Haiku Kukai 08

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2021


Gene Kelley
I try to imagine
tapping in puddles

Trinity Pesko (8)

I love love love love Singin’ in the Rain! It is one of my favorite movie musicals of all time, brilliantly capturing the magic of golden age cinema in fun dance numbers and witty dialogue. What I love about this haiku is its connotation when saying, “I try to imagine tapping in puddles.” Based off my interpretation, that phrase means trying to picture being so happy that you’re willing to stand in the rain, drenched head to toe, tapping in the rain because you’re giddy and in love. This poem says, “I want to chase that feeling,” and I love it. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


doves in separate trees
would you like to live
with mom or dad

Trinity Pesko (14)

This haiku resonated deeply with me. My parents got divorced after my freshman year of college began, and one of the reasons for that was so that my brother and I didn’t have to go through the awkward custody sharing and traveling back and forth between houses. Even more so, in Illinois, the mom almost always wins custody no matter what, but if someone asked my brother and I who we really wanted to live with, one parent would be hurt with custody, and the other would be deprived of his kids. That question is so jarring for kids, especially in a legal setting. Allison Durham, Fall 2021


now I’m allowed
but far too tired
the mysterious path

Shay Buchanan

Lately I have been feeling tired all of the time. I feel like I need 13 hours of sleep to make it through 11 hours of being awake. This haiku makes me feel closer to that feeling, but it also makes me feel witnessed in it. I don’t know what the author was writing about, but for me it evokes a feeling of awareness of loss. The speaker seems to know that they are in a knew state “now I’m allowed,” but is struggling outside of their environment. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021


peach juice
from a thimble
summer memories

Trinity Pesko (6)


wait for me
I’m right behind you
taking your picture


roads to home
the trees rushing by
familiar faces


2:00 am
the living dead catches up
on homework

Priscilla Sabourin (11)

I love this haiku because it is so relatable. It’s so spooky and Halloween-esc, but then has a humorous twist! I enjoyed this haiku because of the juxtaposition of spooky and silly, but also truthful. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021 


cancelled therapy appointment
maybe i should

Priscilla Sabourin (4)


to think the face
in the mirror
was the monster all along


empty room
the way i left it
the way you left me

Paul Cushman (6)

This haiku leaves me feeling in the same state as the subject matter—filled with emptiness. The whole idea of when you no longer touch something, it stays the same, is the same way this person must be feeling after the absence of a loved one. They are they room that is the same since the day they left it. They are also empty. Also, the repetition of “the way” works very nicely in this piece. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021

This haiku reminds me of the song “Right Where You Left Me” by Taylor Swift. It's about a girl who gets broken up with and just stays in that moment forever. She is frozen in time in the last moment where they were a happy couple before he broke up with her. I can see the same thing happening in this haiku. The bedroom, left empty and frozen after being left behind, the author feeling the exact same way. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


crack in the floor
the next flight home

Paul Cushman (6)


sharing a day 
first time since college
pumpkin patched


waking up
to sweet bread

Nico Velazquez (8)

I really enjoy the sweet image and warm feeling behind this haiku. Although I haven’t set up an altar for the day of the dead, I imagine people get overwhelmed with feelings as they place their favorite foods of their loved ones on the altar. The day of the dead is not just about remembering someone but bringing them back into their lives as if they were still there. Overall, this was a very heartfelt haiku that I really liked. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


our future
I could see 
curdled milk


using chords
to explain my life
for sale, baby shoes


alone on the balcony
waves crash on the beach
him, just out of reach

Nathan Gallop (6)

I imagine that this haiku was written about a friend or a family member, but I think I want it to be for an unrequited love. The balcony is already isolating (separate from the house) and the speaker is alone on said balcony, but the balcony also connects us to the outside which I love that this haiku SEES. The mix of isolation and attachment to different parts of the world, but not the one u want, is very powerful. It also is a very cinematic haiku and could easily be a movie. Paul Cushman, Fall 2021


frog’s croak
I remember to
drink water

Nathan Gallop (4)


you think I’m annoying?
I don’t speak gaslighter

Nico Velazquez (10)


bittersweet silence
I blow an air kiss
matcha latte


to the rhythm of the butterflies
beating wings in my belly


and self-doubt
match made in hell


clunky brakes
of the Volkswagen Beetle
waking up


i glance over
my past lives
that smile isn’t real

Mason Hoyt

I really enjoy the meaning behind this haiku. Looking at old pictures I realize that I did go through periods where I had to fake a smile just to get through the day. This haiku is someone everyone can relate to because everyone has bad days. I just really like the strong feelings of reminiscing and regret that this haiku evokes. Diana Hernandez, Fall 2021


lost boy
he never found

Barrett Van (7)


phone call
from an old friend
cough syrup

India Guerrero (9)


prayer candle
for sale
never used


Mercury retrograde
I talk too much

India Guerrero (6)


mother asleep 
on the couch 
I tuck in her feet 

Daniel Clear (9)

