Haiku Kukai 02 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • January 2022


on a cold winter morning
a blossom sprouts

Morgan Rockwell


rain pouring
I gaze outside
will dad ever come home?

Morgan Rockwell

As I was reading this haiku, I started to get a little teary-eyed. There’s a child who has a special connection with their father, and always looks forward to them coming home from work; however, today is a little different. The dad works about an hour away from home, and today’s forecast predicted terrible storms all throughout the day. Every evening, the father gets home at exactly the same time, 6:00PM. As time approaches, the child rushes to the window hoping to spot his dad pulling into the driveway. There’s no headlights in sight. The time is 6:30PM now and the child begins to worry. They are asking mother all kinds of questions where their father is, being reassured that he’ll enter the house any time now. As the rain continues to pour at 7:00PM, sadness begins to overwhelm the child as they gaze outside. It’s as if it’s the child is crying because it’s raining; however, it’s raining because they’re sad. The time is 8:00PM and the father has yet to arrive as the child continues to gaze outside questioning whether their father will ever return. 8:30PM rolls around and headlights begin to light up the driveway; however, the car is unfamiliar to the child. They rush to the door, as they hear the knob turn and the whooshing of the door opening, their father is standing in the doorway. The child gives them the biggest hug with nothing but tears. “What took you so long, dad?” asked the child. “I’ll tell you tomorrow,” reassured the dad. The scene ends with them hugging each other with not only the child crying, but the father as well. Why is the dad crying? I like this haiku because I feel like the rain pouring is supposed to incapsulate the sadness that’s potentially coming from the child as they wait for their father to return home. It’s a truly sad scene that I hope not my many people have to live through it. Cole Daniel, January 2022


still air
a blizzard of thoughts
fight for inner peace

Holly Bender

I absolutely loved the imagery of the still air versus the blizzard of inner thoughts. I think those word choices really help to convey the sense of inner turmoil that some people can feel at times. Those voices in our heads/ forces out of our control that always seem to talk the loudest in times of complete silence . . . or "still air." It evokes a sense of struggle for me but within that struggle an inner fire to make everything ok. Tito Graff, January 2022


12-point stag
frozen in its tracks
a chihuahua

Morgan Rockwell


fresh fallen snow
paw prints
paint the scene

Holly Bender

When I read this haiku, I can picture it in my mind. I have a black lab at home, and she loves the snow, so I frequently take her out right after. I like this haiku because it paints a simple yet very vivid picture of the paw prints in the snow. Additionally, I think that the last line is very intriguing because it’s almost like the writer is getting ready to tell you a story but then the haiku ends. Finally, I really like how the author separated the word paw prints to give that break in the line, I think it is placed very well. Jessica Sheeler, January 2022


don’t make
a sound
doe and I are eye to eye

Holly Bender


faded silhouettes
i see polaroids
of their lives

Tito Graff

This haiku is very relatable. This past week, I was going through some of my grandpa’s old photo books. Many of the pictures were of old, faded polaroid photos of people who were long gone. Since my grandpa had died, I was unable to ask about the stories about each of the photos. I was only able to see the snapshot of their life that was taken. I like how this haiku describes the people in the photos as silhouettes, something that is quite murky and unclear, just like the stories that were left behind. Morgan Rockwell, January 2022


a butterfly
with beautifully colored wings
why am I a moth?

Christina Wasserstrom

I like this haiku because of the deeper meaning that the author is trying to get across. I think the butterfly is supposed to represent the people in life that for some reason you think are great and have no flaws, and the moth represents yourself. I think often people see themselves as a moth because all they can see is the flaws that no one else really can. When this happens, they lose sight of who they really are, so when they look at others, they seem to be great in every way. I also really like the last line of the haiku how they turned it into a question. I think this really emphasizes the under lying meaning that the author was aiming for. Jessica Sheeler, January 2022

I love how clearly this haiku conveys this emotional struggle to fit in. It literally encapsulates those feelings of being jealous of someone else's looks/status/wealth/etc . . . so perfectly. I think this is credit to the wonderful imagery used in the haiku! A moth comparing itself to a butterfly I think it's just such a smart and clever way to convey the core message of the haiku. Tito Graff, January 2022


you can’t see me
always in my head
who is it?


