Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

bay wind a boat tugs at its mooring
--John Zheng (Itta Bena, Mississippi)

* * *

raised voices
she leaves home wearing
a baseball cap
--Vandana Parashar (Panchkula, India)

* * *

double header ...
a squabble of gulls
dust off home plate
--Pat Geyer (East Brunswick, New Jersey)

* * *

baseball stadium
swallow’s shadow moves
base to base
--Serhiy Shpychenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)

* * *

Cheerless spring
home run ball fell in
vacant stands
--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

* * *

morning glory--
stay humble
strike three!
--Benedetta Cardone (Massa, Italy)

* * *

On a rock
caught in sunlight
fallen camellia
--Anne-Marie McHarg (London, U.K.)

* * *

fallen camellias--
circling in the novel
some new words
--Taofeek Ayeyemi (Lagos, Nigeria)

* * *

your written I love you
winter fog
--Carmela Marino (Rome, Italy)

* * *

fishing boats gather
the dawn
--Kristyn Blessing (Menomonie, Wisconsin)


Spring meadow
accented English
fills the air
--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

The haikuist has watched baseball games for over 60 years, noting that was how “baby boomers started to learn English before taking classes at junior high.” In Montreal, Quebec, Richard Jodoin cheered for a fictional minor-league baseball player admired by Charlie Brown in the newspaper comic strip “Peanuts.” Thorsten Neuhaus played ball in Munster, Germany, 40 years ago.

Collectible exhibits
in a bunch of old baseball cards
Joe Shlabotnik!

* * *

talking about
a curveball

This year, however, the professional baseball season has been postponed, and for the first time since WWII, Hanshin Koshien Stadium cancelled its all-Japan high school spring tournament due to coronavirus worries. Baseball games for fans Pat Geyer in New Jersey and Roberta Beach Jacobson in Iowa, respectively, were rained out.

spring training ...
virus might rain on the stands
games cancelled

* * *

cleaned by
gentle rain
second base

All games in Italy were rained out, reports Rosa Maria Di Salvatore from Catania. As an English teacher in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Isaiah Silvers, admitted that he learned the hard way why batsmen wear gloves while batting. Yuji Hayashi peeled wet leaves off a lost toy in Fukuoka.

heavy rain
on the empty seats ...
game over

* * *

Strong enough
for the maple bat--
thwack, a yelp and stinging hands

* * *

A toy bat
in a red sunset
wrapped in leaves

Ashoka Weerakkody recalled cheering the Tokyo Giants with co-workers but prefers cricket at home in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Anne-Marie McHarg wanted to cheer cricketers at St. Mary’s University campus.

batters and catchers
take the turf with old rivalries
avenging giants

* * *

Bat swings--
Flock of geese
On the ball

Satoru Kanematsu couldn’t sleep while snakes and bears roamed his neighborhood in Aichi Prefecture. Rose Mary Boehm soothed a startled passenger in Lima, Peru. John Hamley watched a barnyard cock strut along the horizon to where the sun was about to rise in Marmora, Ontario.

Warm winter--
in the sun slithers
sleepless snake

* * *

Tyres on the dirt road
Owl’s eyes stare into headlights--
A child’s hands caress

* * *

for the frogs
the rooster strides

Ramona Linke hid under the bedsheets in Mansfeld Land, Germany. Daniela Misso hung sheets out to dry from her verandah in San Gemini, Italy.

she lays her silence
between the linens

* * *

clothes in the sun--
the scent of melting

Reporting from Italy, Luciana Moretto lamented “particularly in Lombardy, people die all alone--no family, no friends, nobody in a hospital room, no funeral, no graveyard, no cremation. Only Socrates’ serene death ... enviable.” From her balcony in Lombardy, Mariangela Canzi spotted a butterfly the size of a golden coin.

hemlock potion ...
all round Socrates
disciples’ mourning

* * *

sunny day
on a gorse bush

Kanematsu lost touch with a haikuist in Syracruse, New York.

Spreading plague--
how is my dear pal
in New York?

Self-isolating haikuists in the cities of Paris and New York can only dream of being outside. Twelve-year-old Bryce Black sketched the most romantic places to be in springtime. New Yorker Jay Friedenberg swayed in the winds as he recalled a holiday.

a spring evening
in France

* * *

billowing cumulus
treetops undulate
in a summer breeze

Vandana Parashar settled in for 21 slow-paced days and nights in Panchkula, India.

the sky is now the deepest
shade of blue

* * *

where were
all these new stars before ...

Feeling worried and so lonesome all the time in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, T.D. Ginting learned the lyrics to the 1963 hit song, “Blue Bayou,” written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson.

Staying at my room
thinking of the blue bayou--
(s)low-moving stream

Djurdja Vukelic Rozic resumed a card game with friends in Croatia. Ana Drobot summed up the score for the first quarter of the year in Bucharest, Romania.

spring cleaning
we continue on a rummy score
in old notebook

* * *

what we lost
this year ...

Ken Sawitri found solace in Blora, Indonesia.

temple in the wind
this, too, is an offering
rafflesia in bloom

Ana Drobot looks forward to seeing a golden moon overhead Bucharest, Romania, on May 7. Near Kristen Lindquist’s home in Camden, Maine, there’s an abundance of golden flowers to give to friends: gorse, primrose, rowan, hawthorn, hazel, and marsh marigold.

a leaf over
the full moon

* * *

flower moon
the waxwing shares a petal
with his mate

A Golden Week of reading haiku at home can be enjoyed with The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear May 15 and 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about rejuvenation, or a green moon, on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to

* * *

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).