Favorite Songs - Haiku Kukai 12 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2023




my, my, my, my
searching for
what you left untouched

Tanner Essex (6)


hope you find my letter
not goodbye
just see you later

Tanner Essex (6)

This one makes me smile so big. I listened to this song because of the haiku and I think it is so beautiful. I love that it is not a bitter goodbye, but more bittersweet. It is painfully beautiful and I think those can be some of the most beautiful things to read, listen to, and perform. Cami Jones, Fall 2023


hollow love
fight for something
you’re losing me


the world goes on
she stays at the table
dust collecting

Tanner Essex (7)


my existence
a momentary lapse in reason
the DNA of gothic lemons

Sean House (7)


trying to meditate 
on a bed of nails
with my pants pulled down

Sean House (4)


thinking back to
what we had
         or didn’t.


rain-soaked shoes
I ask the sky
if I imagined it all

Leah Flint (6)

This is one of the haiku from class in which I was able to tell which song it was – and it is one of my favorite songs from the summertime. I think that Leah did a great job of picking the poetic parts of the song and turning them into some pretty relatable haiku. Madelyn Letourneau, Fall 2023

I love this haiku, it’s inspired by ceilings I believe and if you know the song, there are a few subtle nods to the lyrics in here without actually copying and pasting from it which I love. Theres a lyric about how its “raining harder” and “shoes full of water” and how its “lovely to be rained on with you”. At the end of the song, the twist is that “its not real”. she imagined everything that happened with this person who “doesn’t exist”. I love how she asks the sky if it was imagined because the memory of the rain is still on her shoes so that at least was real. Bella Birdsley, Fall 2023


wanting to rush
to the good part
before knowing if there is one

Leah Flint (8)

I really like this haiku because the first two lines paint a picture that do not indicate a solemn or unknown/ ambiguous ending. The first two lines show excitement and then the last line makes the reader questions or feel a negative way about a separate memory. I immediately thought of instances from my past that reminded me of the hope of a situation like this. Grace Brixa, Fall 2023

I do this all of the time. I often look forward to the “good” part of my week, and then I end up wishing away my whole week. I always try to rush to the good part, but the true good part is usually on a random day and I never expect it. Anna Quick, Fall 2023

I enjoy this haiku because it is extremely relatable. Whether this was intended to be about a relationship or everyday life I think it perfectly describes a normal thought that may run through people’s minds. I think about the good that can come from something before I even consider the hardships I will have to endure to get there. Kailyn Coates, Fall 2023


i’m just a girl
your mom invites over
it’s casual

Maddie Alger (8)

I like this haiku because I think it perfectly describes when two people are reading a situation very differently. I’ve personally never heard this song, but this haiku makes me want to listen to it. I have a feeling that if I listen to this song, I might get hooked, because I have been in one too many situations that seem a little too close to this haiku. Madelyn Letourneau, Fall 2023

I picked both of these haiku because they’re inspired off of two of my favorite songs. If you don’t know the song, this first haiku maybe seems like it’s about a girl who has a sweet relationship with her boyfriends mom, but it’s more biting than that. The “it’s casual” is more of a dig at how he pretends that she doesn’t mean anything to him, but she has formed a bond with his mom and they hang out. Bella Birdsley, Fall 2023


I’d rather be
rained on
with you

Maddie Alger (9)


a movie
i’ve seen before
i didn’t like the ending

Maddie Alger (9)


something in the orange
a back road
leads me to yoU


as she pulls out of the drive
I beg the headlights
to turn around . . .

Kailyn Coates (11)


no weight at all
I pray this never ends

Kailyn Coates

I have no idea what song this is but this is such a specific feeling that has been beautifully put into words. There’s always a moment when you stop and realize that you’ve found someone who makes you feel weightless or takes away your worries even for just a split second. You find comfort and love in that person and you hope that you’ll never have to give that up. Tanner Essex, Fall 2023


Mulberry Street pharmacy
happiness in a bottle
till the end of time

Kaia Garbacz (6)


neon gravestones whisper
their temptation


drowned in holy water
but still can't
get clean

Kaia Garbacz (10)

