Rengay Kukai Favorites

Global Haiku Tradition--Rengay Kukai, Spring 2007

= 1 vote for a favorite; commentary = two votes for a favorite

Oakwood Drive

rain puddle
green leaf turns brown
below the surface

small child runs
footprints in the grass

red dirt dries
turned to hardened clay
midsummer heat

teenage girls
sunning themselves
itsy bitsy bikinis

yellow stream
released from the dog
along the bushes

mothers push strollers
ice cream covered babies

Jenna Pelej


First shot bitter..Where's my chaser?
Second-- apathy-- continuance
I lost count how many was that?

women everywhere,
smell of cigarette smoke, loud music

can't drive home anymore
need a place to stay
That girl is sexy

a few more drinks
evens out the buzz

Why is he looking mad ?
His girls talking to me
He and I can take it outside

swollen, cut fists
Too much to drink

Jay Johnson


I like the one in the second column at the top. I enjoyed this one because it made me laugh and think about how many men i hate seeing want to take it outside all because their girl was being to friendly with other men. It just chuckles me when i see two men getting ready to fight over a girl there are too many to be fighting over just one. Grandville


the sun sets
lightning bugs appear

late night at work
she looks at her rough hands

the bees
creations in the hive
a hint of honey in the wind

open eyes in the dark
the boy stares at the moon

nocturnal life
the cat
tips the vase

foot steps in the silence
mom cuddles next to me

Joan Tirado


The character in this haiku could be compared to the bee that works in the hive. After a long day of work the person looks at her hands rough and weary as the bee in the hive looks at the accomplishments of his days work. We are just bees in a hive (Earth) working every day for the common good. Lindsey

My favorite rengay from this kukai is the one that begins “the sun sets outside…” The first hokku reminds me of the early days of summer. I always get that childlike sensation of excitement when I see the first lightening bugs of the year. Also, I like the way the link to that mentions late night. It continues the thought of night time and gives everything a nice, somber tone. The next link takes you to a daytime feel but then takes you back into the night and makes the second hokku seem like just a thought in someone’s imagination. I love the image of the cat tipping over the vase. It reminds me of that parable of the tree falling in the woods and whether or not anyone can hear it or not. Then it leaves you with a comforting image of maternal love. It’s beautiful. Keith

Distant Looks and Memories

morning spring mist
from the stem of thorns
a rose

young girl dances
around the flower

a woman’s cries
from the lone window
neighbors whisper

the small grave
on a fresh cut lawn

an old couple sways
to classical songs
ah, to be in love

looking back
on a secret affair

Alya Saqer (9)


My favorite is Distant Looks and Memories. I like the way it starts and ends. The beginning contains a rose, but roses are thorny. Then the end kind of parallels that with an old couple, but there was a secret affair. It seems to me that the woman in the middle is the one stabbed by the thorn/hurt by the couple’s affair. The whole thing flows really well keeping each thing separate but tying it all together. Rachel

I really like the different contrast that this rengay has. It talks of happiness and sadness all at once. I feel like the reader can feel many feelings when reading this and see so many different pictures. I was able to see this all in my mind, a little story of peoples different lives. I really like how an old couple finds love again while a woman that I see as being young is widowed. It was by far my favorite rengay this week! Whitney

I really like this haiku because of the way the author made all of the links somehow match together. The uses of ninjo and ningo-nashi links are very beautiful and appropriate. I really like how the whole rengay tells a story and the title fits very well with the meaning behind the rengay. For some reason, in this rengay, I picture old times, like the 1930’s. A woman is upset because she discovers that her husband is cheating on her. Now, years later, she is dead and the man can finally be together with the true love of his life. Joan

The Skyline

watched it on the news
seen it countless times
still horrific

feel compelled
to visit the site

such a big city
so much to see and do
one person—so insignificant

magnificant skyline
now scarred and disfigured

streets bussling with people
buildings reaching to heaven
now gone . . . forever

families view it with dispair
while their memories live on

Cindie & Dave Zelhart (6)


