Haiku Kukai 04 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • May 2021


books on the shelf
collecting dust,
maybe I should read one

Austin Medina


Reading books is probably one of my favorite pastime hobbies. Nothing is better than winding down and reading a book that you feel emotionally connected to. But as contradicting as it sounds, I have a lot of books that sit in their designated spot simply collecting dust. Ones I have started but never finished either because I either got too distracted or no longer had the time for them due to my overwhelming workload with school. Not to also forget to mention the fact that I have a really bad habit of buying random books I find or hear about because of how good they are. I just love the feel of a book, preferably worn, as you turn the pages and the smell from them that lingers and dances in the air. I always look at my collection in awe and I think about them randomly, attempting to remind myself to finish what I started (I usually do, but not always as fast as I should). Tanesha Williams, May 2021


follow the stars
I am waiting
for you there

Austin Medina


drinks on the table
friends all around
let the night begin

Austin Medina



at least
the shoes fit
clothes shopping


wildflowers line
the drive
old camper

Tanya Vaughn


late again to work
how will I tell
my wife


he thought it was
just a fart
. . . it wasn’t

Tanesha Williams


when my time comes
let my last thought be

Tanesha Williams


I love how positive this haiku is even though it is about death. The word choice is quite beautiful in this haiku as the writer has a really good outlook on life and has a strong faith when it comes to facing death. When I get closer to the end of my life, I can only hope that I can have the same outlook as the writer of this haiku. Nick Laramee, May 2021

This haiku was very powerful to me. We live in a world that is overrun by negativity and hateful feeling, especially with recent political events. I think that with that being the case it is more important to have our hearts full of love when it is our time to go. There is too much hate while we are living, for that to fill our heart as we are dying. Austin Medina, May 2021


she sits on her bed
swinging her feet
my heart warms

Tanesha Williams



mother lays
on loveseat


I ask about his
he pours a coffee

Nick Laramee



from his grandfather
sun reflection


she lies on the couch
half asleep
with a murder show on

Maddie Schroeder


I enjoyed this haiku because it is very relatable. There is this sense of comfort and simple relaxation. In my situation, I am usually in my room, laying down in my bed, but the murder show is still playing in the background. I cannot watch very gory films, but I love shows like Criminal Minds or CSI. At a time, I could not watch them at night, but once I got more comfortable it was not an issue. This is another reason why I think this haiku screams comfort. If I was not comfortable where I was at or I was a little scared I could not imagine wanting to watch something like a murder show. There was also a time where they would scare me so much that I could not close my eyes. But, again, once you become comfortable, it is easier to do, to the point where you are almost falling asleep. Leana Temple, May 2021


the feathered pillow
pokes my back


the feeling of her paw
in my hand
i’m complete

Maddie Schroeder

This haiku made me think of my cat, Kromo. He’s chill with everyone, but that is my cat. He has the full range of the house during the day but at night he stays upstairs, most of the time in the room with me. Sometimes he will start the night somewhere else and open my bedroom door to come and join me. When he wants to get under the covers with me, he will paw and claw at the covers until I lift them for him and that is what I thought of when I read this haiku. Him trying to snuggle up with me or somewhere close to me is almost like an expectation since I have been home, like his own little good night. Leana Temple, May 2021


I still think of you
but I know, I will never
go back to you


walk at midnight
city lights
your hand

Leana Temple



your blue, matches
my yellow
in this hall


three year old daughter
won’t sleep . . .
without a night light

Jacey Centola


heart broken
a cheat
from the start

Jacey Centola


scared of heights
I try to ride
the Ferris wheel

Jacey Centola


Rather than reading this literally, I took a general approach that sits with me more. As of lately, I’ve been making attempts at stepping outside of my comfort zone by trying new things whether it be food, activities, clothing, etc. I have been pushing my fears and concerns to the side and taking things in with a more open-ended point of view. It hasn’t always been the easiest, but it’s definitely been worth it and life feels so much more fulfilling. I have shocked a lot of people including myself with some of things I have become more accepting of. Tanesha Williams, May 2021

I enjoyed this haiku for a few reasons. The first reason I liked it is because I like the idea of someone attempting to better themselves by facing their fears.  I enjoy when people tackle the things that hold them back. The other reason I love it is because it reminds me of a situation with my brother when he was very young, and we went to the Toys R Us in Times Square. There was a Ferris Wheel, and we went to get on and my brother was hysterical, he did not want to get on he was terrified. We eventually got him on, he cried the entire ride and as soon as we got off he asked to get back on. Austin Medina, May 2021


haunted house
covered in spider webs
just a prop, or not?


I call
my dog's name
his ears roll to the back of his head

Jake Pietryk



driving over the gravel
crunching rocks
dusty path

Jake Pietryk


dressed in camo
pulling back my bow
I release . . .

