Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

anniversary the path through the gardens somewhere here
--Christof Blumentrath (Borken, Germany)

* * *

front yard
our lawn ornaments concealed
by prairie grasses
--John J. Dunphy (Alton, Illinois)

* * *

light through silver grasses
to be suddenly
--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

wind in the reeds
this quiet night
--Raegan Bradbury (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

all day long
after a cigarette
chewing gum
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

* * *

birthing pangs
tall grass
rolls in waves
--Serhiy Shpychenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)

* * *

hay tedder
after corona
at the hairdresser
--Rosemarie Schuldes (Mattsee, Austria)

* * *

gather for evening prayer...
alone on the lawn
--Arvinder Kaur (Chandigarh, India)

* * *

whistle of an unknown night train
the abandoned railway
--Ken Sawitri (Blora, Indonesia)

* * *

Withered lotus
casting away everything
even its shadow
--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)


carrion’s call...
a half-eaten loaf of bread
outside the camp
--Hifsa Ashraf (Rawalpindi, Pakistan)

The haikuist shivered at the sight of hunger. Birds pecked at leftovers and the decaying flesh of dead animals. Barun Kumar Saha accepted his solitary life in Bangalore, India.

cheese on bread
I take another bite
of lonesomeness

Masumi Orihara enjoyed the “aroma and sweet taste of nan bread in India” so much that when she returned home to Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, she dined at every Indian restaurant until she found just the right taste and texture.

Sweet-smelling swell
torn for a dip and a bite
of nan bread

Melanie Vance and her husband enthusiastically took turns kneading bread in Dallas, Texas. Orihara recalled “a sweet and sour” moment sharing a crispy apple with her bridegroom. After a hard day, Mel Goldberg and his better half reciprocated in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Marie Derley stuck with her sweetie in Wallonia, Belgium.

just joined
punching class together
newly married

* * *

Sharing as always
a jazz apple
another anniversary

* * *

end of argument
we pour wine
for each other

* * *

two of us alone
the sugar in the jar
has agglomerated

Slawa Sibiga missed the departure of migrating birds from Tychy, Poland. In California, Sally A. Fox penned a haiku about an icy evening just before Thanksgiving. Madhuri Pillai brings to mind Marion Sinclair’s (1896-1988) nursery rhyme about a very large kingfisher written for the Girl Guides Association of Victoria, Australia, in 1932.

i’m painting on the wall
flying birds

* * *

A twilight twinkles;
A smoky-blue heron turns;
Autumn winds murmur

* * *

Dog-friendly park...
the taunts of a kookaburra
hidden in a gum tree

This fresh simile was penned by Mark Reino Peltonen while commuting to downtown Ottawa. Along with 20 other haiku tributes to the morning, he put together a manuscript titled, “Cityscapes.”

Getting off the bus
Like salmon in a stream
Driving against the current

Indian haikuist Gauri Dixit referred to a late 18th century practice, which is now banned, when a widow may have felt it necessary to sacrifice herself by sitting atop her deceased husband’s funeral pyre.

her eyes
reflect the fire--

Giuliana Ravaglia added two lines to Dante Alighieri’s (1265–1321) narrative poem “Purgatory Canto XXV” to warn us neither look at flames, nor be distracted, misstep, or plummet to our doom.

look at the vine--
the heat of the sun that turns into wine

Tomislav Maretic listened to busy insects in Dalmatia, Croatia. Satoru Kanematsu remembered Aisin-Gioro Puyi (1906-1967) and heard a final faint chirp.

evening heat--
the crickets compete
in rapid chirping

* * *

Crickets miss
the Last Emperor
as a child

* * *

Last crickets
then silence

In his youth, Ronnie Smith painted in Largs, Scotland.

A still life of fruit
One exotic, global red
Shines in a dull bowl

Kanematsu helped his grateful grandson to compose a haiku about fruit.

Green apples--
if I could return
to boyhood

* * *

with pretty tinged leaves
thankyou note

In Volcano, Hawaii, David Kawika Eyre’s veranda has pawprint-designs. There’s not much left to see on Jay Friedenberg’s sundeck in Riverdale, New York, nor on Mike Gallagher’s doorstep in Lyreacrompane, Ireland.

paling moonlight
cat prints on the porch

* * *

winter terrace
the withered remains
of a geranium

* * *

first frost
the wilting stems
of geraniums

Wild grasses fill the land plots up for sale in Kanematsu’s neighborhood in Nagoya, so he enjoyed wandering through them.

Foxtail grass
restless in the vase
on my desk

* * *

Clear autumn--
haiku walk free from
COVID plague

Yutaka Kitajima dozed peacefully this Indian summer in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture. Ramona Linke peered in the direction of a shrouded park in Beesenstedt, Germany.

Sunny lane
a snake in slumber
free from care

* * *

autumn rose
the sound of cymbals
beyond the mist

Scott Hundahl visited an aging relative who is “experiencing disquieting fears and delusions,” noting that “for some, the mind ages faster than the sinews.” Having passed a few retirement years in tropical Vietnam, Dennis Woolbright chose to winter this year in Kita-Kyushu. Linke selected which way to turn in Germany.

Dark forest trail
Strides, but knows not the way
Drizzle and dusk

* * *

the cold
persimmons shine

* * *

river fork
moonlight glints on

Orihara imagined the rabbit on a Hunter’s moon, also called a Dying Grass moon, hiding from the viral-infected earth.

a rabbit
far side of the moon

Neena Singh shared a secret in Chandigarh, India. Sweeney in Aomori and Kanematsu in Nagoya, respectively, forsook Madame Butterfly.

summer grass--
I whisper my secret
to the dew

* * *

to an autumn dandelion
a lone yellow

* * *

Rustling wind
autumn butterflies
drift away

Derley couldn’t resist tearing the foil wrappers off a net full of Albert Premier Belgian chocolate coins, banknotes and gold bars. Stefano d’Andrea was left with nothing in Sanremo, Italy.

chocolate money
watching the November rain
I squander

* * *

sliding doors
my father’s secrets
in an empty account

Aljosa Vukovic penned a plea for help from Sibenik, Croatia. Momentarily soothed by Schumann’s (1810-1856) piano composition, Kanematsu faced fear by focusing on rhythmic background music meant to merely fill silence.

sea view
I am afraid
of my daughter

* * *

before surgery
autumn noon

Gloomy gray clouds covered the doctor’s office in Pula, Croatia, where Dejan Pavlinovic sat with his father facing “false prospects of a positive outcome of the therapy.” He said it was an unbearable experience that left them “with a strong feeling of being trapped and alone.” Beate Conrad saw silence.

short days...
the silence in the waiting room

* * *

silent skies
in the streets no voices
around empty fields


Readers are invited to enter the 10th Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest supported by The Asahi Shimbun, at this online site: (

The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Dec. 4 and 18. Readers are invited to send haiku about a vaccination or a transition, 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).