Global Haiku Tradition • Tan-Renga 2021

during the thunderstorm
I dance alone
In the rain

my footsteps
loud as thunder

Kionah Flowers & Alyson Robbins

I enjoy this haiku a lot because of the visuals and how the tan renga added gives it a whole different feeling. The haiku at the beginning makes it almost like an independent feeling as someone is dancing in a thunderstorm alone. With the tan renga added, it gives the feeling of power, almost as if the thunder is moving with the dancer and making the dancers presence known. Since the dancer is alone the thunderstorm is almost like her partner in this story the haiku is telling. Katelynn Watkins, Spring 2021

I really enjoyed this kukai originally. I think I added it maybe in my response review. However, it just got even better when Alyson added these last two lines onto it. It went to a whole different level! I just love thunderstorms so much and it made me think of them. I listen to a thunderstorm radio on pandora with the sleep timer at night. It is just such a soothing sound to me. Paige Hockman, Spring 2021

I really enjoyed this ten-renga. I loved how the haiku that Kionah wrote truly embodied how a person feels when a storm hits. I saw myself just dancing through the storm, beating all of the odds. Then the additional lines by Alyson create a new image that showed empowerment and boldness. It was so brilliant to read and to absorb. Marissa Garcia, Spring 2021

a sneeze
in my bed
no one to bless me

the charmin bear
comforts me instead

Jeana Pierson & Alyson Robbins

When I read this one, I get a sense of loneliness but also comfort at the same time. I also think it has a comedy aspect when it talks about the charmin bear keeping them company. Are they sneezing on the toilet too? hahaha Carly Clo, Spring 2021

she files
the divorce papers
before yoga class

tree posing her way
through the separation

Camryn Skundberg & Alyson Robbins

This is a very interesting story. I can't imagine someone doing so zenful during such a troublesome time. That is one tough woman for masking her pain like that. I think the yoga pose that's mentioned here is an interesting choice because it requires a lot of balance but this person's life is out of balance. Jamie Gamonez, Spring 2021

Disney plus
i open the
Marvel section again

my comfort
when things go bad

Kaitlin Hathaway & Brooke Oitker

I enjoy this tan-renga because I also find comfort through films and television. At times, I tend to be easily overwhelmed. And, as the stress continues to build, I look for an escape. My specific escape is anime. Anime does for me what Marvel does for the writers of this tan-renga. I can forget about the outside world and connect with the happiness that I felt as a child. Kionah Flowers, Spring 2021

another round
doesn’t make
the memories stop

swig after swig
drowning my thoughts

Alyson Robbins & Brooke Oitker

This tan-renga almost made me cry. I know so many people who handle their trauma with alcohol and drugs. I could feel the struggle of this person. They have been through traumatic events and someting, like a breakup or fight with friends, set them off. They reached their limit and couldn’t find any other way to cope but to drink. Of course, it won’t work. Courtney Klein, Spring 2021

grass bed
dandelion seeds
float overhead . . .

I blow on one
to make a wish

Katelynn Watkins & Brooke Oitker

kayak floats
down the riverbank
simple peace

until I remember
papa isn’t with me

Paige Hockman & Camryn Skundberg

This one flies in the exact opposite direction. While a great addition, the new part goes for a complete tonal shift that completely redefines the piece for good. The thing I most enjoy when looking at it critically is how the first person is not used at all in the original haiku, while it becomes the centerpiece of the second one. This really stands out to me as it is entirely evocative of how a depressive episode can sometimes work. It perfectly encapsulates the holistic beauty of a moment and the borderline self-absorbedness that comes with the depressive thought that ruins an otherwise unaffected scene. This one is fantastic. Elliot Mahon, Spring 2021

