day, but what ended up coming out of my mouth was still just glorified word vomit. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


skinny dipping
she dances
the waltz

Bailey Banks

I love how this haiku feels like a sparkly, filtered picture from someone’s Instagram, or a scene from American Horror Story Season 3: Coven, when Misty Day dances to Stevie Nicks in a swamp. Reading is brings me in touch with the part of me that wants to dance in a pond under a waterfall in the wild. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


wire-wrapped jade
on my chest

Bailey Banks (4)


phone flashlights
fifty thousand inner children
space out

Bailey Banks (3)

This haiku captures the ambience of a big concert. It is such a magical moment when a crowd of thousands of people comes together to sing and support something they all love. I think most people feel like their inner child is awoken during concerts. Something about them is invigorating, rejuvenating. They make you feel young and alive. It is not uncommon for certain songs to have different traditions started by either the artist or the fans. I know that for Panic! At the Disco’s “Girls, Girls, Boys” the crowd takes out their phone flashlights and shines them through brightly colored paper hearts to create a beautiful rainbow vision. It is in support of the LGBTQ community. Other concerts utilize phone flashlights too. It is our generation’s version of holding up a Zippo lighter. The individual lights in a sea of people almost look like stars in the night sky. It is like gazing into space. I think the last line is a really clever reference to that and also refers to the sense of peace and wonder you feel in these moments, almost like you have left your own body and are simply observing from above yourself. This poem brought back those good feelings that I have been missing since the pandemic put an end to these sorts of live performances. Barrett Van, Fall 2021


in reality
I don't really care how cool
you think my culture is

Nico Velazquez (3)


your gold anchor necklace
and loud belly laugh
the little things that make you, you


separating skittles
and ranking them
we discuss racism

Nico Velazquez (12)


summer's here
grandma shows us the pool
our parents couldn't afford

Nico Velazquez (4)


     passing period
     I take the long way
     but she's still at my locker

     Nico Velazquez (4)


   the sunlight
   pours through the blinds
   I could lay with you forever


it has been over a year yet you call me
late at night as a “joke”
grow up.

Reece Brown (5)


spent nine lives
falling for men
without a parachute

Maya Gomez (13)

Love this haiku. It’s so relatable. I feel like I started dating kind of young, and for the past six or seven years it’s just been disappointment after disappointment. It genuinely feels like I’ve spent nine entire lifetimes falling for shitty boys, and I have always ended up hitting the ground hard. There’s never been a parachute or a back-up plan for me -- once I’m in, I’m all in. So, when they inevitably leave or cheat or generally act shitty, it really does feel like falling from the sky without a parachute. I mean it’s all so thrilling at first until you realize that you are falling straight to the ground and nobody is going to help you. This haiku really put words to that feeling for me. India Guerrero, Fall 2021

I really like how this can be read in two ways: the way I first read it is that the author has been falling for men without a parachute of her own -- she expects that once she reaches them, they’ll share a parachute. But in reality, they abandon her and she’s left to fall on her own. The way the class talked about it was interesting, too: the writer has no parachute, and neither did any of the men she fell for. She attached herself to something that couldn’t protect her. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021 


my mind is
alphabet soup

Maya Gomez (7)


I’ll never be able to
see what you do
the other side of me

Shay Buchanan (4)


shimmering like gold
even though
I didn’t brush it


another set of clothes
to hide my ugly

Nathan Gallop

This haiku makes me a little bit uncomfortable, and I like that. It makes me question whether my investment in crafting a superb outfit every day has to do with my self-expression, or my vanity, or is simply a distraction from my truest self. You can decorate a cupcake as much as you want, but if the cake does not taste good, then the cupcake will ultimately be thrown out. No one wants to eat a cupcake that doesn’t taste good. They may enjoy looking at its beauty and appreciating the decorating skill, but the is not the point of a cupcake. Cupcakes are not decoration; they are food meant to taste good. The same goes for people. You can be as lovely as possible and distract others with beautiful things, but if you are not a good person or fun to be around, then no one will want to truly know you or be your friend. We throw on these canvases we paint as masks to cover our insecurities and vulnerabilities. Barrett Van, Fall 2021


attention deficit

Maya Gomez (4)


cloudless day
the breeze
through damp hair

Nathan Gallop (4)


perched on
crumbling red brick
blue jays pigeons


Dad sends me money
I can afford to buy body wash

Allison Durham (6)


I knew it
when you glanced at my lips
first kiss



a Polar Pop
with a few shots of vodka
cheaper than therapy

Allison Durham (12)


I roll up my sleeves
Papa saw my tattoo


Saturday night football
a drunk coed
trips over the bleachers

India Guerrero (4)


my little brother tells me
he is out on a date
how old is he again?

