Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

withered magnolia my calm down and carry on pills
--Eva Limbach (Saarbrucken, Germany)

* * *

dripping my sorrows
drop by drop
--Hifsa Ashraf (Rawalpindi, Pakistan)

* * *

pregnancy test ...
after the snow has melted
a red cyclamen
--Carmela Marino (Rome)

* * *

Snow drops
bloom as we bow
convent’s gate
--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

* * *

argument over
the snow on the roof
--Roger Watson (Hull, U.K.)

* * *

After the feasts
the icicles growing
night by night
--Vasile Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania)

* * *

joyful squeals:
the snow dripping from
small noses
--Margherita Petriccione (Scauri, Italy)

* * *

first snow--
sour cream drops
in the borsch
--Nicholas Klacsanzky (Seattle, Washington)

* * *

ladybug moon
in a camellia blossom
dusk flickers
--Erin Castaldi (Mays Landing, New Jersey)

* * *

cold evening
an icicle connects
heaven to earth
--Vladislav Hristov (Plovdiv, Bulgaria)


Wuhan lockdown
relieved each time when mom
answers my calls
--John Zheng (Itta Bena, Mississippi)

Worried sick by COVID-19, the haikuist telephoned his family in China. Spotting twin devils atop a local temple in Nagoya, Satoru Kanematsu prayed “they scare the coronavirus invading from China.” Kiyoshi Fukuzawa wrapped up for battle in Tokyo. Teiichi Suzuki endured the coldness of an isolated Buddhist retreat atop Mount Koya.

Hay fever
nonchalant gargoyles
on the roof

* * *

Solidly armored
buds of camellias fight
the piercing cold

* * *

By inches
starlit night brings out

Dennis Woolbright swept his campus clean in Tra Vinh, Vietnam. Kazuo Takayanagi braced himself in face of death.

having wished the grounds were clean--
no students this spring

* * *

with hesitation
a Zen monk sweeps
fallen camellias

Confined to bed, Andrzej Dembonczyk looked through the pane. Biding time, Murasaki Sagano slowly sipped tea. Cezar-Florin Ciobica felt locked behind bars.

IV drip
drips ... very ... slowly ...
melting icicles

* * *

keep time one by one
sandglass tea

* * *

captive between

Roger Watson said that the writing of haiku is one of the few things that can take his mind off his academic work as a professor of nursing. Professor emeritus Horst Ludwig laments there are only two seasons in St. Peter, Minnesota: snow removal and road repair.

the snowdrift
random thoughts

* * *

Looking from the doc’s waiting room
outside where snowflakes dance
nothing else

Melanie Vance stared at a wall painting in Dallas, Texas. Rosemarie Schuldes comforted family in Mattsee, Austria. Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Meghan Elizabeth Jones recalls how deeply she inhaled when she met the sea.

blossom in her painting ...
grandma’s Alzheimer ward

* * *

snow drops
shaking off snowflakes
grandma’s quiet smile

* * *

in these later years
ocean’s tide deepens my breath
gratitude swells

Hifsa Ashraf empathized with an effort to live what remains of life as comfortably and fully as possible.

hospice garden ...
she collects the loose petals
of magnolia blossom

Francis Attard tucked into a late dinner in Marsa, Malta: sea slug wedge of waning moon nightfall. Dina Towbin stayed snug as a bug in a rug in Washington, D.C.

The covers hug me,
The warm embrace of soft sleep.
Slipping into night.

Mario Massimo Zontini wrote this one-line verse as he slowly roused himself: late is the first snow this year so are my thoughts. Marek Kozubek hung onto his lover’s every word.

Her warm words
at sunrise
melting icicles

Alegria Imperial awoke to a lone sparrow perched on the fragile tip of a pine; noting that “Clumps of once thick rose blooms, hydrangeas and magnolias now seem like a dream, fallen and sopped into mulch under their skeletal twigs.”

waking up
to the new year on my pillow
quieter than a soul

John Daleiden combined haiku with prose to create haibun, a short story about driving in Phoenix, Arizona. Or, perhaps it was an alien abduction? He mused, “At 7:30 am shortly after sunrise, little traffic traveled along the straight-as-an-arrow highway. The fresh morning light played over the sand dunes on the north side of the empty four lane road. As I glanced at the unblemished sand dunes on my left I observed a wave-line pattern the wind had created. Some primary force occupied my being.”

rippled sand dunes
evoke memories of snow
desert travel

* * *

helpless captive,
suspended in a time-warp--
the desert transforms

Shivering, Kanematsu was lured by the welcome sight of a bright red Japanese chochin and the succulent smell of skewered chicken on a bamboo stick barbequing over charcoal. Tempted to stand up and dance during the musical “Saturday Night Fever,” Murasaki Sagano hesitated because “most of the audience, as well as me, were over middle age.” Nadejda Kostadinova saw haiku shine everywhere in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Freezing night
tavern’s red lanterns

* * *

Disco dance
alluring eyes from stage
wintry storm

* * *

sparkles in the snow
these little
aha moments

Priscilla Lignori sparkled in Montgomery, New York. Angela Giordano peeled mandarins in Avigliano, Italy.

Honey in my tea--
as sweet as the first snowflakes
on granddaughter’s hair

* * *

On your hands
the scent of oranges--
freezing moon

This haiku by Yuto Takahashi, a third-year medical student, was ranked first in a contest held at Kagawa University. The judge, Ian Willey, remarked that the ephemeral moment described in the haiku was “the most memorable of all the contest entries.”

Cotton candy
And a child who is running around
in autumn festival

A haiku by the winner’s classmate, Atsumi Miyazaki, placed second for its “fleeting moment” because it is, the judge noted, “the smaller moments of the day that make for stronger haiku.”

The wind was breezing
a girl in the shade
caught her hat

John Levi brought this colorful haiku out from under a shade tree. Masumi Orihara cared for a blossom as if it were the daughter of a noble family.

plum trees sheltering
stoics in the garden shade
delighted parrots

* * *

closeted maiden
hidden behind leaves

Orihara’s magnolia buds but rarely blooms. Kristen Lindquist watched as a tree was stripped of its color.

wailing branches
magnolia buds
bird delicacy

* * *

the apple blossoms
ravaged by waxwings
I can’t look away

Reading through poems left behind by Sydell Rosenberg in 1968, Amy Losak found this little delight from her mother.

A little ice melts
and a water drop coasts down
a long icicle


Today’s issue is dripping with haiku at The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear March 6 and 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about dolls or the vernal equinox on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or by e-mail to (

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David McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is on the editorial board of the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, columnist for the Haiku International Association, and is editor of Teaching Assistance, a column featuring graduate students in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).

McMurray is professor of intercultural studies at The International University of Kagoshima where he lectures on international haiku. At the Graduate School he supervises students who research haiku. He is a correspondent school teacher of Haiku in English for the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo.

McMurray judges haiku contests organized by Ito En Oi Ocha, Asahi Culture Center, Matsuyama City, Polish Haiku Association, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, and Only One Tree.

McMurray's award-winning books include: "Only One Tree Haiku, Music & Metaphor" (2015); "Canada Project Collected Essays & Poems" Vols. 1 -- 8 (2013); and "Haiku in English as a Japanese Language" (2003).