empty trail
I find my own

an accountant
just like my mom

Carly Clo & Camryn Skundberg

smoky cafe
her voice is

I learn her favorite artist
is Frank Ocean

Alyson Robbins & Camryn Skundberg

This gave me very romantic vibes. The “narrator” is so entranced by the singer’s voice that they are willing to learn everything about her. Women a very different place in my heart. I am pansexual, so I am attracted to all genders. In fact, gender isn’t really a factor for my attraction. However, I have a preference for more masculine energy. When it comes to women like the tan-renga is describing, I admire them like they were priceless artwork; something to be admired, cherished, appreciated, and loved. The women that is being described in the tan-renga is a woman that I would love to admire. Savanna Prasun, Spring 2021

waiting by the window
for her return
the trees sway

stepping outside
feet burn on the pavement

Linnea Nordstrom & Carly Clo

rose petals spread
the bride
floats down the aisle

starring into each other’s eyes
I want to feel like that

Sarah Barter & Carly Clo

I love how this tan-renga shifts in the last line to include the perspective of the author. The original three lines, also with the first line of the added two, set up this ethereal, romantic image of a wedding. The original haiku reminds me of the wedding scene from Crazy Rich Asians as the bride quite literally “floats” through water down the aisle. The last two lines add to the Crazy Rich Asians image in my head, and I can see the spotlight shifting from the bride and groom to Rachel, the main character, and her boyfriend Nick. It brings the perspective of longing back to the main character, just like the format of this haiku. The shift is slow and subtle but leaves us with a sense of yearning for love. Jeana Pierson, Spring 2021

I love this tan-renga for its romantic themes! I love the wedding imagery and setting the reader is immediately put into. I also like that the point of view shifts to a wedding guest’s perspective. It takes the reader away from the happy ending and back to the beginning of WANTING a happy ending. It’s a nice full circle haiku. Alyson Robbins, Spring 2021

car ride with mom
we talk
until we run out of air

absorbing wisdom
while I still can

Linnea Nordstrom & Carly Clo

This piece warmed my heart and reminded me to appreciate my mom even though I disagree with her at times. I really like the lines “until we run out of air” and “absorbing wisdom” because there's give and take within the piece. They both give each other thoughts and ideas, but the daughter takes all the advice she can from her mom. Jamie Gamonez, Spring 2021

I found myself really drawn to this tan-renga. I haven’t had the best relationship with my mother, though as of late, we’re trying to mend that. I’ve recently found myself desiring to just listen to the stories my mom tells me. I know I’ve heard a majority of them many times but I never truly listened to them because I felt like I shouldn’t have to. I came to realize that the stories have meaning and I need to listen to what she’s saying. Brooke Oitker, Spring 2021

welcome home
my shoes
alone in the hallway

she sits on the couch
to enjoy the silence

Katelynn Watkins & Chloe Herbert

I really like that Chloe chose to use her lines to make it positive. With the first part of the haiku, I automatically assumed the tone was negative, specifically sad and lonely. However, the addition of the two lines makes it powerful! There's nothing wrong with being alone! Huzzah!  Piper Charlton, Spring 2021

first base
an empty soda can

every Saturday morning
the neighborhood kids gather

Jordan Hildebrand & Chloe Herbert

during the thunderstorm
I dance alone
in the rain

hitting the pavement
the drops decide the rhythm

Kionah Flowers & Chloe Herbert

This was one of my favorite tan-renga from class because I felt like the cap did a great job of adding a lot more sensory and imagery to the haiku. I loved that the haiku made me envision someone with a lot of confidence having fun while dancing in the rain. It also made me think about the importance of living life to the fullest, enjoying little moments, and doing what makes you feel happy and free. I really loved the cap though, because it allowed me to sense the auditory elements of the haiku as well. I thought the phrase “the drops decide the rhythm” was very creative, and it also made me think about how the dancing is spontaneous and free, changing as the rain does. Linnea Nordstrom, Spring 2021

I dance
through cherry blossom rain

the scent lingers
on the new breeze

Kionah Flowers & Colin McGonagle

I like that the petals falling was described as rain. I think that is a really cool description and comparison. I also like that it talks about scent. I do not see that many haikus that talk about scent, so I think that this one appealed to that. Carly Clo, Spring 2021

