Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Ants always staying in touch with each other

--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

Summer noon

at the water tap

ants in queue

--Puja Malushte (Mumbai, India)

* * *

full moon

my empty pockets


--Pamela A. Babusci (Rochester, New York)

* * *

Stones and weeds

the pond we sailed across

as children

--Elizabeth Moura (East Taunton, Massachusetts)

* * *

little sister . ..

Mum places Dad’s rosary

around your fingers

--Marion Clarke (Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland)

* * *

Sunset glow

departing swallows

circling high

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *


coming from the sea

with a crab hunter’s lamp

--Alexey Andreev (Moscow, Russia)

* * *


a titmouse yearning

for moonrise

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

* * *

sneaking naked

into the hot tub with us

harvest moon

--Claudia Coutu Radmore (Carleton Place, Ontario)

* * *

Lingering longer

than usual, they are now

autumn butterflies

--Priscilla Lignori (Montgomery, New York)

* * *





recede to the horizon--

such an empty world

--Tuvshinzaya Nergui (Mongolia)

The haikuist is left all alone each autumn when migratory birds return to Japan. Lysa Collins penned a haiku while watching seagulls flying south from her home in White Rock, British Columbia.


of the summer seas--

white winged winds

Debbie Strange reports from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that “autumn has begun in earnest here, with beautifully coloured leaves, spectacular northern lights, and thousands of geese and cranes on the wing. We’ve spent several lovely camping trips immersed in the wonder of it all.”

Fall migration . ..

many wings beat against

a moon drum

Richard Jodoin penned this one-line haiku in Montreal: Geese in the sky refugees across Canada.

A sign of peace flies overhead Suraja Roychowdhury in Lexington, Massachusetts. She emigrated from India to go live in the United States many years ago, but still finds herself straddling many realities. Elizabeth Moura, a birder-haikuist spots a wayward Canada goose in East Taunton, Massachusetts. Ever since childhood Tom Sacramona has wished his feathered friends would linger longer in Plainville, Massachusetts. In Montgomery, New York, Priscilla Lignori consults with an oracle about the future.

Above Boston

in V formation

Canadian geese

* * *

Under the sun

a bewildered goose

walks the lake bed

* * *

Canada geese

I was only taught to draw

them flying away

* * *

Announcing nightfall

or perhaps the fall of man--

departing wild geese

Satoru Kanematsu remembers catching birds with his father before the war, a practice now prohibited by law in Japan.

No more nets

migrating thrushes

welcomed back

Even free flying birds were curtailed during World War II, notes Murasaki Sagano. After three decades of efforts by Japanese and Russian biologists, several gaggles of an endangered subspecies of Canada goose successfully flew from the Kuril Islands to winter in northern Miyagi Prefecture.

Free flight of

migratory birds

aftermath of war

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce had released foxes on the Kuril Islands in the 1930s hoping to expand the fur trade, but when the foxes devoured the birds they stopped migrating to Japan. Rory Schneeberger lives smack dab in the middle of wildlife in Hoonah, Alaska.

Rocky beach--naked trees

Wet marsh blankets

Bear, deer, otters hide ’n’ seek

Simon Hanson sets off on a trip away from Queensland, Australia. Junko Yamada doesn’t want to leave Kamakura. Texting from Bucharest, Romania, Ana Drobot seems to call a loved one who was left behind.

Traveling light

a suitcase

and a photograph

* * *

Autumn gale

never let me leave . ..

fateful encounter

* * *

Migration . ..

my lover’s words

accompany me

When Marion Clarke’s younger sister died of cancer she says she “couldn’t help but notice my mother tenderly wrapping my father’s rosary around her fingers.” Christof Blumentrath hears birds passing over Borken, Germany. Mohammad Azim Khan watches time move in Peshawar, Pakistan.

church silence

broken by the click

of her rosary beads

* * *

Foggy day

the passing calls

of migrating geese

* * *

Time in motion . ..

birds fly


Kanematsu bids adieu. Natalia Kuznetsova knows he’ll return to Moscow, Russia.

Flying north

good-bye Mount Fuji

migrant birds

* * *

Migrant birds

always come back . ..

his wanderlust

In Ivanic-Grad, Croatia, Djurdja Vukelic Rozic’s son ever so slowly trudges home.

Back from school

son’s shadow as long

as our yard

Grace Stroer-Jarvis passes by a church in Ripon, England. Ramona Linke keeps a sailor’s watch in landlocked Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Alan Summers imagined a shoemaker completing his work under a bright full moon during the small hours before morning in the U.K. town of Chippenham. Hearing noises during the night, Jeanne Jorgensen stays at home in Edmonton, Alberta. Mice peer through Dottie Piet’s window in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Noma Minako stayed up all night long writing haiku in Matsuyama.

The old bell tower

a pigeon

keeps watch

* * *

Smell of pipe smoke--

the old skipper waits

for the moon

* * *

into the small hours

the cobbler shoehorns

a full moon

* * *

Harvest moon

somewhere down our back alley

the screams of a cat

* * *

Gathering dust

mouse-gray shadows

on the window pane

* * *

again and again

door open, but the faint full moon

through clouds

In her next haiku, Noma hints that she may have been short of breath atop Mount Ishizuchi in Ehime Prefecture. More likely she was awed by the sight of the highest peak in western Japan. Iris composed her haiku at Yokomine temple, a pilgrimage site in Saijo from where the mountain appeared deep blue and mystic. It is one of the 7 sacred peaks of Japan where Shingon pilgrims can seek sanctuary while traveling around Shikoku island.

Early autumn breeze--

toward Mount St. Ishizuchi

a deep breath

* * *

Typhoon passed

sacred mountain is enshrined

over the guard frame

Readers are invited to enter the Matsuyama Photo Haiku in English Contest supported by the Asahi Culture Center and The Asahi Shimbun. It’s free to enter online at this link:

Teiichi Suzuki wonders if migrating tuna will benefit from the Tokyo government’s fiasco of trying to relocate the world-famous Tsukiji fish market to a new site in Toyosu where toxic benzene and cyanide have been found in contaminated groundwater. Roychowdhury suggests a solution to the piscatorial problem. The fish were sure they couldn’t be fooled until it was too late, writes Ken Sawitri in Blora, Indonesia.

Passage birds--

tailless tuna in a line


* * *


a GRE word

never used again

* * *

Coming into the autumn market

with the eyes wide open

Javanese Sea fish

Isao Soematsu laments his age.

With the years

ion migrations in my brain

became slower

Radhamani Sarma, a retired professor of English in Chennai, India, greets readers with this demure debut.

trampling grass

humility whispering

me inside

Linke is at her wit’s end over the refugee crisis.

Road’s end

on each side of the barbed wire



The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Nov. 4. Readers are invited to send haiku about trees 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

* * *

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.