Haiku Kukai 07 - Halloween favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2021


the scariest costumes
my boyfriend and I
dress up as each other


I love your costume!
lady in the white dress
smiles then vanishes


fear the monsters
under your bed

Nathan Gallop (8)

I love this haiku because it reminds me that usually the people we cast as monsters, or the “monsters under the bed” are not the true monsters. More often than not, it’s the monsters under the bed that are frightened, and the people who have cast themselves as the “hero” or the slayer of these supposed villains are the true monsters. They don’t hide under the bed because they don’t need to. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


red stains, white dress
             never will be
Frankenstein’s bride


blue spaghetti
cracked lips slurp
my veins

Nathan Gallop (8)

I love to hate this haiku. The image is so visceral of the veins hanging out of the mouth like spaghetti. Furthermore the blue sphagetti is already a striking image because of how it contrasts the image of (red) spaghetti that most people have in their brains. It is both intriguing and repulsing. I also like the use of the word slurped because the abrasive nature of the word gives the haiku a very unsettling feeling. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021


empty road
behind mine

Nathan Gallop (4)


I put a spell on you
and now you’re mice
not quite what I wanted

Barrett Van (10)

There’s a song that goes “I put a spell on you and now you’re mine” and I thought this haiku had a really clever way of making a spin off of that into a Halloween themed haiku. This poem is just really cute and perfect for Halloween and I just really liked it overall. Reece Brown, Fall 2021

I love this haiku. I read this and imagine a witch learning to cast spells and utilize her powers, yet just when she thinks she has everything under control by casting a spell on a guy she likes, she’s stuck with a mouse, not a boyfriend. “Not quite what I wanted.” The misdirection in the structure of the haiku does wonders for its delivery. Allison Durham, Fall 2021

I love the surprise in this haiku. I was reading it, just singing along, and then I had to pause when I read mice twice, because I thought it was the song lyric “and now you’re mine” from Hocus Pocus. However, it also reminded me of the scene from The Witches when they turn the kids into mice. That was so funny to me because I can see their ugly faces in my head. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


the one night a year
I can take off my mask

Barrett Van (5)


under my mask
is another mask
my biggest fear


crimson drops
fall off his fangs
jelly donut

Barrett Van (8)


I had nightmares
I am a nightmare

Diana Hernandez (5)


a crying lullaby
for her dead children
La llorona

Diana Hernandez (9)

I love cryptids and urban legends which is why this haiku stood out to me. The stories about things that lure you away from the group by pretending to be something else are especially creepy to me; things like wendigos, skinwalkers, La llorona, etc. I love it, but I am also terrified by it. The idea of a mother killing her own children implies such depravity and/or insanity which in my opinion makes it scarier than a lot of classic horror storylines, and I think that’s what makes the legend of La llorona so creepy. It’s just a really good Halloween tale, and I love that we had a haiku written about it and got to talk about it. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


the candy they’ve taken
the costumes they’ve ripped
blood shed

Shay Buchanan (6)


going to a party
of only uninvited


my date to the dance
a man without a heart
or skin

Shay Buchanan (5)

This haiku is very clever. As someone who has gone to several Halloween dances, I can picture this quite well. A man without a heart alludes to a man who does not care, who is cold and unfeeling toward his date. But then, with the mention of “or skin” suggests that the date is in fact, simply wearing a skeleton costume. I think this is so witty. I also like how it is subjective to the reader of whether the date is dressed as a skeleton and is heartless, or simply just dressed as a skeleton. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021


the streets 
bustling again with life
one day

Nico Velazquez (7)

My first thought that came to mind when reading this haiku was the year of COVID. After being inside for nearly two years I thought about the excitement children would have for Halloween this year with slightly better conditions. I also imagined the excitement of children trick-or-treating for the first time ever. Immediately I thought about my little brother and longed to be back home with him for his first real Halloween. Overall, this haiku was full of life, and I really enjoyed it. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


giving an extra handful
to the kid trick-or-treating

Reece Brown (7)