This one plays into the next part incredibly well. The very first one is filled with all of this love and joy, creating this irreverent atmosphere that really cannot be replaced. It is so visceral one can't help but easily envision it. The fact that I can easily see myself as being in the cherry blossom rain cannot be overstated. What makes this truly special is the next added on part. We can now see that this has become a precious memory as the times have changed. I can't begin to imagine how exactly Colin knew how to perfectly add to the piece but also keep his own distinct voice but he has done it. He manages to intertwine the joy with longing and nostalgia. There is real artistic merit to this. Elliot Mahon, Spring 2021

the library's musk
not a single book
out of place

crack of the spine
as i settle in my seat

Jeana Pierson & Colin McGonagle

welcome home
my shoes
alone in the hallway

exhales echo in
between the walls

Katelynn Watkins & Colin McGonagle

This was another great tan-renga that really provided a different perspective from my original reaction to this haiku. When I read the haiku by itself, I could imagine someone coming home and being super excited to see their family or someone that they had been missing. I could imagine them running inside, trying to get to where their loved ones are while forgetting to take off their shoes, so they just slip them off and leave them in the middle of the hallway while they sit and catch up with their family. The cap that was added to this haiku, however, added a lot of tension that I did not originally sense in this haiku. It made me picture someone coming home to a family that they did not have a good relationship with or coming home to share information that may be uncomfortable to discuss. The exhales echoing between the walls was a great example of imagery, and it made me think of the sounds of people exhaling to relieve stress and tension in a possibly awkward situation. Linnea Nordstrom, Spring 2021

I like how the last two lines of this tan-renga give a sense of contentment. While the first three lines seem a little lonely and isolated, the last two lines inform us that the subject of this tan-renga is okay with that. In fact, it shows us that they enjoy that. They enjoy the silence. This tan-renga reminds me that there is a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely and that sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the peace and quiet of being alone. Jeana Pierson, Spring 2021

kayak floats
down the riverbank
simple peace

my boat and the loons ahead
the only ripples in the glass

Paige Hockman & Courtney Klein

busy bee
when can I
enjoy the honey?

farmer harvests all my work
it was too sweet anyway

Piper Charlton & Courtney Klein

leaves in the puddle
of my true self

maple leaves for hair and …
two dropped seeds for eyes

Katelynn Watkins & Courtney Klein

people person
but love
some alone time

love lingers
through the rising air

Jordan Hildebrand & Danielle Beard

left behind
once again
alone to my thoughts

dug in a hole
my possessions are treasure

Savanna Prasun & Danielle Beard

open sun roof
wind in our hair
as we sing too loud

aggression and impatience
drivers at a stop sign

Linnea Nordstrom & Danielle Beard

evening glow
the moon reminds her of
who she tried to forget

watching the waves
he never got to see

Kionah Flowers & Elliot Mahon

open air
i trace his life line
with my nail

for that moment
our lines collide

Colin McGonagle & Elliot Mahon

This haiku warmed my heart. I imagine the honeymoon phase of a relationship, familiarizing yourself with every part of that person. Maybe it won’t be forever, but at this moment your lives have crossed paths and kept you together. I love the double meaning of lives coming together but also the physical life lines touching as the couple starts to hold hands. Courtney Klein, Spring 2021

I really liked this tan-renga because of the line imagery. It was a peaceful piece to read and made me feel very soothed. It’s a sweet way to look at people who are falling in love at an early stage. Alyson Robbins, Spring 2021

one look at the wildflowers
she forgets
her own beauty

only memory will replay
on that sunny summers day

Linnea Nordstrom& Elliot Mahon

head in the clouds
she becomes
a bubble

my thoughts
begin to fly away

Kionah Flowers & Jamie Gamonez

I enjoy this haiku with the tan-renga a lot since it reminds me of myself throughout everyday of my life. I have always been that person who goes off into their own world and sometimes it happens at the worst of times. I like this haiku as it makes you imagine someone who is just thinking of something so deep but then the added ten-renga makes you feel like they are so deep into that thought that it will be hard for them to get out of it. Katelynn Watkins, Spring 2021

