Global Haiku • Spring 2021
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Katelynn Watkins

Reader Response Essay
on Hiking Haiku

Video Haiku Project




A Haiku Journey

Katelynn Watkins

When I signed up for this class, I was not sure about what I was going to get into. The only thing that I knew of this class would be how many of my friends have taken this class and has continuously said that this class was probably the best class they will take at Millikin. At first when joining this class, I was a little worried that I would not be able to write haiku successfully, as I was never taught about poetry in general. After writing haiku a few times at first, I felt that my anxiety of writing haiku successfully went away quickly. I felt that towards the end of the class, I was finally able to let go of that anxiety and write haiku about what I was feeling without judgment from the class. As someone who journals every day, I started writing a haiku once a day or once every few days in my journal, to sort of showcase how I was feeling that day as I felt that it was helping me personally in how to start talking about my emotions for that day. Though I am not working right now and on my way to a new job, I felt that I could use haiku to let off steam if things get stressful at the job.

I also felt like haiku gave me a chance to view the world again in a different way. With the pandemic, I stopped going outside as often as I used to, and I felt that I lost the meaning of going on my hikes outside of it just being a walk. Since I went on some walks to get some ideas to write haiku, I feel that I was able to capture some cool moments like I used to. I also think that if I start writing haiku after my hikes, I will be able to capture a memory better and keep it with me for the rest of my life.

In the end, I feel that I will use haiku to relax and figure out what I am feeling that day since it is a struggle for me. Haiku taught me how to enjoy the outside again as it was my excuse to stop and look for a moment in that time. I hope to be able to continue to use haiku in my life and maybe start keeping them together to look back on and remember parts of my life as I get older. Katelynn Watkins, Spring 2021

welcome home,
my shoes
alone in the hallway

This haiku is one of my favorites since I felt like it really captured the feeling of independence. For this haiku, I was wanting to capture how I felt everyday when I came home and had nobody be in the house at the time. I felt that it was always lonely, but at some points, I always enjoyed the house being empty. I am proud of myself when it comes to this haiku as I felt that I was able to capture the feeling of loneliness when I choose to have the line of the shoes alone in the hallway.

I sit alone
watching the crowd . . .

Though this haiku was one of my firsts, I have always felt proud of this haiku when it comes to the feelings that it provokes. Writing this haiku, I was thinking about how during the beginning of the pandemic, not everyone followed the rules and still went out to socialize and go about their everyday lives while putting others in danger. I have always felt like that was a slap in the face of the healthcare workers as well as the people who were quarantining seriously to protect their family members. Having this haiku in my collection will always remind me of the time I lost hope on humanity and how I remembered that not everyone is as selfless as I thought them to be.

grass bed,
dandelion seeds
float overhead

This haiku is another one of my favorites as I love that I was able to capture such a real but also fantasy like moment. I wanted to be able to capture a moment that would be peaceful and calming, which is why I wanted my last line to have the dandelion seeds float around. I thought that the imagery of dandelion seeds has always been peaceful, as it reminds me of time of sitting at the park and just enjoying the moment of being there without thinking of the deadlines or jobs that I must do. I was happy to see that others thought the same of this haiku as I have always felt that I am not usually good at peaceful or positive types of haiku.

little horse,
my endorphins

This is another one of my favorite haikus as I wanted to capture the feeling of meeting the therapy horse on campus. When I was talking to the lady who brought the horse, she specifically said that the horses are known to increase endorphins. I remember going to see the horse and making everyone in the costume shop take the time to come see it. I was feeling very stressed that week because of my classes as well as the thought of graduation coming soon, so I felt that it was necessary for all of us to go see the horse together. I am glad that other people in our class was able to go see the horse on campus, as I felt like it made me feel positive and happy for the rest of the day.

open window
I watch afar
as the couple dances

This last haiku is another one of my favorites as I was able to capture the feeling of loneliness but also longing in the same haiku. I felt that having the second line in the haiku, it gave off that feeling of loneliness as that person would seem to be alone watching this couple. I felt that adding the last line would make the reader have the feeling of longing for something that this couple has and how having something like that would make anyone feel happier. Before getting into a relationship, I always dreamed of the most fantasy types of romances where I would meet someone at a ball, and we would dance around the whole night. I felt that most people thought of finding love that way a few times in their life just as the person in the haiku probably has thought about as well.


wet paint
scrapes away . . .
layers of myself

damp paper
smudges . . .
across the rips

speckled charcoal
in my veins

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