Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Full moon in a fisherman's net the swoosh of surf

--Dorota Ocinska (Lodz, Poland)

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Moon shadows

traveling down the field

discus practice

--William Cullen Jr. (Brooklyn, New York)

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Serene moonlight

a bow arching away

from its shadow

--Ken Sawitri (Blora, Indonesia)

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Thunder Moon . ..

from the quayside bar


--Ramona Linke (Beesenstedt, Germany)

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Harvest moon

over rolling pebbles

ribbons of kelp

--John Hawkhead (Bradford on Avon, U.K.)

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Summer moon

seeds for the next harvest

remaining melons

--Fatma Gultepe (Ankara, Turkey)

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Moon and muezzin

prostrating shadow

of a fairy chimney

--Guliz Mutlu (Cappadocia, Turkey)

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Under a pale moon

boots stomp and fiddles play

Fleadh Cheoil in full swing

--Pat Benedict Campbell (Calgary, Alberta)

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Heaven’s gallery

so easily wiped out

the rising moon

--Jerry Whitus (San Marcos, Texas)

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Sea breezes sigh . ..

gibbous moon pierced

by an oil platform

--Craig W. Steele (Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania)

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the breezy evening

of Indian summer

--Pravat Kumar Padhy (Bhubaneswar, India)

Soothed by a warm breeze the haikuist is enraptured by a quick unraveling of white blooms at summer’s end. Moonflowers and morning glories look similar, but moonflowers belong to the gourd family. The morning glory is a type of bindweed. The rich blue and purple hues of the morning glory fade quickly at dawn in the early autumn. Ana Drobot arched her back to write this haiku in Bucharest, Romania.

Olympic games . ..

bending under the fence

morning glory

Marek Kozubek cheers “It’s neck and neck to the finish line.” Capota Daniela Lacramioara clocks a slower moving finalist. Teiichi Suzuki swoons in moonlight. Dragan J. Ristic enjoys a night out in Nis, Serbia.

Running track--

Olympic sprinter faster

than his shadow

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Olympic track--

crossing the finish

the moonlight

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Samba rhythm

moon cross over the ocean

bon dancing

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my shadow with others

at the festival

Iris prays at a temple in Matsuyama where the 6th Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest has begun. Gift money vouchers will be presented as Grand Prix and Awards for Excellence to six haikuists. Supported by The Asahi Shimbun and Asahi Culture Center, readers are invited to compose haiku related to eight photographs displayed at this on-line site:

Grasses flutter

roof of the temple gate

cicada chirps

Christina Sng tried to hold onto summer in Singapore. Elizabeth Moura watched the sun slip into the sea off Massachusetts. Eric Kimura said goodbye to a moon seen slipping away through palm trees in Hawaii. In Romania, Lavana Kray prays for refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Iliyana Stoyanova drifts to sleep peacefully in St. Albans, U.K.

Forgotten summer

I race to the attic

to retrieve a memory

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End of the day

sinking into the sea

a gold medal

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Face between the trees

one last smile before leaving

summer moon setting

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Dismasted ship--

a refugee child wallowing

in the moon light

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Clear night

the lullaby of

silvery waves

A Dostoyevsky sense of darkness pervades this haiku by Natalia Kuznetsova in Moscow. It seems to warn readers against a terrible revelation for the future. Usually an optimist, after watching a documentary about Chernobyl she felt nothing but pathos.

Abandoned farms

inhabited by ghosts--

exclusion zone

An owl and a pussycat loom large in the next two haiku, respectively penned by Sng and by Sydell Rosenberg (1929-1996).

The solstice

I watch an owl

watching the moon

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Two white cats

blend their shadows

facing the sea

Mississauga’s poet laureate, Anna Yin, shares a poem from her upcoming collection, “Nightlights.” Don Hansbrough is sleepless in Seattle. Romano Zeraschi savors a long life in Italy.

moon bridge

on the night river

our shadows entwine

* * *

between sunset

and moonrise shadows

my heartbeat

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We speak, we remember . ..

the moon is low

the morning still far

Neena Singh in Chandigarh, India, and Debbie Strange in Winnipeg, Manitoba, respectively record the sounds of the night.

Sea gulls cry

over the moon's


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Blues festival

stray dogs howling

at streetlights


Today’s column is contained in The Asahi Shimbun’s English news database. The Sept. 30 issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network is about a summer that might never end. Readers are invited to send haiku about migration on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or by 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.