open air
i trace his life line
with my nail

her touch
is electric

Colin McGonagle & Jamie Gamonez

I picture this haiku taking place in a hospital. The loved one of a sick patient, feeling useless and not knowing what else to do. She starts to trace the lifeline of the patient because she doesn’t know what else to do. I envision this magic happening and all of the sudden the patient begins to heal. I like how the second part goes on to say her touch is electric. Like almost as if she healed him. All her prayers came true. Jordan Hildebrand, Spring 2021

advice from a stranger
hospital band . . .
with my last name

time is fleeting

Paige Hockman & Jamie Gamonez

open window
I watch afar
as the couple dances

1, 2, 3 . . .
1, 2, 3 . . .

Katelynn Watkins & Jeana Pierson

I loved this one. I loved the longing of Katelynn’s original haiku. It was a simple yet beautiful image of a couple dancing while a viewer stands gazing through an open window. With Jeana’s additional lines the counting of the numbers made the couple dance in a waltz pattern, It was different than how I originally read this haiku and I loved it. It made the dance important. I was so wonderful to read. Marissa Garcia, Spring 2021

open sun roof
wind in our hair
as we sing too loud

in that moment
we are infinite

Linnea Nordstrom & Jeana Pierson

I liked this haiku because it reminds me of the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The main character of the novel, Charlie, often goes for drives and listens to music on a cassette player. When he is with his friends, they use the term, we are infinite, to describe the feeling of listening to a song with your friends, and feeling infinite in the moment. I loved that book, and I loved how this haiku captured that feeling as well. Kaitlin Hathaway, Spring 2021

I really like this tan-renga because it made me remember the times were my friends and I would leave our sun roof open and just drive and scream to music at the top of my lungs. I like the second verse because it talked about living in that specific moment being, we are able to enjoy ourself forever and ever. Danni Beard, Spring 2021

There is a certain power in this tan-renga that I find addicting. We are, after all, only young once. I feel like the older we get, the more we are judged for belting out songs in our cars as we drive the familiar, or even unfamiliar, roads we travel along. Jeana’s addition just adds more to Linnea’s already powerful haiku and it makes me want to take a drive and sing songs at the top of my lungs, no cares in the world as to who is listening. Brooke Oitker, Spring 2021

through my AirPods
kitchen night club

my dog barks
who pissed off the bouncer?

Marissa Garcia-Kaliner & Jeana Pierson

This Tan-Renga gave me a good laugh. I love the humor that each section has. This reminds me of when I am on the treadmill and I have my headphones in. I suddenly feel as if I am on a runway and it’s time to strut. It’s so funny. I often laugh at myself. It is so interesting how a certain song can change your mood, setting, and demeanor so easily. I also love how the second part brings in even more humor. I can perfectly picture my dog as a bouncer because he sort of is our body guard and will bark at any movement the goes by. Sarah Barter, Spring 2021

waiting by the window
for her return
the trees sway

the birds chirp
as the sun rises

Linnea Nordstrom & Jordan Hildebrand

nothing planned
for today
that’s just fine with me

I’ll sit back
and relax

Camryn Skundberg & Jordan Hildebrand

I love this tan-renga and although it feels like there are days where I have nothing planned, I always feel like I have something to do! I usually have to be told to take time to myself and relax on days when I truly don’t have to be anywhere. With school, I always feel as though I have something to do on any given day, without giving myself the proper time to chill out. Coming to the realization that you actually have nothing planned for the entire day is the best feeling, in my opinion. The last line/second part of this tan-renga has a really nice voice in stating how valid it is to kick back for the day. Bryce Bayer, Spring 2021

solo drive home
she puts down
the windows

and gets lost
in the music

Chloe Herbert & Jordan Hildebrand

I find that a lot of haikus perfectly describe me and this one is another for the list. Whether I'm driving around the corner to Circle K or going all the way home to Philadelphia, I love to drive. I love to play my music, I love to see all the crazy things along the road, and I love driving with the windows down. This haiku is me. Piper Charlton, Spring 2021