I appreciate this melancholic Halloween haiku. Spending Halloween alone is sad enough as a teenager or adult, but I can’t imagine how hard it must be as a child going door to door without anyone by your side. I know that if I’m giving out candy to kids, I usually give a little extra to those by themselves, or I at least make sure to pay them a compliment on their costume. Still, it’s upsetting to see (or be) someone by themselves on Halloween. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


this year my little brothers
are no longer dressing up

Reece Brown

My sister outgrew trick or treating long before I did. I wanted to walk my sister around the neighborhood just as an excuse to parade around in a costume when I was 16, but my then 10-year-old sister was not having any of it. It made me rather sad A. to see her grow up so fast and B. by proxy to understand just how fast I was growing up as well. Dressing up for Halloween was and is my favorite part of any holiday at all, and to see that go just because I’m too old was devastating. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


beneath my feet
the ghosts of leaves

Shay Buchanan

I didn’t talk about this haiku in class, but I love it so much because of the little moment that it captures. I think it so beautifully captures the romance in personifying nature in little ways. I just imagine that in every baby leaf you crunch on, a little baby leaf ghost floats into the air, just the autumn breeze that flies around you. Maybe this is just me trying to be positive, but I don't see it as a sad thing, but a phoenix-like transition before the leaves are born again in the trees. Plus, the image of a baby leaf ghost smiling and flying around you as you walk brings me so much joy. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


after the candy 
vampires and robots
come home


pumpkin seeds
perfectly golden and salted
thanks mom


hobbles to the frat house
no brains there

Allison Durham (13)

This haiku is so funny to me. I love Greek life and am a part of it, but I also love jabs at Greek life. With this haiku I just picture the zombie apocalypse, and everyone is losing their minds, running around, being eaten left and right, and the zombie hoard moves toward Greek row to the frat houses. They go inside where the frat boys are all huddled up ready to fight them off, but when they walk in they just sniff around and then leave because they didn’t find any brains whatsoever. Then the frat boys become like the only ones to survive the zombie apocalypse or become zombie hunters or something. It’s hilarious. India Guerrero, Fall 2021

This haiku is so funny! I love the correlation between zombies, brains, and boys. I think it’s a really clever haiku because it’s funny and creepy all at the same time! I love the use of the word “hobbles”. I imagine that she’s the zombie making her way drunkenly to the frat houses only to discover the silliness that occurs there. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021


a lone wolf
for a pack

Allison Durham

This one starts out scary and then just ends sadly. And, I think a lot of people can relate to just looking so adamantly for a group of people who they can trust and rely on. Plus, I personally relate to it, since when I was younger, I treated everything like a game. So, to me, it kind of would be like a wolf on the hunt. Deciding when to “pounce”, aka go talk to to them. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


incoming call from
*ghost emoji*
“hey boo”

Barrett Van (10)

This piece didn’t especially strike me at first, but I just loved how many interpretations there were during our kukai. The ex who ghosted you and suddenly calls out of the blue; the shy ghost calling for their first-time haunting; the simple, stupid pun. It grew on me. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021 


bat in the attic
potential vampire boyfriend?

Allison Durham (4)


golden brown and delicious
roasting over the fire
her skin starts to bubble

Barrett Van (11)

I love this haiku. There’s something about skin stuff that is just so horrible and creepy and feels like a line that should never ever be crossed, and I love when people do cross it. The fact that this insinuates cannibalism too just makes it so much worse in an amazing way. It feels very reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter and Jeffrey Dahmer which is amazing in my eyes because I love classic horror and true crime. The turn in this haiku is also very effective because you start reading and think maybe you’re reading a haiku about roasting pumpkin seeds, and then after the turn between the second and third line your stomach just drops as you realized you are in fact reading about roasting human flesh. Incredible. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


marimba skills
and mallet grip
how to play a ribcage

Barrett Van (4)


cobweb quilt
gossamer threads
glossy in the moonlight

Barrett Van (8)

