Haiku Kukai 01 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • January 2022


hugging my blanket
a glimpse of white 
in the window


long blonde hair
looking into the mirror
all I see is dark

Christina Wasserstrom

I love this image of looking in a mirror and not seeing what is in front of you. The feeling that consumes us and makes us lose ourselves. To be able to stare right at yourself and see nothing, feel nothing. This haiku speaks to me on so many levels. Holly Bender, January 2022


let me stay home

Tito Graff


my blood is your blood
the feelings I have for you
will never compare


a starry night
our hands touch
on the cold concrete

Tito Graff

I like this haiku because it reminded me of when me and my boyfriend first started dating. One of the first times that we hung out together we went to a bonfire with a group of our friends at the time. We ended up sneaking off and went around the house to the front and decided to watch the stars together. Instead of sitting on the grass we sat on the sidewalk because I hated the feeling of the wet grass on my thighs. We were both in out freshman year of high school, so a very subtle hand touch was a big deal. I also like this haiku due to the feeling it gives of a new relationship, almost like butterflies. Jessica Sheeler, January 2022


street lights
reflecting on puddles
the lonely wanderer

Tito Graff


when this virus ends
happiness will consume me 
cause I need a hug


in the nose
out through the mouth
not working

Cameron Richardson

When I read this one, I started to think of the times when I would have panic attacks. Just before COVID began, I was suffering anxiety and panic attacks due to my anorexia. There would be days I would starve myself because I would have this constant fear in the back of my mind that I would gain weight. If I ever ate anything, I would panic and think, “why did I just do?” I’m doing much better since then. I’ve done counseling, opened up to my family, plus to a few friends who were willing to listen as well. I take medicine for my anxiety attacks, and I’ve made a lot of improvement. There have been a few relapses her and there; however, I always manage to pull myself together. When I read this haiku, I don’t have negative thoughts. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. I was at rock bottom during that time, and I’ve achieved so much since then. I’m a very open person, and if the writer of this haiku is going through something similar to me, I’m here if they ever need someone to talk to. Cole Daniel, January 2022


plant on the table
what’s new
lights off

Cameron Richardson

Haiku #9 really stood out to me because it reminded me of the monotony of being in a routine sometimes. For some, being on a good routine or schedule may bring a lot of comfort knowing what's to come in the future. For me however, I find myself feeling unfulfilled and becoming lethargic due to the lack of variety. I really like to operate in a "winging it” kind of way… which has definitely caused some problems in the past but I'd rather wake up not knowing what the day will bring than to plan everything out. Tito Graff, January 2022


do I still got
time to grow?


hair swirling in the air
a husky fights 
scissors clatter 

Morgan Rockwell


splashing in puddles
shoes muddied
like my world


a frog . . .
the one magical kiss
happy ever after

Jas Clark


mush, slush, crush
this time of year
white, black, yellow


pink, purple, and orange
when you look into the sky
the moon appears


Sunday morning
cuddling with my dog
smell of Fritos


new fancy restaurant
dim lighting
a lack of satisfaction

Jessica Sheeler


an argument unfolds
as holidays approach
the gender of a child

Alex Stefanik


rainy day
our warm hands
my lover

Alex Stefanik


a breakup
because I can’t be
the woman you want

Alex Stefanik

I love this piece. I think it is a beautiful thing that the girl didn’t want to change who she was for a relationship. The girl wanted to stay true to herself instead of conforming to what their partner wanted them to be. I think in this society, it is hard for people to stay true to themselves. Maybe they are different than others and just want to “fit in.” I think it says a lot about a person to be able to stay true to themselves. Emily Mitchell, January 2022

I like haiku 20 because I can relate to it. I once tried to change myself for someone and it only caused depression and unhappiness. It gives a sad hurt feeling. People break up all the time because they feel as if they aren’t enough for their significant other. It is a terrible feeling to have, especially when you still love that person, but you feel like there is nothing you can do. Jas Clark, January 2022

I like this haiku because it shows that the woman is not changing for the man. A lot of stories tell that the women usually change for the guy that she wants. This haiku takes the opposite and more truer look at relationships. The haiku shows that relationships end because the person was looking for someone that she was not, and not taking the woman for who she really was. Morgan Rockwell, January 2022


frigid air
patiently waiting
smell of gasoline

Jessica Sheeler


colorful sidewalks
bleeding through
the rain


morning glow
I feel love
from a furry friend

Holly Bender

I loved this haiku because it immediately made me think of waking up next to my dog. When I wake up next to my dog, I imagine a cold, sunny morning during winter break and I am able to sleep next to my little dog. I have a little chihuahua and sometimes I’ll let him sleep with me and waking up next to him because he loves to cuddle is the greatest feeling. This is such a warm-hearted and light haiku that brought me pure happiness because dogs are one of my favorite things. Christina Wasserstrom, January 2022