This is such a beautiful representation of how religious trauma hardwires us to think that we are dirty for our mere existence. We’re taught at a young age that certain actions are wrong make us “dirty.” But we grow to realize that some of these “actions” are part of our identity and we had no choice in the first place. So you get buried in your religion, praying that you can be clean, but there is always a lingering feeling that you will be dirty forever. Tanner Essex, Fall 2023

I think this haiku does a really good job of depicting hopelessness. Holy water is supposed to be the thing that cleanses all, no matter what. The use of the word “drowned” shows that they are fully submerging themself in it, whether they want to or not, and still can’t feel clean. They can’t get rid of whatever is “impure”. Hannah Smith, Fall 2023

I absolutely fell in love with this haiku. It is such a true feeling that I have experienced way more times than I would like to admit. The idea of washing yourself with holy water is something I never put into words before. I am grateful that I have this haiku to look back on and remind myself that everything will be okay and no matter your path you are still protected by God. Kailyn Coates, Fall 20


my body 
no longer mine 
not strong enough 

Elly Hermanson (6)


saw it unfold 
but didn’t care 
to make a change  

Elly Hermanson (4)

This one reminded me of one of my haiku when I first read it, as in a way I could see it being the prequel to mine. Sean House, Fall 2023


can’t keep the promise 
you once made 
until death do us part 

Elly Hermanson (5)


lost in the city  
doesn’t even matter 
i’m with you


heartbreak hotel 
room for 

Hannah Smith (6)


skin like raisins 
fuck the fountain of youth 
growing old with you

Hannah Smith (11)

I like this one because of the idea behind it: "I don't give a shit about staying young as long as I'm old with you" Sean House, Fall 2023

This haiku has such a sweet message. They want to grow old with their friend/partner, rejecting the ideal of looking forever young. I think that this should be the goal; growing older and wiser as opposed to prioritizing youth all the time. The poem is so determined in its delivery and reads as almost a proclamation. Kaia Garbacz, Fall 2023

I love this haiku. Getting old is a huge fear of mine, and this haiku feels like a fuck you to my fear. I wish I had the confidence not to fear getting old, and I know getting old is inevitable, but it just scares me. I also love the addition of “growing old with you.” That line makes this haiku even more relatable, I am scared of growing old, but I wouldn’t care if I had a companion. Anna Quick, Fall 2023


letting the days go by
let the water
hold me down

Sean House

The only song that I can think of when reading this is Halsey’s Hold Me Down. Someone is drowning in the expectations thrust upon them by others, namely in a religious context, and is warring with themselves over what they think is right or normal, and what the church or their friends or their family thinks is right and normal through the lens of religion, and there is a sneaking guilt for acting as they do when it’s not interpreted as right, but the devil is holding them down and there is nothing they can do about it. Skylyr Choe, Fall 2023


ive had a wonderful night
it just
wasn't this one

Sean House (7)

This haiku was really funny to me. The first line prepares the reader for a haiku about a specific night that ended well enough to write a haiku about, but then, the last line takes a complete 180 and it collapses the story around it. I appreciate the unintentional comedy. Grace Brixa, Fall 2023


took our masks off
to feel free
if you hold on life won't change

Sean House

I love the way this haiku details and explains growing as a person. For me, the mask in this haiku represents a certain persona that you put on or a part of you that you are holding onto, even if it isn’t really you anymore. To grow with the things around them, these people take off that mask and grow and change with it. I love the way that “feel free” is used here too. As someone who wore a mask for hours a day for months, taking that first breath after taking it off is so freeing. Hannah Smith, Fall 2023


watching you drown
I’ll go down with you
your needs, my needs

Maddie Alger

I have no idea what this song could be. I think there is just something so tragic about this one – to love or care about someone so much that you would sacrifice everything to stay with them, even when it would end up harming or killing you in the process, is a dangerous and all-consuming kind of love that some people only dream about and tend to romanticize too hard, which leaves them in this terrible game of give and take to the extremes. I love the idea that you just can’t stop, though, and continue to indulge and give yourself to this person until they eventually bring you down with them. Skylyr Choe, Fall 2023


you grew old
got married
but I’m right where you left me

Maddie Alger (12)

