Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Green emerald in a small glassware box granny’s brooch

--Tatjana Debeljacki (Uzice, Serbia)

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Quaking spring

do calm yourself down

Mother Earth

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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a dream

in shambles

--Ian Willey (Takamatsu, Kagawa)

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A sand castle . ..

just like my kingdom

in the dream

--Adina Enachescu (Ramnicu-Valcea, Romania)

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In my bed

I don’t feel lonely

this butterfly dream

--Kimiko Zacher (Misawa, Aomori)

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Madame Butterfly

with the long interstate drive,

the greening prairie

--Horst Ludwig (St. Peter, Minnesota)

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Rodin’s Thinker--

hell full of greenhouse gases

spring melancholy

--Juichi Masuda (Tokyo)

* * *

Nestled in the trees

Great Buddha’s silent repose


--Thomas Canull (Carmel, Indiana)

* * *

Trees’ whirring sway

sparrows fling out

over soggy lawns

--Marshall Hryciuk (Toronto, Ontario)

* * *

Still of night--

the cereus

enfolds a haloed moon

--Lysa Collins (White Rock, British Columbia)




Green tea leaf

on the bottom of a cup

a Chinese dragon

--Zuzanna Truchlewska (Laziska Gorne, Poland)

The haikuist swirls tea leaves in a teacup to interpret a message based on the way they settle. While sitting in a local caf in New South Wales, Barbara A. Taylor spots a large green lizard catching drops of water coming from a downpipe. Writing from Edinburgh, James Roderick Burns suggests that we all have something to learn.

Lounging about

at the gutter’s edge

a water dragon

* * *

By the arse

of the chameleon

everyone is green

At this time of year poets see green everywhere. Isao Soematsu pushes peonies in Nagoya. Ana Drobot applies green eyeliner in Bucharest.

In the greenhouse

gorgeous peonies waiting

their turn

* * *

Cat’s eyes

by makeup artist . ..


Greenery Day in Japan is dedicated to the care of plants and nature. Until about 10 years ago, the holiday was celebrated April 29 on the birthday of former Emperor Showa. It now falls on May 4. Satoru Kanematsu will attend a formal tree planting ceremony on that special day. Andy McLellan celebrated Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday on April 21, 2016.

Verdure Day--

planting a young tree

the Empress

* * *

Crowning glory--

watching the sun rise on

the Queen’s birthday

Haikuists often share the same view as phenologists who study the timing of recurring natural phenomena. For example, Anna Yin recorded when she heard the first cuckoo sing in Mississauga, Canada.

Cuckoo, cuckoo

in the greenness

of my childhood’s dream

Anna Goluba stared eye to eye with the first long-legged insect to appear in Warsaw, Poland.

From among green blades

its stubborn stare . ..


John Hawkhead spotted the lone reproductive female in a hive of honeybees near Bradford on Avon, U.K. Ana Drobot recalls when dandelions first went to seed in Bucharest, Romania.

The queen bee arrives

in a pool of spring sunshine

a scent of new green

* * *

Dandelion fluff--

the taste of my

first ice-cream

Horst Ludwig realizes that some haiku moments can be full of sadness. Guliz Vural sojourns in Cukurova, Turkey.

Mother’s Day

the first time alone

in the park

* * *

Cotton fields . ..

children blow confetti

close to the city

Djurdja Vukelic Rozic admires recycling efforts in Ivanic-Grad, Croatia. Arvinder Kaur safeguards a bird nest in Chandigarh, India.

Eco summer--

the white stork family

returned to their nest

* * *

Once again

collecting the nest--

brittle reeds

Mario Massimo Zontini appreciates the changes made to his Italian cityscape. Helga Stania observes moonlight fade in Ettiswil, Switzerland. Lilia Racheva pauses for a moment in a difficult dance position in Ruse, Bulgaria.

Spring boulevard

the same old traffic

green of new leaves

* * *

The hazy moon’s

magic signs--

as ink fades off

* * *

Hazy moon,

a violin playing

tango . ..

Christina Sng reports that temperatures are already scorching hot in Singapore. Weather stations in the Philippines recorded dangerously high heat indexes in April that prompted Angelo B. Ancheta to keep an eye peeled for a dark green leafy plant used to treat an assortment of ailments in Japan. In Russia, Natalia Kuznetsova rages in anger. Pamela Cooper wants the people with big carbon prints to slow down in Montreal, Canada.

Record heat

the cat declines

to go out again

* * *


at your presence

gynura procumbens

* * *

Forest fires

raging out of control . ..

lessons unlearned

* * *

Greenhouse emissions

overheating Earth--

our need to cool it

Manmade greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere have caused oceans to rise and an increase in the number of coastal floods, notes Hidehito Yasui who watches in awe as spring returns with the invisible powers of nature. Lydia Lecheva recalls stories from her youth.

Wind flows round

mountains raising rivers

unseen spring

* * *

No memory of

green, green grass of home--

Icelandic geysers

12-year-old Grace Stroer-Jarvis begins a new school year in Aomori. Mayako Arima is proud her son is studying at the same university in Kagoshima that she attended 12 years ago.

The first dip

of my oars

spring beginnings

* * *

Time flies

son on the campus

hope in bloom

Nika savors walking among fresh new leaves in the forests of British Columbia. As those trees leaf, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere decreases. Carbon dioxide levels around our planet start to dip next month thanks to the new vegetation that fuses greenhouse gas into its tissue. Simon Hanson goes for a stroll in Queensland, Australia.

First green leaves

how I envy

my younger self

* * *

Forest path

sharing the way

with a stream

Yutaka Kitajima boarded a train whose chairs and tables automatically reversed direction to face forward when it reached the end of the line. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa is passionate about cherry blossoms. Ramona Linke is out rounding up sheep in Germany.

New green tea

the tables are turned

with a click

* * *


my heart lies between

last and next year

* * *

Shepherd’s hut--

in the hammock

cherry blossoms

Go green with Today’s column is contained in the Asahi Shimbun’s English news database. The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear May 6 and 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about earth tremors 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 also the editor of OUTREACH, a bi-monthly column featuring international teachers in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teacher (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 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asahi Culture Center, Matsuyama City, and Seinan Jo Gakuin University.

McMurray's books include: "Canada Project in Kyushu" Vol. 1 (2006) - Vol. 7 (2011), Pukeko: Fukuoka; "Haiku in English as a Japanese Language" (2003), Pukeko: Kitakyushu; and "Hospital Departmental Operations--A Guide for Trustees and Managers," Canadian Hospital Association: Ottawa, Canada.