Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Deer disappear into ferns and maples--path of rusty leaves

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

* * *

Passing quite swiftly

doe and fawn emerge leaving

hoofprints in the snow

--Paul Faust (Ashiya, Hyogo)

* * *


between the trees, a path

that wasn’t there before

--Anna Goluba (Warsaw, Poland)

* * *

Woods at dusk--

frozen trails in the snow

show the way

--Slobodan Pupovac (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

Early dusk

the alley women’s

endless chat

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Dusk and the moon

smiles at the evening star

Venus blinks

--Clifford W Lindemann (Broederstroom, South Africa)

* * *

Way back home

walking on icy shadows

knit by the moon

--Haruka Nishimura (Osaka)

* * *

Snowstorm . ..

white winds blow


--Tuvshinzaya Nergui (Arkhangai, Mongolia)

* * *

Vast snow

I hear my mother’s name

as a memory

--Nicholas Klacsanzky (Kyiv, Ukraine)

* * *

Sacramental wine

spills onto altar cloth

priest lifts empty cup

--Helen E. Herr (Saskatchewan, Canada)

* * *




Year of the snake;

resting on her shoulders

golden ringlets

--Cherese Cobb (Maryville, Tennessee)

Eyeing the little girl with perfect golden curls, the haikuist might know that the fortune of people born in the Chinese zodiac animal year of the snake has not been so good. Snakes faced rough times at the close of this year of the monkey, notes Bryan Cook from his hometown of Ottawa.

Snakes slide

slowly through salted slush

suburban sorrow

The taste of Croatian wine was all it took to transport Nina Kovacic back to the year 2010.

A sip of wine

back to

summer 2010

Andy McLellan pens a year-end poem from his hometown of Canterbury. Nikolay Grankin writes from Russia.

Cathedral gate--

a homeless man

sips from a beaker

* * *

Again in the hometown

face of a childhood friend

seamed with wrinkles

Hideo Ozaki pens a haiku about life’s ups and downs with a final line more often said with a knowing wink--a sort of overstatement of a product’s effectiveness. The haikuist directs the World Language Center at Soka University, which recently hosted a global haiku lecture by David McMurray.

Deep red wine

accept, lost


Over 130 students attended the session on “Finding New Haiku Masters Around the World,” including Bahl Rimsha from Delhi, Juhi Talwar from Mumbai, and Laurel Lee from Singapore, who respectively penned these haiku.

Wait to be snow-capped

life changes every moment

red maple leaves fall

* * *

I may be brown, black

but the blues of my sad soul

touch every colour

* * *

To embrace others

the most difficult step

yet, the most important

Melanie Vance puts a carrot out in the snow for deer to find in Dallas, Texas. Currently stationed with her family at Misawa Air Base, Mishelle Megginson wonders just how soft autumn clouds must feel. Dragan J. Ristic dreams of caressing a fairy in Nis, Serbia.

On a frosty morning--

snowman and carrot

old buddies

* * *

Peach fuzz


than clouds

* * *

Fairy’s hair--

in the chaos of my dream

the cold harmony

Bob LeGalboy, who also writes over the penname Mr Quipty, composed this one-liner in the U.K.: busy streets where islands collide.

Satoru Kanematsu follows the footsteps of the wandering free-style haikuist Santoka Taneda (1882-1940), who lived on the small island of Shinojima.

The beach path

Santoka followed--

kites’ whistles

John Martone shares two haiku penned in Charleston, Illinois. The first was inspired by thinking about Santoka while driving down a winter road listening to a CBS station in New York. The second refers to a book by an ordained Catholic priest that compares hermits walking the deserts of Egypt with the Zen masters of Japan who had turned their backs on corrupt society.

my native dialect--

news radio 88’s

weather and traffic

* * *

you’ve thomas merton’s

wisdom of the desert--

the christmas tree blinks

Speeding along by train in Ghana, Adjei Agyei-Baah spots a man with his hands in the air. Ana Drobot endures a cold, lonely winter in Bucharest, Romania.

Dawn coldness

the homeless man stretches

to a passing train

* * *

First frost--

only his words

to keep me warm

Many years ago, Teiichi Suzuki left Kamishi village in Fukui Prefecture in search of a better life in Osaka. Others followed in his footsteps forcing his once-thriving hometown to merge with other depressed villages. The haikuist laments, “Although my hometown gets name recognition from Eiheiji, its old name is always on my mind.”

Old place name

no longer exists--

hometown snow

Thomas Canull’s hometown of Carmel, Indiana, appears to be closing up. Now living in Tokyo, Kiyoshi Fukuzawa observes changes to his hometown from afar. Elizabeth Moura has lost her house in East Taunton, Massachusetts.

Porch lights no stoplights

movie theater shut down

walk to the river

* * *

New road

bypassed my old school--

distant hometown

* * *

Cold dawn

a pile of rubble

our old house

Ramona Linke remarks on migration changes in her hometown of Beesenstedt, Germany. Sparrows have replaced the pigeons that had once lived in a tower built 130 years ago at an ancient parsonage.

Parsonage courtyard--

sparrows inhabit now

the old dovecote

Ethan Bodily and Jullien Bosket, respectively, conduct field experiments at Sollars Elementary on Misawa Air Base.


at parallel

with the winter sun

* * *

Crystal snowflakes

turning into

plain water

Classmate Edwin Reyes Jr. emerges from a dream while studying transformation. Wiesaw Karlinski reads studies about flies in Poland. Canadian John Hamley flies off to winter in Cuba.

In a dream

the raindrop’s reborn

as a snowflake

* * *

sunny afternoon

in rural reading room

librarian and flies

* * *

Window fly

up and down

New Year’s day

Writing from Windsor, Ontario, Albert Schepers shares his first haiku in this column. In Paris, Eleonore Nickolay saves the best until last.

* * *

Little fruit fly

upon my finger

the wine is done

* * *

Ruby anniversary

in their wine bottle

a little leftover

Yutaka Kitajima foresees the future. Aparna Pathak pens the last haiku of this year.

Windy shore

locusts are gone,

as will our days

* * *

Heather tree . ..

in the glass of wine

a day that was

Readers have until Jan. 9, 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:


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Jan. 6, 2017. Readers are invited to send haiku about hot baths or saunas 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 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 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.