I love this one because it reminded me of the Barbie movie talking about a mothers love. It makes me think of a lot of love for people that we have as we grow up, not necessarily a romantic love, but maybe. Cami Jones, Fall 2023


it’ll turn to June again
before i forget
the bugs bite better


if pain is beauty 
I'm a pretty bitch
pills rattle

Kaia Garbacz (12)


thinking about the last person
I kissed
lonely bedroom


bedtime conversation
my ceiling
the receiver

Leah Flint (6)

This haiku is exactly how it feels sometimes to fall asleep, especially around this time of year. I'm not familiar with the song, but I understand it completely. I read it as the receiver is "my ceiling," which means you have no one but the ceiling to talk to about certain things. Eden Niebrugge, Fall 2023


swings me around
the wooden porch creaks
a kaleidoscope of colors

Kailyn Coates (6)

I loved this haiku just because I think the writer said they didn't imagine a certain song, just country in general. I can totally see country songs being wrapped up in this little three-line poem. I love the "kaleidoscope of colors" especially since I've been doing my project on the colors of life haiku, and I can see this scene very vividly due to their word choice. Eden Niebrugge, Fall 2023


twinkling night drive
lights dance along
joyful roads


mirror affirmations
telling myself 
i AM happy  

Hannah Smith (5)


stuck in angel wings 
never promoted 
to a god 

Hannah Smith (13)

I absolutely love this song. An angel is that level that’s so close to being a god, but you aren’t quite worthy of that title yet. It’s as high up as you can be, but for some reason you won’t be promoted. It reminds me of people who try their hardest but aren’t recognized for their work. Maddie Alger, Fall 2023


Always zone out in tune 
    Michael Jackson album 
        “Remember the Time”

Ny Scott (3)


Always loving the R&B songs
    having mom’s 90’s vibe—
Can You Stand The Rain 




Dodie’s song “She”

picture on your pinterest
saying girls can kiss girls
weren’t you straight?

Eden Niebrugge (12)

The gasp I gasped when I read this haiku for the first time. It is actually crazy. I feel like it’s funny when someone is a very avid ally. Like, you just know something has to be up for them to be so outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights and all that, and then you put 2 plus 2 together and it turns out they were actually gay the whole time and didn’t even realize it. Just funny and silly to me. Maddie Alger, Fall 2023

This haiku is so relatable. I grew up in a very accepting community and family, and they would always say that they were surprised that I was straight- and I always insisted I was. I went to pride parades "to support my friends". Eventually, I realized that I was, in fact, not straight. I'm sure the people back home had this similar reaction. This haiku has a lighthearted tone despite the burning questions present. Kaia Garbacz, Fall 2023

red banner of excitement
covering an olive-green fear
confusion feels oddly good

Eden Niebrugge (7)

ripped me out
of the closet—
unwelcome here

Eden Niebrugge (3)


The (After) Life of the Party
by Fall Out Boy

starved eyes
and a knowing glance
the party gleefully oblivious

Anna Quick (4)


Lover, You Should've Come Over
by Jeff Buckley

i'd time travel                 
for one last 
kiss on your shoulder

Madelyn Letourneau (5)

sweet laughter &
shoulder kisses 
and mistakes

Madelyn Letourneau (4)




Miss Missing You
by Fall Out Boy

cigarette smoke,
rock bands, and insults
(I miss missing you)



Let’s Fall in Love for the Night

twitchy lips, swaying hips,
and a goal
but only for tonight



exchanging spit
a calculated connection

Anna Quick (6)


Fairwell For Now
b y Greta Van Fleet

don't make me 
post concert depression

Madelyn Letourneau (7)


Right Down The Line
by Gerry Rafferty

for your love 
i’m always 
right down the line

Madelyn Letourneau (5)


Tears of Rain
b y Greta Van Fleet 

b stage 
bathing in the light 
my tears rain


Peaches by Jack Black

loving you to the very end
every last bit
of a cool Peach

Skylyr Choe (14)


I'm Afraid I'll Go to Heaven
by Moonwalker

the devil has been kinder
than the most pious of men
so if that's how God sees me
then I'm afraid to go to

Skylyr Choe (10)


© 2023, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.