Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

winter freeze the nurse tucks me in

--Bruce H. Feingold (Berkeley, California)

* * *

A priceless necklace

of poignant thoughts and feelings;

A festive archipelago

--Godfrey Baldacchino (Malta)

* * *

Winter night--

the lady with pink leis

lights the bonfire

--Aparna Pathak (Haryana, India)

* * *

Winter wood--

a pink cyclamen

colors moss

--Nazarena Rampini (Pogliano Milanese, Italy)

* * *

Moonlight--

shining through the steam

of the hot tub

--Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo (Den Haag, Netherlands)

* * *

Sauna--

seeking out unfamiliar

night freshness

--Goran Gatalica (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

Everyone

in a sauna looks

a Buddha

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

* * *

January chill

the old man

with a sausage pink nose

--Mohammad Azim Khan (Peshawar, Pakistan)

* * *

Winter moon . ..

a man eating two rotis

that is what I am

--Kanchan Chatterjee (Jamshedpur, India)

* * *

Johnson’s Pond

the bonfire on the island

burns itself out

--Elizabeth Moura (East Taunton, Massachusetts)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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Inauguration day

trying to make these leftovers

great again

--Ian Willey (Takamatsu, Kagawa)

Today is just another day for the haikuist, an American expat from Akron, Ohio. His countrymen and politicians around the world, however, will be tuned to the 45th U.S. President’s inaugural address.

Muscovite Natalia Kuznetsova writes about a Russian traditional bathhouse to highlight the warm greetings her country’s president received last December at a spa along a river valley in the prime minister’s hometown of Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Village banya--

enjoying a steam bath

with the frost locked out

The first line in Goran Gatalica’s haiku is the original Roman name of his hometown of Daruvar, Croatia. Ever since Roman times, the town has been a source of healthy hot thermal water.

aqua balissae--

the roman coin flickers

from the brook

Judith Hishikawa’s spine tingles in West Burke, Vermont. Neha R. Krishna dips the only part of her body she’s not using in Mumbai, India. Srinivasa Rao Sambangi melts snow in Hyderabad, India. Lydia Lecheva visits a clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria.

from the ceiling

cold water drips

onto heated skin

* * *

elbow in water

checking the temperature

for baby’s first swim

* * *

on my body

hot vapors and deep snow--

exchange game

* * *

Psychotherapy

hot spring lovers--

warm moon yet in-between

Although hot baths are relaxing, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as having a straight-razor shave with steaming hot towels, suggests Bob Friedland in Richmond, British Columbia.

through the window bald, cheerful Dominic and dour, taciturn, Mike,

two Italian barbers in shining and pressed white tunics

listen to Verdi and read Il Progresso

Richard Jodoin points out that the villages of Quebec along the St. Lawrence river have been a source of good wine and Catholicism ever since settlement began in the 17th century. Christina Sng explores Singapore. In Warsaw, Anna Goluba drifts into a rapid-eye dream about celestial neutron stars that emit intense pulses of radiation.

Amid the village

the church facing the bar

wine and spirits . ..

* * *

The old tavern

down the road

red neon lights

* * *

In sauna

I close my eyes . ..

pulsars

M. Indra Neil recites the “Om shanti shanti shanti” mantra on the Godavari river delta in Rajahmundry, India.

Godavari waves

drift in the winter mist--

Vedic chants

Priscilla Lignori spots geese landing on the river that runs beside the road where she lives in Montgomery, New York. Lilia Racheva sketches her elegant hometown of Rousse, Bulgaria. Bryan Cook admires the Ottawa river.

The Wallkill river--

wild geese descend one by one

on icy water

* * *

Port town

cloud-drift winds

on the river

* * *

Waterfalls and rapids

steam below

bridges of unity

Cook hunts for beaver tails on Ottawa’s 8 km long Rideau canal. At this time of year the river freezes into a long skating rink lined with shops serving traditional sweets and fried dough pastries. Garry Eaton walks on ice over a stream that was dammed up with tree branches cut by beavers in Port Moody, British Columbia.

Downhill and cross country

racquette et patinage

maple syrup on beaver tails

* * *

beaver pond

across it snowshoe tracks

half-drifted in

In Chojnice, Poland, Tomasz Szymczak dares to roll in the snow. In Zagreb, Croatia Slobodan Pupovac shares a mixed bath.

first winter snow--

rolling naked recommended

after sauna

* * *

am I red

because of our nakedness

hot steam

Adjei-Agyei-Baah explains that when people retire from their jobs in Kumasi, Ghana, they return to their hometowns to build cement houses rather than renovate the traditional mud houses made by their ancestors.

bekwai

deserted mud houses

bare their wooden rods

Helga Stania celebrates the twelfth night after Christmas in Ettiswil, Switzerland. Ikken Ikemoto turns to a new page in Tokyo.

Raunacht . ..

the shimmer of the moon

in the bowl

* * *

Old calendar--

her voice still lingers

in me

John Martone dedicates this haiku to Rosko, who was a DJ on WNEW-FM when he was a teenager living in Charleston, Illinois. Cherishing friends in Berkeley, California, Bruce H. Feingold remembers a time in need.

winter night

my friend’s poem on the radio

backyard in darkness

* * *

Arctic winds

friends toast

to my health

The spring thaw may be close at hand, reports Nicholas Klacsanzky in Kyiv, Ukraine.

dripping icicle

the length of life

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The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Feb. 3 and 17. Readers are invited to send haiku about melting snow or the brilliant blue color that appears in ice on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or 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.