This haiku is so sweet! Daniel told me the story about this night so it makes me happy to think about. He’s so thoughtful and wanting his mother to be the most comfortable as possible. It’s a simple gesture, but it shows so much love. Maya Gomez, Fall 2021

I love that this haiku is all about role reversal. It has a peaceful and bittersweet feeling to it. Usually, parents carry the kid up to bed after they fall asleep on the couch. This time, the role is switched, and the mother is the one that fell asleep on the couch. It’s a vulnerable and child-like position. The acting of tucking in her feet in the last line is so sweet and very much the act of a caregiver. I especially like that the moment is focused on the mother’s feet. I imagine she was very weary and fell asleep on the couch after a long day or shift at work, and her feet were so sore she didn’t have the energy to get to the bed. The child’s caring act shows that they are old enough to recognize their mother’s struggles and take care of her. It’s a bittersweet feeling of growing older. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


tilted head up
like a child
less stars than before

Emily Nicholas (8)


through the glass door
behind the fire’s reflection
cat left out


my mom lives in the kitchen
her love pours out
every dish she makes


I’m sorry
What did you say?
I don't speak gaslighter

Diana Hernandez (10)


autumn trees line
the country road
to my new home


I gave you half of my day
making your
favorite soup


midnight snack 
I don’t know the path 

Daniel Clear (7)


black shadow 
in darkness 


Barrett Van (5)




Barrett Van (7)




didn’t listen close enough
have to start ag-
have to-
have to st-

Mason Hoyt (7)



the new owners
find two small headstones
Penny and Kirby

Allison Durham


all my favorite desserts
. . . pumpkin flavored


stomach flu
puking in the yellow bucket
while mom makes me soup

Allison Durham (5)


my darling child
swaddled on my lap
wiggling ferret

Trinity Pesko (4)

This haiku reminds me of my cats. I had one cat, Oliver, and we got him when I was three years old. I treated him like my little baby doll back then, and even when I got older I still treated him like a little baby. I’d wrap him up in blankets and hold him like a child. Even when he wasn’t all wrapped up I used to hold him on my hip like my baby. He was so chilled out he would just let me carry him all over the house like my little “darling child.” He died almost a year ago after 18 years, so this haiku just brought me back to those happy times with my baby cat, and that’s why it stood out to me. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


grocery shopping alone
I select
the lone banana


waking up
to the alarm not set
silent walls


finding my face
on the back of
a milk carton


summit Everest
softest climb
on ten piles of laundry


at the bar
grabbing a drink
. . . with my dad?


going to the party
the introvert awakens
crawling under the covers


the pink, white, yellow
of the flowers
my tears fill the vase


grilled cheese and tomato soup 
cream soda 


an ember escapes
we giggle
and cuddle closer


dolls once
prized possessions
priced on eBay

Emily Nicholas (6)


I feel comfortable 
hugging strangers
thank you mom


orange salamander
curled up
among the glowing coals

Emily Nicholas (5)


bartering aesthetics
over practicality
Pokémon cards

Nico Velazquez

This one spoke to me as a Pokémon card collector myself. I don’t really do the battles much, so if I have a strong card that someone younger than me wants, I’ll often trade it for something rare or something that I just like and want to add to my collection. This one seems like it’s supposed to give off a childish vibe, that the aesthetic isn’t as important as how good it is in battle, but I see it as the opposite. A lot of kids that collect them for their strength don’t actually play the card game at all; they just want the strong ones because they are strong. But seeing it as something to just make yourself happy and throwing aside all the numbers is rather mature. Shay Buchanan, Fall 2021


mom’s rice
but never replicated

Nico Velazquez (6)


empty apartment
I allow myself
to take up space

Trinity Pesko (8)

I imagine the speaker of this haiku to be a young adult who’s finally left a suffocating home life to start their independence. I can personally connect to the feeling of not being yourself at home: not allowed to be loud, listen to loud music, sing, sit un-lady like, etc. The empty apartment indicates that the speaker might not own a lot. Maybe they’re almost broke and afraid for how their life is going to pan out. But, they can finally be themselves and take up space, and that’s all that matters. Emily Nicholas, Fall 2021


cotton candy dreams
when I wake
you will be gone

Trinity Pesko (6)


cleaned the living room
for no one
but me

Trinity Pesko

This haiku was very much me. I appreciate a clean house so much to the point where my whole mood is ruined if I feel like I'm living in filth. When I read this Haiku I felt so validated because I often find myself “crazy cleaning” whenever I want to get my life back on track. Nico Velazquez, Fall 2021

