Rengay Attempts

Global Haiku Tradition--Rengay Attempts 1, Spring 2004

brand new swimsuit
powdery white appearance
turning a bright red

sticky aloe
cracks on my neck

warm shower water
layers of skin
s l i d e down the drain

drying off
lotion not helping
to get rid of the patches

a SLAP on the shoulder
white handprint

cooler in hand
head for the beach
SPF60 in my bag

Julia Shaver & Ben Kress

I like this rengay attempt the best because of it’s appeal to the senses. There are sensory words in each stanza and all of them are different. There are sounds, tactile images, smells, and visuals. Adam

long drive home
open road
dreaming of warm weather

friends having fun
laying on the beach

doing nothing
all day long

bar hopping
sun tanning
only plan is to have fun

seeing friends
wanting to hear stories

planning trip early
never again
going home for Spring Break

Julia Shaver

Unlike many of the submissions, this rengay seemed to flow with one common thought throughout the entire piece. While many of the others did revolve around a centralized topic, the lines seemed to connect in a very cut and paste kind of way. The Return occurred in chronological order in relation to travel and the time of day. I particularly enjoyed the imagery and the sense of loneliness. The person does not seem to be in a huge hurry to get to the destination, yet is reflecting on the amount of time it is taking to get there. I really enjoy this rengay. It is by FAR my favorite. Jennifer Toney

crook'd walking stick
under its weight                     (T)

soft sounds--
in saying nothing
he says everything                (P)

tired hands
moldingcold steel
fireworks                                 (T)

white lines
on a blood-spotted mirror     (P)

Travis Meisenheimer & Patty Franke

camera clicking
harmonizes heals
cityscape echoes

        shuffling quickly
        his cards; his feet

robin’s return
to ungrown grass
sepia snapshots

        vibrant voices
        store clerks; street performers

cds, tapes, and cigarettes
unlicensed solicitors
always take the train

        double exposure
        light damp

Alida Duff
Jenna Roberts
David Precht

sudden shower
covering my head
with his coat

        forming puddles
        four darting footprints

darkened day
holding hands
our smiles linger

        white porch swing
        her head on my shoulder

windows open
frogs serenade
spring rain

        dripping clothes
        from the bedpost

Alida Duff
Hugh Sullivan

They use word linking several times by mentioning words describing rain, wetness, or dripping for example. It also plays off of colors by using the words "darkened and white." These give rapid imagery changes as well as linking the context so its cool that way. Casey Turnipseed

The links in this rengay are effective because they vary in type: the first is a scent link, the second a content link, and the third a content or word link depending. The Rengay itself forms a narrative without using only content links, and the scent links within are quite good. Nick

sandy beaches
neverending blue
spring break

flipflops and swimsuits
tan lines develop

sun blaring
skin peeling
no worries…

right hand
ice cold beer

sun slowly melts
out to the club

partying all night
when sun rises

Brianne Dilbeck
Benny Hooper

I really like this Rengay because it takes you to a place of fun and excitement. It pretty much takes you to spring break and lets you experience it without actually being there. It starts you off with the scenery of where you are. After that it describes some events that took place, which really brings the reader in and gets them wandering what next. It also concludes with a scene describing how they left. It shows that the fun never stopped, even though they had to get up at sunrise the next morning. Tony Douglass

I think the best two links are the third and fourth links in the rengay. The third link really caries the meaning of spring break: to relax and worry about nothing but enjoying yourself. This links is composed of nothing other than content links, which helps the reader paint the picture of the scene. From this link, I see a gut lying on a crowded beach all day during break. The third links also helps to provide a tie to the fourth link. The fourth link is undoubtedly a word link, giving the reader objects to relate to and a pun to keep their attention. The pun comes from the freezing line in the fourth link. The hand is not really freezing, but the rest of the body is so hot that you cant tell any different. The fourth link also helps to give evidence of the relaxation the third link implies by using the object of the beer. This helps to paint the whole picture of the spring break experience: Drinking, sunbathing, and relaxation. Ben Kress

no clouds
in the sky
blue sea

beaches and girls
forever…ever more

hot, hot sun
no lotion
blazing heat

sunset is near
head to the club
excitement in the air

just one more drink
then hit the floor

carried home
cold tile floor
still up at nine

Benny Hooper

A Trip To The Alcohol Store

list in hand
money in pocket                BK
keys on the table

he zips up his jacket          RH
key in the ignition

only shopping cart left       BK
two broken wheels
dirty yellow handle

alcohol aisle
cart filled with beer          BK & RH
screeching sound from the wheels

cashier station…                BK
I.D. and money

loading the car
cart tipped over                 BK & RH
broken bottles everywhere