Thinking of all the life that was lost on September 11 and how we have been changed forever seems to be the central idea of this haiku. This one hit home for me. My father is an EMT and I also work for the ambulance service in our town. Just to see all those people die so senselessly was very tough for me. The city skyline could be compared to a person’s life. So magnificent and full then instantly destroyed to no more than rubble. Lindsey


speaking of the silent
beauty in you

of a Sunday afternoon

the living room flickers
from the tube
and our chemistry

infinite thoughts of tonight
soon to be the end

the phone will ring
a new ring tone

delight by an open door
my imagination

Amy Hoffstetter

Solo Rengay

an empty elevator

with no one inside
I step in to see all the buttons pushed

sticky fingerprints
on all the buttons
I think it is ice cream

the wrapper
laying on the floor
Baskin Robbins

thirty one different flavors
most taste generic

people’s wallets

Andi McCoy

[Note: the hokku for this rengay comes from the Haiku Anthology, by Jack Cain, page 21.]

Pale Morning

dead of night
the woman remains
at her corner

glued in the warm tar

the bum
attempts to collect them
still penniless

sing a song of six pence
baking bread

the sleep peasants
entering the streets

under the weak sun
we bustle
for nothing

Brittney Gillespie & Deirdre Fields


I really liked this rengay because each link helped me picture the scene.  I found the links all very different, and thought they were strong enough on their own to actually be separated into individual haiku.  This rengay makes me picture a city corner, possibly in Chicago, and the people that inhabit it, like the prostitute and the penniless bum.  I also see a dusty and dirty sidewalk, with random pieces of thrown away gum stuck to it. Jenna


early morning waking up
just to see the sunrise
birds singing all around

staring so long
I feel dizzy

grass filled with dew
butterflies get stuck in
illuminated cobwebs

I feel so bad
for these beautiful creatures
the spider's lunchtime

smashed by the shoe…

the guts are spattered
on my soul
…can’t wait for the night

Chonita Ziegler & Shannon Hackl


This haiku reminds makes me think of how we as mankind are towards life. One minute we are ready to eat our lunch (on top of the world) and the next minute we are smashed back down to the ground. Life is so short and simple but we make so very difficult. You never know what is in store for you, sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. Lindsey

Out with the Old

barber glances—
children spinning
on plastic stools

draft blows hair clippings
across the floor

broken pencil—
an unfinished
crossword puzzle…

the floor sticky
from hairspray

aging hands grasp
rusty scissors

the eviction notice
comes untaped

Keith Chandler


This haiku really caught my eye because the subject was so original. I think it is really well written. I picture an old time barber shop with the red and white striped stick outside the door and the old barber inside. The word spinning in the first haiku makes me think that time continues to go by even though his shop is closing. The draft blowing makes me think that it could be the cruel wind of the death of his shop blowing through and then the author continues on with that theme in the broken pencil. I thought the aging hands part was especially well written. The whole link has an old, rust feel to it. When the eviction notice comes untapped you know the end has come and an era is over. Cindie

Waiting . . .

she sits and waits
no thoughts escape
due tomorrow

the soft buzz
of the waiting room lights

she itches with anticipation
the Big bite
her tummy

thinking to herself
how do bad things
happen to good people

an accident by choice,
she grows up so fast

at the funeral
she sees her sister
becomes her daughter

Lorin Glazer & Phil Koberlein (6)


The next one i really enjoyed was the one that starts off with waiting. I just get the feeling of this sister and her younger sister going to their mother funeral and they older sister knowing that she now has crossed into motherhood and must take care of her younger sister it is just a very true story because i have seen this happen before and it is very hard for a young girl to go through. Grandville


her reflection
stares back at
a stranger

his eyes heavy
like her heart

the pond water--
muddy and unclear
a reflection inside

the raindrop ripples
distort our faces

unable to move
the rain falls
soaking our souls

the only indication
I still exist

Lizabeth Hare (9)


I love the feelings that this rengay evokes when the author speaks about the wind and the seashells being washed away. There was not much of a human presence, but there was enough to tell that people were interacting within the poem. The rengay held a sense of sadness, peace, and happiness that I saw three different pictures but they were each had the same underlying tone to them. Also, the rengay included somehow made the interaction of the sea animals similar to the human actions that they seemed to parallel.  Overall, the rengay was compact, offered many emotions to the poem and brought much of the ninjô verses ninjô-nashi that make a good Rengay. Alya

I really like this one because I think that it goes into great detail. It talks about the muddy water and then you can see the raindrop falling into to water and the ripples going out and distorting the image. I just really enjoy it. Andi

Her Bouquet

coming home to plastic flowers
on the table
she locks the door

hidden from the world
by a lack of spark

her solemn thoughts burst
into one small tear
a lighthouse

seeing fire across the room
he awakens

through the ocean of people
their eyes lock
but she withdrawns

a small gesture
he brings a single flower

Rachel Morrison & Sarah VanderZee


16 inches

The seagull beats its wings
Gliding through the air—
The ball falls out of bounds

The batter waits
As the pitcher tenses.

