Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Way to the temple between pebbles my grandma’s earring

--Azi Kuder (Gdynia, Poland)

* * *

Ship’s whistles

from the far-off port

New Year’s Eve

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

flickering lights

shadows lengthen

as breath slows

--Suraja Roychowdhury (Coimbatore, India)

* * *

Cuckoo clock

dizzy head

on a water pillow

--Asako Utsunomiya (Hiroshima)

* * *

Morning twilight--

waking up grudgingly

snow-bound city

--Natalia Kuznetsova (Moscow, Russia)

* * *

Seven tolls--

the high pitched note

of a rooster

--Marina Bellini (Bagnolo San Vito, Italy)

* * *

Second snowfall . ..

hopping song of the titmouse

on an apricot tree

--Nicholas Klacsanzky (Kyiv, Ukraine)

* * *

Home town lake--

slight sign of sleeping waterfowl

in the midnight darkness

--Isao Soematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Too many grey dawns

on the misty river

flight of wild ducks

--Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo (The Hague, Netherlands)

* * *

My grandson

greets the fridge first

last night’s chicken

--Clifford W Lindemann (Broederstroom, South Africa)

------------------------------

FROM THE NOTEBOOK

------------------------------

Campobasso--

new year’s never starts

before lunch

--Maria Laura Valente (Cesena, Italy)

The haikuist loves her hometown all year round. Sending greetings from Nowy Targ, Poland, Krzysztof Kokot dedicates this haiku to his deceased brother whose birthday would have been celebrated Jan. 6.

winter dawn--

a wayside angel

shakes its wings

Jan. 6 is celebrated by Christians as the feast day of the Epiphany when the Christmas Star is believed to have revealed the birthplace of Jesus Christ to three visiting wise men. Living in St. Peter, Horst Ludwig remembers a time when the Christmas story had a bright Star of Bethlehem in the sky. Iris trekked with friends from Matsuyama to worship at eight temples in Kochi Prefecture.

Longest night

with light pollution

in the sky

* * *

Ryukohji

winding mountain pass

to winter rainbow

It’s last call for the Matsuyama Photo Haiku in English Contest supported by the Asahi Culture Center and The Asahi Shimbun. Enter online for free at this link until Jan. 9: http://www.matsuyamahaiku.jp/contest/index_en.html

The Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster starts on Jan. 28, the second new moon after the winter solstice. Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo celebrates in The Hague, Netherlands.

January first--

in the air the smell

of Chinese fireworks

Adjei Agyei-Baah paints a peaceful African rural setting that is suddenly disrupted by the sound of a rooster. The final word “gaps” depicts the breaks in the bird’s call due to unexpectedly cold weather in Ghana. Its sore throat interrupts the fluid flow of its usual morning call that regularly wakes the peasants to attend to their farming chores.

Cold weather

the rooster’s call

filled with gaps

Mercy Ikuri was awakened by bells during a visit to her hometown of Narok near the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. Kanchan Chatterjee was stirred from sleep by a crier summoning Muslims to pray in Jamshedpur, India.

Maasai village

cattle bells awakening

the dawn

* * *

Cold wave . ..

the morning muezzin’s

crackling voice

Suraja Roychowdhury shares news from her hometown that one of India’s most prominent female politicians Jayalalitha passed away in December close to midnight. She was buried with state honors at Marina Beach in Chennai, India. From where he usually sits at the Osaka library, Teiichi Suzuki can look out a window to see a spinning weathervane on the top of an adjacent building.

headless

who knows which direction

is right?

* * *

Weathercock--

passing wind and clouds

travelers

Thomas Canull delights in watching a cute black-capped bird from his porch in Indiana. It’ll likely remain all winter, so the haikuist is sure to hear its distinctive call resembling a "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" sound.

Chickadee alights

rain chases it away

searching for shelter

Angelee Deodhar admires a garden of shrubs and flowers trimmed to resemble the shapes of birds in her hometown of Chandigarh, India.

in a burst of sunshine

a chrysanthemum topiary

of animals, birds

Writing from Warsaw, Marta Chocilowska composed this poem for her hometown in Poland.

A small market town

in the family home window

open birdcage

Lights in Parma, Italy, beckon Mario Massimo Zontini to come home. Murasaki Sagano has lived in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. Italian haikuist Elisa Allo admires rooftops while visiting Switzerland. In Nagoya, Isao Soematsu marvels at the sight of Atsuta shrine in the rays of first light.

Beyond the river

the lights and sounds of

my hometown

* * *

Third hometown

where I now live in

winter camellias

* * *

Sloping roofs--

frost in the morning

is almost snow

* * *

Sunrise on New Year’s Day--

roofs of village shrine

surface all at once

Ken Sawitri bites into a fresh New Year in Blora, Indonesia. Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy prays for peace in Syria.

New year

the endless red

of ripe apples in a row

* * *

New Year . ..

Aleppo content

to lick its wounds

Columbus, Ohio--Jennifer Hambrick’s hometown--is usually a vibrant city, yet it feels sleepy on New Year’s Day: “The place gets quiet, and the streets are relatively traffic free.” In James Thurber’s short story “The Day the Dam Broke,” Broad Street was described as Columbus’ widest thoroughfare.

new year’s day--

broad street never looked

so broad

The main road in Srinivasa, Rao Sambangi’s hometown of Hyderabad, India, is traffic-free. New Year’s noise on the streets of Montreal wake up Maxianne Berger. Anonymous noise keeps Satoru Kanematsu moving.

new year’s day

the weary road

takes a nap

* * *

dawn screeching

of ploughs and snow-blowers

Happy New Year!

* * *

At year’s end

electronic sounds

urging us

Pravat Kumar Padhy penned this one-liner in Bhubaneswar, India: Celebrating New Year with moon and stars my remote village.

Takako Nagai admires the heavens over Tokyo.

Never seen in the day

but the cold star

in the evening

--------------------------------------------------

The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Jan. 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about the color pink 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 (mcmurray@fka.att.ne.jp).

* * *

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.