Diana Hernandez (8)

I loved this haiku. It’s so weird being the older sister and seeing my brother grow up. We used to beat the living crap out of each other when we were younger (you know, as siblings do), and now, he’s kinda like my friend (which feels very strange to write). He’s in his first relationship, and that makes me feel disgustingly older than I am. Ah! I miss him. Allison Durham, Fall 2021

I definitely connect to this haiku as the older sister of a brother in high school. As the first-born daughter, my parents were wary of me dating in high school and I had just one relationship when I was seventeen. My brother, on the other hand, got his first girlfriend at fifteen, and is currently on his third at seventeen. I was initially upset at the double standard but it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. It’s really interesting to see him mature after every relationship, but I also feel a bit of sadness and disbelief knowing he’s almost an adult. Time flies by, especially when I’m not home for half the year. Sometimes I still see him as a fifth grader so it’s wild to watch him doing such mature things like going on dates. But, I know he’s still the good kid he’s always been. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


they smell and make me cry
just like my ex

Diana Hernandez (11)


I stare at the table next to me
that steak looks delicious
maybe next year. . .


I love you
I love you
I love you

India Guerrero (5)

I enjoyed the simplicity of this haiku. The words “I love you” hold special, intimate meaning to them but the haiku demonstrates different methods of expressing it. Sometimes the connotation of love gives the feeling of being misled or insincere. This haiku also reminded me of the difference between “love you” and “I love you”. Using the word “I” makes the love more personal and sentimental rather than a fake response to agree with a person which would evoke “Love you too”. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


send nudes
I thought you didn’t like

India Guerrero (11)


late night bagel
the cure
to my depression

Barrett Van (6)


church gathering
everyone asks
the same questions

Trinity Pesko (4)

It is insufferably annoying to meet people you haven’t seen in a while, and they keep asking you the exact same dumb questions. Things they either should know about you by now, or they’re so utterly irrelevant that you don’t know how to answer. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


sticky note
on a pasta bowl
see you after class

Trinity Pesko (7)


brownie mix
on the counter
a smirk on his face


smiling at me
from my laptop
strawberry frog

Barrett Van(4)

I just think this haiku is cute. I really don’t know if there’s some deeper meaning to it, but I didn’t really get one. It just made me smile. I think it’s important to place things around our daily lives that remind us to smile for no reason, so the idea of a cute little laptop background smiling at you as maybe you cry over homework is very nice to me. My background used to be a capybara with a butterfly on its’ nose because the photo just always made me smile no matter how shitty my day was. I just think it matters and affects your overall mood, and everyone should have silly little things like that to make them a little happier. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


carefully crafting
friendship bracelets
all by myself

Barrett Van (7)


morning sun
strikes her golden hair
just the right way

Katie Curtis (4)

I loved this poem! I see the image of the sunrise perfectly hitting a girl’s golden locks. A lot of people would interpret this poem in a more romantic tone, but I like how this could be anyone. If you catch enough sunrises or morning skies with someone, you notice how the light of the day makes them glow. That doesn’t mean “you’re in love with them.” That’s what happens and makes you appreciate that they are the one’s taking on the day with you. A morning sun is a bright way to begin the day, and it’s even brighter when someone is there beside you. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


love like the first snow
so fresh, so perfect
—waiting to be broken

Katie Curtis (7)


date ideas
floating in my head
oh fuck I’m in class

Maya Gomez (6)


me without you
how lost I would be

Katie Curtis (8)


stay tucked behind my ear
a lingering kiss
for when I need it most

Maya Gomez (6)


meet me under
my eyelids

Maya Gomez (15)

This haiku was one of my favorites! I love how the word choice distinguishes between having a dream about someone versus wanting to dream about someone. Reading the poem, I almost get giddy. The words remind me of being asked to meet somewhere — “Meet me by the swing set” — like in my childhood, getting that tingly feeling like an adventure is about to begin. “Let’s go on an adventure. Dream with me.” Allison Durham, Fall 2021

There are a lot of poems about wishing to see someone you care about, but I’ve rarely read about wishing to dream about someone. This writer wants to see their person so badly that just a meeting in sleep is enough for them. Somehow, I think this is even more precious than meeting in person. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021 


lilies in hand
I let go
of expectations

Priscilla Sabourin (3)


blind to the little things
did you even notice
I cut my hair?

