Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

rain’s long hair a handful of cherry petals
--Helga Stania (Ettiswil, Switzerland)

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cherry petals
on my doorstep
from no where
--Junko Saeki (Tokyo)

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watching it rain--
once again
I slurp cinnamon tea
--Muskaan Ahuja (Chandigarh, India)

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pruning rose bush
not without drawing
blood on secateur
--Madhuri Pillai (Melbourne, Australia)

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Rampant plague
morning newspaper
smells of death
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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after rain ...
drooping flowers
stand tall again
--Ed Bremson (Raleigh, North Carolina)

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rusty hoe
and a weedy garden--
--Zdenka Mlinar (Zagreb, Croatia)

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garden shed
a rusty rake awaits
his firm grip
--Marilyn Humbert (Sydney, Australia)

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early harvest
the potted seedlings
nibbled by my cat
--John J. Dunphy (Alton, Illinois)

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bedimmed spring
cherry blossoms
blend in the gray sky
--Asako Utsunomiya (Hiroshima)


wisteria blossom
with rain
dripping down
--Roger Watson (Hull, U.K.)

The haikuist felt melancholic “about the way rain drips down wisteria blossoms; the blooms are tapered and point down and it funnels the rain into lines of large drips which persist for a while after the rain has stopped.” Vandana Parashar pondered how to relieve a runny nose in Panchkula, India.

common cold
a tug of war between
herbal tea or rum

Satoru Kanematsu languished indoors. When it is very quiet and very dark outside, Venelina Petkova spins a Five Satins tune recorded in the basement of Saint Bernadette Catholic School in springtime 1956.

Plague death toll
pale cherry blossoms
in the rain

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“In the still of the night”
cherry blossoms and wind
meet at desolate stations

“Observing Saint Isidore, the patron saint of farmers according to today’s Catholic calendar, Ali Parasteh, a grade 12 student of theology at Brebeuf High in Toronto, composed a haiku in prayer-like form.”

Everlasting love
Fill my heart with faith and hope
then I will find joy

On May 10, Angela Giordano picked her mother’s favorite flower “despite the fact that she has passed away,” she said. Lee Nash recalled a strong-smelling liniment made from the wood and bark of the camphor tree. Lorraine A. Padden created breathing space for preferred flowers. John Daleiden dressed for tea with a lady during the coronavirus scare in Phoenix, Arizona.

a camellia
though you are no longer here
for mother’s day

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all the dolls
in intensive care--
Grandma’s camphor

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culling the garden
what remains
on my shoulder tattoo

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her pinky wiggling
in a white-gloved hand--
drinking herbal tea

Content to while away the day inside her condominium in Boucherville, Quebec, Micheline Comtois-Cecyre penned a haiku in French that can be translated as follows.

flower anew this spring
waits for me

Kanematsu didn’t mind when karaoke and going to live music halls were curtailed, but he dearly hoped that his granddaughter could go out.

Spreading plague--
no concerts, but songs
of spring birds

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Bright sunshine
cheerful kids’ voices
back at school

Charlie Smith was swamped by administrative tasks while bunkered down teaching online from his research office in Raleigh, North Carolina.

long e-mail
window seedlings toil
two cm

Yutaka Kitajima nervously rolled out of bed in the dead of night in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture.

Woe woe woe
the phone ringing out
chilly night

Fridays for future at The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears May 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about taking it slow and easy on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or 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).