step by step
cigarette ash
leads me home


the lonely nomad
finds sanctuary
under neon lights

Tito Graff


I look up to the sky
it is filled with starry lights

Christina Wasserstrom

When I read this haiku, it takes me back to days in my childhood. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time outside playing with friends, and that almost always included catching fireflies at night. I can picture a day in the middle of summer, it’s starting to get darker, streetlights are turning on and you start to see little lights out of the corner of your eyes. I like this haiku because it is very nostalgic and does a very good at capturing a specific moment in time. Additionally, I like how the author kept the haiku in the first person, so that way when you read it you can almost feel what they are feeling when they wrote it. Jessica Sheeler, January 2022


alone on the road
nothing in sight
can’t stop now


twenty pages
no words
due tomorrow

Cole Daniel


one-hundred, ninety
remember they are
just numbers

Cole Daniel

As I read this haiku, I immediately think of my grandmother. Her and I are very close and one thing we always laugh about is her age. I always tell her how young and beautiful she looks and that age is just a number. Sometimes she’ll worry about her age and say she's getting too old, but we always end up laughing because we both know that even though she may “feel” old, that her age is just a number. Reading this haiku brought me joy because of how it reminded me of talking to one of my favorite people. Christina Wasserstrom, January 2022


morning coffee
i wake up
feeling tired again

Alex Stefanik


land of the free
prisoners do time
for a crime not done

Alex Stefanik


golden arches
for some
guiding stars

Tito Graff


bright white snow
neighborhood overcome with silence
a twig snaps

Jessica Sheeler

This Haiku creates such a powerful and calm silence. Then that last line with the twig snapping is so powerful. Just a little sound that breaks the stark silence. It also heightens the silence that a twig is what breaks the silence. This haiku really paints a scene in my mind. Holly Bender, January 2022


neighborhood cul-de-sac
         barren street
a slippery slope


colorful lights
still left up
from the weeks before

Emily Mitchell


markings on their body
paint the picture
of life

Emily Mitchell

This haiku can be taken several different ways. Markings could mean scars, burn marks, or tattoos. Each one of these markings can tell what the person has been through and experienced. I like how this haiku describes the markings as a beautiful thing rather than a burden. Morgan Rockwell, January 2022

I love this haiku because I think it's a reminder that imperfections are what make us who we are. Tattoos, scars, etc. are stories. They are a part of us and tell moments in our lives. They are a part of our whole self. This haiku is so poetic. It makes me feel comforted and like I am not alone. Holly Bender, January 2022

I loved this haiku because it made me think about people as a whole. As a human, most of us mainly see through our eyes and the first thing someone notices about you is your appearance. When you look at someone's appearance, you are able to see the life in them. Depending on if the person has wrinkles and looks older with an air force hat on you can assume they have had a certain life, such as being in the air force serving our country and have had more experiences than some. You can also look at someone’s eyes and see how full of life they are, or may not be. Just depending on how someone looks says a lot about them, if they are dirty, maybe they are poor or just don’t care about their appearance, or if they wear nice clothes they have money, or just care about materialistic things. I loved this haiku because it says so much in such little words, it has a lot of depth to it. Everyone is based off of what they look like, yet behind the cage of a person is their soul which will actually reveal their true identity. Christina Wasserstrom, January 2022


one pill every night
for the rest
of your life

Emily Mitchell

This haiku felt really personal to me. I, myself, have been taking prescription pills for almost a full two years. Even though I don’t take a pill every night, I do take one every morning. It’s become a daily routine to the point where there are times I don’t remember taking my medicine. I do it without a thought now. When I read this haiku, that’s what I think of. This is my life now. It’s the only way to function on a “normal” scale. This one pill every night is now a task that will become embedded into my life. If not taken, there’s possibly a really bad day ahead of me. It’s mind-boggling how such a tiny pill is required to allow someone to go about their day. Cole Daniel, January 2022