This haiku is simply beautiful. The imagery is gorgeous, and it suggests a contrast between glowing white threads and moonlight and pitch-black darkness. Also, the word choice was so carefully chosen, the haiku is fun to read and to say aloud. The consonance of gossamer and glossy also pairs very nicely together. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021


trick or treat
no one expects
the trick

Barrett Van (7)


skeleton crew 
dry bones 
rattling on and on 

Daniel Clear

As a theatre person this haiku is particularly fun when viewed through the lens of Halloween. A skeleton crew often refers to the bare minimum amount of people you would need to get a job done and it often means that the crew members have to work harder to make up the slack. Side note: This is actually a huge problem coming off of Covid layoffs because now big corporations like fast food chains, gas stations, and department stores are claiming there is a labor shortage because no one is applying for their jobs, but it’s actually that they aren’t willing to pay their employees more than 11 dollars an hour. Anyway. I like this haiku though because it’s funny to think of the skeleton crew as actual skeletons. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021


couple’s corn maze race
the pair not dating
finishes fastest

Trinity Pesko (6)

The reading we had in class wasn’t really my interpretation of this piece, but I really enjoyed it and wanted to talk about it. To me, this piece was pretty obviously about the fact that all of the couples were somewhere in the corn maze fooling around. Probably just making out, but if we let the story be that they’re fully hooking up the line “finishes first” gets a whole new meaning. I wonder if that was intentional. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021


couples costume party
single man shows up
as number 2


haunted house
conga line with the boys
we sing the Limbo Rock

Barrett Van

This haiku makes me imagine a group of high school boys going to a haunted house with their girlfriends. It’s a cold night and they just waited in line for 45 minutes but finally got in. The boys love to joke around and can’t take anything seriously. When they are in the haunted house the girls are all scared and the boys are joking around doing a conga line and this haiku is just very fun. Reece Brown, Fall 2021


all saint’s day
the virgin mary’s shadow
appears on the couch


you light the flame
behind my eyes

Barrett Van (7)

I LOVE this haiku! You know when you see something and you’re like, I wish I wrote that? This is one of those circumstances. I love the use of a simile of sorts here rather than juxtaposition. I think it’s really smart to use that sort of simile and metaphor of the fire behind their eyes at the same time. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021


first place scarecrow
pink pumpkin titties
and sparkly rain boots

Barrett Van (6)


late for trick-or-treating
my bloody clothes fit right in

India Guerrero (7)


Happy Halloween
he takes her costume
as an invitation

India Guerrero (12)

I absolutely hate the meaning behind this haiku but love how it is so well written. In college women tend to choose more adult Halloween costumes to have fun with friends. However, just because someone is dressed a certain way does not mean that they are asking for anything inappropriate. Unfortunately, some people believe that if others were dressed in revealing clothes, then they “were asking for it” and I absolutely hate that. I’m glad this haiku reinforces being respectful on Halloween. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


full sized bars
laced with arsenic

India Guerrero (7)


barefoot on a summer night
chocolate candy
coming home


all my demons
manifested in one place

Mason Hoyt (5)


in the street
scream to the nothingness
I never loved you

Priscilla Sabourin


Moaning Myrtle
pep rallies are much easier with
school spirit

Barrett Van (7)

I just think the double meaning in this haiku is so clever. It also feels sarcastic? Like the school spirit that everyone is supposed to be so excited about is represented by the most pathetic character in Harry Potter. If I wanted to look into this deeper I would consider it a statement on the superficial essence of school pride. Very very clever. Bailey Banks, Fall 2021


sugar skull
flowers beautifully painted
on top of my death


growing up to learn
monsters are on
not under the bed

Barrett Van (4)

This Haiku is so good. It articulates even better what I was trying to say in a paragraph about a different haiku. The real monsters are people. People who can abuse you on your own bed, right in front of the whole world. These monsters don’t need to hide under the bed. Daniel Clear, Fall 2021


Halloween party
the girls who bullied me
dress as angels

India Guerrero (11)

