Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

full sun--the empty cicada shell
--Giuliana Ravaglia (Bologna, Italy)

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semi molt
leaving behind shells
of old selves
--Stephen J. DeGuire (Los Angeles)

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dull day
the warmth of home
in a bowl of passatelli
--Marina Bellini (Mantua, Italy)

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grass clippings
raking up
bits of summer
--Jonathan Roman (Yonkers, New York)

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trimming hedges
one by one
a flutter of moths
--Rich Schilling (Webster Groves, Montana)

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pine tree silhouette
across the river
my inner demons
--Hifsa Ashraf (Rawalpindi, Pakistan)

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crossing the street
bottle tucked
under his arm
--B.A. France (Annapolis, Maryland)

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an old turtle
shuffling its feet
hot sand
--Tom Bierovic (DeLand, Florida)

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sand mandala
created by the universe
and so, destructed
--Tsanka Shishkova (Sofia, Bulgaria)

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in the now
picking holes in tomorrow
--Rob Goss (Tokyo)


imagining safety
in layers
--Lorraine A. Padden (San Diego, California)

The haikuist sheltered deep inside the whorls of a seashell. Writing from Stratford, Ontario, Michael Dudley harmonized a skyline in four words: ocean horizon sunrise corona.

Melanie Vance thought, “The whole scene was so cheerful,” as she watched children playing and riding bicycles along a beautiful beach in Galveston, Texas. Her haiku moment focused on a fabric hairclip designed to look like a butterfly.

in the small girl’s hair
bicycling on the beach shore
butterfly flutters

On her way to Sollars Elementary School in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, 11-year-old Rosevita Dunnehoo suddenly looked back. Her classmate Kate Sparks looked skyward. Murasaki Sagano learned how profitable gardening can be.

The Fox’s nose
black as the forest
behind her

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Sunflowers in a row
gazing up
at their great ancestor

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sold out board only
farmyard stand

Regular as clockwork, Satoru Kanematsu’s granddaughter runs home from school to peer into her aquarium and say hello to the fish first. Her brother may give up on his dream to be an aviator.

Puff, puffing
goldfish have worries
to tell her

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Summer’s end
grandson’s model plane

After a long absence, and before maintenance workers cut the weeds, Charlie Smith returned to teach biomathematics at North Carolina State University. Minal Sarosh studied the walls at home in Ahmedabad, India. A retired surgeon, Scott Hundahl marveled at the refined simplicity, simple elegance and quiet perfection of the beating heart.

empty school
cracked sidewalks crowded

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autumn ...
the yellow flowers wall sticker
begins to bloom

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Blue sky. Leaves wafting
Standing deep, warm and weightless
Shibumi heartbeat

The “lingering heat is terrible,” lamented Kanematsu as he watched paint peel, twist and contort on metal sheet fences around construction sites.

Scorching heat
writhing graffiti
voiceless scream

Setting out from Osaka, Seiichi Suzuki fathomed the galaxy. Elancharan Gunasekaran lost his way in Singapore. With trepidation, Elizabeth Lara headed for home in Silver Spring, Maryland.

to view wisteria--
milky way

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where sparrows dwell
where summer slumbers
where am i?

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journey home
unbroken highway
knowing, not knowing

Buddha’s unlimited compassion for flies guided Marco Fraticelli to tenderly treat those facing a second wave of virus in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Murasaki Sagano offered a prayer in Tokyo. Kanematsu soured on the continuing surge in new cases of COVID-19.

covid continument
a fly on the face
of the stone Buddha

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Clear water
his soul reflected
windless ripples

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Green silence:
unripe persimmon
unchecked plague

Barun Kumar Saha read a poem by Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) during lunch in Bangalore, India.

bland sandwich--
between two slices of bread
woulda, coulda, shoulda

Angela Giordano wrote this one-line haiku at home in Avigliano, Italy: savoring the scent of freshly baked bread in the old village.

Blessed Ayeyame sat down for a chat and curds made from fresh milk in Ughelli, Nigeria. Taofeek Ayeyemi removed a blackened kettle from the fire in Lagos, Nigeria. Tsanka Shishkova drank alone in Sofia, Bulgaria.

eating cheese
my grandpa recounts
his hard times

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making tea ...
the old man nods off
by the hearth

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a cup of tea ...
I miss you
in late autumn

The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears on Oct. 30 for Halloween. Readers are welcome to send haiku for the first day of winter 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).