frostbite meets . . .
the fireplace

Jessica Sheeler

As it is winter at the moment, I’m currently wrapped in a blanket near my heater doing my responses. If this haiku doesn’t perfectly describe myself, then I don’t know what does. Even though winter can be beautiful season with snow and the holidays, I’m not a big fan of the cold. The reason being is because I get unbearably cold so easily. If I ever go outside I need to bundle-up with layers upon layers. Any part of my skin potentially exposed to the cold weather gives me frostbite. This is absolutely truthful when referring to my hands and feet. I have terrible blood flow when it comes to my hands and feet, and there have been times I’ve almost received frostbite due to not wearing gloves or thick enough footwear. I love the format of this haiku as well. The first line, “winter,” and the second line, “frostbite meets…” allows me to picture myself coming inside after being outside for too long from doing work. As soon as I’m finished and get inside, I rush over to our heater which is my substitute for the third line, “the fireplace.” Every time when I got home from school or work, I used to do this. Putting my hands on the heater so I could warm up as soon as possible was mandatory for me. It did dry up my hands terribly though. At least, I was warm. Cole Daniel, January 2022


I turn on
the news
stomach floods with pain

Holly Bender

This haiku immediately made me think about the horrifying things that come onto the news. Everyday, especially now, all we hear about is the terrors from new rising cases of COVID-19 along with its new variants and death rates. If it’s not COVID, then it's someone who died/missing, or never ending fighting with politics. This haiku made me have that feeling of worry in my stomach, whenever I sit with my mom on the living room couch listening to the news. Everytime I watch the news, I get this feeling of worry and stress about what is happening in the world and if it will ever get any better. Christina Wasserstrom, January 2022


I reach out my hand
and He
chooses another’s

Holly Bender

I really like this piece because it could be interpreted a few different ways. I am Catholic and had gone to Catholic schools my whole life before Millikin. Due to this, I always capitalize He if it is talking about God. This piece made me think about God reaching out to help us. Sometimes, we feel like the world is crashing around us and that nothing is going right. We pray and pray for things to get better, and sometimes they don’t for a while. Another person’s life could be going perfectly fine and then we wonder why He won’t help us. Emily Mitchell, January 2022


crunching of packed snow
a tail wag
I meet my new neighbor


the cold breeze
strikes my face
when will it end

Morgan Rockwell


fox freely runs
busy with work
I yearn for a change


friday night
laughter outside my door
I turn off the lights

Holly Bender

I relate to this piece a lot for two different reasons. The first being that I love to be alone. I would much rather stay in than go out and be with a group of people. The second is because I feel like I used to be the friend that got left out a lot. Maybe that is the reason that I like to be alone so much. Emily Mitchell, January 2022


from my warm habitat
I open the door
the south pole


warm, sunny day
as I sit in the park
ice cream truck music plays


the tallest shade of gray
as the moon peeks through
conversations deepen

Christina Wasserstrom


a white rose
growing ever so beautifully 
she is perfect to me

Christina Wasserstrom

This haiku is beautiful. It is just a gorgeous little poem. It makes me feel like the poem is speaking about the reader. That we are individuals always working on self-love and growing. Growing out self and working on appreciating all we are. This poem makes me see the beauty of nature and yet of a person as well. Holly Bender, January 2022

The imagery of the white rose was so beautiful and poetic to me . . . just painting a really great picture for the reader. I also love how in the beginning it is very much literally talking about a white rose but at the end it could also be in reference to the reader themselves or a person in general. I also liked how the rose had a sense of being delicate or dainty ... that it's beauty is too good or fragile for the world we live in. Tito Graff, January 2022


as I get ready
i put on my daily mask
it's not Halloween?

Christina Wasserstrom

When I read this haiku, I imagine someone who has a mental health condition, like autism or ADHD. Many people who do have these health conditions have to put a “mask” on and hide their problems or issues. They also hide the way they truly would act because some people may judge them or look at them differently. The poem describes the burden feeling of having to hide their true self from the world on a daily basis. Morgan Rockwell, January 2022

I also really relate to this one. At the beginning of high school, I would get up every day and do my makeup and hair. It was exhausting honestly. Finally, I got to the point where I no longer cared that people saw me with my makeup and hair done every day and just wanted to be me. Emily Mitchell, January 2022


leaving home
and you realize you forgot
your happy pills

Emily Mitchell







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