Camp Glenwood Comments and Poems

My first visit to the Camp Glenwood detention center to teach haiku poetry was on 21 March 2002. One of the staff members later sent me the following comments and poems from the students. These are all the comments and poems I received, as typed up by the staff member, with no edits (I believe that person added the capitalization of the first line of each poem, or perhaps that was a result of the autocorrect feature in Microsoft Word; however, in most cases the poems were not originally written that way). See my “Camp Glenwood” haibun.


  • “At first I could not understand it, but at last it was cool. I think the poems were about the way you feel and you understand it.”
  • “It was a fun activity and now all I do is make up little haikus whenever I have the time.”
  • “I am glad he came because it introduced me to a new kind of poetry.”
  • “I really enjoyed it and I also started to try writing haiku poems myself.”
  • “I learned a more simple way of writing a poem.”
  • “The best thing I liked was how the poems explained your mind.”
  • “The poems that he is famous for are so simple, but yet complex at the same time.”
  • “I learned that only a few simple words can express one’s deep internal feelings or just emotions that need to be expressed.”
  • “. . . it was that there are no limits. I can write about anything I want.”
  • “I can express myself in three lines. I never knew how to do that before.”
  • “Now when I sit outside and look around, everything is different though my eyes and ears . . . one day I’m going to look back at all the things I did as a kid and thanks to you I will see things differently and not as bad, but in a good way.”
“A man who taught us
The joys of



Sitting by a tree

Feeling all alone

All alone



No matter

Where I am at

Food smells good



Doing time


Is still ticking



I smell the ocean breeze

Allergies are kickin’ in

So I must sneeze



Tall trees in rows

Like soldiers

Ready to fly to war



A far distance away

And a close site nearby

Shocked me to believe it was right here



Every meal

I know what we are having

Right before I step into the dining room.



People walking

Big heads

No mind



Sunny days

Hot weather

Sweating underneath my sweater



A picture

A puzzle put together

Is nothing but the broken past



The grass


So when is it enough



With the time

I know

That I have to have friends



Sunshine and wind

Voices, birds whistling

Leaves crinkling



I send a letter

I am still waiting


Not knowing if it’s going to come back

a good letter.



People stink

They don’t know

Old fish



No matter

Where I am

Food smells good



Voices coming from a different mouth

I don’t know

What they are talking about



I feel warm from the sun

Yet the breeze cools me

Dusty table



Summer tree

Summer sun

Summer glare

Back to Camp Glenwood haibun.