Ben Kress
Ryan Hennebry

birds chirping
in the morning
alarm clock

rain pouring down
puddles become lakes

spring flowers
bright yellow
blends with the sun

robins eggs
cracked under the tree

april showers

new life
grows into summer

Brianne Dilbeck

I like this regay because it’s beautiful display of God’s creations! This regay describes nature at it’s best! I love nature, so I love this haiku! Maureen Coady

Ode to Junk Food

one of each

Saturday night
dessert before dinner
peanut butter ice cream

unwrapping the foil
revealing my prize
Eskimo Pie!

movie theater popcorn
smothered in butter
greasy fingertips

salt craving
crispy, crunchy
onion rings

mustard and onions
on my cheese dog
on my t-shirt

Molly Pufall
Sylvia Hilton
Monica Zachar


yearly holiday dinner
busy friends gather
to slow down time

snow falling thickly
disrupts the tradition

ice on the road
two friends stranded
…miles from home

frustrated phone calls
plans rearranged -
nothing is ever simple

courageous caravan
braves the storm

sitting down to eat
everyone smiles…

Maureen Ritter
Molly Burns

The Return

open road
spring breeze drifts
through the backseat

searching through music
trying to fill
the hours

two empty cokes
bladder bursting…
I floor the pedal

rest stop
faceless travelers
sip cheap coffee

counting the miles
the sun sinks
lower in the distance

tops of trees
against the sky

familiar sights
the last hour
feels like three

unpacking the suitcase
the smell of home

Maureen Ritter
Katie Steimann
Juliana Helt
Ann Anderson

old boat motor
whirring in its tiredness
…stuck on the dock

sparks of excitement drown

boat full of onlookers
off us a cruise

all aboard—I leap starboard
my sandal sets sail

holler in the distance
a ski tags our bow

Yo Ho, Yo Ho
a pirate's life for me!

Casey Turnipseed
Abe Millikin

I like this rengay because I enjoy boating. I bought my first boat last May and I love nothing more than getting out on the water! I feel that the links work well because they add a little extra “moment” to the storyline. The last line is my favorite-I didn’t expect it! Jennifer Rule


sipping tropical drinks
with hundreds of men…
nobody will know

sand between my toes
i dream

palm trees sway
miles away…
he leans in

one drink
too drinks
where do I stop

sharing a sunrise
names never shared

long trip home
secrets to keep
from the one

Megan Minogue

My favorite rengay is “Nameless.” I like how the first three verses are linked with tropical objects like sand, palm trees, and tropical drinks. You get a good connection in theme here. Then you have this progression of a person alone on a beach or just alone and then opening up to the experience of the beach which leads to drinking too much and perhaps something not to tell the speaker's significant other. This rengay flows and connects better than the others I believe, which is why I liked it. Travis


quilt of color
warm underneath
with the dog at my feet

fire blazing
the wine glasses clink

snow cascading
softly outside the window
he holds me tighter

heart beating rapidly
their eyes meet

abrupt movement
suddenly alone
chills run through her body

empty box
ring on her finger
“I do”

Megan Minogue

My favorite Rengay attempt was ROMANCE. I really enjoyed the story that it told; I found it very romantic and personal. In the second link, I liked the second line of "wine glasses clink." The first line set the scene of a hot fire blazing, and the second line made me hear the noise of the two glasses touching.   This was a good use of a content link, furthering the progression of the scene.   I also really liked the fifth link. The reader does not realize that the reason she is alone is because he has gone down on one knee until you read the next link of the haiku. I think it makes the reader read on, and I think it is another good use of a content link. The scene was a very clear image for me. I really enjoyed this Rengay the most. I wanted to keep reading, and I think it was a nice way of creating a very clear image, yet the reader still didn't know what would happen at the end. --Jenny McGeehon

cool spring sun
"people watching"

       two women gossipping
       as they speed walk

short chained leash
the dog
takes his owner for a walk

       mother and son
       chasing each others shadows

arrogant jogger
showing off
trips and falls

       PDAs in the park

Cliff Ault

I find this haiku to be delightfully hilarious. I feel it is a great commentary on life, both fast and short paced. I like how the writer attempts to connect different aspects of life in the park that an observer would see in a matter of a few minutes. I think the links work, perhaps in a more unconventional way that normal, but nonetheless still work. It is written as if the reader is seeing the rengay; it jumps from one scene to another, just like our eyes would be doing if we were actually there. There are also an array of emotions expressed both on the writers end and the people being observed. We have two chatty women who probably just need more substance to their lives in the second link. Then we move to a very funny scene where a person is having trouble gaining control of the dog (who hasn’t seen this at some point in life?). The next link is more calming, as we imagine a mom and son playing in the park, totally absorbed in one another. The arrogant jogger link is also very funny to me because to me, nature should be nothing but humbling and then here comes a jogger, trying to show off but in the end, fails dismally. Lastly, we have certainly all seen a gruesome couple showing too much affection in the park. Overall, a lot of these scenes are probably very unoriginal, but the fact that the reader could make them come to life was particularly impressive to me. I think that is why I like this rengay so much. —Molly