Priscilla Sabourin (4)


late night talk
I always drive you

Barrett Van (3)

Classic crush move. After a long night, the carpoolers all need to be dropped off at their respective houses. The drop off order is slightly random, but that one person always gets dropped off last… the time spent alone on the late night drive is always laced with some kind of magic that can’t be replicated anywhere else. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021

Whenever my boyfriend and I go visit family I usually drive since I feel more comfortable with it. This haiku reminds me of coming back to Millikin as the sun is setting. We always have the best talks driving down the highway. It’s a chance to get away from school (which we always talk about) and instead discuss our families, our relationship, or our future. I also like that the word “home” is by itself on the final line. I think it indicates the importance of the destination. Even though my boyfriend and I may be leaving our childhood homes and heading back to school, we really have created a little piece of home at Millikin. It’s not necessarily one building, but the idea that we have a life together in a place separate from our families. This is the first time in our lives we’ve been able to have a relationship independent from our home lives. I love that we are a unit now and we are driving back to our home. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


hiking boots laced tight
to summit
the mountain of homework

Priscilla Sabourin (7)


    lucky to fly through
your universe

Barrett Van (7)


cuts and bruises
map her small body
a father’s love

Barrett Van (6)


long weekend
my dad
teaches me how to fight

India Guerrero (6)

Despite the fact this has never happened to me, I can still feel the overall vibe of the haiku. It’s possible it’s a disappointing thing for the writer, but I find it a good experience. Perhaps the child is going to a party soon, or will be off to college, or even just going into high school next year. The dad takes time out of his weekend to prepare his child to be able to take care of themselves. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


quiet kid
lowers his hand
teacher doesn’t notice

India Guerrero (5)


every time
I think I’m ready
I remember us


I’m not a
just hopeless

Maya Gomez (10)

Whew I have really been feeling like this haiku lately. I feel like I have always been a hopeless romantic, and all it’s gotten me was a lot of betrayal and abuse of my heart. I’ve always been a very loyal person, and that coupled with being a hopeless romantic has brought me into a lot of situations were I just get hurt. So lately it’s kind of felt like I’m not a romantic anymore -- I’m just hopeless at this point. Hopeless does seem like an intense word though, so maybe I’m more cynical or disappointed than hopeless. But I like that this haiku described how I feel about romance. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


two strangers
who don’t make eye contact
they used to date

Vera Toss (6)


training wheels
for men
I never get to see them grow up


say you love me 
not with words 
with soup

Daniel Clear (6)


pew one pew two pew three 
no pencils 
no envelopes 


McDonald’s cup
first sip
I rise from the dead

India Guerrero (9)


from my face 
to the womb

Daniel Clear (3)


not nice enough
or mean enough
for homecoming queen

India Guerrero (7)


not a thought
or destination in mind

India Guerrero

When my roommate and I are really stressed out with school, life, or just need a break from homework we get into the car, drive to starbucks, and then drive around with no plans of actually going anywhere else. We listen to music, take in the scenery, have deep discussions and avoid reality. Another experience I can relate to this haiku is my boyfriend and I’s very first date. He picked me up and we drove around the country listening to music. We talked about all of the random things and joked about liking eachother. It was such a simple date, but it was a perfect way to get to know one another and just hangout without doing anything over the top. Reece Brown, Fall 2021


something is wrong
she knows
by how I answer the phone

Barrett Van (7)


neon blue cross
and a pink elephant
I’m almost home


I want to take things slow


guttural laughs
from twenty-somethings


the boy fumbles
with the keys
she lights a cig


October snow
spare change falls through
the hole in my coat pocket


she leaves
their baby with him
trombone section

Nico Velazquez (3)


celery crunch
sharing smiles
over ranch

Nico Velazquez

I enjoy the simple joy of this haiku. It gave me a little smile when I read it. I think we should write more about these little moments. I don’t even like celery, but I imagined someone who really enjoyed it having their tasty little snack with someone they enjoyed spending time with. I do love ranch though. The ranch appeals to my midwestern upbringing. I love the auditory aspect of this haiku too. You can hear the crunch of the celery and see the people smiling. It has a good sensory feel. Barrett Van, Fall 2021


it's the little things
that make my heart
skip a beat for you


heartbroken friend
hesitant to report
she did it again

Nico Velazquez (5)


lost in the deepest
thoughts in my head
your smile brings me back

Diana Hernandez (4)


you remembered
my favorite color,
from the conversation long ago

Shay Buchanan (3)


black marker
of my grandmother’s handwriting
beneath the hardwood floors

Reece Brown (4)


mom found my Skype
said we're too young
4 i luv u

Priscilla Sabourin (8)


growing up to face
life’s ups and downs
bouncy castle

Barrett Van (7)

I love this clever haiku so much. It’s cute but so smart. Using a bouncy castle as the symbol for life in adulthood is perfectly ironic since it’s so often associated with small children. To be fair, I’ve never known a college student to turn down a chance at the bouncy house. I like that you can imagine the adults jumping and experiences the ups and down or high and lows of life. This metaphor reminds us that the lows are necessary in order to get back up again, and it’s all a part of the overall fun experience. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


your best friend
breaks up with me
for you

Priscilla Sabourin (3)