crunching beneath
as I walk
through the wood

a woodpecker pecks
at a nearby tree

Piper Charlton & Kaitlin Hathaway

pumping iron
bumping to
fearless by taylor swift

I think of my own
mr. perfectly fine

Colin McGonagle & Kaitlin Hathaway

crunching beneath
as I walk
through the wood

in the distance
mother’s call

Piper Charlton & Linnea Nordstrom

girl's night
pretending we live in
our favorite movies

these must be
the good old days

Jeana Pierson & Linnea Nordstrom

I really liked this tan-renga because it brings memories of my girlfriends and I taking a night to have fun and leave all the stress at the door. I feel like sometimes in life thing will stress people out and they get in the way of their life. Taking a step back and remembering the times where we were free and able to watch movies and play games with old friends is a good time to reminisce. Danni Beard, Spring 2021

at dawn
i wash my feet with dew
the longest day

front yard

Danni Beard & Kionah Flowers

I really enjoy this one. I grew up in the country. I just like how the second portion turns the dew of dawn into a home-made baptism. I think the second one really brings out a different meaning. I really like how these builds off each other. Jordan Hildebrand, Spring 2021

night swim
the moon illuminates
our faces

he’s never looked so beautiful
among the sea foam

Jeana Pierson & Kionah Flowers

she files
the divorce papers
before yoga class

child’s pose
a sigh of relief

Camryn Skundberg & Kionah Flowers

I cry over homework
my dog
licks my tears away

my forever friend
beside me

Savanna Prasun & Katelynn Watkins

solo drive home
she puts down
the windows

she blasts music
living, unjudged

Chloe Herbert & Katelynn Watkins

I really enjoy this Tan-Renga because I relate to it so much. It is such an amazing feeling just cruising with the windows down and listening to your favorite music. You don’t have to worry about if the guest in your car will judge your music. It is just a liberating feeling. Lately, I have been loving rolling my windows on these warmer days and listening to my favorite random songs. Sarah Barter, Spring 2021

busy bee
when can I
enjoy the honey?

my friend

Piper Charlton & Katelynn Watkins

This tan-renga really speaks to my soul. I feel like I have the mindset of “go, go, go.” As a student, I feel like we’re all working for the future that we want. I think this tan-renga is the perfect motivator for all students. Our heads are in our books right now, but we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor one day. All of this hard work will mean something. We will all live instead of being alive. Kionah Flowers, Spring 2021

I needed this haiku. I have felt so burnt out this semester, and with working two jobs, I don't feel like I get to have much time for my friends or for me. I envisioned the last two lines being someone older, telling the first person that it will all work out in the end. It is a message that I needed before finals week. Kaitlin Hathaway, Spring 2021

messaging my ex
I am not supposed
to think about you

the devil on my shoulder
compels me to jump off the cliff

Carly Clo & Marissa Garcia-Kaliner

busy bee
when can I
enjoy the honey?

buzz buzz buzz…
bu-buzz buzz buzz

Piper Charlton & Marissa Garcia-Kaliner

waking up
from a nap . . .
what year is it?

he said I’d been
to the year 3000 . . .

Brooke Oitker & Marissa Garcia-Kaliner

This ten-renga I really resonated with. I love taking naps when I have the time (which is not often), and it always makes my day feel more complete. Sometimes I sleep for thirty minutes, sometimes I sleep for three hours. On my three-hour naps, it feels like it should be a whole new day because I’m so refreshed and ready to do stuff. The last two lines are in reference to a childhood song called Year 3000 by the Jonas Brothers. I hear this song every game day because it is on our playlist but I still sing it every time it comes on. Camryn Skundberg, Spring 2021