I love this haiku so much. Dogs have been such a big part of my life ever since I received one as a gift for my birthday when I was three. Since then, I’ve always had dogs in my house. When I’m away from home, it’s dreadful not being able to be home and cuddle with my dogs. I always miss them so much. Since I’ve been back home for winter break, I’ve been spending as much time as I can with my dogs. Every morning I’ve found my yellow lab, Lacey (picture on the right), on my bed asleep right next me. It warms my heart so much to see her. My dogs mean the world to me, and I love them so much. That’s why this haiku is one my favorites. From beginning to end, this haiku is nothing but happy memories for me. Cole Daniel, January 2022

Haiku 23 makes me think of when I cuddle with my dogs. It's something about love from a pet that makes me feel like everything is okay. A lot of times I cuddle or rub my dogs to help with my anxiety. I like this because it gives me a warm comforting feeling. I think of the first line as the happy glow I get when I no longer feel sadness. Jas Clark, January 2022

I like this haiku because it reminds me of me and my dog. I have a black lab named Zoey. When I read this haiku, I picture my dog and I on a Sunday morning waking up. She is at the foot of my bed but sprawled out as much as possible, so she takes up a majority of the space. The light is just starting to peak through the blinds and white noise from my fan fills the room. I am careful not to move because I know the second I do it means a walk outside. I will do anything to avoid the cold, so I carefully turn over to get a couple more hours of sleep. Jessica Sheeler, January 2022


white noise
tanning skin
a nap in the afternoon

Holly Bender


listen to
the trees
they whisper our inner thoughts

Holly Bender

When I first read this haiku I immediately connected with the imagery of trees and nature. I like to go on a lot of walks and I live in a pretty wooded area. Usually, the sound of the trees rustling in the wind is always present and I've always seen that as a way of earth communicating to us. It took me back to those walks, the cool wind on my face and the comfort that a nice day can bring. This haiku almost gave me a sort of spiritual vibe to me personally. Tito Graff, January 2022


gasping for air
the daughter cries out
please be okay

Emily Mitchell


the ball hits the house

Emily Mitchell


two peas
in a pod

Cameron Richardson

When I first read this haiku, I was somewhat confused because I was unaware of what the author was trying to say. After reading a couple times, I picture two people that are very similar and get along from the reference two peas in a pod. And I believe the word orange is trying to represent that although they are very similar, they are somewhat different. I think that the word orange represents that they are somewhat different due to the fact that orange doesn’t rhyme with anything and it’s kind of an outcast within this haiku. I like this haiku due to the juxtaposition and how they isolated the word orange at the end. Jessica Sheeler, January 2022


mood ring
her blush says


watch my friends
I wasn't invited

Holly Bender

This one was very relatable to me. I’ve always been a sort of loner my entire life and have never been invited to anything. Parties have never been my thing, but when it comes to gatherings or grabbing a bite to eat to catch up or anything along those line, I’m never asked. Very rarely am I ever asked to hang out with someone and now there’s this constant fear of me asking someone if they want to hang out with me. I always see roommates go out with people they know, or I see people I’ve gotten to know through my time at Millikin go off and have fun while I sit at the apartment. Like I said before, I’m not much of a partier and am what is classified as an introvert, but it would be nice to just be asked to hangout every once in a while. Cole Daniel, January 2022

30 was a good one because it could be interpreted in multiple ways. I imagined me seeing my friends heading to a party that I was not invited to and having fun without me. I can also imagine my friends passing up the party to hang out with me because I was not invited. It's like something you would see in a movie. Also, this would be something that people could relate to. Jas Clark, January 2022