I liked this one because I also like to “people watch”. So when I read it, I could picture the people and see myself sitting there looking at everyone. Brianne

summer night concert
our song
we dance under the stars

walking home
we enjoy a moment of silence

under the stars
I look into her eyes
and see her soul

dropping his gaze
she turns away
a tear

a secret
kept inside
starting to show

our love grows
with the child

Cliff Ault

I like this rengay the best because of its strong use of content links to connect the story line throughout. There is an evident progression of the links, which make the rengay enjoyable to read. The surprise element at the end is also very effective. Because the love continues to grow in the final link, it gives this rengay a feeling of continuance that furthers the story beyond what is written. Alida Duff

After reading this rengay it made me smile, it kept my attention the whole time and you never know what was going to happen next. When I first read it I thought that the girl was going to share a secret that she cheated on the love of her life, not that she was pregnant. With in this rengay I think the authors did a wonderful job of using the sent link. What I mean by that is as the rengay slowly grows the mood changes from happy in love to very serious and stressful, then back to happy and in love. It also has that element of surprise as in the last haiku, “our love grows, with the child.” Like I mentioned before that was the last thing that I thought was going to happen with the couple. Alison Burns

cheer me on
the stage-
I dance

on empty fields

tractor ruts puffs
a dandelion puffs
over cracked earth

skin tightening
yellow rays

lemon juice
down my glass

midmorning sunbeams
your lies

Casey Turnipseed
Travis Meisenheimer
Jenny Schultz

The Singing Dutchman

time passes
I hear the click
of the clock

he’s singing again
God I hate vocal majors

too lazy to walk
the practice room
…is so far

Oh God!
he’s singing
20th century music!

in “A” flat
“Do they scorn me now…
I wonder?”

the cat
stares at the door
he can’t take it either

Casey Wilson

Coal the Cat

the cat
fixated on my
tapping fingers

pounces with….
tiny razor teeth

the kitten
too small to do damage
I fling him back

the cat
sniffs a shoe
preparing for the pounce

a tiny gray blur
leaps through the air

this kitten is vicious
but determined
I continue to tease

Casey Wilson

Spring Break 2004

Spring Break
an ocean view
only in my mind

     cold wet rain
     never-ending downpour

15 minute tanning session
doesn’t compare
to unlimited sunny rays

trapped in Decatur
no money
no hope of being with you

     day dreaming of memories being made
     without me

flood of rain
I settle
for relaxing in bed

Tony Douglass
Jenny McGeehon

Red corvette
the smell of new leather
as I slide into the seat

starting the engine
the exhaust rumbles
and the signals change

fresh tires squealing
as I pull from the line
leaving the other car far behind

the speed increases
the sights become a blur
approaching the finish line

the police car pulls out
sirens scream through the air

he writes out the ticket
I sign my full name
and awake from my dreaming

Jennifer Rule & boyfriend

spring drive
smoke bellows
through AC/DC

warm rain
my heart beat

bare feet
soaking in
fresh lawn clippings

soggy socks
in muddy shoes:
sudden shower

rolling green lawn
growing again
after spring rain

a child sleeps
as daffodils

Nick Curry
Colby Hanik

First Signs of Spring

fresh cut grass
two butterflies
flutter on the flower petal

     fly flies by
     eaten by a frog

worker ant
carrying food
twenty times his size

     baseball soars
     he races to first base

parents scream
it begins to rain
everyone runs for shelter

     sun peaks through
     a rainbow fills the sky

Jenny McGeehon
Casey Keller
Tony Douglass

I really like the linking of this haiku because every link has the same sounds to it. Like the F sound in the first link. I feel it really makes the phrases fit together because they have common sounds. There is also a reoccurring S sound throughout the whole haiku which I think sounds very cool when you read it aloud. Julia Shaver

Silent Drifter

a midnight moon
bathes the earth
diamonds beneath her feet

     sparkling stars light the way
     a path has now been chosen

following wolf tracks
through the trees
destination unknown

an undisturbed trail
the crisp smell of snow
reminds her of home

     scent of firewood
     a place not yet

the wayward traveler
ventures onward

Katie Steimann: A
Carrie Schwiderski: B


napkin doodles:
hearts with arrows
all crossed out

disco ball lights
dancing over
new found romance

heart spilt
in a letter
I will never send

warm rain
my heart beat

your hand
brushes mine—
cheeks flushed


Colby Hanik
Sylvia Hilton


hips swaying
dust under feet
cheek besides cheek

April sunrise
we say goodnight

private corner
lakefront view
my pinky finds his…

lingering scent of summer
in her hair

my rough hands
caressing hers—
skin of velvet

romantic Sunday afternoon
each reading the paper

Molly M. Pufall
Jennifer Toney

© 2004, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.