I cannot describe how relatable this tan-renga is!! I am a person who cherishes their naps, but that definitely comes with its downfalls. When I have incredibly busy days, I always find myself napping after all of my classes conclude and sometimes, I nap for way too long to the point where I’m pretty sure it triples the amount that one is supposed to nap for. Because I nap for so long, I wake up often thinking it’s a new day and my brain seriously feels like it’s in another dimension, much like the second part of this tan-renga. I love the voice being used in both haiku and now the song is stuck in my head. Bryce Bayer, Spring 2021


car ride with mom
we talk
until we run out of air

pulling over to rest
for more than a bathroom break

Linnea Nordstrom & Paige Hockman

summer afternoon
they scoot their chairs
to follow the sun

beaming rays
brush my shoulders

Linnea Nordstrom & Paige Hockman

people person
but love
some alone time

tucked away from the world
I hit play

Jordan Hildebrand & Paige Hockman

I liked this tan-renga because I found both the original haiku and the line-cap to be extremely relatable. Although I am a person who typically wants to be around others, this completely alters when exhaustion sets in. I like the vagueness of this haiku, as it allows readers to imagine their own plans for “alone time”. While I enjoyed the hokku, the language used within the line-cap provides a clear image for readers to imagine. From the line-cap, I imagined a person closing their blinds and jumping into their blanket-filled bed. As it is supposed to, the line-cap builds upon the hokku and creates a new detailed scene for readers. Chloe Herbert, Spring 2021

I love the feeling of this haiku. I am also a people person, but towards the end of the day, I’m completely wiped. So, one of my favorite parts of the day is getting to stop after my homework is done and turn on a Netflix show with all the lights off. The line “tucked away from the world” reminds me of that. The last line makes me think of someone tucked away under a bunch of pillows and blankets and maybe playing a movie, show, YouTube video, or whatever they wanted. Camryn Skundberg, Spring 2021

I love this because it describes me to a T. I love being around the people I love, but sometimes, I need time to recharge. Sometimes, I just need a place to sit alone and listen to my music. I am always anxious in some way, so that alone time is both a blessing and a curse. I love being alone to my thoughts because of the ideas that I come up with, however, that alone time comes with a price. If I am left alone with my thought for too long, I start to become overwhelmed with negative thoughts. I get over those eventually and just tune them out as best as I can. Savanna Prasun, Spring 2021

I dance
through cherry blossom rain

one catches
on my nose

Kionah Flowers & Savanna Prasun

when did I become
the therapist?
I need to talk, too

my mom
gives me a hug

Brooke Oitker & Savanna Prasun

Athletics check—
an elf passes
the dwarf is thrown

Acrobatics check—
almost fell

Brooke Oitker & Savanna Prasun


Disney plus
i open the
Marvel section again

subtle snoring
on my lap

Kaitlin Hathaway & Sarah Barter

graduation day
looms overhead
time to adult

droplets of sad tears
or is it happy tears

Piper Charlton & Sarah Barter

The above tan-renga was one of my favorites from class, as I love the depth of the emotion that it describes. From the hokku, I imagine a nervous graduate who is unsure of their next move. The language selected by Piper leads readers to infer that this individual is not exactly thrilled about this life change. Within Sarah’s line-cap, the individual’s feelings become even more unclear. Starting to cry, they are overtaken by feelings of both happiness and sadness. While they are excited to be done with schoolwork, they are grounded by the sadness that comes alongside parting with close friends. Additionally, I liked that the capping verse further detailed the emotions described in the hokku, while also leaving room for addition. Chloe Herbert, Spring 2021

spring breeze
I put my shades on
and put my windows down

no destination
only freedom

Kaitlin Hathaway & Sarah Barter

I felt this. If not for graduation, just a break from the school in general. I am about to be done though for a little bit and I cannot wait! The last four years have been a roller coaster of emotions and I feel so overjoyed to be almost done. I have this feeling of all four windows down driving slowly on a road without any cares in the world. Paige Hockman, Spring 2021

a sneeze
in my bed
no one to bless me

wishing he was here
one last time

Kaitlin Hathaway & Piper Charlton

people person
but love
some alone time

with my thoughts
and feelings

Kaitlin Hathaway & Piper Charlton

prom night
she waits for him
no show

her quiet neighbor
puts on his suit

Kaitlin Hathaway & Piper Charlton



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