Choke up on the bat
Take a deep breath
And swing

The ball connects
And is sent soaring once more.

Rounding the bases
Counting them in my head—
The smell of peanuts catches my nose.

The vendor tosses food to the crowd
their stomachs shall be fed.

John Wright


I really like this rengay since it has such a double meaning. It does hold a lot of memory for me because I used to play softball. The name is very catchy and does get the readers attention. It has a lot of emotion and brings the reader into and gives the reader the same feelings and emotions as the player. Shannon


Early morning waking up
Just to see the sunrise
Birds singing all around

Staring so long
I feel dizzy

Grass filled with dew
Butterflies get stuck in
Illuminated cobwebs

I feel so bad
For these beautiful creatures
The spider’s lunchtime

Smashed by the shoe

The guts are spattered
On my soul
…can’t wait for the night

Shannon Hackl

Solo Rengay

Rain pours
Opening the screen door
She calls, “Max, get in here”

Muddy paw prints
Spread on the tile

Feelings of anger rise
A once clean floor
Covered in dirt

Max greets his anger owner
“stay off”
Kisses on the cheek

Anger turns to laughter
The rain stops

She realizes
Even in the rain
Her best friend

Whitney Minor


Finally is the one that starts off with Rain Pours. It just makes me mad when my dog or my friends cause they can be dogs to come over to my house while it is raining and they don't take their shoes off before knowing that i just cleaned up. Grandville

Pool Hall

over the din
smoke curls beneath

gliding... the ball sinks
into the corner pocket

holding the cold beer
no one
hears their song

slinky red dress
drinking ... clinging
to her new companion

in his eyes the smile
of her father

last call
stumbling out
leaving a mess in their wake

Brittney Gillespie & Deirdre Fields

This entry does a wonderful job of introducing us to a locale subliminally. I see a pool hall reeking cigarette smoke, populated with intoxicated pool playing individuals. The Rengay leads us to believe that there is an female in a red dress who is shooting for a one night stand, corner pocket and is landing success. However this is not confirmed and it is left for the reader to imagine their own scenario. We (the readers) are simply provided with the premise and our imaginations create our own individual experience. Jay

Afternoon Tide

sun baked sand
the seashell washes away
and back again

the wind lifts your hair
I watch you smile

seagulls fight
a lone whitefish
forgotten in the old net

the wave comes in
and fills our footprints

yellow striped awnings
enclose the porch
eggsalad sandwiches for lunch

the small child
naps in the shade

Jenna Pelej &
her mother, Chris Pelej


The Holiday

cold wind
they nap off
the Easter ham

candles burn low
burnt cinnamon

the half empty
bottle of wine

snores invade
and mix with laughter

tea kettle whistle
hands touch
under the table

a fork hits
the wooden floor

Keith Chandler & Amanda Matthew

Time Off

back again
sliding doors open
storm approaching

hours roll by
channel 31

I change into
a backless gown
cold draft

counting backwards
I lose consciousness

connected to tubes
and determined to walk
rain on the window

wheeled to the door
clouds departed

Rachel Morrison & Alex



lit cigarette
she opens the window

stars burn above

ashes hit the
dark road
deer crossing

hooves hit the pavement
moon hovers

an owl swoops
and collects his prey
late-night snack

pine tree scents
in the air

Keith Chandler


I really enjoyed all the elements this Rengay included. You really get a scene painted for you. For example, hooves hit the pavement or an owl swoops. It is very descriptive and you can almost see it as it is being written. There are a range of different emotions and sensations as well. You can smell the pine scent as well as hear the hooves. It has a real sense of imagery. Liz


© 2007, Randy Brooks • Millikin University • last updated: April 20, 2007
All rights returned to authors upon publication.