Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Refugee tent -- a little girl running to the rainbow

--Lavana Kray (Iasi, Romania)

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Heavy rain

abundant harvest

close to us

--Shiho Sue Maeda (Kumamoto)

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Marsh fever--

war returnee speaks

in his sleep

--Ramona Linke (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany)

* * *

Smell of Lysol

on the nurse’s top

a ladybird

--Dorota Ocinska (Polska, Poland)

* * *

Freshly green

as if just painted

a tree frog

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Spring cabbage

green caterpillar

too, tastes sweet

--Kayo Shiroma (Aira, Kagoshima)

* * *


gradually change

to summer

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

* * *

Strobing on asphalt

electric-blue rain

storms cross Shibuya

--Marietta Jane McGregor (Canberra, Australia)

* * *

Passing through

sun cracks on the sidewalk

I lose a heel

--Alegria Imperial (Vancouver, British Columbia)

* * *

Colorful umbrellas

waltzing on zebra crossing--

my way meets your way

--Steliana Voicu (Ploiesti, Romania)




Summer vacations

awake at 5 o’clock

to laze around

--Richard Jodoin (Montreal, Canada)

The haiku calendar is full this month with vacations, weddings, Father’s Day, health checks and the summer solstice. Luckily, the longest day of the year might help us to fit everything in. Wedding doves were released at a wedding attended by Guliz Vural in Ankara, Turkey. On June 10, Steliana Voicu celebrated the 68th wedding anniversary of their Majesties King Michael I and Queen Anne of Romania.

Lovebird sky

with bliss of I do’s

summer groom

* * *

Platinum wedding--

sharing more

than destiny

Satoru Kanematsu is the son of tanka poet Dr. Tokujiro Kanematsu (1891-1944).


poems left by dad

Father’s Day

Angelee Deodhar incorporates a lyrical line by DuBose Heyward so that her haiku pivots on the conjunction “and” which also adds poetic tone and diction from African American English.

Cool lemonade--

listening to Summertime and

the livin’ is easy

In Bangkok, Marek Kozubek finds there’s no escaping the sun.

Summer swelter--

deep in the pond

the sun

Writing a haiku in the cathedral city of Ripon, England, Grace Stroer-Jarvis capitalized the first letters of each line to spell out the acronym for an All Hands Meeting.

As they walk past a

Heart scratched on the cherry tree--

My parents hold hands

Twelve-year old Jason Clark sweltered in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. His acrostic haiku capitalized the first letters of each line to spell out a word meaning a frightening woman. Penned in Russia, Natalia Kuznetsova’s acrostic haiku spells out a frightening virus.

Humid day

A horsefly

Gasps for air

* * *

Haunting thoughts

In the wake of lab results . ..


In Singapore, Christina Sng worries, “As we approach summer, I wonder what the weather will bring. Infectious disease has been a memorable topic for me.” Her haiku is based on an unforgettable personal experience.

SARS quarantine

needing a hospital pass

to see my newborn

It’s abnormally hot now, but unfortunately it’s going to get even hotter. Tuesday marks the astrological beginning of the summer season when the North Pole tilts towards the sun at an angle of 23.4 degrees. In the Northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Stuart Walker suffers a dog day in Sapporo where the Dog Star (Sirius) is rising.

June 21

a husky Siberian growl

the heat is on

As the archipelago boils, Japan is losing the balance of its beloved four seasons. Frank Gaipa lost his way on an autumn trail through Oakland, California. Junko Yamada worries we may lose winter altogether in Kamakura. In Turkey, Guliz Vural is worried sick about it.

One trail becomes two

whichever I choose, its leaves

crackle lost, lost, lost

* * *

Snowy rose . ..

could you receive a

priceless love?

* * *

The sick rose--

early in the morning

how old is the heart

Auspiciously, a full moon coincides with this year’s summer solstice. Kanematsu observes green hydrangea buds turn pale blue. Before long they’ll be the color of the bright blue summer sky that Romano Zeraschi loves in Italy. Twelve-year old Kimiko Zacher listens to a heavenly song in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Last night, Iris went to Tobe town in Ehime Prefecture to search for fireflies with her haiku friends.

Pale azure

hydrangeas color

daytime moon

* * *


zigzagging in the blue . ..


* * *

Under stars

listen carefully--

a cricket song

* * *

Winding stream

follow the flickers

dark damp trees

Lysa Collins dips her hand in the Fraser River near her home in White Rock, British Columbia. In Croatia, Nina Kovacic witnesses how desert sands are widening their swath. Ian Willey’s middle might not be widening, but if one of his battery of tests was askew he’ll soon be back in tip-top form.

Light breeze

gentling cherry blossoms


* * *

Sahara sand

carried by the South Winds

rains on my hometown

* * *

Almost made

the normal range

summer health check

Currently northern areas are alight with the midnight sun. Jeanne Jorgensen visits a 19th-century cemetery in Edmonton, Alberta. Recovering from illness in Bulgaria, Lilia Racheva revels in how the world became so beautiful.


in the young aspen trees

pioneer grave yard

* * *

At first light

under my eyelashes

. . . butterflies

Rooted in ancient mysticism, at this time of year the sun appears to stop overhead the Stonehenge megaliths in England. Kanematsu prays for rain to cool down the earth. Ken Sawitri prays for a beloved receiving palliative care in Blora, Indonesia. Sng explains you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.

A tree frog

like the weatherman

croaks, “it’ll rain”

* * *

Hospice veranda

her sneeze turns

into a prayer

* * *

After reading

about pandemics

unexplained sneezing

Chemical weapons haunt Tatjana Debeljacki in Uzice, Serbia.

Suffocating from

chemicals they fell in mud--

as martyrs

Originally composed in Croatian by Nina Kovacic, this haiku was translated to English by Durda Vukelic Rozic.

A sigh from the bed

at night in the hospital

then silence again


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears July 1. Readers are invited to send haiku about summer festivals 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.