Ben & Jerrys
never fails
radio silence

Cameron Richardson

I also loved this haiku because first of all, Ben and Jerrys is one of my favorite ice cream brands ever. Second, I love how this one relates to me in many ways. When the haiku mentions never fail and radio silence, to me, this means Ben and Jerrys never fails in a time of silence and sadness. Whenever I get upset about anything, my first immediate thought goes to ice cream because it always makes me feel better, it never disappoints. Ben and Jerrys is reliable, it doesn’t talk back, yell, or make you feel worse, only better. I imagine myself going to the store, picking up some Ben and Jerrys, and pulling into my driveway trying a bite of the ice cream. When I’m sad I also like to sit in the car alone sometimes, and this haiku brought me to imagine myself in my car in silence eating my Ben and Jerrys. Christina Wasserstrom, January 2022


stealing apples
from the neighbor’s tree
I miss grandma

Holly Bender


baking in the backyard
take a dip


weekly date night
a kiss
a comforting feeling


queen bed
            two kids
jumping to touch the sky

Jessica Sheeler

I can picture this haiku in my head. I picture young children jumping up and down on a bed seeing who can jump the highest. The vision of “jumping to touch the sky” is able to give you that vision of reaching up as high as they can. Emily Mitchell, January 2022


the playground is quiet
dirt from head to toe
dinner time

Jessica Sheeler

This haiku reminds me of the one I wrote about playing in the backyard. The sense of quiet like all the kids have left and the day is done. The dirt from head to toe makes me feel like it was such a fun day. Then the last line “dinner time” really solidifies the end of a full day. Holly Bender, January 2022


alcoholic thoughts
tears running down my face
what have I done

Jas Clark


one escapes
from the barbed wire

Randy Brooks


bedraggled monkey
the only chew toy left
in the old dog bed


the last candle blown out
COVID takes 
another year of my life

Morgan Rockwell

I think that this is a piece that everyone can relate to. Covid has taken so much from us; some more than others. The candle makes me think that it is someone’s birthday and maybe that they aren’t able to celebrate with others. Emily Mitchell, January 2022


pulled into the sea
kraken wraps around me
a dice rolls my fate

Morgan Rockwell


hiking through the woods
shadows form between the trees
flashlight will not work


in the mirror
a cage of a body
but it’s me

Alex Stefanik

This haiku made me see myself staring at myself in the mirror. Depicting every single thing I dislike about myself and comparing myself to someone else. Only to then realize, I am merely staring at my own reflection that is just a body. My outside looks do not define me, my body is simply a cage of my organs and soul. I need to be thankful to have such a beautiful protective cage of a body and not be so terrible towards it. I can spend hours picking apart everything I don’t like about my looks, but why not spend hours saying everything I love about myself. Looks are not everything, even if that is what society makes us feel. This haiku made me realize that I need to love myself in order to take care of what is really important, my mind and soul, and not worry so much about what I look like on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Christina Wasserstrom, January 2022

When I read this haiku, I imagine a person looking at herself in the mirror. She doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror as herself. It may be from body dysmorphia or opinions that were given to her by media. Or the imagery of the cage is meant by her unable to express the true feeling or emotions. I like how at the end of the haiku the person recognizes and accepts herself for who she is. Morgan Rockwell, January 2022

#43 was one of my absolute favorites. I think it really explores the idea of self image and self love really well. I think the haiku itself is probably something we've all thought about once or twice in our lives. A mirror is one of the most honest and raw things on this planet. No matter who we might think we are, our reflection truly shows us what we actually are. Those feelings will hopefully be positive but they can be negative sometimes. I do like how at the end of the haiku it is all about loving yourself. Despite how we want to look, or how we view our bodies or ourselselves, it's still you at the end of the day. Tito Graff, January 2022


that she cannot handle
please go away

Emily Mitchell

I love this haiku! There is always so much going on in life and everyone has an opinion. I see and feel someone who is getting so much criticism. It can feel suffocating and that wish for it to just go away. I love how the voice has its own line it really gives the importance and isolated feeling the poem conveys. Holly Bender, January 2022

I like this haiku because it clearly describes the emotions of someone who is anxious or depressed. I can imagine a girl being extremely stressed out and overwhelmed by school or just everyday life. With the imagery, I can clearly see the overwhelming thoughts that pass through her head. I can hear the negative voices that are repeated to her over and over in her head. She wants the voices to stop just so she can think and do everyday tasks. Morgan Rockwell, January 2022


hospital room and nurses
the scars on a body
it is freedom


red and yellow leaves
wind now set in motion
can’t bear change


a cold winter’s night
colorful lights
brings family joy

Cole Daniel


i look up
a ceiling of glow stars
everything is ok

Tito Graff


blacktop court
cooled by moonlight
is this all there is


a long list
milk and cookies gone
boxes left behind

Jas Clark


Thanksgiving bouquet
missing from his wife's grave
cemetery shoppers

© 2022, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.