Every haiku should have juxtaposition, and this haiku does it quite well. Also, the epiphany, the ah-ha moment, does not need to be pondered. It comes instantly and effortlessly upon reading it. Anyone who has ever been bullied can have this epiphany right away. It’s simple and it hits all the right notes. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021

Oh boy, can I relate to this one! I love the juxtaposition of the bullies and the angels, yet they’re the same people. I like how the first line provides the setting; I find that to be unique about this haiku. I haven’t seen many like that. The language is very clean and straightforward; there isn’t messy word choice that leaves you wondering what they meant. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021

I love the juxtaposition in this haiku. Halloween is a great way to dress up as another character, but it doesn’t change someone’s true personality. I can sense the hatred of the girls because they’re the popular girls that get away with bullying. In fact, they may act like angels to everyone else except the victim and they may feel helpless. I love the many interpretations that could come from this well written haiku. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021

I love this haiku so much. The juxtaposition is so good while also being quite ironically comical. It’s just so funny to me that on a holiday where you dress up to be someone or something you are not, these girls chose angels. An angel is not a unique costume, but pairing this with the fact that these girls have clearly been identified as bullies makes the haiku so perfectly cynical. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


dagger sinks in her chest
she doesn’t flinch

Emily Nicholas (8)

I read this and find myself stuck in a horror movie. A possessed figure, vampire, or horrific monster attacks me, and just when I find the courage and opportunity to stab the beast in her chest, nothing happens. Oh, shit… gotta come up with a new plan or meet my demise. Allison Durham, Fall 2021

This is so funny to me. You can almost hear the music in the background of this movie scene getting louder and louder until the dagger finally strikes. The record scratch right before the protagonist thinks a panicked “fuck.” It does such a good job painting a picture, which is what haiku is supposed to do. Bailey Banks, Fall 2021


a rocking chair
in an empty room
my doll waiting for me

Diana Hernandez

One thing that has always confused me was the fact that people ever owned vintage looking dolls and thought they were perfectly fine. Never have I walked into a room in someone’s house where they keep an old doll and not been creeped out. There is just something that doesn’t sit right with those things. However, I suppose that when I grow up people will say that about the dolls that I had. I remember loving my American Girl Doll with all my heart, but when my sister and our cousin (around 7 at the time) created a horror movie starring the dolls, they didn’t want the dolls in their room at bedtime anymore. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


I comfort her
as she cries
over my body

Emily Nicholas (9)


coffee run
pumpkin mice latte

Barrett Van (9)


dinner party for worms
in the grand ballroom
my rotting corpse

Barrett Van (7)

The comparison between something fancy and distinguished and a literal rotting corpse is both so interesting and rather humorous. The juxtaposition makes it funny, but it also gives a sense that, to all the maggots of the world, this is an occasion just as joyous as a grand ball. They get so much food from this body, despite the fact for humans, a maggot-infested human corpse is disgusting and tragic. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


another chair around the bonfire
they are now a part
of the family

Emily Nicholas

I don't know who wrote this, but I like this idea of a ghost joining a family reunion. This chair in question belonging to a deceased past owner of that house. I get the picture of it being like an old rickety rocking chair that was in a garage and anytime anyone when near the thing it moved. Instead of being scared of the energy, the family living in the house includes it in events. Part of the family now. Bailey Banks, Fall 2021


the lights flicker
my sister sleepwalking
I lock my room


sprinting from the
dark basement
I survived the monster

Diana Hernandez (9)

This haiku is so relatable to so many people. Sometimes I get this irrational feeling that there is someone behind me when I am going up the stairs in my house and I can’t help myself but to sprint up the stairs as fast as I can. I thought the wording and rhythm of this haiku was done very well. Reece Brown, Fall 2021

Like I said in class, even in my 20’s I still occasionally sprint up the basement stairs because of some odd feeling of dread. I usually get to the base of the stairs at a normal pace, able to tell myself that there’s no rational reason to freak out. But there’s something about the steps that just makes me run up. I also have the little added bonus of my stairs just being wooden slabs, so I make sure to pick my feet up for fear of something reaching through and grabbing my ankles. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021

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