Caitlyn Kesler


This haiku makes me think of the time I was just learning how to pull a bow. I always loved watching my dad climb into the hut. We would hide here and wait for the deer to pass by us. I remember getting up early before the sun even came up. We dressed in our camo and boots and got in the car. We always went to the same place to hunt. We walked out into the woods and sat in our position. My dad would always see the deer first. He would tell me where he saw it and let me shoot first. I looked out and saw the deer. I pulled up my weapon, now I was not very good at bow yet, I was still practicing. I pulled back the bow as far as I could and released. We waited and watched to see if the deer would move. Jacey Centola, May 2021


bright moon shining
on me
up the tree stand


dump trucks
kids in the dirt

Caitlyn Kesler



scalding hot
the coffee
won’t get me this time

Nick Laramee


coffee table
grunts under
the weight of my heels

Nick Laramee


after graduation
I’d like to thank

Nick Laramee


I laughed when I read this because once I discovered that I could use the internet to help me with my homework and schooling, I have been onboard ever since. Not to say that I am completely dependent on it, but I do use it whenever I’m having a really hard time doing it on my own or the famous “we had homework?” 5 minutes before class. The internet has definitely helped me teach myself lessons, study for an exam, and complete my homework so in a sense, it went to school with me and in part, I owe my success to it as well. Tanesha Williams, May 2021


can’t say goodbye
holding onto him . . . military,
will I see him again?

Jacey Centola


he tries to help me
as we hold hands
ice skating


wearing white
he stands and waits for me
to become his mrs.


she ended her story
before the ink
ran out

Tanesha Williams


This haiku is a bit darker than the haiku I typically like but, it just tells a beautifully sad story. The first time I read it through I was a bit down because I understood that the person died without finishing their story. The second read-through, however, was that much sadder because I realized it said she ended her story, which leads me to believe she committed suicide. It is always sad when a person believes their only true option is suicide. Then you understand that much of what was intended for her, she did not get to experience, and her story was not finished being told. Leana Temple, May 2021

This haiku was extremely powerful to me. The image I got was immediately of a suicide. The story ending before the ink ran out tells me she was young and had so many more stories left to tell. The tradegy of this haiku hit me right in the feelings, especially as someone who has contemplated suicide in the past. Austin Medina, May 2021


feeding each other
icing on his nose


a drawer with no clothes
a person without love

Tanesha Williams


full moon
wolf's cry
echoes in the night


lily pad to lily pad


a tiny bunch of dirt
but to them
a whole colony

Jake Pietryk


unable to escape the cage
the bird sings
a sad song

Austin Medina


This haiku has so much meaning that I find hiding in it. I think it symbolizes all this that are trapped or near the end of life. When people know the end is coming or they are stuck they start to get sad. I imagine a jail bird so a guy in jail. He has just arrived and realizes that jail life is harder than what he had expected. He wanted desperately to escape but had not possible way. He starts to talk about sad times and not being able to see his family again. He sings sad songs and waits for something to change. He thinks about the opportunity to leave which makes the depression worse. The family he once had may leave him. He waits for the courts decision and until then he makes up his own sad songs. Jacey Centola, May 2021

My overall favorite from this kukai, I think the word choice, the line breaks, the message, everything is perfect in this haiku. I think of this one more figuratively as the bird represents the writer or the person who is feeling trapped in their life. They may feel better when they sing by themselves, but they feel like they cannot express themselves like they want to at this point in their life. Nick Laramee, May 2021


the solitude
I craved
hurts more than anything

Austin Medina



two paths to take
they disappear,
before one is chosen

Austin Medina



plexi glass propped
against the wall
no barriers


bright colors surround
rainbow sticker


stapler, paper clips,
her iPhone dings

Tanya Vaughn


I love this haiku. It makes me think of the anxiety during school. I do this all the time; I get all ready to start my school stuff by laying out my utensils and notebooks. I am all ready to start my homework and then my phone sounds that I have just received a notification. Instead of ignoring it like I should I grab my phone and start to get distracted. From this haiku I imagine a first-time college student. They are happy to start there first week of school. They look at the course syllabus and see they have work to do. They grab all their stuff, and he goes to a quiet place to work. He makes a big mistake taking his phone with him. He opens his laptop and clicks on the homework link. As the page is loading, he gets a text which takes him completely away from his work. He instead texts on his phone all afternoon.


the sun shines
brighter today
high tide


as she steps
onto the stage
a new side of her

Maddie Schroeder


When I read this haiku, my mind wanders and creates a total fiction atmosphere. I imagine a shy young woman who is usually silent around others and even her friends and co-workers, however when she steps on the stage, she becomes a completely new person. Completely lively and loud, she leaves nothing to the imagination and shows who she really is when she performs. Nick Laramee, May 2021


the stars shine
now that you’re there

Tanesha Williams


the starting gate
a rider falls off his horse


children running to animals
me slowly walking
behind them

Caitlyn Kesler


birds talking
to each other
through the branches

Caitlyn Kesler


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