Mother’s Day brunch
the wind reveals my new piercings
Grandma’s sharp inhale

Barrett Van (6)


sorry about my
fucking beans

Barrett Van (11)


he pulls me in to kiss
remembering what Mom said:
lean left

Allison Durham (4)

This haiku is sweet and reminds me of two things: young love and the relationship between a mother and her daughter. Someone’s first love, or even just love young in general is so precious. It’s funny to think of how nervous and excited we were as kids to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and I think this haiku really relates people back to that experience. Additionally, I was super close with my mom growing up and told her everything. I can picture us in the car having these conversations and her giving my advice. This whole haiku is very relatable and cute. Reece Brown, Fall 2021


a mint oreo concrete mixer
you get me

Allison Durham (4)


dripping into a cup 


blood rushes
to my cheeks
you called me beautiful


fingers, toes 
I can’t look at you


crying into my soup 
call that 
French onion 

Daniel Clear (5)


stranger passes behind me
touching my lower back
without permission

India Guerrero (10)


your “love”
painted over my ribs
in black and blue

Barrett Van (5)


The Grinch
tearing apart our tree
with four paws

India Guerrero (9)


inkblot test
am i supposed to
laugh at that?


vampire bat
i’m nocturnal and i still think
your music is too loud

Mason Hoyt (6)


empty your eyelids
into my palms
eyelash, make a wish

Maya Gomez (9)


autumn breeze
don’t know what you have
until it’s gone

Mason Hoyt

I really enjoy this haiku and the rhythm it has. Additionally, I like the idea of an autumn breeze in this poem because a breeze could blow something away. For example, when the wind is dragging a piece of paper across the ground and you find yourself running for it trying to pick it up and when you are so close to finally grabbing it, the wind pushes it further once again. This creates a perfect image for this haiku and could relate to someone’s relationship very well. People often take things for granted and wish they could get back what they had, but it is too late and they have no idea how to regain what was lost. Reece Brown, Fall 2021


your hand on my neck
I close my eyes
and trust you to meet my lips

Maya Gomez (5)


falling into love
hot tea after
a stomach ache

Maya Gomez (4)


middle school crush
cliche cliche cliche cliche cliche . . .
were we all that nauseating?

Nathan Gallop (8)


my one true
true love

Nathan Gallop (15)


new tear stains
in her diary
daisy petals


the water with which
we hose down the troughs
skim milk


Christmas wish list
I would like
to like me

Trinity Pesko (6)

I really enjoyed this haiku because it takes the joy of Christmas and contrasts it with the negative perspective of the self. Especially in this generation being constantly surrounded by social media, young teens have extremely difficult times accepting their own image. This is a contributing factor to depression and negative mental health in preteens. All children look forward to making Christmas lists, yet this haiku presents Christmas with such dread and misery of not being enough for themselves. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


ugly old pictures
back then
we were hot shit

Nathan Gallop (9)


maybe I clogged it
but I also un-clogged it
so I’m the hero

Mason Hoyt (10)


heart strings pulled tight
this time
double knotted

Katie Curtis (7)


emperor penguin
haven’t worn that tie in years
yep, still got it

Mason Hoyt

This haiku reminded me of an internal monologue that Ferris Bueller would have. Instead of finishing the things he needs to have done, he is instead tearing through boxes of old clothing from middle and elementary school. I can just imagine him grabbing the emperor penguin tie and remembering the period of time where he wore it almost every day. He ties it on before running to the mirror and striking a pose. “Yep… still got it.” Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


I write your name
on my heart
in pencil

Maya Gomez (11)

I really like this haiku because it captures the fragile heart. When in love, you are handing someone your heart. You are at your most vulnerable and unfortunately it is hard to undo a tattoo. So rather than permanently claiming a heart with a loved one, a person that has previously been hurt is cautious with their heart. No longer do they automatically let their heart get stolen, but instead place a temporary claim on it. The pencil suggests that if needed, they can always erase their name from the heart and move on without them. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021

I really liked this one for the last line. It reads as someone who really cares for another person, but is afraid to be hurt. So they write in pencil in order to protect themselves; they don’t want to write something permanently in case they get hurt later -- it’s easier to heal if you aren’t fully invested in the first place. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021


magician assistant’s wink
by my girlfriend

Nico Velazquez (6)


two muffins:
banana and nut
hazy afternoon snuggles


darling the butterflies
are enough

Katie Curtis (9)


laughing way too hard
at the dumbest things
get the banana

Shay Buchanan (6)


YouTube man says
light is a pollutant
we are losing stars

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