Growing up, I hated to do chores, like almost every other child in the world. I would begrudgingly finish them with threats of losing screen time. The worst was when we had guests over and my mom would decide that we had to clean the entire house. We dragged our feet and mumbled as we picked things up and vacuumed and put things away. It didn't mean anything to us because it wasn't really our space. We were young, and even though it was ‘our home,' we hadn't bought the house or poured ourselves into decorating it. Getting to college brought about a change. I may be too busy to clean my room as frequently or as well as I should be, but when I do clean it, it is completely my own choice. Nobody will punish me or take away screen time. I clean it because it makes me feel nice and better and more put together. Priscilla Sabourin Fall 2021


my favorite game is tag
my little sister asks,
What is that?


our trauma made us
best friends
my sunlight


she knew two languages
assigned to a lifelong job
her personal interpreter


hands gliding over fresh sheets
cotton folds 
to the shape of you


sun beams
the tilt
of your inquisitive brow


dreaming . . .
astronaut? pop star? deep sea explorer?
English major.

Maya Gomez (6)


I told you
growing pains

Maya Gomez (5)


changing pains are not so hard
with a friend
peeling oranges


when I was 12
I was introduced to coffee
my mother’s eyes


florist tells me I’m
one in a million
Secret Garden


moved away to find my true self
But I think I
left her at home


afraid to say
your skin is married to mine
a hiccup through your spine

Paul Cushman (7)


dad’s apartment
dinner time
burnt quesadillas

India Guerrero (8)


depression dungeon
I have the key
if only I could get up

India Guerrero (7)


visiting dad
in grandma’s basement


thrift store
grandfathered in


I want to hold you
with all my diameter
rose quartz

Maya Gomez (11)

I loved this haiku! It was such a cute little thought since rose quartz is the love stone. It also reminded me of this show I watched a little bit ago about space gems that can turn into living projections. In the show, the main character's mom is Rose Quartz who passed away during childbirth. I love how this haiku made me reminiscent of one of my comfort shows. Nico Velazquez, Fall 2021

I passed this piece over at first. I sort of had that moment that we talked about where we read the first line and make our assumptions about the piece. My assumption was that it was going to be a cheesy, generic love haiku, so I moved on. When it was brought up in class and people talked about their interpretations, it became a lot more special. It was the idea of the diameter of a wedding band that really struck me; the double meaning of the second line. Very nice. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021

This haiku is really precious. “with all my diameter” is such an interesting phrase, but I think it perfectly captures how a hug feels. The length of our arms is what some people would consider our diameter. I think it’s such a cute and awkward thing to say. It reminds me of the math nerd trying to express their feelings for someone. Also, rose quartz draws a nice parallel, as rose quartz is the crystal of love. The whole thing together is just a really sweet haiku. Trinity Pesko, Fall 2021

This haiku is so sweet. I’m sad to say I’ve never experienced any type of love like this, but I can imagine it. Rose quartz is the love crystal, and it’s interesting that it was used in this haiku because it does promote romantic love, but it also promotes self love. So, this haiku can actually be read in two ways: a romantic way toward another person or a romantic way toward oneself. You could think of it like you love someone so much that you want to wrap them up with your entire body, or you could think of it like you love every part of your body - your diameter. It’s really cool, and I love how this haiku was written. India Guerrero, Fall 2021


pouring rain
hot dog still tastes
just as good


that prick Jimmy
smiles and leans in
“Santa’s not real”

Nathan Gallop (5)


I stopped playing
with fire . . .
is this adulthood?


summer night
the river
runs slow

Nathan Gallop (5)


the breath you take
when finding the words
loving you is

Nico Velazquez (7)


orange peel
expertly shedding
the happy façade

Nathan Gallop (7)


I'll be writing
biographies for you
till the day I die

Paul Cushman (6)

Loved this piece. This is one that just really evokes a sense of closeness with another person. I definitely read it as love, but when Paul mentioned it was about an ex, it got me thinking. There are those certain people we tell everybody about in our lives, right? The people who really hurt us, who inevitably come up whenever we’re talking about our own experiences. Sometimes, the biographies of people we once loved but grew to resent or hate are the ones that stick most clearly in our minds. Nathan Gallop, Fall 2021 


favorite villain
every friend

Nathan Gallop (6)


the inlet of your palm
collecting rainwater—
buckets at the windowsill


a crooked hand
the covers
pulled tightly around you


rolling out suitcases
I leave my imaginary friend


babe babe babe babe babe
it’s just you 
and your 5 other personalities

Nico Velazquez (6)


you’re falling for me?
oh my . . .
get up then.

Nico Velazquez (15)


evening homework
someone else’s laugh
echoes from the kitchen


figuring out
life on my own
yearling black bear


peering into the dark room
like a horror movie
where I’m the villain

Shay Buchanan (6)

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